In June-July 2022 I spent a month in Costa Rica, to quench my longing for beaches after living in South America for four months. What was on my to-see list? Beaches, beaches, ….beacheeeeeeeeees 😊

In Costa Rica, you are always close to nature, so if you miss untouched places, beaches protected by national parks, walks in the rain on the seashore, and past the rainforest inhabited by monkeys and sloths, this is the place you need to get to. You don't have to take my word for it, go there and see which beach or national park you like best.

1. Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio Beach Costa Rica

The most beautiful national park on the Pacific Ocean is Manuel Antonio, a vast green area where you can see sloths, and monkeys and rest on a splendid beach where, if you arrive early in the morning before the other tourists, you rightly think you are in paradise!

2. Uvita

Uvita beach Costa Rica

Also on the Pacific is Marino Ballena, a national park with a peninsula that at low tide has the shape of a whale's tail. The beach is virgin, long, with fine sand and crashing waves - you can walk for several kilometers from one end to the other, and if you walk far enough you will find that you have the beach to yourself: just you and lots of pink crabs running around on the sand at full speed as if taking flight.

3. Dominical and Dominicalito

Dominical and Dominicalito beach

Two beaches on the Pacific, loved by surfers, but also by the curious, like me, who walk from one beach to another just for the sake of a walk. We walked along the ocean, through the rainforest, crossed a stream, and finally arrived at Dominicalito, a smaller beach with rocks thrown into the ocean and a small corner with a long bench where you can meditate on the beauty of the rainy season.

4. Playa Cocles

Cocles Beach

If you have to choose just one place on the Caribbean Sea in Costa Rica, go to Puerto Viejo, a village with some beautiful beaches a short distance away. For me the most successful day there was an 8-kilometer walk along the beach from Playa Punta Uva – Playa Chiquita – Playa Cocles and back to Puerto Viejo. Just fine sandy beaches, rainforest,s and gentle rain. Playa Cocles is the most beautiful, it has a small wooded rock that rises out of the sea and surfers venture past.

5. Manzanillo

Manzanillo beach

Near the border with Panama, on the Caribbean Sea, there is a quiet village where you can sleep in a hotel a few meters from the beach, to the sound of the waves. And there is a national park that can be visited for free, with some pretty beaches and a viewpoint that delights your eyes.

6. Playa Negra

Playa Negra

The closest beach to Puerto Viejo, apart from the one in the town, is Playa Negra, with anthracite black sand, the perfect background for the best pictures in Costa Rica. The beach is long and welcoming, and the best place to swim is right at the end towards Puerto Viejo, next to a metal platform where students practice balance on the surfboard.

7. Cahuita

 Cahuita beach

At the Caribbean Sea, you can take all the towns there in a row and you're guaranteed to find beautiful beaches to explore. Cahuita has a national park with monkeys, sloths, and raccoons and trails through the forest that ends in a "playa sin salida" at the end of the peninsula, where all roads end and you have to start over.

8. Jaco

Jaco beach

A Pacific beach a bit more commercial than the ones above, but with the advantage of being the closest to San Jose, the country's capital. For those who are impatient and want to take a swim a few hours after landing in Costa Rica, Jaco is a good destination to familiarize yourself with the chill & relaxed atmosphere there.

9. Quepos

Quepos beach

Some beaches are not big tourist attractions, but they have a local vibe that you don't find anywhere else. The beach at Quepos is reached by a small ferry that makes a one-minute crossing to this sleepy village, built right on the beach among wind-bent palm trees.

10. Puerto Limon

Puerto Limon beach

For a port forgotten by the world, Puerto Limon has a cute little beach that the locals completely ignore and prefer to waste their time gazing at from afar. It is a pity, because if you enter the water you are immediately visited by some silvery fish with wavy fins that inspect you with great curiosity, never getting bored for a moment.


These are some of the beaches I visited, but there are many more in Costa Rica, an excuse to revisit it some time and make a... top 20 beaches where you can forget about everything 😊