The main thing that defines Costa Rica is its location: it is in a unique spot in Central America, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. About a fifth of the country is protected jungle that is full of animals, including the stunningly beautiful quetzal birds, which the Mayans thought were their spirit guides.
Costa Rica is also famous for its amazing natural beauty and varied landscapes, such as its long coastline with many different beaches with their own personalities. Costa Rica is famous for its world-class surfing, but it also has some of the best spots for swimming that are easy for the whole family to work their way around.
The Best Beaches for Swimming in Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio Beach
Located along the coast, Manuel Antonio Beach is adjacent to the renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, which is known for its abundant wildlife and lush coastal rainforest. Considered one of Costa Rica’s top destinations, this national park/beach attracts a large number of visitors due to its popularity and reputation as one of the country’s finest beaches.
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this expansive beach is famous for its tranquil turquoise waters and powdery sand. This tranquil swimming spot is a true hidden gem, offering a serene environment for those seeking a peaceful experience.
Playa Carrillo has recently been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag, a globally recognized symbol of its commitment to cleanliness and excellence. This accolade solidifies its reputation as one of Costa Rica’s finest and most pristine beaches. There are plenty of affordable lodging options near Playa Carillo, particularly if you’re traveling during the off-season. In fact, you can find some options for less than $70 US per night.
This popular beach destination is a favorite among families due to its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It’s a bit under the radar, but still draws in a large crowd. Samara attracts a vibrant community of ex-pats who choose to settle in the area once the high season, which typically spans from December to April, comes to an end. In addition to luxurious five-star boutique hotels that can cost around $400 US per night, travelers visiting Nosara have a range of accommodation options to choose from. These include affordable Air BnB rentals and budget-friendly hotels that are often cheaper compared to other options in the area.
Playa Flamingo is considered one of the top beaches in Costa Rica for swimming. It is highly regarded among the Pacific Coast beaches due to its beautiful white sand, crystal-clear blue waters, and the presence of secluded lagoons and beach spots.
Playa Chiquita is a hidden gem with its stunning turquoise waters and secluded white sand beaches. This lesser-known beach has captured the hearts of certain individuals who appreciate its off-the-beaten-path charm. With its composition of several small bays, visitors can experience the sensation of having the entire beach to themselves.
Playa Chiquita has recently been awarded the prestigious Bandera Azul (Blue Flag), signifying its status as one of the cleanest and healthiest beaches in Costa Rica. This recognition is a valuable indicator for potential visitors seeking pristine coastal destinations. There are numerous accommodations available near Chiquita Beach, including several that are conveniently located right on the beach. Additionally, there is a substantial selection of vacation rentals and Airbnb accommodations available.