Sun and beaches

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Costa Rica: The paradise for the sun lovers

With a privileged location in the heart of Central America, Costa Rica’s 51,100 square kilometers are home to beaches bathed by the waters of two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific, both of which are just three hours from the capital, San José—or just 45 minutes by plane.

The result is that in this country, beaches are part of our recreation, our sports and our relaxation. These beaches feature a backdrop of tropical trees, natural spaces, and relatively low numbers of tourists.

The Caribbean region stands out for its variety of marine ecosystems and its white- and black-sand beaches, ideal for activities centered around nature and the ocean, including surfing, diving in clear water, basking in the sun and hiking along the coast.

The Pacific coast contains major tourism centers and beaches that are favorites among surfers, including Esterillos, Jacó, Hermosa, Boca Barranca, as well as the Pavones Sector and the surroundings of the Marino Ballena National Park, with its famous long left wave.

The country’s beaches offer a wide variety of accommodation and culinary options for all budgets and tastes.

When visiting any beach in Costa Rica, keep the following security precautions in mind:

  1. Take care of your belongings while enjoying the sea or leave them somewhere they can be watched.
  2. Always use sunscreen to avoid burns on your skin.
  3. When possible, do not swim on your own and consult the authorities regarding beach conditions.
  4. Be aware of warning flags on the beach.
  5. Do not enter the ocean if you do not know how to swim. If surfing as a beginner, always be accompanied by an instructor.

About Costa Rica's beaches

The beaches located in the Guanacaste area offer adventure,recreation, and a wide variety of activities. Sunbathers enjoy radiant sunshine almost all year round. If you prefer something more secluded, , there are small boutique hotels near Santa Elena Peninsula, or larger hotel compounds located near the Gulf of Papagayo.

Visitors have their choice of beaches perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or just peacefully taking in the surrounding rainforests. The central region also features fun places, like puntarenas, with its giant cruise ships on the pier, and famous seafood, including dishes like ceviche, a delicious dish made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices.

The middle pacific offers exuberant landscapes where sun, beach and forests combine in national parks such as manuel antonio and marino ballena. If you’re looking for excitement, the beaches of jaco and hermosa have ideal conditions for surfing.

In the evening, the fun continues late into the night and all the beaches have comfortable accommodations available.

This region of Costa Rica combines everything you love about the beach, includingthe pristine vegetation and coral reefs of Caño Island, perfect for diving and snorkeling. You should also make time to discover the breath-taking beaches of Golfo Dulce and the Osa Peninsula, protected by Biological Reserves and the National Park of Corcovado. Perfect for fishing, surfing or just admiring wildlife like the marvelous macaw, these beaches are easily accessible thanks to local flights originating from Golfito and Puerto Jimenez.

Accessible by land, beautiful beaches await you in this region of Costa Rica. The contrast of the white and black sand beaches of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo are unforgettable, whether surfing, fishing, or diving on spectacularly colorful coral reef.

A rich and strong afro-caribbean influence welcomes visitors to learn about the particular culture and architecture of the region, the vibrant spirit of its people, and the wonderful, authentic flavor of dishes such as rice and beans, pati, plantinta, chicken with coconut, and rondon.

Every year, from June to October, witness the unforgettable experience of green turtles' spawning at the beaches of the National Park of Tortuguero. Also, enjoy fishing for shad and snook at Barra del Colorado.

Located 330 miles from costa rican territory, coco island is full of natural beauty and ideal for diving or hiking. The boat trip takes approximately 36 hours and is the only way to reach the island. Coco island has incredible marine life, including whale sharks, white-tip sharks, tuna fish, parrotfish, corals, mollusks and the hammerhead shark.

Another popular island is tortuga. Besides the beach, there are plenty of aquatic sports to choose from. There is also caño island, which is full of pre-columbian history and has crystal-clear waters perfect for diving. Also, the islands of the gulf of nicoya are famous for diving and excellent fishing.

There are tours available to each island.

Costa Rica's Main Beaches

On the map you'll find Costa Rica's tourism regions, where you can participate in these activities. For more information on any of these activities, contact your travel agent or hotel.

Planning your Trip to Costa Rica