Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
The Playas del Coco Vibe
Playas del Coco Costa Rica is a great spot to stay in the province of Guanacaste because it is centrally located in the North Pacific part of the country and there is so much to do nearby.
We find the downtown area to be a bit hectic and not really our vibe for a long period of time. But, there are some great restaurants and bars.
But, just outside of the downtown area you can enjoy beautiful beaches and amazing Pacific coast views.
Now on to the rest of the Playas del Coco Costa Rica guide!
Map Of Playas del Coco
Playas del Coco is conveniently located less than an hour away from the Liberia International Airport in the Guanacaste Region of the country.
Playas del Coco at a Glance
Nearest International Airport
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia
Popular Things to Do
snorkel or diving tours, fishing, day trips to surrounding areas
Best Way to Get Around
Rental car, walking in the downtown area
Best Time of Year to Visit
Dry season is from late December until mid-April
Book Your Trip
Getting to Playas del Coco
Flights to Costa Rica
The easiest way to get to Playas del Coco is to fly into the Liberia airport instead of San Jose. If you have the possibility of flying into Liberia you will save yourself five hours of driving time.
More and more airlines with international visitors are starting service to Liberia. Check out the rates. It may be worth it.
Transportation From Liberia International Airport
We suggest Adobe Transfers for private shuttles. They can easily and comfortably get you from either the Liberia International Airport to your destination in a well maintained, air conditioned van with an experienced driver. You can find out more and get a quote here.
We suggest our favorite Liberia taxi driver family for all your taxi needs. They are a family of registered taxi drivers and I can assure you that they will take great care of you.
You can find out more, book your taxi, and get a discount from them here.
Another option is to rent a car. If you would like a car for the extent of your trip, check out our absolute favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe.
Adobe has an office located about a two minute drive from the Liberia International Airport.
An Adobe representative will be waiting at the airport to take you on their free private shuttle to their office.
Once you pick up your car it will take you less than 30 minutes to drive to Coco.
These roads are well maintained roads which you should have no trouble on.
We suggest using Adobe for car rentals because they are the most trustworthy company in this country and we have a 10% discount for you! You can read more about renting a car here.
We suggest renting a car and picking it up from the airport if you plan to do a lot of exploring. If you are staying at a resort, contacting our favorite taxi drivers is our go-to for getting to your destination.
Transportation From the San Jose International Airport
The drive from San Jose is long, but the roads are well maintained throughout. A 4×4 is not needed to get to Playas del Coco.
So, let me explain the drive to you a bit. From the airport you will follow route 27 out towards the Pacific Coast.
Keep in mind that this is a toll road. The tolls are very randomly positioned and sometimes seem to come out of nowhere.
You can pay with US dollars or Costa Rican colones. If you only have dollars I suggest paying with a $10 bill. They will give you change in colones. The change will be enough to pay for the rest of the tolls.
Eventually you will turn on to Route 1. Things can get slow here because it is one lane in each direction and there are sometimes a lot of trucks. People do pass, but just be careful.
There aren’t a whole lot of places to stop for a quick meal along this route. So, we always stop at a plaza called Plaza Limonal.
You can add it as a stop on your GPS. At this plaza there is a gas station, Taco Bell, Subway, and an ATM. I know, you didn’t come to Costa Rica to eat Subway and Taco Bell, but hey, they are fast!
There is also a gas station across the street if you need. And the bathrooms at the gas station are located outside and are always unlocked.
From there, you will continue on Route 1 to Liberia. This highway has been under construction as they widen the road for several years. So you might have to slow down a bit where the construction is, but once you pass the construction you will be rewarded with the best highway in the country.
Once you get to Liberia you will take a left on Route 21 past the Liberia Airport.
You will then turn on Route 151 in to Coco.
Google Maps says this drive will take about four hours, but I would estimate more like five hours.
Because I like you all, I created this Google Map with the route and Plaza Limonal marked.
If this drive sounds like too much for you, we suggest Adobe Transfers.
You can expect your private driver to pick you up at the San Jose Airport and take you in a comfortable private bus to Coco.
Your driver will be happy to stop for any bathroom/ food breaks that you need along the route.
Getting Around in Playas del Coco
We suggest renting a car while in Coco. Playas del Coco is nice, but the best part about it is that it is a great jumping-off point for tons of cool day trips.
If you opt to take a bus, taxi, or shuttle to Coco, you can rent a car from Adobe and input Liberia as your pick-up location. In the comments section specify that you need the car delivered to you at your hotel in Playas del Coco. They will deliver it to you free of charge if you are within 12 miles of their location.
Coco is a bit more than 12 miles from their Liberia office, so they may charge you a small delivery fee.
Pro Tip: Rent a car with Adobe through our site and you will get a 10% discount! Score! You can find out more about it here.
Book Your Transportation
Playas del Coco Weather
Every time we have visited Playas del Coco Costa Rica it has been hot hot hot!
During the dry season (from end of December until end of April) everything gets completely dried out. We visited once at the beginning of April and we saw several forest fires in the area due to the lack of rain. It almost feels like Arizona with the dry arid climate.
Personally, we like to visit this area between May and end of July. At this time of year everything is green again and the area actually looks really pretty. There is typically a daily afternoon thunderstorm that comes like clockwork every afternoon at about 2pm for about an hour.
Just get up early and enjoy the beautiful morning before the storm rolls in.
Between August and December, the temperatures cool off a bit and there is more rain, as the rainy season is in full swing.
In our opinion, if you are unsure about the weather while you are planning to visit Costa Rica, this is the area to visit. Overall it seems to get far less rain than most of the country.
Grab a free copy of our Costa Rica guide
(with great Playas del Coco tips)
There are not many high-end hotels in Coco, but the nearby area is filled with luxurious resorts.
Occidental Papagayo– All-inclusive adults-only hotel with multiple pools, a private beach, a spa, tennis courts, a gym, and more!
El Mangroove Papagayo– Modern, secluded hotel with pool (some rooms even have their own pool attached).
Andaz Costa Rica Resort– Beautiful resort with pool, three restaurants, an on-site spa, and more!
Planet Hollywood– All-inclusive resort which is perfect for the whole family. the property boasts 7 restaurants, pools, fitness center, and more!
Hotel M&M Beach Hotel-Located across from the beach. Breakfast is included and there is a kitchen that all the guests can use. There isn’t air conditioning, but they have plenty of fans in every room.
Hotel La Puerta del Sol– Located 300 meters from the beach. There is also a pool and bar on-site.
Hotel M&M Garden House– Located in the center of Playas del Coco, this hotel has private rooms as well as shared dorms. There is a pool for guests to use on-site.
Toucan House– Rooms are air-conditioned and there is a shared kitchen for guests to use.
Coco Homes & Villa Rentals
We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation. This gives you more privacy and allows you the flexibility to cook your own meals.
Note: We try to only ever suggest places with good cancellation policies, but always double check before booking.
Ocean View House – A two-bedroom house that can sleep five guests. this place has an infinity pool with Pacific coast views and an outdoor BBQ. This would be a great place for a family or two couples.
Villa Tatiana – One of the most modern and large villas in the area. This house can sleep 14 guests in five bedrooms. This would be a great place for several friends or an extended family.
Al Garete – This is a beachfront house with a private pool that can sleep up to 13 guests in five bedrooms.