Costa Rica has won an Experts’ Choice Award for Best Beach Destination. The award is bestowed annually by TripExpert, a review aggregation service based in New York, and is also based on 1.5 million reviews from professionals writing for magazines, travel guides, and other sources.
Reviewers praised Costa Rica for its biodiversity and the many opportunities it offers for eco-friendly tourism. “Costa Rica’s beaches are among the most picturesque in the world”, Chris Blume, TripExpert’s Chief Content Officer, told The Costa Rica News in an exclusive interview. “Several publications singled out the justifiably famous Playa Manuel Antonio and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. They also drew attention to the rapidly expanding and improving options for accommodation in the country”.
Over 600 destinations were considered for the award; the 2 runners up were Miami and Seychelles. Costa Rica came out on top and has been named the Best Beach Destination for 2019.
What should you take into account to go to the beaches of Costa Rica?
It is important to know that the climate in Costa Rica is quite unpredictable and varies greatly depending on the area. Therefore, we recommend you to know the best time to travel and enjoy its beaches.
Where are the best beaches?
Are the best beaches in Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast or the Pacific coast? Well, both! The Costa Rican territory has beautiful beaches in both oceans that deserve to be known. Here we present the 8 best beaches in Costa Rica for you to enjoy, either alone or accompanied.
- Manuel Antonio National Park (Puntarenas, Pacific)
For us, the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park are the best in the country. The park and its beaches are one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. So you will see foreigners and nationals, all in love with its white sand and crystal clear waters. It is true that it is a pretty tourist site and that makes it lose some charm, but the beaches are quite large and there is space for everyone.
We do not only recommend Manuel Antonio for its beach but for the National Park in general. Before relaxing in your water you can walk through its trails and appreciate all kinds of fauna and flora, as well as reach a small waterfall.
As a personal note, we liked more Espadilla Sur, the beach that falls to the right of the access road. It is calmer and prettier, although both of them are worth it.
- Tortuga Island (Puntarenas, Pacific)
If you think of paradise, surely something similar to Tortuga Island comes to your mind. It is a super quiet island accessible by boat from Jacó, Puntarenas or Herradura. You must hire a tour or private transfer for a day since there is no hotel or restaurant there. The water looks like a pool, ideal for a leisurely swim or kayaking. Sure you will see some colorful fish, octopus, rays, and even sharks and dolphins.
- Manzanillo (Limón, Caribbean)
The beaches of the refuge of Gandoca-Manzanillo are spectacular. For us, the one in Manzanillo is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and the best in the Caribbean. It is characterized by its white sand and crystal clear waters. It is much quieter than Manuel Antonio, although it is also quite touristy.
The most beautiful sector is very close to the small town of Manzanillo. You only have to cross a small suspension bridge and follow the path. We advise you to get to the viewpoint of Punta Manzanillo and enjoy the views.
- Playa Conchal (Guanacaste, Pacific)
This beach is one of the most famous in Costa Rica. Partly because it has a unique characteristic: the pieces of shells replace the sand. That is to say, its composition in 98% consists of pieces of shells and strata of pulverized rocks, which distinguishes it from the other Guanacaste beaches. His name is not difficult to imagine. Without a doubt, it is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
- Santa Teresa (Puntarenas, Pacific)
For many surfers, Santa Teresa is very high on the list of best beaches in Costa Rica. Its waves are usually ideal for those who practice this sport. It also has fine and white sand that gives pleasure. If you like beaches that look like a pool, it is not worth going, because the road access is bad enough. Around the beach, there is a very cool atmosphere with several bars and some hiking trails.
- Dantita Beach (Guanacaste, Pacific)
This is, without any doubt, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and also one of the quietest. Horseshoe-shaped, it is surrounded by vegetation and the water has a beautiful color. Of course, when we were there was something upset and there were differences in the sand. So maybe it is not ideal if you love to take a dip but to be calm with hardly any company.
The access is somewhat cumbersome, but that makes very few people. If the tide is low, you can walk carefully through the rocks to the right of Playa Danta. Otherwise, you will have to go down a dirt road about a kilometer. In any case, we recommend that you put the flip-flops in your backpack and wear shoes to avoid hurting yourself.
- Montezuma (Puntarenas, Pacific)
If you adore the coastal towns with atmosphere, surely you consider that Montezuma is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is small with a dry forest around where you can see some monkeys. It is great for swimming and also for snorkeling in the rocky area. There is also a bohemian atmosphere similar to that of the Caribbean, with street vendors selling handicrafts and an organic market held every Saturday.
- Punta Uva (Limón, Caribbean)
We went to this beach just by chance, but we ended up falling in love with it. It is quite small but has enough space to throw in the towel and toast in the sun. In addition, when sheltered it barely has waves and the water is very clean. Who does not like to bathe with spectacular views of palm trees and other tropical vegetation? Another point in favor is that it has very easy access compared to other beaches in the area, which are more hidden.