The 6 Coolest Beach Towns In Costa Rica (With Pics To Prove It!)

Costa Rica has several coastal towns to consider for those planning a beach vacation there. Here are the top six best beach towns in Costa Rica.

best beach towns in Costa Rica 1

What are the best beach towns in Costa Rica?

Some of the beach towns in Costa Rica include Puerto Viejo, Playa Montezuma, Jaco, Nosara, Playa Samara, and Dominical. Each beach town has its unique features, attractions, pros and cons. The one you will choose will depend on your budget and preferences.

The Top Six Best Beach Towns in Costa Rica

Thanks to its strategic location between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica has an abundance of seaside towns and amazing beaches.

And, each of these beach towns comes with its own unique personality, culture, characteristics and attractions.

With so much to offer in terms of travel, it is not surprising to see why so many visitors flock to Costa Rica. Here, you will be spoilt for choice and you will have a thrilling travel experience. As a matter of fact, many travelers have been repeat visitors to the country. 

However, with so many delightful beach towns in Costa Rica to choose from, deciding where to go can be a challenge. 

But, we are here to make things easier for you. In this guide, we will share the top six best beach towns in Costa Rica to visit.

Puerto Viejo

best beach towns in Costa Rica 1 1

Puerto Viejo is a stunning beach town situated in the country’s Limon province. Located on the Caribbean Sea, this is one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica for surfing enthusiasts.

And, this can be attributed to its year-round supply of sunshine, turquoise blue waters and pristine sandy beaches. 

Surfing lovers from all parts of the globe come here to ride its majestic Salsa Brave waves. Puerto Viejo’s beaches are also among the most beautiful in the country.

In case surfing is not your thing, then Puerto Viejo has plenty of other things to offer. There are national parks, protected reserves and a lush rainforest, which offer numerous opportunities for wildlife viewing. 

Here, you can expect to see various animal species like monkeys, toucans and sloths.

You can also use Puerto Viejo as a jumping-off point for scuba diving expeditions, exploring the Kekoldi Reserve, whitewater rafting, hiking in the forests and visiting cacao farms, just to name a few. 

Or you can just spend your time relaxing on the beach or having a drink in one of the bars.

And since it’s located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, you can also expect to enjoy great reggae music throughout your stay.

Also, Caribbean-style cuisines and other local delicacies are in plenty.

Playa Montezuma

best beach towns in Costa Rica 2

The majority of the best beach towns in Costa Rica are quite crowded, especially during the summer. 

And, this is something that you can expect, considering their breathtaking beauty. However, this is not the case with Playa Montezuma.

Located on the southern edge of the Nicoya Peninsula, this beach town rarely gets crowded, even during the peak months.

It’s one of the most serene beaches in this country. Playa Montezuma is home to scenic beaches, rivers, waterfalls, lush forests and several wildlife refuges.

While the beach is the main draw for most travelers, there are lots of other things to do in Montezuma. 

The Montezuma Waterfall is one of the area’s key attractions. It’s located a few miles just outside the town.

If you are in decent physical condition, you can opt to hike through the jungle to the waterfall. Alternatively, you can pay for the canopy tour that takes visitors right over the waterfall.

Montezuma is also a jumping-off point for expeditions to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. This nature reserve is renowned for its diverse wildlife species, including brown pelicans, howler monkeys, brown boobies and the magnificent frigatebird.

With its miles of beautiful beaches, jungle waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, Montezuma is undoubtedly one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica. 

We should point out that getting here can be a challenge, due to its remote location. But, it will be worth it.  


best beach towns in Costa Rica 3

Some people go to Costa Rica to unplug, unwind and relax. Others will come here looking to remain active, get out of town and explore the great outdoors. If you fall in the latter group, then Jaco is the ideal Costa Rica beach town for you.

Jaco is located approximately one-and-a-half hours away from Juan Santamaria International Airport. 

It’s also situated close to the country’s capital, San Jose. Therefore, it’s one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica to visit without a car.

Considering it’s one of the most developed beach towns in Costa Rica, Jaco is great for those who value convenience.

You can find almost everything that you need during your stay in this country. Furthermore, getting around this town won’t be a challenge.

One of the main reasons why this beach town attracts millions of visitors every year is the almost endless list of things to do and places to explore in and around this town. 

From water sports to adventure tours, catamaran cruises to eating out, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful Costa Rica beach town.

Some of the activities that you can enjoy during your stay in this town include surfing, hiking and wildlife viewing in the Carara National Park, crocodile boat tours up the Tarcoles River, and an aerial tram ride through the rainforest.

You can also spend your time here visiting and exploring other beaches in the area. Some of the neighboring beaches that you can explore include Herradura, Blanca and Mantas, Hermosa, and Esterillos Oeste.

If you will be in Jaco for some time, then you should check out the local farmers market. 

Here, you can purchase some of the freshest vegetables and fruits. Also, artisanal cheese, beads and various antiques are on offer here.


best beach towns in Costa Rica 4

Nosara is a small coastal town, located approximately 160 miles from San Jose. It’s the ideal destination for those who prefer spending their Costa Rican vacation in a remote, rural area. 

Unlike some of the other beach towns in Costa Rica, Nosara doesn’t get crowded.  

Some of the top attractions here include bird watching and hiking in the Nosara Biological Reserve. Nearby, there’s the Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can visit and help take care of the rescued animals.

Nosara also has some of the most picturesque beaches in Costa Rica. So, you also have the option of spending your entire vacation in and around the beaches. Some of the top beaches here include Guiones, Pelada and Ostional.

Playa Samara

best beach towns in Costa Rica 5

Samara is nestled on the Nicoya Peninsula about two hours on the road from Liberia International airport. This remote beach town has a slow-paced, laid-back vibe, featuring nice boutiques, as well as a wide range of hotels and restaurants.

Also, you won’t find vibrant nightlife here, which is usually the case with the main beach towns in Costa Rica. 

It also has several attractions for kids. So, if you are visiting Costa Rica with your family and you need a healthy beach atmosphere for your kids, then Samara will be ideal.

The beach is great for activities like surfing and swimming. Also, there are several ocean adventures like fishing and kayaking. And if you love exploring caves, then there’s an extensive cave system that you will find in the Barra Honda National Park.

Other activities and attractions here include zip lining, sport fishing, biking, horseback riding and tram line tours over the rainforest. 

If you have time, then you can also explore nearby beaches like Carillo, Barrigona and Buena Vista.


best beach towns in Costa Rica 6

Dominical is a small surfing town located on the shores of the South Pacific. It’s a favorite travel destination for those looking to spend a relaxed and quiet time, in a serene and less-crowded environment.

As much as Dominical is one of the country’s most popular beach towns, it still has that natural and fresh aura. 

The reason why it has managed to retain its natural vibe is that there are no huge developments anywhere in the area.

While Dominical may be a small town, it offers plenty of adventure and exploration. The beach itself is great for swimming and surfing. 

Also, it’s located close to several natural attractions and landscapes including Marino Ballena National Park, Naucaya Waterfalls, and Diamante Falls, just to name a few.

This beach town is also a popular hotspot for foodies. It’s known for its delicious coastal cuisines. Also, there are a couple of craft breweries that you can visit in the area, with the main one being Fuego Brew Company.

Key Takeaways

  • Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful beach towns in the world
  • These towns are ideal for romantic getaways, family vacations and solo trips
  • You can visit these coastal towns any time of the year
  • Your selected destination will depend on your preferences