Between two coastlines, the Pacific and the Caribbean, Costa Rica has around 300 named beaches, with plenty of others unnamed or hidden. There are numerous beaches that are inaccessible by motorized vehicle or only accessible via boat or hiking. For all the well-known beaches such as Playa Tamarindo, Playa Guiones and Playa Santa Teresa, there are a relatively equal number of “secret” or lesser-known beaches. Here’s our pick of the best.
Tucked in between Playa Negra and Playa Marbella is Playa Junquillal. Junquillal is a very small and quiet beach town on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast (Guanacaste). The area is dotted with beach houses and condos, lined with dirt roads, host to a few restaurants, and filled with a peaceful solitude. There are several beaches that make up this area and they are all often uncrowded. The seafront landscape is rugged and dramatically beautiful – a magnificent spot to watch the sunset.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
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3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
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Playa el Hachal
Playa el Hachal is the secluded beach on the most northern boundary of the Santa Rosa National Park in northern Guanacaste. You can only access this pristine beach by hiking in from the Murcialago ranger station. It is likely that you will be the only one on this beach, especially if you are visiting outside of the high season. The Santa Rosa National Park is home to an astonishing variety of land and marine animals.
Playa Bejuca is located around 35 kilometers north of Manuel Antonio and 30 kilometers south of Jaco. Situated between two very popular coastal destinations, Playa Bejuca offers visitors a true escape from the crowds. Playa Bejuca is such a pristine beach that is has been awarded the Blue Flag. This beautiful beach is also favored by a variety of birds as their preferred nesting site.
Playa Carte is a stunning secluded beach located on the most southern tip of the Osa Peninsula. It backs right up to the Corcovado National Park, which has been described as one of the most biologically-rich national parks. The remote location keeps this slice of heaven unpopulated. It is here that you will likely see and hear scarlet macaws, howler monkeys and spider monkeys, on top of other coastal and rainforest creatures.
Playa Cocalito is a tiny hidden beach, just 61 meters/200 feet long. While is it in close proximity to a few small hotels, there is rarely anyone present on this immaculate slice of sand. To access Playa Cocalito, you must walk around 30 minutes from Drake Bay and cross a suspension bridge over the Aguitas River. Playa Cocalito is the reward at the end of your lovely hike.
Playa Rio Claro
Playa Rio Claro is home to the world-famous and second longest left point break. Playa Rio Claro is also known as Pavones and is perfectly positioned on the Burica Peninsula. This area was put on the map by surfers. During a big swell, this area can get a bit busy, but outside of that you can find plenty of space all to yourself. There are a few little bars and restaurants to accompany the awe-inspiring beauty of this special beach.
Cahuita is located on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica and is well known for its super laid back vibe. This vibrant little beach town is in the middle of Playa Negra and Playa Blanca. It is here that you can find your own private slice of beach. To the far north, there is a natural pool that was formed by a collapsed lava tube many years ago. This perfect little pool is made for two and a great place to cook off and relax as you watch the Caribbean Sea ebb and flow.
Punta Uva is a peaceful beach in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. The waters here are super calm and crystal clear. The outside reef protects this area and makes it an ideal spot for swimming. This white sand beach is definitely postcard worthy. This is a place where you can relax for the entire day without seeing too many other people.
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