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The Best Beach Bars in Costa Rica

beach bars in costa rica

Beach bars are something we’ve become a bit obsessed with since moving to Costa Rica. Surprisingly, for a country with the ocean to the east and west, there are actually very few quality beach bars in Costa Rica that we have found.

Maybe we just have really high standards. We want tasty cocktails, a tropical vibe, a beautiful view etc. Is that too much to ask for? OK, yes, we are beach bar snobs.

Anyway, because we are so in love with beach bars we decided to create a list of our favorites for you.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Lolas (Tamarindo)

lolas avellanas

I had read good things about Lolas on Trip Advisor, so when Thomas and I were checking out our wedding venue in Tamarindo, we decided to check out Lolas. It is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Tamarindo. We were kind of like “should we make the drive or not?” I’m so happy we did!

Lolas is located on Playa Avellanas, which is seriously beautiful. We ended up grabbing a few drinks and chilling at the beach club for a few hours before making our way down Playa Avellanas for some beach relaxation.

Hours:

Lola’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00am until 5:00 pm.

Location:

The road to Playa Avellanas is unpaved. If you are driving a small car you might be in for a bit of an adventure. It is definitely more comfortable in something with at least a bit of clearance.

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There is a parking lot with an attendant who will watch your car. Just give them a few dollars when you leave as a thank you for watching the car. Even still, please don’t leave anything of value in your car.

Things to know:

– The cocktails aren’t the cheapest (think US prices) but they were good

– They use biodegradable paper straws, which we love!

– Ask your waiter if Lola is around. You’ll be in for a surprise. 😉

– Bring your beach stuff. You can definitely spend a full day at the beach here.

You can also check out our full guide to Playa Avellanas.

What we recommend:

For food, we recommend the Hawaiian Poke.

To drink, you can’t go wrong with a margarita! If you want something unique with fruit you probably have never tried before, get the Monkey cocktail.

We have a full guide to the Tamarindo area.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Banana Beach Restaurant (Santa Teresa)

banana beach santa teresa

When we were in Santa Teresa we basically lived at Banana Beach. No joke, our daily talks were, “OK we’ll go fishing for a few hours, but we lets aim to be at Banana Beach by 3 pm.” We were addicted.

The reason why we loved it so much is at that point we had been living in Costa Rica for over a year and this was the first genuine beach bar that we had found.

Hours:

They are open daily from 9:00 am until 1:00 am. You can always go to Banana Beach!

Location:

If you drive through the center of Santa Teresa heading north, Banana Beach will be on the left side of the road (on the beach side obviously).

There is a parking lot, but at least when we were there, nobody watches the parking lot. Please don’t leave anything of value in your car.

Things to know:

– You can easily spend a full day here. Try to grab one of the lounge chairs down on the beach and you’ll be food to go!

– Banana Beach also has a hotel. You can even rent out their whole facility if you have a big group.

– They also host weddings. In my opinion, this is a perfect spot to celebrate your big day.

– Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events. They frequently have live musicians and other entertainment.

What we recommend:

All their food is really good. I actually really liked the burgers here.

For drinks, you can’t go wrong with a mojito. Also, try a chili guaro shot. They are a Costa Rican specialty. Just be warned, they are spicy!

You can view their full menu here.

We have a complete guide to the Santa Teresa area here.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Coco Loco (Playa Flamingo)

playa flamingo

We actually visited Coco Loco because we had hired the owner to cater our wedding. We were up in the area so decided to visit the beach bar to get a better idea of the food and cocktails. The food and drinks are priced reasonably and everything was incredibly tasty.

Hours:

Coco Loco is open daily from 11 am until 9:30 pm.

Location:

Coco Loco is located directly on Playa Flamingo. There is parking along the strett, but it can fill up quickly. Also, there is nobody watching cars so please don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle.

Things to know:

– Playa Flamingo is considered one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica. You can definitely make a day of visiting this area. Just be warned there are not many shady spots on the beach and it can get really hot.

– There is free parking available all along the road next to the beach. Just don’t leave anything of value in your car.

– This is a good day trip option up from the Tamarindo area or down from the Playas del Coco area.

– They are open daily from 11:00am until 9:00pm.

– If you need someone to cater your event in the area, I really can’t recommend Jean-Luc from Coco Loco enough. He is awesome! You can find out more here.

