Differences Between Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean Coasts

A Comparison of Both Coasts

Costa Rica is one of only 7 countries in the world that are bathed by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, each coast with their own unique culture and landscapes. And that’s one of the reasons that make this Central American country a paradise of diversity, a treasure to be discovered, a wonderful land full of adventures, nature and friendly people.

Caribbean Coast 1
Caribbean Coast

The Pacific coast has an extension of 1,016 km (633 miles) while the Caribbean Sea covers around 212 kilometers (132 miles) However, the differences between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are bigger than we usually believe, these differences range from biological and natural aspects to cultural and social divergences

The surface of the Pacific Ocean stands about 15 cms higher than the Caribbean Sea, both coast also experiences nearly complete opposite weather patterns. When the Pacific Coast is warm and under a blazing sun, getting drier and browner from January to May with little to no rain, the tropical rain showers provide the Caribbean with green landscapes. While when the rest of the country is getting into the Rainy Season, it is Caribbean summer, even then, Regular showers all year keep the Caribbean green and lush thanks to a unique microclimate. In the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea, the average temperature is 27°C, while the Pacific ocean waters are a bit colder. Both costs also have significant differences in ocean chemistry, components of the water, salinity, and climate.

Pacific Coast: surf, ecotourism, adventure and luxury resorts

Pacific coast is characterized by a rugged though mostly accessible coastline where forested mountains meet the ocean. It can be divided into four regions: Guanacaste, the Nicoya Peninsula, the Central Coast, and the Southern Coast. There are some spectacular stretches of coastline, this coast varies from the dry, sunny climate of the northwest to the hot, humid rainforests of the south.

Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo

The Pacific is a paradise for lovers of water sports and ecotourism: diving, snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, hiking and of course Surfing can be practice along the coast. Concentrating large tourist centers and its beaches are washed by the rolling waves of the ocean, preferred for surfing, attracting world-class surfers and lovers of this radical sport from around the world. the nature of the waves varies in beaches such as Playa Hermosa, Esterillos, Jacó, Boca Barranca or near the Ballena Marine National Park and in the Golfito sector, you can experience the world famous ” long left wave “. National parks cover a large part of the territory with white sand beaches backed by lush rainforest if you are lucky enough you also could see a migrating humpback whale surfacing and flicking their huge tails skywards.

Our Pacific Coast top beaches


Manuel Antonio

Montezuma has some spectacular natural sites, including paradisiac waterfalls.
Beautiful waterfall in Montezuma, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa





Bahía Drake

Playa Langosta

Santa Catalina Island

The Caribbean Coast: clear water, biodiversity, and chill people

The Caribbean area can be divided into two roughly equal stretches and is known for its variety of aquatic ecosystems and its beaches of black and white sand as in the rest of this sea the lighter aqua colors are shallow water where the sunlight is reflecting off of the sand and reefs near the surface. ideal for practising activities focused on nature and the sea, such as sports fishing and diving in clear waters, and also to enjoy of the sun.

The Costa Sur of the Caribbean of Costa Rica is characterized by hosting some of the most beautiful and attractive beaches of the country, ideal for practising activities in contact with nature and the sea, or enjoy the sun and the walks by the shore of the sea contemplating the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park

The Caribbean also has a cultural attraction, its own take on traditional Costa Rican cook and dishes. The smells and flavors full of coconut, ginger, curry, allspice, cinnamon, and chili peppers pair perfectly with palm tree-lined and white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and of course beautiful rain forests. The people and places are warm, friendly, and peaceful, as is traditional in the rest of the Caribbean, making it perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Our Caribbean Sea top beaches

Playa Negra


Punta Uva

Playa Chiquita


Congo Bongo Manzanillo
Congo Bongo Manzanillo

Playa Bonita

Playa Blanca

Playa Guandoca

Playa Pirikiki


SOURCEOtto Pereda
Previous articleTechnology for You in This New Year 2018
Next articleDriving Safely in Costa Rica