If you’re familiar with our blog you probably know by now that we are all about off the beaten path destinations. The best beaches in Costa Rica are not always the most popular ones. Some of these places will take a bit of work to get to, but I promise the reward is totally worth it!
- 1 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Montezuma
- 2 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Blanca
- 3 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Biesanz
- 4 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Penca
- 5 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Hermosa
- 6 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Manuel Antonio
- 7 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Janquillal
- 8 Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Cahuita
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Montezuma
We visited Montezuma during rainy season, but despite the rain, it was AMAZING! I can not wait to go back. It was without a doubt my favorite beach that I have visited in Costa Rica.
From the town of Montezuma just start walking north. There are about seven beaches in total connected by short trails in the woods. Along the way, you will likely see plenty of cool crabs. If you are really lucky you might spot some turtles like we did. It was pretty much the highlight of our trip.
The beaches are all beautiful, but be careful, in some areas the waves can be strong. You will also come along a nice clear stream with swimming holes, a beach filled with cairnes, and more!
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Blanca
Playa Blanca makes a great day trip from Jaco or San Jose. This beach takes a bit of work to get to because it is located in a private resort. To access this beach, type in “Parqueo Para Particulares” into your GPS. This will direct you down the secret dirt road into the resort. You can then drive through the resort where you will eventually come to a parking lot. Just a warning, get there early. Once the small lot fills you will be out of luck. It will take you about twenty minutes from Jaco and 1.5 hours from San Jose.
You can only access Playa Blanca during low tide, but if the tide is too high you can relax on Playa Mantas (the beach next to it) until the tide goes down. We love Playa Blanca because it’s absolutely beautiful, the waves usually aren’t too crazy, and there are free grills you can use.
We have a complete post about visiting Playa Blanca if you want more info.
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Biesanz
Playa Biesanz is a secret beach located in the town of Manuel Antonio. To get there, just type in “Playa Biesanz” into your GPS. There is not a parking lot, but you can just pull your rental car off on to the side of the road. Usually, there is a guy there who will ask for a few dollars to watch your car. Pay him (it’s better than taking the risk of having your car broken into) and head down the path to the beach. Make sure to look up as you walk because there are usually howler monkeys in the trees.
Playa Biesanz is not the most beautiful beach, but we like the unique vibe. Most tourists don’t end up here so it is emptier than other beaches in the area. There are plenty of locals selling food, renting beach chairs for you to lounge in, renting sea kayaks, snorkel gear and more!
It’s the perfect place to spend a fun day!
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Penca
Playa Penca is located close to Playas del Coco in Guanacaste. There are two beaches named Playa Penca in the Guanacaste region so make sure you are searching for the one located here (between Coco and Playa Hermosa) ↓ rather than the other one.
Driving to Playa Penca is interesting because it is located in the middle of a half-built neighborhood of beautiful houses. You may think you are in the wrong spot, but just keep going. When you arrive there may be a few other cars parked, but other than that there won’t be anyone else around. Make sure to not leave anything valuable in the car. We have heard of people’s cars getting broken into here.
To get down to the beach you need to walk about 7 minutes down a steep trail. It’s a bit of a journey, but the reward is worth it. This beach is pristine, beautiful, and almost always empty. There are also plenty of shady trees so you can get out of the hot sun.
Head back to your car around sunset to get an amazing view from above!
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa is a nice beach near Playas del Coco. We love it because it is the perfect beach for a beach day. The water is calm enough to swim, you can take a nice walk along the beach, there are vendors selling food, and you can rent kayaks and jet skis. Plus, the sunset view is always on point.
It can be busy during popular vacation times, but it is still a great place to hang out.
If you want a nice dinner spot, we suggest La Casita del Marisco directly on the beach.
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Manuel Antonio
If you’ve read much of our blog you know that we aren’t huge fans of Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s a bit too touristy for our liking. Despite that, there are some ridiculously beautiful beaches.
Everyone heads to the one main beach, but there is a nice more empty beach at the end which nobody really goes to. We have a complete guide to Manuel Antonio National Park if you need more info.
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Playa Janquillal
Playa Janquillal is located between the seaside village of Nosara and the popular surf town of Tamarindo. There are a bunch of really nice beaches along this part of the coast and most are usually completely empty.
The roads along here are unpaved, which tends to deter most tourists, but if you rent a car with four-wheel drive, it is definitely worth a visit. The waves are perfect for surfing. Also, you can walk forever on these stretches of beach!
Best Beaches in Costa Rica – Cahuita
Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean coast is our favorite national park in Costa Rica and part of the reason is because it is an interesting jungle hike located parallel to the beach. The views along the beach are amazing! We also love that there are tons of shaded picnic areas along the way which you can bring a nice picnic lunch to. Plus, the town of Cahuita is pretty freaking awesome!
Have any questions about the best beaches in Costa Rica? Leave them in the comment section below and we will help you out!
WAS THIS HELPFUL? WE’D LOVE IF YOU’D PIN IT!
WANT TO CHASE FAB VIBES AROUND COSTA RICA ON A BUDGET?
Of course you do!
Join our 30,000 monthly readers in planning your dream travels in Costa Rica. Plus, we will send you our travel planning packet which will keep your travels super organized.