Beaches - Guanacaste

Costa Rica's northern province (Guanacaste) is blessed with over 100 beaches along it's almost 200 miles of ever changing coast line. This coastal area has been named the "gold coast" because it also enjoys roughly 200 days of warm sunshine each year.  Travel to bustling resort towns or search out secluded coves with white sand and crystal blue water. Guanacaste's has something for every traveler looking for sun and fun. We have listed some of the most popular beaches here but we highly recommend searching out some of the less visited beaches for a truly unique experience.  


Playa Panama is a picturesque grey sand and clear water beach located along the Culebra Bay. The tranquil currents and lack of sizable waves in the bay make this a great swimming beach. The services around Playa Panama are plentiful and first class. The locals are some of the friendliest you will encounter on your travels.  

Playa Hermosa has been awarded a "Blue Flag" for its commitment to high environmental standards and is a beautifully maintained beach. The water is crystal blue and the crescent shaped beach is around 2 miles long with the town reaching into the grey sand, offering every service one could want.

Playa del Coco is one of the more populated and developed beaches in the province of Guanacaste. The beach is crescent shaped with grey sand, lined with rugged mountains and enjoys relaxed seas. You can find most services in Playas del Coco including restaurants, bars, casinos, hotels and a variety of shops.

Playa Grande was incorporated into Marino Las Baulas National Park in 1990 and is a nesting ground for the for the endangered leatherback sea turtles.The beach enjoys powerful waves on the south end and a more relaxing sea to the north. Getting to Playa Grande is a little difficult but it is possible to cross the river at the north end of Playa Tamarindo. There are a few hotels and restaurants.

Playa Tamarindo is one of the fastest growing and most popular beach towns of Costa Rica because of the spectacular beach, amazing surroundings, and easy of access. The water is crystal blue with waves to fit any skill level. There are services including hotels and restaurants to fit any budget.

Playa Langosta is just south of Tamarindo and is a much quieter setting to enjoy the waves or long strolls along the beach. The water like most beaches along the north pacific coast is clear blue and the  natural setting invites birds and monkeys to the shoreline. There are services including restaurants and stores near the beach.

Playa Avellanas is called little Hawaii by the locals because of its large powerful waves. The beach has strong currents so swimming is only recommended for strong, smart swimmers. There are services near the beach including bars, restaurants and stores.

Playa Negra was featured in the original Endless Summer because it has some of the most consistent and best breaking waves along the north pacific coast.  The beautiful blue water and black sand beach enjoys all necessary services.

Playa Junquillal is another beautiful and uncrowded beach along the coast of Guanacaste. The waves are very powerful so swim at your own risk. The town of Junquillal is a short walk away and has all standard services.

Playa Ostional is a nesting ground to the endangered olive ridley turtle and a great beach to visit during these events. The beach has brown sand and powerful waves. There is a swimming hole at the north end of the beach.

Playa Nosara is very popular, the waves are usually pleasant and the views gorgeous. The town is almost 3 miles from but the beach village does offer a few restaurants and hotels.

Playa Guiones is a surfers paradise that enjoys spectacular sunsets and great ocean views. The sleepy little town has some upscale hotels and restaurants and has received the Banda Azul (Blue Flag) which is given to beaches to recognize their efforts to conserve the natural beauty of the beach. If you want a relaxed adventure in a pristine setting, this could be your beach.

Playa Garza is best known for its calm waters perfect for amazing fishing, swimming and snorkeling. There is a reef off shore that is protected and a river on the south side of the beach that forms a small mangrove. This is more of a fishing village than a town so most services are not available. 

Playa Samara is an ideal place to relax or to enjoy one of the many activities such as fishing, scuba diving, paragliding, or horseback riding that are available right on the beach. The mellow waves and gorgeous surroundings have drawn many people to Samara, the friendly locals, many hotel options and amazing cuisine keep people coming back.

Carrillo is a white sand beach shaped like a horseshoe with crystal clear blue water perfect for swimming and snorkeling.  Carrillo is less developed than other beaches and is rarely crowded other than on major holidays. There are not many services on the beach but hotels, shops, and restaurants are close by.

Playa Camaronal is a gray sand beach with inviting blue waters that bring endangered  turtles to the shore each year to lay their eggs. This protected beach is perfect for swimming, surfing fishing and camping. 

Playa Bejuco is a secluded and mostly overlooked beach that is perfect for swimming and surfing. There is a large mangrove area that extends down the river that empties into the sea here.

Playa Coyote is nearly 10 kilometers long and is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. it is also very hard to get to so it is usually uncrowded. If you are looking for an out of the way adventure this could be the place for you. There are two rivers that empty into the ocean here which makes it perfect for fishing or surfing. 

Like we mentioned above, there are over 200 beaches along Guanacaste's Gold Coast. Grab your sunscreen, surfboard and go explorere the more out of the way and less known beaches. Visit our Guanacaste page for more info on this area of Costa Rica.