The Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica
I spent 10 days in the Caribbean of Costa Rica and I have to say I was glad I did. I visited most of the beaches along the coast when cycling, walking and staying in Totem Hotel Beach Resort and Congo Bongo Beach Rental Houses.
So I got a chance to explore the beaches and being a proud beach bum visiting the best beaches all over the world, I can say now which of the Costa Rican beaches in the Caribbean were my best.
Going all the way down from Cahuita through Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo to the Costa Rican – Panaman border, you will find the important beaches: Playa Blanca de Cahuita, Playa Negra (famous black beach of Puerto Viejo), Playa El Chino, El Parquecito, Salsa Brava, Playa Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva, Playa Grande, Manzanillo beach, Playa Punta Mona. The good thing is that all these beaches are very different from the others so you can choose which one you prefer.
Playa Blanca is a great white sand beach in Cahuita (blanca means white), very nice!
Punta Cahuita is good for snorkeling because of its stunning reefs. I did snorkeling and hiking there in Cahuita National Park. The water is very warm there at the beach.
Playa Negra is a long beach with black sand (hence the name, negra means black) so there you can always find a spot for just yourself. There are palm trees along the beach and it is outside Puerto Viejo town.
Playa El Chino, El Parquecito and Salsa Brava are three beaches in Puerto Viejo town. They are not bad, but there are better ones. The first two are more for relaxing and snorkeling, the third one for surfing.
Playa Cocles is a proper surfing beach. It was there were I stayed in Totem Hotel Beach Resort. There are surfing schools who offer surfing lessons and rent surfboards. The beach is not very good for swimming though which is what I need being a non-surfer.
Playa Chiquita is a small, not very known beach, good for both snorkeling and some surfing.
Playa Punta Uva I could probably divide into two different ones – the half of it next to Playa Chiquita is a very nice beach for swimming, with quiet water and white sand and not too many people. For many, it is the best beach in the Caribbean of Costa Rica. For me it was the second best. Just because the water was not clear when I was there, but blurry. Otherwise, the beach was very cool and beautiful. The second half of the beach are the coral reefs of Punta Uva where everyone goes snorkeling.
Playa Grande is usually with no people so if you need some privacy and maybe surfing or swimming, this is the right place for you.
Playa Manzanillo was my favorite beach in the Costa Rican Caribbean. It was where I stayed in Congo Bongo Beach Rental Houses and I loved it there! There were not many people, once I had the whole 3 km of white sand beach just for myself! And the water is superclear there and with almost no waves so the best one for swimming. There I finally felt like in the Caribbean and could take some sexy photos 🙂
Playa Punta Mona is the only beach together with Playa Cocles with an island in the front – Punta Mona Island being another snorkeling spot. The rest of Punta Mona beach South to the border with Panama belongs to Gandoca – Manzanillo Refuge which is a national park with Gandoca beach where you can go at night to watch the biggest sea turtles, the leatherback, putting eggs at the beach. It is at night and it is prohibited to take photos there to protect the turtles so I don’t have any photos from this beach, sorry!
Have you visited Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica? If not, which beach would you choose yourself?
If you love beaches like I do, check out my 24 favorite beaches of 2011 🙂