Costa Rica has over 300 named beaches and plenty more that are tucked away and don’t have a formal name. With two coastlines, Costa Rica is definitely a tropical beach destination, among so many other things. When you visit this gorgeous country, staying on the beach is an absolute must. There are quite a few cool beach bungalows to choose from, and here are some of the most highly recommended – and all are bookable through Culture Trip.
Yoga lovers will love a stay at the Anamaya at the Playa Montezuma, close to Costa Rica’s Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. The hotel specializes in both yoga teacher training and retreats, but also offers surfing retreats, scuba diving intensives, and more. If you’re just looking to relax, that’s an option too: the cabins are cozy, and the balconies are perfect for watching the waves roll while lazing on a hammock.
Ocho Artisan Bungalows is slap bang in Costa Rica’s lively beach town of Tamarindo, on the Pacific coast. Pick from one of seven bungalows, each filled with handmade wood furniture and draped in canopies, or from one of two villas, which are a palm-thatched dream. And, while it’s hidden away on the beach, Ocho is still just a short walk from all the action downtown. Looking for fun? Sign up for one of the hotel’s excursions, which range from boat safaris to mountain biking.
You’ll feel like the whole resort is yours at Tulemar, just next to the Manuel Antonio National Park, from your hidden bungalow, casa, or villa. From here you’ll have access to an exclusive, sandy white beach with boogie boards, kayaks, and umbrellas at the ready for guests. If you want to commune more with nature, you’ll want to check out the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica, right on resort grounds, for a daily sloth walk.
This adults-only jungle respite is a private paradise, perched atop a hill in Costa Rica’s Uvita rainforest. Just minutes away, the beaches of the Ballena Marine National Park await, or venture into the forest on a hike or as part of the spa’s “five senses” jungle massage. At the hotel restaurant, chef Pabrö Sánchez whips up several Costa Rican dishes, like ceviche, bean soup with hard-boiled quail egg, and pollo caribeño.
Hotel Shawandha Lodge is a truly divine bungalow retreat located on the South Caribbean coast just 656ft (200m) from Playa Chiquita, near Puerto Viejo. Couples, artists, photographers, writers, bird lovers, and nature enthusiasts will find this 14-bungalow lodge a dream come true, with a romantic ambience and an abundance of wildlife. The lodge sits on five acres (2ha) of pristine secondary rainforest and is surrounded by lush gardens, the beach, and an inviting swimming pool complete with a waterfall. There are 100 species of bird and 200 species of plant that make their home here.
Makanas is a superior hotel in the quaint bohemian surf town of Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula. Makanas offers three different styles of affordable bungalows for families, honeymooners, or surfers looking for a comfortable and inviting home base. This is the perfect place to stay for those interested in surfing, doing yoga, horse riding, diving, fishing, sunbathing, or getting pampered at the spa in Santa Teresa. The list goes on. After a day of activity, head to the hotel’s restaurant, which specializes in refined comfort food. The punchy cocktails also come recommended.
Looking for a slice of paradise? Hotel Mundo Milo Eco Lodge is just 1,148ft (350m) away from the peaceful and uncrowded beaches of Playa Junquillal. There are five little bungalows, a pool, a restaurant, and a bar. The five villas all have unique decor influenced by different world styles, from African to Mexican. Sustainable eco-tourism is a top priority at Mundo Milo. The lodge employs locals, it has a recycling program, and when the buildings were constructed, care was taken to minimize the impact on the environment and preserve natural habitats.
Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat is harmoniously situated steps away from the sea on Playa Hermosa in the booming beachtown of Santa Teresa. Balinese-inspired architecture and lush garden vegetation make for an attractive mix. The spacious and luxurious villas feature terraces with hammocks, open-air bathrooms, high ceilings, and furniture made from natural materials. On the amenity side of things, there is free wifi, a tea lounge, a beautiful pool, and an open-air restaurant serving up healthy, organic cuisine. As the name of this hotel suggests, the open-air yoga studio is a selling point for many guests, with classes running throughout the day.
Cala Luna is a luxury boutique hotel on the exclusive Playa Langosta just down the road from the world-renowned town of Playa Tamarindo. This spot offers guests multiple accommodation choices, including freestanding two- or three-bedroom villas complete with full kitchens and private swimming pools. Along with being steps away from the beach, other perks include a beautiful gourmet poolside restaurant, an open-air yoga shala, and plenty of spa treatments, which you can receive in the privacy of your bungalow, on the beach, or in the spa bungalow. The location is ideal for those who want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo, but close enough to walk into town.
Hotel Playa Negra is located in the small beach town of Los Pargos, just south of Playa Avellenas and Playa Tamarindo. This boutique bungalow hotel is right in front of the beach – you can’t get any closer. The hotel is made up of 17 beach bungalows and an open-air restaurant and bar. There is an oceanfront swimming pool and yoga classes available throughout the week. This is a peaceful and picturesque place to just kick back, relax, and enjoy the pura vida.
The surf’s up at Cabinas Las Olas. This environmentally conscious hotel sits on the coast in the quiet and peaceful surf town of Playa Avellenas. Just a short walk on a wooden path through the mangroves and you are on the white sands of Playa Avellenas, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. The hotel itself is made up of several cozy ‘cabinas’ that all have private patios and hammocks. The interiors are traditional, with whitewashed walls and natural woods. On the dining front, there is a restaurant and bar, which is ideal as there aren’t many dining options in the immediate area. The eatery specializes in international and typical Costa Rican food, and vegetarians are catered for. The restaurant is surrounded by different kinds of native northern Guanacaste trees, providing shade and breeze throughout the day.
Kylie Madry contributed additional reporting to this article.