Beautiful Costa Rica Beaches
I loved Costa Rica beaches so much I wanted to marry them. We did the opposite of what the guidebooks said and went to the Caribbean beaches, and it rocked!
But! But! What about all those gorgeous beaches on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, Gringa?
That's your job, honey! Write about your favorite Pacific beaches below, OK?
Meanwhile, I'll tell you everything I know about the ones on the Caribbean side, which are beautiful and unspoiled.
The Caribbean in Costa Rica
For a long time, the government of Costa Rica didn't even recognize the citizenship of many people living on the Caribbean side of the country. Many of the people who live there are of African descent; their families came from Jamaica looking for work in Costa Rica. There were no major roads connecting the area with the rest of the country, so the region developed its own distinctive culture, more Caribbean than Costa Rican.
What does this mean for you?
The roads haven't been there very long, and even now it's a bumpy five-hour ride to Puerto Viejo from San Jose. The good news, though, is that the beaches are pristine and unspoiled. There are miles and miles of sand and surf all along the eastern edge of Costa Rica, but we focused our beach stay on Puerto Viejo and environs.
Puerto Viejo Beaches: Playa Cocles to Punta Uva
I recommend a lazy bike ride south for great beaches south of Puerto Viejo. Don't get me wrong: the beaches in town are actually beautiful, too, though they do have trash on them sometimes, especially after the weekend. But hop on your bike in PV and ride for five minutes to gorgeous Playa Cocles, and you'll be rewarded with shady trees, a great view and even in high season very few fellow visitors.
(Note the flags at Costa Rica beaches. Red means hazardous waters, yellow means OK to swim up to your waist, green means go for it. These flags are posted at beaches and I advise you to follow them!)
When you're ready, hop on your bike and continue south to Punta Uva for another half hour or so to continue exploring Costa RIca beaches. That's a real picture of it, empty and pristine. I took it myself! The area around all the beaches is shady and green, so it's easy to find a palm tree and maybe a hammock, doze off to the sound of the waves.
This is a Dragonblood tree at Punta Uva beach, so named because the sap runs red. You can see I am having a pretty good time. :) We were there for a beach party with live reggae music. Amazing.
The beaches of Cahuita couldn't be sweeter
If your home base is Puerto Viejo, you'll want to head north to Cahuita, too. Because of the shape of the coral reef there, the waters are absolutely clear. You can see way out to the coral, and the snorkeling is fantastic.
I recommend hiking the Cahuita National Park. Walk from an hour from Cahuita and you find yourself on what looks like heaven, with the jungle behind you and a clear blue ocean in front.
Cahuita is an easy bus ride from Puerto Viejo.
More on Cahuita, including snorkelling and eating recommendations and some cool photos.
Spill it, honey! What's YOUR favorite beach in Costa Rica?
I know you have pictures. Tell us about your favorite beach and post pics so others can admire them. Thanks!
Travel tips on Costa Rica. What to pack, what to leave at home, and how many sexy bathing suits to bring. Link from Costa Rica Beaches to Travel Tips here.