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Playas de Costa Rica

With 52 thousand kilometers of roads and 1.228 kilometers of coasts, Costa Rica is one of the countries awarded by nature. Its exuberant fauna and flora and its beautiful beaches, some impenetrable, others with very easy access, allow the traveller who takes a trip in the country to choose exactly what he wants, because there is a wide array to choose from. Not in vain Costa Ricans feel proud to be between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea . Of rural tradition, the Costa Rican population has always watched the sea like a beauty of nature, but also like a true danger due to some of its fragmented coasts, the violent tides, the treasonous currents, their capricious winds, their terrifying storms and their terrible heavy showers.In the Eighties, Costa Ricans began to travel with greater intensity to the beaches, and in the last years the landscape of many towns near the sea has varied, by the construction of infrastructure for national and foreign tourists. The country has gained very good reputation among the tourists and this has given it the rating of recommended destination by some magazines, but in spite of the increasing number of visitors, you can isolate yourself in the beautiful places and still be without difficulty in the most beautiful beaches, totally alone, like Robinson Crusoe in the desert island. A desire for loneliness is needed... « PASEO » (« Stroll ») has located 230 beaches, from the north to the south of the tropical Pacific Ocean ( 1,016 km of coast) and of the Caribbean Sea ( 212 km ). In any period of the year, the traveller will find waters of a temperature that oscillates between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius, but some times with strong dangerous surge and currents. When arriving at a town, never forget to ask the neighbors about the most dangerous zones to avoid. What to do in a lonely beach? You can ease up on the sand and remain sleeping for hours... But you have to be careful about the power of solar rays. The closest to the equator the strongest will be the sun.

In order for you to get an idea of where Costa Rica is located, San Jose is crossed by tenth parallel, like in Addis-Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia , the port of spices of Cochin , in the south of India , and Port Princess in the south of the Philippines . In other words, it is closer to the equator than any island of the Caribbean, and a little to the south of Caracas ! Then it is better to never forget to reapply your solar cream after leaving the water...

You can also walk along the seashore (hat recommended...), and only look with your bare eyes, your binoculars (essential...) or your camera the pictures of the waves, the pelicans, rabihorcado magno, the fishing eagle, the gull, pagaza real, and tens of other birds. On the other hand, each beach will show a different landscape to you.

Sometimes flat with mangroves (beware of the crocodiles because there are accidents every year in some mouths of rivers...), others undulating with a dry forest wherethe iguanas hide; or mountainous with a strong tropical vegetation that serve as shelter for red monkeys, white-faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys or the Haulers, sluggish, sloths, mooses, felines, and a multitude of birds. When watching ahead sometimes you can see the sand that changes color from one beach to the other, and you will find shells (please do not take them with you...), small marine animals, and other wonders of the sea. At the end of the afternoon, the sunset will give colors and different depths in the sky as in very few coastal areas of the world. It will be the time to contemplate, to make a session of yoga, or to accept the presence of another person who will give you a relaxing massage. You can also decide to get into action and eliminate those bad toxins you have accumulated during the year! In this case, the beaches of Costa Rica offer everything you can dream of: swimming, jogging, kayaking in the sea, surfing, diving, h o r s e b a c k riding, and s p o r t s f i s h i n g . .Without leaving the beach, you can practice the sport you want. But we recommended that you always keep the company of at least one friend to avoid any problem, wound or accident.

To all, happy bath!


Salinas Bay : Playa Pochotes, located in the North end of Costa Rica , offers, in a great and round bay, one long beach with sands of smooth texture, with moderate surges. From January to April, period of tradewinds (North/east), it is excellent for windsurfing between the coast and in the bay, where we have Bolaños Island (the only site where the American ostreros and sea tijeretas with their red neck swollen with air nest). In the coast a tropical ecosystem is observed, called yolillal, frequently flooded and dominated by yolillo (giant palm). To the south of Pochote beach, there are beaches called Papaturo, Copal, Coyotera, Rajada and the small but precious Beach of El Coco , near the small island El Muerto.