What we recommend:

For food, we suggest the yellowfin tuna tacos.

To drink we suggest the Coco Loco (it’s served in a coconut) or the tamarindo mojito.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Lazy Mon (Puerto Viejo)

puerto viejo

Lazy Mon is great, but I will say that when we were there the service was excessively slow. I mean, I get it, this is Puerto Viejo where relaxed is take to another level, but it was still a bit annoying. Despite that, the food and drinks were great and the location was nice.

Hours:

They are closed on Wednesdays. During the rest of the week they are open from 8:00 until around 12:00 am. On Tuesdays, they don’t open until 12:00 pm. I know, their hours are a bit crazy. Check out their Facebook page for a full schedule.

Location:

Lazy Mon is located directly in downtown Puerto Viejo on the beach.

I don’t remember there being parking at Lazy Mon, but there is plenty f street parking in Puerto Viejo.

Things to know:

– At night this place can get CRAZY! If you are interested in partying, this is a good spot for it.

– They have 2×1 cocktails every weekday from 4pm to 7pm.

Lazy Mon frequently has live music at sunset and other events.

What we recommend:

They have fried pickles on their menu so Thomas was automatically in love. Their burgers are also top notch.

If you want something with a very Caribbean feel, try the Lazy Mama cocktail. They also have a great selection of craft beers.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Playa Biesanz (Manuel Antonio)

pipa fria

Playa Biesanz is not actually a beach bar, but instead a nice beach in Manuel Antonio where many locals set up various stands. I had to include it on here because in some way it is better than a beach bar.

You can rent a beach chair with umbrella for about $10 per day. Locals will then come around and ask if you would like a drink or food from their stands. You can get mixed drinks like pina colada’s or even just a beer if you prefer that. There is food as basic as a bag of chips or you can get various fully cooked meals.

It is one of our favorite places to spend a beach day with some amenities included.

Location:

Playa Biesanz is about a ten-minute drive from Manuel Antonio National Park. If you put “Playa Biesanz” into your GPS it will direct you here,. If you reach the Parador resort you have gone too far. Turn around and backtrack for about 30 seconds.

I don’t think there is a sign for the beach, but you will likely see a lot of cars parked along the street.

You can park along the street and someone will (usually) be working to watch cars. Just pay this person a few dollars when you leave as a thank you.

To get to the beach you will need to walk down a dirt path for about five minutes. Look into the trees as you walk, we always see monkeys here.

Things to know:

– There are not any bathrooms here (at least not that I saw).

– Besides food, drinks, and beach chairs you can also rent kayaks and snorkeling equipment here.

– If you have small kids this is a good place to go because it is a bit of a cove and the water is typically very calm.

We have a full guide to the Manuel Antonio area.

Beach Bars in Costa Rica – Our Tips

– Definitely ask at your hotel if they have any favorite beachfront bars or restaurants. We have been to a lot of places, but often the locals have the best insight on great places to go.

– As far as happy hour specials, a lot of places here do two-for-one cocktails. This means you have to get two of the same cocktail at one time, but you pay the price of one drink. Thomas and I usually pick a drink we both like and each have one. We then switch it up and try a different drink on the next round. That way we aren’t each stuck drinking two full margaritas or something (although I am totally fine with having to drink two margs).

banana beach

– If you are on a tight budget, just make your own beach bar! This is easy if you are staying an Airbnb and have your own kitchen. We especially like to make mixed drinks and sit on the beach for sunset.

If you have any questions about beach bars in Costa Rica please leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out. Also, let us know if you have found any amazing beach bars we should check out!

WAS THIS GUIDE TO BEACH BARS IN COSTA RICA HELPFUL? WE’D LOVE IF YOU’D PIN IT!

There are a lot of amazing beach bars in Costa Rica. Find out all the details about the best ones! #CostaRica #beach There are a lot of amazing beach bars in Costa Rica. Find out all the details about the best ones! #CostaRica #beach

About Us

We’re Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and now live in sunny Costa Rica. It was a spontaneous decision to move here, but it was the best decision!

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One Response

  1. There is also a very typical spot on the Nicoya Peninsula, LocosCocos. Owned by a Tico and Gringa the setting is amazing, food is incredibly fresh and the service is so personal, it’s like being with old friends.

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