How does the picture above make you feel? Would you like to see such an amazing sunset?

I am Costa Rican, and that means I have been to the beach. In fact, my parents took me to the beach for the first time when I was a baby. For most of us “ticos”, going to “la playa” is part of our lives. I can remember, as if it were yesterday, the conversation I once had with my Austrian roommate when we were both exchange students in the United States.

-The first time I saw snow, I was 22 years old, and I went crazy about it! My friends and I were like children screaming, playing with it, making snowballs and they even buried me in snow! It was so much fun!

-OMG, I can’t believe you were that old when you first saw snow! I have always played with it, since I was a child…

-Wow…you were so lucky! Many people from my country have never seen snow, and it is actually a dream everybody has.

-There are many beaches in Costa Rica, right?

-Yes! A lot! They’re very beautiful!

-You’re not gonna believe this, but the first time I saw the ocean I was 22!

Just like my friend was surprised at the fact that I spent my entire childhood and adolescence without snow, I could not believe she did without going to the beach.

Costa Rica is located in the middle of the Central American isthmus, which means it limits to the East and Northeast with the Caribbean Sea and to the West and South with the Pacific Ocean. The coastline has a length of over 1800 km (1118 miles) with a never-ending variety of beaches for any possible taste. There are rocky, stony and sandy beaches with white, gray, bluish black, tan, brownish and pink colored sand.

Costa Rican beaches are surrounded by forests with a vast natural diversity, including wonderful flora and fauna. Many of them also have beautiful coral reefs to dive and explore. People can practice different sports such as scuba diving, surfing, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, horseback riding, beach volleyball and soccer, golf or simply walking along the beach while the sun shines on their faces.

Something important to mention is that the beaches in Costa Rica are part of a complex natural system recognized by the Blue Flag Ecological Program, which has already awarded a special recognition to 59 beaches around the country (8 of them on the Caribbean Coast, 26 on the North Pacific Coast and 25 on the Central Pacific Coast). The Blue Flag Program is implemented thanks to Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, which ensures clean and safe beaches for visitors.

Beaches have warm waters all year long, and the average temperature is around 30 C (90 F). The beaches in the province of Guanacaste (North Pacific) are one the most popular destinations among tourists; some of the famous ones are Conchal, Flamingo, Tamarindo and Hermosa. The Central and Mid Pacific Region offers exuberant scenery that combines sun, beaches and forests with protected areas like the Manuel Antonio National Park. Other popular beach communities are Jacó and Puntarenas.

In the South Pacific part of the country, people can enjoy the beaches of Osa Peninsula as well as some Biological Reserves and National Parks. The Caribbean Region includes the province of Limón, where the beaches of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo attract many visitors throughout the year.

As you can see, Costa Rica has plenty of beaches to choose from, and all of them are ideal for sunbathing, relaxing and admiring breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Also, they are very popular for honeymoon destinations. So, if you are looking for a vacation paradise to forget all the hustle and bustle of the city life, don’t think twice. Plan your next trip to Costa Rica so you can enjoy these beautiful beaches!

Read more:
Costa Rica is ‘pura vida’!
Swim between the flags in New Zealand
A slower pace of life in a coastal village in Indonesia

About the author

My name is Nuria Villalobos and I'm Costa Rican. I am a current professor of English as a Foreign Language at Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica, and a former ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) student in the United States. I speak Portuguese and I am currently studying the Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language. I'm passionate about languages, cultures, photography and meeting people from different places.