Gulf and peninsula of Santa Helena : to the north of the gulf are the beaches Mostrencal, Escondida, and Toyosa that are facing south in a zone of mangroves and numerous marine birds. The waters of the ocean are transparent. The other beaches are in the National Park

Playa Flamingo

of Santa Rosa and they go from landscapes of savannah to dry forests (10 different habitats). They are of difficult access and very appreciated by the adventurers, nature lovers. You can get there by the Beach of El Coco if you are a fan of surfing. When arriving at the Park the first beach is the immaculate Playa Blanca. To the front of the islands Murciélagos, Catalina, Cocina, Pelada, and Colorada we have the beaches Morritos, Gringo, Moros, Guarumo, Carrizal, Dante, Coloradas, Mariquita, Potrero Grande (with a length of 4 km flat and embroidered by the majestic hill of Santa Helena), and Penca. They are all excellent for surfing in Oliver's Point and diving in the islands. The national park finishes in Playa Nance, with great scenic beauty, and Playa Naranjo. Culebra B a y s , P a n a m a , Hermosa, El Coco (always from north to south): we enter the Gulf of Papagayo through the beaches Nacascolito, Venado, Jícaro, Sombrero, Punta Mala, that are difficult to access contrary to Iguanita beach, exceptionally beautiful with its gray sand, the calm deep blue waters and a green mangrove. Next, we have the beaches Monte del Barco and Panama Beach ( 2.5 km in length) bordered by trees of manzanillo, Brazil , and Sarno. Then, there is Hermosa Beach ( 2 km in length) which is gorgeous to enjoy the sunsets; then Calzon del Pobre, Pedrosa, and Penca, before arriving in El Coco, the strategic place to take a boat ride. Then we have the beautiful beaches Blanca and Ocotal. Punta Gorda, Potrero and Brasilito Bays: in this zone of real estate development many of the beaches have white sand and the waters are calm. Facing west, the beaches Matapalo, Blanca, Matapalito, Manzanillo, Guacamaya and Guacamayita, offer the image that the sun sets in the ocean. Next we have the isolated Playa Grande with the Caracas Island , the beaches Playitas and Guachipelín, next to the hill that has the same name. One later arrives in white sands from the beaches Dante and Pan de Azúcar at the foot of hills made from volcanic rocks from the tertiary period (80 to 60 million years). It is possible to walk from one to another during the low tide.

Playa Pan de Azúcar

Then we get to Potrero beach ( 4 km in length), in a zone where 6,000 years ago the Flandense Sea entered a kilometer inside the current coast. The golden colors, the cactus, and the trees that lose their leaves by the rigor of the dry season are the characteristics of this very hot zone. The next one is Flamingo, the spot of sportsfishing, and its Playa Blanca, capital where luxurious hotels and residences were built. Towards the south you can see the sands golden with numerous sea shells like Brasilito and Conchal with more affordable hotels. Following the coast we find Zapollilal beach and the rocky beaches, Nombre de Jesus, Real, Honda, Pedregosa and Cabuya. Bay of Tamarindo:

The bay begins in the well know Playa Grande from the Las Baulas National Marine Park . Here the leatherbacks lay eggs from November to April. These turtles (that also are in Santa Rosa and Corcovado ) can measure up to 2.5 ms and weight up to 750 kilos. From there, crossing the Matapalo river, we find the nice Tamarindo beach (2 km in length), the more developed locality of the region, with its hotels, casino, cabins and restaurants with all the prices. It is the ideal beach to begin surfing. Moving to the south after Playa Langosta, the tougher tides are offered tothe surfing specialists in the beaches Mansita, Róbalo, Avellenas, and mainly playa Negra with its very fast “right” wave that has an international reputation for surfing. Here, it is possible to walk and get to the beaches Majagua, Callejones, Pochotes, Blanca, Arbolito and Junquillal. Crossing the Andamoro river, therer are 25 kilometers of beaches including Surco de Piedra, Socorro, Lagarto, Manzanillo, Honda, El Coco, Frijolar, Cementerio, Pitahaya, Blanca, Azul, Cuajiniquil, Cocal, Agujas, Rosario.

