Caribbean Coast Beaches

The beaches of the Costa Rica's Caribbean coast have a unique vibe that is unlike any other area of the country. The divergence of different cultures along with expansive lowlands that reach inland and sustain an abundance of plant and animal life make the province of Limon's beaches distinct.


Tortuguero is a beautiful and often deserted beach that is a major nesting ground for turtles including the leatherbacks, loggerheads, hawksbill and most frequently the green sea turtle. The small town is committed to turtle conservation and is proud of the pristine environment. There are no roads to access Tortuguero but there are water taxis that can get you here. For more information take a look at our Tortuguero information page. 

Parismina is a small island that is surrounded by healthy river systems and the rich Caribbean waters making it a great place to watch the nesting turtles and do a bit of sports fishing. The beaches are rough and not ideal for swimming or surfing but there is a lagoon named Barrita on the south side of the island that is a perfect place to take a dip. We have much more information on our Parismina page.

Puerto Vargas welcomes snorkelers and swimmers to it's protected waters and offers diverse nature on both land and in the water with it's lively reef and lush jungle lined shores. The beach is just north of Cahuita point and is roughly 5 kilometers long.  Visit the north end for the best snorkeling. Camping, public restrooms and showers are available. Entrance fee to the park is $7.00.


Playa Negra is located very close to the town of Puerto Viejo and is popular with swimmers, surfers and those looking to stroll along the beach. The main surf break called "Salsa Brava" is widely accepted as one of the best waves in Costa Rica.

Playa Cocles is a beautiful yellow sand beach with constant waves for surfing. There are lifeguards that patrol this beach because of the strong rip currents and display green flags to show where it is safe to swim. Services are available just off the beach in town. 


Playa Chiquita is a tranquil beach located about mid way between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo. The calm waters are protected by a live reef just offshore making this a great snorkeling beach. There are some great restaurants and shops in town.

Punta Uva is simply gorgeous. It's calm and clear blue waters invite swimmers, snorkelers, and sunbathers to enjoy. 

Playa Manzanillo is one of our favorite beaches along the Caribbean coast because of the reef just off shore offering interesting snorkeling and great swimming in its calm waters. Located 6 kilometers from Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo is easy to access on the newly paved road. Although easier to get to than ever before this beach still seems to be overlooked and is often uncrowded. 

Gandoca stretches roughly 12 kilometes from Punta Mona to the Panamanian border. The waters are unprotected and often rough for swimming but the beach is perfect for long strolls and sunbathing. You may see the leatherback turtle nesting between March and July while visiting this beach.