The Best Beaches In Southern Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to nearly 1,000 miles of coastline, and here in Southern Costa Rica, we’re proud to boast some of the most beautiful stretches of sand you’ll find in the entire country.
Here are a few of our favorites to get you started on your beach-hopping adventures.
1. Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is quite small but has become one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica.
There are four beaches here: Espadilla Sur, the Playita, the Manuel Antonio, and the Escondido.
Get ready for some wildlife; monkeys are everywhere here! Manuel Antonio is actually one of the only places in Costa Rica where you can see all four types of monkeys: the spider, the white-faced, the howler, and the squirrel monkey. Additionally, you can often see a host of animals like sloths and porcupines in this biodiverse town.
Manuel Antonio is also home to the most visited national park in Costa Rica, and the Manuel Antonio beach has been named one of the 25 best beaches in the world.
2. Playa Dominical
This quiet beach attracts surfers, yogis, and backpackers from around the world with its near-perfect surfing conditions year-round. Apart from surfing, there isn’t a tone to do here, which is all part of Dominical’s appeal. This town is the beach-bums daydream where stressful schedules don’t exist—but stunning sunsets and great beach bars do.
3. Playa Uvita
Photo via Víctor Bautista
Playa Uvita is marked by the presence of both authentic, friendly locals and a fairly large expat community. Home to the “Whale’s Tail” beach, Uvita beckons visitors who want to get a glimpse of this spectacular naturally formed sandbar that looks exactly like a whale’s tale. Nearby, you’ll find the Marino Ballena National Park that is teeming with wildlife and known for the humpback whales that migrate through the area twice each year.
4. Playa Ventanas (Ojochal)
Known for the way the lush jungle rides right up to the coast, Ojochal’s beaches are largely undiscovered, promising the feel of a secret island escape. Despite the fact that the beaches are less developed, Ojochal has a large presence of expats and gourmet restaurants. Ojochal’s most lovely beach is perhaps Playa Ventanas, which literally means “Window Beach.” This untouched beach is known for its caves that you can walk through during the dry season.
5. Cano Island
Photo via Marina Kuperman Villatoro
Located just off of the Osa Penisula, Cano Island is a scuba diver’s dream. This biological reserve is the perfect place to be mesmerized by the diversity thriving beneath the crystal-clear waters. Boat tours and snorkeling options are plentiful. You won’t find any development here, but that’s exactly what will make you feel like you’re living out a tropical movie scene.
6. Drake Bay
Photo via Nguyen-Anh Le
Named after Sir Francis Drake, who is believed to have stumbled upon this beautiful location in the 16th century, Drake Bay is situated toward the North of the Osa Penisula. Adventure seekers will love the beaches along this bay as nearly every sort of activity can be done here, including: horseback riding, sports fishing, bird watching, snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving.
This is just the beginning! The Southern Zone is home to some of the best beaches in all of Costa Rica—and even in all of the world. These six beaches are a great place to start experiencing the best Costa Rica has to offer.
Are you ready to start planning your dream vacation to Southern Costa Rica’s beaches?