Pacífco norte



From Punta India , one arrives at the national wild fauna refuge of Ostional and its gray sand beach. This zone that extends with the beaches of Nosara, Pelada, Guiones, and Bote, is second in world-wide importance for the egg-laying of the brown turtles (from July to December). Garza Bay , Sámara, Carrillo, Estero Coyote: the small beach Garza and its hills of over 80 million years offers total tranquility. Then you have the beaches Pavones, Barco Quebrado before arriving at the nice beaches with calm waters of Sámara

Olaya Nosara

( 5 km in length) and Carillo ( 3 km ) bordered with palms. The landscapes are already different from the north of Guanacaste and continue to the south between hills until the small beach Vuelta del Sur and the very hot Camaronal beach with its gray sand and its marine birds. Then we see Playa Islita, its luxurious hotel and its precious town. This is one of the best places of the artistic culture of the country, and its view at sunset is marvelous. There are different types of birds, monkeys, armadillos, pizotes and iguanas. From Corozalito beach starts a pretty road to the little town and the beaches Bejuco, San Miguel, and Coyote. Estero Bongo, Santa Teresa, Malpaís, Cabo Blanco, Montezuma: during the dry season and with a low tide, « Paseo » recommends you to visit the beaches Caletas, Bongo, Ario, Manzanillo and Hermosa. The shells are the most beautiful of the country. This is a 20 km trip. The ocean will be anxious and the surge will be stronger when you get to Santa Teresa, a precious beach with clear sands. It is possible to walk a few kilometers until beaches Carmen and Malpaís, the paradise of many followers of surfing. Then we have the smallest beaches of Caves and, the amazing reserves of Cabo Blanco, and the beaches of San Miguel, Balsitas, Cabo Blanco , Colorado . To the other side of Cabo Blanco, just a little bit more protected from the surges but with currents and rocks, we have the beaches Cabuya, Cedro, Manchas, Montezuma, Cocal, Cocalito, and Playitas.

Playas del Coco

Leaving Montezuma by horse, the Hindu “Goa” of Costa Rica andits different hotels with different prices, a road takes you to Quizales beach, where you can bathe in the Pacific under the fresh water of a splendid waterfall. The cliff and red stones are unique in the country. Ballena Bay , Estero Paquera, gulf of Nicoya : there are no calmer waters than those of Ballena Bay in the dark sand beaches of Tambor, Pochote, Rencal, El Coco and Viuditas. Facing east with a strong sun in the morning, the beaches Ventanas, Punta Blanca and Curú and the islands that border the coast present an enormous wealth by the diversity of the marine and terrestrial fauna. Entering more into the gulf of Nicoya where the whales come to reproduce, we see the islands and the beaches Quesera, Organos, Camaron, Lola, Pajaros, Mango , Panama , Coyol. Some are difficult to access, but all offer a beautiful view of the coast of Puntarenas and the mountains. The waters are calm and transparent and it is possible to take a boat ride to different islands. Then we have the beaches Negra, Grande, Chanchera, Palomo, Pericos, Pozol, Leona, Sontolar, Bajo Negro and Najante. It is possible to continue inside the gulf to discover the attractive beaches of Venado, Bejuco, Caballo and Chira. Puntarenas, Estero Guacadillos, Herradura Bay , Jacó: Puntarenas is the most populated city in the Pacific coast and it presents the atmosphere of a town that lives with the feet in the sea. The beaches are part of the city. The Camarita, Bajo Pinuela and Coco beaches are to the north of the city, in the Gulf of Nicoya .

