Playas del Coco Costa Rica: An Active Pacific Beach Town
Playas del Coco Costa Rica is a popular beach town near Liberia Internation Airport
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
When you buy through our links, Costa Rica Vibes may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more info.
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.
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.
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.
- 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
- Free second driver
- 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!
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.
BOOK YOUR COSTA RICA RENTAL CAR AND SAVE 10%
The Adobe Rent-A-Car discount includes…..
– A 10% DISCOUNT
– FREE SECOND DRIVER
– FREE ROOF RACKS TO USE
– 0% DEDUCTIBLE ON LIABILITY PROTECTION
– DISCOUNTED SMARTPHONE USAGE WITH UNLIMITED DATA
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.
Book Your Trip Through Our Favorite Partners
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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. ↓
Are you stressed about planning the perfect vacation to Costa Rica?
Have no fear! We are here to help. Check out our FREE Ultimate Costa Rica Planning E-Book that is jam-packed with must know travel info
Playas del Coco Restaurants
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.
Playas del Coco Costa Rica 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 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.
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.
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
If you are looking for the very best hotels near the Liberia Costa Rica Airport, you have come to…
Llanos de Cortez waterfall is located in the Guanacaste Province about 40 minutes from the Liberia International Airport. It…
Costa Rica is a fishing paradise with its vast coastline, crystal clear waters, and abundant marine life. Whether you’re…
Palo Verde National Park is located along the Tempisque River in the northwest part of Costa Rica. It is…
Liberia Airport in Costa Rica is located in the Guanacaste Province on the Pacific coast of the country. It is…
Zip lining in Costa Rica is a thrilling way to see the lush jungle canopy landscape of the country from a different perspective. Soar above cloud forests, enjoy volcano views, and more!
Costa Rica is difficult to see in a short amount of time. There are just so many cool places…
One of our favorite things to do in Costa Rica is to explore all the unique Pacific coastal towns….
In July we went from Costa Rica to Nicaragua for seven nights. It turned out to be amazing, but…
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.