The 5 Most Beautiful Beaches of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is certainly not lacking in beautiful beaches. With over 1700 kilometers (1056 miles) of coastline, that’s not very difficult at all! Most beaches are incredibly long, many lined with palm trees. One beach is white with clear water, another is golden, or even pitch-black with big waves perfect for surfers. Curious about our favorite Costa Rican beaches? We’ve listed the five (in our opinion) most beautiful beaches for you.

Playa Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is one of our favorite beach destinations in Costa Rica. Playa Santa Teresa is always buzzing with activity. People gather on blankets here and there, playing guitars or games, and when the sun sets, campfires light up. There are a few beach clubs where you can enjoy some food or drinks, swinging in your hammock while watching the sunset. Check out our article with tips for Santa Teresa to learn more about this charming beach destination.

Playa Manuel Antonio

Within the popular Manuel Antonio National Park lies the white sand beach, Playa Manuel Antonio. It’s best to go early when it’s less crowded. Be cautious with your belongings, as cheeky raccoons and monkeys roam the beach, eager to snatch food from your bag. Playa Manuel Antonio is dotted with palm trees, and the inviting water calls for a refreshing swim. Before you go, read all the tips for Manuel Antonio since there are a few things to keep in mind. The park is closed every Tuesday.

Playa Punta Uva

This beach on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is a perfect stop when you’re in the charming town of Puerto Viejo. This beach is definitely among our favorite beaches in Costa Rica. Especially during the sunrise or sunset, it’s like paradise on earth. What’s great about Playa Punta Uva is that you can enjoy fantastic paddleboarding or kayaking. Starting at 9:00, you can rent a kayak or board on the beach to paddle up the river on the opposite side instead of the sea. This area is a beautiful piece of nature, teeming with wildlife. In the trees, you’ll spot sloths taking occasional sips from the river. The river is home to many turtles that sometimes swim alongside you or bask in groups on logs. Additionally, you’ll find plenty of monkeys and iguanas in the trees.

If you’re up for a new profile picture, you should look for the hanging palm tree. It takes some effort to climb into, but the result is a cool photo! Find more tips for this region in our article with tips for Puerto Viejo.

Playa Puerto Vargas

You can find this beach in Cahuita National Park, which is located 17 km from Puerto Viejo. This park protects one of Costa Rica’s best-preserved coral reefs, and you can spot a lot of wildlife simply by following the path through Cahuita National Park. With a stunning jungle on one side and the sea with multiple white beaches on the other side, you could easily spend a whole day in this beautiful natural area. After a walk of about four hours, you’ll reach Playa Puerto Vargas, where you’ll ultimately arrive at Puerto Vargas Beach. If you’re lucky, the water here is completely calm, which is a very special sight. Take a refreshing dip after the walk. You can find more information about the hike in our article with tips for Cahuita National Park.

Playa Uvita

And last but not least: Playa Uvita. This massive beach is a staggering 100 meters (328 feet) wide when it’s low tide. It’s located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and borders the charming village of Uvita. Be sure to catch the sunset at Playa Uvita, as it’s fantastic here. If you’re fortunate, the sunset aligns with low tide, creating a thin layer of water on the beach that reflects the sunset. Even if that’s not the case, Playa Uvita is one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in Costa Rica. Bring some beers or a bottle of wine and enjoy this special spot.

Playa Uvita is part of Marino Ballena National Park, where a rock and sand formation precisely resembles a whale’s tail during low tide. Nature sometimes creates these remarkable coincidences. You can read more about this unique spot in our article with tips for Uvita.