For laid-back beaching involving hammocks strung between palms and nothing more demanding than watching the sunset, you can't beat breezy Playa Zancudo, with its miles of wide, flat beach and romantic views of the Osa Peninsula across the Golfo Dulce. The water is amazingly warm for swimming and except for local holiday times, this beach is pretty much deserted. It isn't picture-perfect: the 10 km (6 miles) of dark, volcanic sand is sometimes strewn with flotsam and jetsam.
But there's a constant breeze and a thick cushion of palm and almond trees between the beach and the dirt road running parallel. Away from the beach breezes, be prepared for biting zancudos (no-see-ums). Amenities: food and drink. Best for: sunsets; walking; swimming.
Playa Zancudo, Costa Rica