Known for its exotic wildlife and tropical rainforests, Costa Rica is a rugged, breathtakingly beautiful country that offers incredible beaches and biodiversity. All backed by lush jungles teeming with wildlife, the beaches of Costa Rica each offer their own beauty and vibe, giving you your choice of how to spend your beach vacation. Whether you want adventure on land and water, exciting wildlife encounters, family days in the sun, or relaxation and romance on the sand, you can find it in Costa Rica’s beaches. Find out the best beaches in Costa Rica and explore the other beach areas of Central America to plan a memorable coastal retreat.
Best beaches in Costa Rica
Bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with diverse and picturesque beaches. You’ll find everything from quiet, palm-lined shores to rugged coves and expanses of volcanic sand. Check out the best beaches in Costa Rica to find your top vacation spot.
Tortuguero Beach for adventure
Boasting an influence of African and Caribbean culture, Tortuguero Beach is a remote beach that’s only accessible by boat or plane. One of the biggest draws of the beach is the colony of green turtles that come to shores to mate, but you’ll also find soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters for swimming and sunbathing. The nearby Tortuguero National Park offers hiking trails in the rainforests to see tapirs, ocelots, manatees, and crocodiles.
Manuel Antonio Beach for adventure
Located in the Manuel Antonio National Park, Manuel Antonio Beach is an ideal family beach for people with small children. The waters are calm and are home to a coral reef and vibrant sea life. In the national park, you could hike to see exotic wildlife like iguanas, sloths, and white-faced monkeys. Many of the trails lead to nearby beaches as well, so you can experience the diversity of Costa Rica’s coastline.
Playa Samara for family
Located in the charming beach town of Samara, Playa Samara is a remote beach with tropical surroundings, white sand, and vibrant marine life. The bay beach has sheltered waters that are perfect for little ones to swim and wade safely, and the clear waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving adventures. In the middle of the bay, you’ll find an uninhabited island, Isla Chora, that’s filled with unique bird life.
Other beach destinations in Central America
From the lush forests to the Maya ruin sites to the azure seas, Central America is a tropical paradise of outdoor adventure and culture. With so much coastline, Central America is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beach areas, each offering its own distinct personality and attraction. Take a look at the best beach destinations in Central America.
Belize is one of the top travel destinations in all of Central America. With endless stretches of Caribbean coastline, Belize is home to many picturesque beach areas with soft sand, exotic wildlife, and tranquil waters. Some of the top destinations include Placencia, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker, 3 paradise beach gems that offer a diverse array of experiences beyond swimming and sunbathing.
Ecuador is a unique and diverse country with plenty of cultural sites and historic attractions, but one of its biggest draws is the beach. You’ll find everything from coastal resorts to charming fishing towns, all offering a unique beach experience. Places like Salinas and Esmeraldas offer excitement and water sports, while the beaches of Guayaquil are relaxed and quiet for families. If you want something a little wild, the Galapagos Islands are off the coast and offer natural wonders, wildlife, and pristine seashore.
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua has a diverse landscape of coastal lakes, towering volcanoes, and pristine beaches. Ranging from white sand to black sand and family-friendly to untamed, the beaches in Nicaragua are just as varied as the country. Some of the top beaches in the country are found at Corn Island, Redonda Bay, and Las Peñitas, but you’ll have plenty to choose from.