Costa Rica is widely recognized for its biodiversity and unspoiled natural beauty. Surfers from around the world flock to this Central American country’s beaches, ready to hit the perfect wave. Whether you are an avid surfer or you are simply looking to relax in paradise, Costa Rica is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Below are five that you should not miss during a visit to Costa Rica.
An Introduction to the Golfo Dulce Region
Nestled between the southern Pacific region and the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, is Golfo Dulce. Perfect for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike, this beautiful slice of paradise is fringed by tropical rainforest, warm blue waters, and an incredible amount of biodiversity. Here, you will be able to see all four monkey species, spider, white-faced Capuchin, squirrel, and howler monkeys, along with colorful toucans, Scarlet Macaws, and an assortment of other wildlife, including jaquars, ocelots, wild pigs, and more. Recognized as a vital habitat for migrating sea turtles, dolphins, and Pacific Humpback Whales, Golfo Dulce is truly one of a kind.
Winner of the Ecological Blue Flag Award for the fifth time, Playa Nicuesa is also one of the cleanest beaches you will find in Costa Rica. Situated near the lower middle part of Golfo Dulce, this 165-acre private rainforest preserve is bordered by the Piedras Blancas National Park. If you happen to be interested in eco-tourism, you will find ample opportunities to explore here with numerous adventure and nature tours available. While the beach along Playa Nicuesa is primarily comprised of dark sand and small pebbles, the crystal clear water that tends to change from a deep blue to a stunning jade green and the abundance of wildlife in the area make this beach one that cannot be missed.
Playa San Josecito
Located not far from Playa Nicuesa is a long crescent-shaped beach known as Playa San Josecito. Dropping steeply off into the water, this dark-colored beach is home to Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden, a lovely private tropical garden featuring hundreds of different species of edible and ornamental plants. Among the best features of Playa San Josecito are the guided tours of the garden and the opportunities to fish by kayak just off the shore.
Easily one of the prettiest beaches in the area, Playa Cativo is nestled within the bounds of Piedras Blancas National Park. What this beach lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. Winner of the Costa Rica Ecological Blue Flag Award in 2014, this dark sand beach offers excellent snorkeling among the nearby coral reefs and abundant opportunities for spotting Humpback Whales.
Playa Cana Blanca
Wildlife lovers will certainly not want to miss the opportunity to visit Playa Cana Blanca, which happens to be home to the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, orphaned and injured wild animals are rescued and rehabilitated. Playa Cana Blanca is actually one of the few beaches in the Golfo Dulce area that is completely sandy. While taking a tour of the local sanctuary, you can enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the wide variety of animals cared for there, including Scarlet Macaws, anteaters, ocelots, kinkajous, sloths, white-faced monkeys, spider monkeys, and more.
This dark sand beach may not be well known, but it is one of the best beaches in the area for snorkeling. Situated in the inner Golfo Dulce, Playa Balina offers the chance to truly enjoy some of the most spectacular sea life in the area up close and personal.