Playas del Coco Costa Rica: An Active Pacific Beach Town

Playas del Coco Costa Rica is a popular beach town near Liberia Internation Airport

playas del coco costa rica from above

The Playas del Coco Costa Rica Vibes

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.

Also, note that when planning, this area is sometimes referred to as different things. You might hear it called “del Coco”, “Coco beach”, or even just “Coco.”

Now on to the rest of the Playas del Coco Costa Rica guide!

Background Info About Playas del Coco Costa Rica

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

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Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and have called sunny Costa Rica home since 2016.

We are on a mission to help you plan the perfect Costa Rican vacation.

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playas del coco costa rica boat
playas del coco sunset
playas del coco downtown
playas del coco map

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. 

This is a beach town that is home to Del Coco beach.

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.

Driving to Playas del Coco

From Liberia International Airport

If you would like a car for the extent of your trip, check out our absolute favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe.

Check out our guide to renting a car from Liberia Airport for more info

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.

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Playas del Coco Costa Rica: An Active Pacific Beach Town

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
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  • 0% deductible on Liability Protection Insurance
  • Excellent customer service
  • New fleet of well-maintained vehicles

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!

Find out more about renting a car in Costa Rica and save 10% with our favorite company, Adobe. 

Driving to Coco from San Jose

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 they are always doing road work on this road. Plus there are a lot of big trucks on this road. 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 into Coco.

Google Maps says this drive will take about four hours, but I would estimate more like five hours depending on traffic.

Find out more about renting a car in Costa Rica and save 10% with our favorite company, Adobe. 


car rental

The Adobe Rent-A-Car discount includes…..

– A 10% DISCOUNT  





Private Shuttle to Playas del Coco

We suggest Adobe Transfers for private shuttles. They can easily and comfortably get you to your destination in a well-maintained, air-conditioned van with an experienced driver.

You can find out more and get a quote here.

Taxi to Playas del Coco

We suggest our favorite Liberia taxi driver family for all your taxi needs. Whether you need a taxi from the Loberia Airport or any other place in the Guanacaste area, they’ve got you covered. 

They are a family of legally 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.


Transportation 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.

Playas del coco Costa Rica 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.

playas del coco view

Things to Do in Playas del Coco Costa Rica

Go Beach Hopping

There are so many nice beaches in driving distance from Coco. A few of our favorites are; Playa Panca, Playa Hermosa, Playa Panama, Playa Matapalo, and Ocotal Beach. If you don’t mind driving a bit further, head north to the beaches on the Papagayo Peninsula or south to Las Catalinas. 

Here is a Google Maps link so you can see where all these places are located. 

Visit Diamonte Adventure Park 

This adventure park is located close to Playas del Coco and has some really fun activities such as zip lining, hanging bridges, paddle boarding, animal sanctuary, and more!

We suggest booking the all-access day pass to really enjoy all that they have to offer. 

Just note that this activity does not include transportation from your hotel. 

Take a Catamaran or Sailing Tour

A catamaran or sailing tour is the perfect way to explore this beautiful Pacific coast area. Some tours include snorkeling, sunset views, a meal, and cocktails.

Our favorite company for this is Kuna Vela. They operate the sailboat, Kuna, for day and sunset tours. And, I can guarantee you’ll have an amazing time with them.  Seriously, they are the best!

Book Your Day Time Sailing Tour

Book Your Evening Sailing Tour with Kuna Vela

Go Deep Sea Fishing

Are you ready to enjoy some world-class fishing on the Pacific Ocean? Plan a sport fishing tour! 

The Coco area is a prime fishing spot. Thomas is a bit of a fishing addict and this is one of his favorite places in the country to go out. 

We suggest a half or full day trip with Captain Roberto on his Boston Whaler. While out you might catch mahi mahi, tuna, grouper, and snapper. 

Plus you can keep what you catch and they are happy to arrange for a nearby restaurant to prepare everything for you. 

Go Scuba Diving

If you love diving, there are several reefs and tons of marine life in the waters surrounding Hermosa.

Go out with an experienced guide and find all the best spots.

Arrange your 2 Tank Dive Experience

Go Fly Fishing

We highly recommend this fun day trip with Captain Estaban on his 14’ NRS inflatable outboard rafts along the Tempisque and Corobici rivers. 

