Fodor's Expert Review Playa Ocotal
One of the most dramatic beaches in the country, this serene crescent of black-sand beach ringed by rocky cliffs contrasts nicely with the sparkling, clean turquoise water. It's only ½ km (¼ mile) long, but the views stretch for miles and include nearby offshore islands and the jagged profile of the Santa Elena Peninsula 34 km (21 miles) away. This is prime fishing, diving, and relaxing territory. Right at the entrance to the Gulf of Papagayo, it's a good place for sportfishing enthusiasts to hole up between excursions. There's good diving at Las Corridas, just 1 km (½ mile) away, and excellent snorkeling in nearby coves and islands, as well as around the rocks at the east end of the beach. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: snorkeling.