Best Beaches in Costa Rica


Who doesn’t love a beautiful white sand beach? There’s something about a beach with sparkling white sand and clear turquoise water that warms the heart and in Costa Rica, there are several stunning white sand beaches that will take your breath away.


Gulf of Papagayo

The Gulf of Papagayo has the most amount of white sand beaches in Costa Rica since the Gulf is made up of many little bays. The main beaches in the Gulf such as Coco, Hermosa and Panama all have dark black sand but go around the corner and you will find a stunning white sand beach accessed only by boat.

Playa Bonita, Playa Jicaro and Playa Penca are three of the best white sand beaches in the Papagayo Gulf. They also have excellent snorkeling and the water is super calm, perfect for kids.

Playa Cabuyal is another white sand beach in the Gulf of Papagayo that is beautiful. You can drive there and they have nice little picnic area with tables. Waves are super calm and its great for spotting sting rays.  Not a lot of people go there since it’s a far drive and it’s not very well known.


Playa San Juanillo

Playa San Juanillo is a local favorite and not many people visit this beach because it requires a 4×4 to get there. You can walk all the way to the end of where the two beaches meet and get an awesome view. Make sure to go in high tide so you can see the white shore or else in low tide, all you’ll see are rocks! This beach is on the way to Ostional and you will need to rent a car to get there since it’s a bit out of the way and does require a high car. Actually, many of the prettiest beaches in Guanacaste require either a high car or are boat access only, which makes them all the more special!


Playa Conchal

You will see Playa Conchal on every list of “beautiful beaches in Costa Rica” and for a very good reason why. Not only is Conchal absolutely gorgeous, but this beach’s shore is made up of pieces of white shells instead of sand, something extremely unique in Costa Rica (and where the name Conchal has from, since it means shell in Spanish) The waves are a bit strong for swimming but you can snorkel at the north end, where most of the shells are. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas at the north end and there is a nice rocky spot which is good for snorkeling.


Playa Flamingo 

Playa Flamingo is another white sand beach in Guanacaste that is only a 10 minute drive to Conchal. It’s a little smaller than Conchal, has a marina and is famous for great fishing and scuba diving. Flamingo is not just a white sand beach however, it actually turns a light pink during certain times of the year which is where the name Flamingo comes from.


Cahuita National Park 

Two other stunning white sand beaches on the Caribbean side are inside Cahuita National Park, Playa Vargas and Playa Blanca. The park is not very far from Puerto Viejo and is one of the absolute must-visits in the area. Besides being downright gorgeous beaches, they also house one of the biggest and most important coral reefs in Costa Rica. You can hike, swim in the water, go snorkeling and see tons of wildlife in Cahuita. It has a little of everything that everyone wants to experience in Costa Rica!


Isla Tortuga

Tortuga Island is one of the several islands in the Gulf of Nicoya and it has a stunning white sand beach. Tourists can take a one day cruise to enjoy Tortuga Island and it’s one of the best things to do from San Jose and Jaco

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