Beaches - South Caribbean Region

The South Caribbean Region encompasses the area from Limon, south to Panama. This small area is packed with amazing beaches, national parks and loads of fun things to do. The reggae vibe and colorful scenery create a distinct destination awaiting your enjoyment. 

Isla Uvita is the island where Columbus landed in Costa Rica and is now a top tourist destination. The island holds beautiful beaches, powerful waves and tranquil swimming holes. There are no facilities on the island. 

Playa Portete is a small bay just north of Playa Bonita with optimal conditions for swimming because of the reef just off shore. 

Playa Bonita is a long sandy beach close to Puerto Limon and known for it's powerful point break. 

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 kilometes.

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

Puerto Viejo is really a town with beaches surrounding it on both sides but Salsa Brava is a possibly the best wave in Costa Rica and it is just out of town. 

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.

Punta Uva is separated into two sides. The western side is a picture of tropical paradise perfection with crystal blue water and lush covered hills. The eastern side is characterized by clear blue water filled with lively reefs perfect for snorkeling and free diving. 

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. 

Playa 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 stroll and sunbathing. You may see the leatherback turtle nesting between March and July while visiting this beach. 

Photo Credits: [palm tree shadows] supplied by [istockphto] / thinkstock, [tropical beach] supplied by [hemera] / thinkstock, [white sand beach] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkstock, [ghost crab, ocypode gaudichaudi] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkstock