Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Playa Carrillo

    Unmarred by a single building at beach level, this picture-perfect pristine white strand is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, strolling, and lounging—just remember not to sit...Read More

  • 2. Playa Guiones

    This beach is one of the natural wonders of Costa Rica: a wide expanse of light-brown sand, sandwiched between rolling surf and green sea-grape vines...Read More

  • 3. Punta Islita

    The curved beach here is rocky but good for walking, especially at low tide when tidal pools form in the volcanic rock. Sunsets are gorgeous,...Read More

  • 4. Bahía Junquillal

    The warm, calm water and relative isolation makes this one of the best swimming beaches on the Golfo de Santa Elena. Stay for the day...Read More

  • 5. Playa Avellanas

    This beach's main claims to fame are surfing and hanging around at Lola's, a sexy beach restaurant-bar. Wide and sandy at the main access point,...Read More

  • 6. Playa Brasilito

    Fishing boats moor just off this wide beach, about 3 km (2 miles) long with golden sand flecked with pebbles and a few rocks. The...Read More

  • 7. Playa Carmen

    This Blue Flag beach, sometimes referred to as El Carmen, is just a stone's throw from the commercial development along the beach road, so it...Read More

  • 8. Playa Conchal

    Named for the bits of broken shells that cover its base of fine white sand (the Spanish word for shell is concha), lovely Playa Conchal...Read More

  • 9. Playa Copal

    Playa Copal is a narrow, dark-beige rocky beach that is one of the main venues for kitesurfing. Winds are often gusty but consistent November to...Read More

  • 10. Playa Danta

    Surfers will need to go elsewhere to find their waves; this natural beach, dotted with shade trees and with the Limonada restaurant a stone's throw...Read More

  • 11. Playa Flamingo

    Hidden away to the southwest of the town, Flamingo Beach is picture-perfect, with almost-white sand sloping into a relatively calm sea, and buttonwood trees separating...Read More

  • 12. Playa Grande

    In addition to being a paradise for surfers and sunbathers, the narrow woodsy patch that lines this wide, pristine Blue Flag beach holds howler monkeys...Read More

  • 13. Playa Hermosa

    Not to be confused with the surfers' beach near Jacó by the same name, Playa Hermosa's 2-km-long (1-mile-long) crescent of dark-gray volcanic sand attracts heat,...Read More

  • 14. Playa Jobo

    Dominated by the massive Dreams Las Mareas Resort, Playa Jobo is still one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Cradled within the sheltered...Read More

  • 15. Playa Junquillal

    This wide swath of light-brown sand stretches over 3 km (2 miles), with coconut palms lining much of it and hardly a building in sight....Read More

  • 16. Playa Langosta

    This Blue Flag beach is actually two beaches: To the north is an upscale residential area where every foot of beachfront has been built up;...Read More

  • 17. Playa Malpaís

    South of the bustle of Playas Carmen and Santa Teresa, this Blue Flag beach is quieter and rockier, with interesting volcanic formations. The tougher surfing...Read More

  • 18. Playa Negra

    Contrary to the name, the beach is not black, but rather beige with dark streaks. This is primarily a surfer's beach, so it's not great...Read More

  • 19. 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...Read More

  • 20. Playa Pan de Azúcar

    A seemingly endless stretch of soft, light-color sand, this Blue Flag beach is the idyllic paradise people picture in their tropical dreams. There is only...Read More

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