During the trip you will target Rainbow and Striped Bass, Machaca (Mini Tarpon), and Snook.

It’s so fun! 

Just note that you will need a rental car or taxi to get here. The trip does not include transportation from the Hermosa area. 

Book Your Fishing Trip Here

Visit Rincon de la Vieja

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located north Coco and is a great place to spend a day hiking.

You can go with a guide, but you are also able to pay to enter the park and hike on your own.

Rincon de la Vieja is also a great place to enjoy a combo tour with tons of fun adventure activities such as zip lining and rafting. 

Arrange Your Fun-Filled Day Tour Here

Enjoy the Nightlife

Playas del Coco may seem calm enough during the day, but at night you can walk the main strip and enjoy lots of bars and clubs. 

There is something for everyone with some places offering live music, dj’s, or relaxed vibes. 

Visit an Amazing Waterfall

About 45 minutes from Playas del Coco is a waterfall called  Llanos del Cortez

You can swim under it and if you are feeling really adventurous you can hike up behind the waterfall for an overhead view.

If you don’t have a rental car you can also book a tour with transportation. ↓

⤷ Arrange Your Miravelles and Llanos de Cortez Tour

playas del coco sunset view
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Playas del Coco Restaurants

Fine Dining

Villa Italia: A beautiful and delicious Italian restaurant. I suggest trying one of their homemade pasta dishes.


Che Sirloin: Excellent burger spot. Everything always seems super fresh here. Also, the outside area is the perfect place to sit for a relaxed meal. 

La Dolce Vita: Amazing Italian food! I personally am a big fan of their pasta dishes. 

The Lookout: Excellent seafood restaurant with amazing ocean views. 


Le COQ Lebanese: Awesome Lebanese food at a great price.Chorotacos: Doesn’t look like much but the tacos are amazing (and cheap).

playas del coco downtown
playas del coco sunset
Playas del Coco Costa Rica: An Active Pacific Beach Town

Playas del Coco Costa Rica Hotels

High-End Hotels

There are not many high-end hotels in Coco, but the nearby area is filled with luxurious resorts. So, for high end options I included places that are within a 20 minute drive of Coco.

Occidental Papagayo– All-inclusive adults-only hotel with multiple pools, a private beach, a spa, tennis courts, a gym, and more!

El Mangroove PapagayoModern, secluded hotel with pool (some rooms even have their own pool attached). 

Andaz Costa Rica ResortBeautiful resort with pool, three restaurants, an on-site spa, and more!

Planet HollywoodAll-inclusive resort which is perfect for the whole family. the property boasts 7 restaurants, pools, fitness center, and more!

Mid-Range Hotels

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. 

Budget Hotels

Hotel M&M Garden HouseLocated 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. 

playas del coco fishing
playas del coco boat

Playas del Coco Vacation Rentals

We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation in Costa Rica. 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 Condo – A two bedroom condo that can sleep four guests. This place is located above the town and has amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. There is a private plunge pool as well as the condo complex amenities which include; fitness center, tennis courts, and pools. 

Pacifico Luxury Condo – A three bedroom condo that can sleep up to six guests. The condo complex features multiple pools, a jacuzzi, and BBQ area.


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. 

playas del coco jet ski
playas del coco diving
Playas del Coco Costa Rica: An Active Pacific Beach Town

Packing for Playas del Coco Costa Rica

It can be really really hot in Coco, especially during the peak of dry season. It is so easy to get a bad sunburn here so don’t forget UV protecting shirts, SPF50, and sunblocking hats.

In general this is a very relaxed town. However, there are tons of restaurants and a decent nightlife scene so we like to pack a few things like sundresses for ladies and nice shorts with a button-up for men.

Check out our Coco Packing List on Amazon for all the essentials. 

Articles About Playas Del Coco Costa Rica

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You Might Also Like Visiting

Tamarindo: A bustling surfing town that has something for everyone

Papagayo Peninsula: A beautiful beach area with luxury resorts.

Playa Hermosa: A family-friendly beach town near the Liberia Airport

….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Guide to the Guanacaste Province for more ideas of places to visit in this area.

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One Comment

  1. i don’t want to drive to coco from Liberia. Are there busses that can take me there. If yes,
    where do i go to get on and what is the time schedule.