Central Pacific Velero


Way to the south are the windy beaches with currents of Boca Barranca, Doña Ana, Pirata, Caldera, Carralillo, Icaco, Tivives, Bajamar, Azul, and Tárcoles in a very particular landscape of the Jesus Maria River . When arriving at Punta leona, nature becomes denser, and then we find the beaches of Agujas, Limoncito, Mantas, Blanca, Caletas and it luxurious hotel, Coyol and Matapalo. From here, one enters the beaches that are mostly visited by the Costa Rican tourists, the followers of surfing, and high real estate developers; they are Herradura,

Playa Jacó

Balsal, Jacó, and Hermosa. For kilometers you find beaches, sometimes they are dangerous due to the currents, like Punta Mala, Esterillos Oeste, Esterillos Est, Bejuco, Palma, Palo Seco, and Isla Damas. Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Ballena: arriving at the mountainous zone of Manuel Antonio, you will be able to see its high tourist development. In this zone the beaches are smaller but they possess exuberant nature. The beaches Macha and Espadillas are very visited. In the National Park of Manuel Antonio the three beaches, South Espadillas , Manuel Antonio and Playita, offer a diversity of colors: clear sands, transparent waters and exceptional nature.

Following towards the south, the sands become dark, the mountains are higher and nature is more present. Along tens of kilometers, the beaches Savegre, Matapalo, Hatillo, Guápil, Barú, Dominical, Hermosa (Beautiful), Pedregosa , Del Arco, Ballena, Pinuela and Ventanas, present some dangers. It is important to be very prudent with the treasonous currents and the surges. But the landscapes are exuberant with a permanent presence of a multitude of marine birds, toucans, and all types of red birds. From Dominical beach it is possible to take a boat to see dolphins, turtles, whales, and mangroves of the delta of the Térraba, the greatest river of Central America that inspired Jacques Cousteau by the 80's. Drake Bay , Corcovado , Cabo Matapalo, Golfo Dulce : to the south of the mangrove of Sierpe and the mysterious island Violin and its hidden treasures of the pirates, are the beaches Ganado, Colorada, San Joselito and Pedrillo in the Drake Bay , named after the pirate. It is a zone with numerous hotels. In the Corcovado national Park, the beaches Llorona, Corcovado , Sirena and Madrigal, are absolutely isolated. With just a little bit of luck, you will find, at dawn, the tracks of a jaguar in the sand. Leaving the park we find Carate beach and Cabo Matapalo with its excellent “right” waves for surfing. Until Puerto Jiménez, it is possible to see the dolphins from the spectacular beaches of Sombrero , Tamales, Zapote, Ciénega and Platanares and in Golfo Dulce those of Tigre , Ñeque, Sándalo and Blanca. Across the Gulf, we find the beaches Saladero, Animas, Cativo, San Joselito, Gallardo, and the national Park of Golfito, with beach Cacao. Then we find the long beaches of Zancudo and Pavones. This latter is the last one of the Pacific coast, and it offers the longest “left” wave of the world for surfers.


Tortuguero, Limón, Cahuita, Manzanillo: In 212 kilometers of coast, the Caribbean Sea offers a considerable variety of landscapes. To the North, the currents are strong due to the numerous mouths of rivers and the straight line of the coast that protects a series of lagoons and channels.

In Tortuguero the life in the beach is organized according to the arrivals of the leatherback turtles (February to July), sea turtles (April to October), hawksbill turtles (April and May), and green turtles (April to August). Arriving at the Port of Limon , we find Playa Bonita

Plya Bonita

(Pretty beach) with beautiful but dangerous surges due to the presence of rocks.Following towards the south, the currents are treasonous until arriving at playa Negra and the national park with the precious beach of Cahuita . With 14 km in length, and its Coco palms, Cahuita offers its underwater wealth (35 species of corals, 147 of mollusks and 120 of fish). Towards the south, there are the beaches of Puerto Viejo (excellent for surfing), Cocles, and Uvita. « Paseo » advise you to take a walk in the sand of the last two beaches.Here it is possible to fish snappers, wahoos, gilded Spanish, macarela, and barracuda. From the clear sand beach of Manzanillo , it's possible to walk to Punta Mona, crossing several precious small beaches with palms and white sand. On the other side of the end of this beach, Playa Gandoca, the last beach of the country before arriving at the border with Panama is delimited by the mouth of the great Sixaola River .

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