Best Beaches of Costa Rica
There are no shortages of white and black sand expanses on the coasts of Costa Rica, in fact the beaches of the country have often been rated as some of the best in the world. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, these palm lined paradises are one of the reasons that millions of visitor’s flock to Costa Rica every year. Here is a list of the best beaches of Costa Rica.
Playa el Hachal
On the northern shores of the Santa Rosa national park, Playa el Hachal is one of the best kept secrets of Costa Rica. First one needs to find the ranger station of Murcialago and then hike through the dense forest to the 6km pebble beach. Only recommended during the dry season between December and April when the trail is dry, Hanchal is a welcome change from the sand beaches across the country. During the dry season Mobula rays can easily be spotted from the beach as they leap into the air.
With the famed beaches of Coco, Tamarindo, Flamingo and Ocotal so close, many overlook the delightful beach of Conchal. Pristine white sand leading up to a line of splendid green trees make Conchal a quintessential beach retreat. Easily accessed by road from anywhere in the Guanacaste region Conchal is a haven for snorkelers who wish to escape the crowded beaches. Furthermore, the only hotel in the area, the Westin is shrewdly tucked away behind the treeline, allowing extra privacy for their guests and those utilising the beach.
By far the most remote beach on this list, Bahia Junquillal is a 2km stretch of sand in the northern reaches of Guanacaste. Bahia Junquillal is a wildlife enthusiast’s nirvana. The shore is a nesting site for olive ridley turtles while the mangrove and forests of the area are home to magnificent frigate birds and black spiny tailed iguanas. Perfect for visit all year round, make sure to bring your mask and snorkel, the water is warm and you have the opportunity to swim with turtles as well as other colour marine species.
Without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica, uniquely shaped with two beaches on the same spit of land, Manuel Antonio is also one of the busiest. On the doorstep of the smallest, yet one of the most diverse national parks in the country, crowds flock after a hot day to bathe in the warm blue waters. Protected in a bay, Manuel Antonio is perfect for families, there are little to no currents or waves. The park can be easily accessed by foot from the beach where visitors have the opportunity to encounter sloths, squirrel monkeys and a plethora of bird species.
All the best beaches lie on the end of an unmarked road, and that is exactly where Punta Uva lies. Wedged between a wildlife refuge and south of the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva’s golden sand is well worth the search. Screeches from above alert visitors to the splendid colours of macaws, a fabulous opportunity for photographers and avid birders alike. There is a shallow reef in front of the beach, excellent to explore by scuba or snorkel. Be careful however, the coral can be sharp! Keep your eyes open, you may be lucky enough to observe an eel, ray or grouper in the shallows.