Flamingo Beach in Costa Rica | Olga Saenz creative content writer

Costa Rica Best Beaches, Tamarindo, Conchal, Flamingo and Potrero.

Among the beaches in Costa Rica, some are very well known and popular. In the North Pacific region of Costa Rica, you can find Tamarindo, Conchal, Flamingo, and Potrero. Four different beaches have some relevant details in common: they are accessible, beautiful, close to the Guanacaste International Airport (LIR), and offer excellent accommodations and tons of activities. 

Conchal Beach | Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Conchal Beach | Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Of course that a country in the tropics and with two coastlines have hundreds of breathtaking beaches. There are some as secluded and pristine that you can only reach them by boat. There are others, as gorgeous but they are only reachable by horse, or 4×4, and don’t have a single hotel or restaurant to get a simple bottle of water. But there are some beaches that have it all, they are gorgeous, have amazing restaurants and hotels and are easy to reach. Some of those (Not all) are the ones I talk about here.

Of course there are more, on both coasts, but they are worth having their own article.

These are known as some of the best beaches in the Costa Rican North Pacific area. They are usually packed in the high season and even in the green season, as they are as stunning as they are convenient.

  • Potrero Beach
  • Flamingo Beach
  • Conchal Beach
  • Tamarindo Beach

They are all located around one hour from the Guanacaste International Airport, their waters are pristine and warm, and their sand is very soft, except for, of course, Conchal Beach, where it is mostly all shells.

When Is the  Best Time to Go to the beach in Costa Rica?

Depending on the experiences you want to have, the best time to visit the beach in Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from December to April, or from October to February for the nesting season of leatherback turtles, and year-round for outstanding deep-sea sport fishing.

In the green season, from May to September, it usually rains a couple of hours in the afternoons, but the landscape is as green as can be, and it is the best period if you want to try the fantastic array of activities like hiking in the forest, doing rafting or watching whales, for instance.

Can you observe wildlife in these, the best beaches in Costa Rica? 

These beaches are also close to some of Costa Rica’s most sought-after national parks, including Marino Las Baulas National Park, one of the world’s significant nesting and hatching places for endangered leatherback turtles. It is home to an astonishing variety of flora and fauna, with 450 hectares of shoreline and mangrove swamp.

Leatherback turtle on a beach in Costa Rica

However, I must say, that when lucky you may watch howler monkeys, coatimundis or crab eating racoons in the nearby patches of forest. And well! Several kinds of birds! Some of the birds in the Guanacaste beaches are. The Great Kiskadee, the Orange Fronted Parakeet, the Black Headed Trogon, the Pale-Billed Woodpecker, the Streak-Backed Oriole, the Squirrel Cuckoo, the Turquoise-Browed Mot Mot and among the marine birds, the Royal Tern and the Brown Pelicans.


They are also relatively close to the Santa Rosa National Park and the Palo Verde Natural Reserve as well.   You can also find There are diving and sailing expeditions from the marina to the lovely islands in the area. There are golf courses and a plethora of water sports and experiences to enjoy on all these beaches.

They all have soft and beautiful sand. Some may be white gray, others completely white, and Conchal is made of tiny shells. They are also surrounded by thick tropical foliage (except tamarindo) and wildlife. It is the ideal hideaway for anyone looking for a vacation in style and luxury while remaining close to nature.

They all hold the Blue Flag ecological beach, which means they are safe, clean, and ideal for swimming and sunset cruises.

Potrero Beach 

Potrero is a hidden gem in Guanacaste’s northwestern corner, named after the same beach. This remote community embodies the traditional Costa Rican coast village character and can be viewed as a calm haven away from other tourist hotspots.

The genuine and uncomplicated beauty of this town is its defining quality. This is the sort of place where kids play in the “plaza” and locals go to church on Sundays.

Potrero Beach in Costa Rica | Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Potrero Beach

The road is still unpaved because the residents prefer it that way. Properties are relatively small, and even though you find dozens of ex-pats happily living in the Costa Rican quaint town, the big resorts and buildings have not found their way to this fantastic place. It is an authentic Guanacaste community, the way they all were before tourism hit and changed the region forever.

Even though several small hotels and villas are nearby with their facilities, there are just a few grocers and local restaurants in town. This is the spot to go if you want to spend some quiet and relaxing time away from the frantic bustle of the city.

If you are into parties, clubs, and pubs, you can drive one hour to get to Tamarindo or Coco Beach, where there are many more options. (See below)

There are three more beaches in Potrero that are very beautiful and have excellent accommodations: Prieta, Penca, and Sugar Beach. Potrero makes a group of places to choose from if you are into an easy, relaxing vacation in front of the ocean.

Potrero is a 50-minute drive from the Guanacaste International Airport, or a four- to five-hour drive from San José, but the journey is well worth it. It can also be a good starting point for exploring Papagayo Bay, traveling to other famous beaches such as Playa Flamingo and Playa Conchal, and visiting nearby Santa Rosa National Park and Palo Verde Natural Reserve.

Flamingo Beach 

Flamingo Beach (Playa Flamingo) is located in Guanacaste, a northern Pacific province. Flamingo Beach is a mile-long white and golden sand beach with breathtaking views. Flamingo’s curved bay is dotted with tiny buttonwood trees, which provide some shade to beachgoers. Visitors can enjoy views of the bordering beaches and connecting beach areas due to the crescent shape.

Flamingo Beach | Olga Saenz, Creative Content Writer
Flamingo Beach | Olga Saenz, Creative Content Writer

The ocean water, which is often turquoise in color and ordinarily transparent, has a gentle break where visitors may participate in several activities such as snorkeling, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, sailing, and more. Sportfishing and scuba diving are two other popular activities in this beach area.

Although there are no services immediately on the beach, many properties are positioned along the Flamingo stretch with restrooms and places to eat. Flamingo is also a short walk from the beach and offers a choice of restaurants and small stores. There are vendors on the beach selling souvenirs, cool drinks, and food.

The Flamingo Beach Resort, a mid-sized beachfront facility that offers bed and breakfast and an all-inclusive vacation, is the principal hotel property in Playa Flamingo.

Conchal Beach 

Conchal is a popular choice for those looking for a more tranquil, white-sand beach vacation. Its location in the country’s north Pacific region, in the province of Guanacaste, allows tourists to experience a dry tropical forest. Conchal is a beach resort rather than a town. Visitors can, however, visit the nearby fishing town of Brasilito, which is only one kilometer (half a mile) north. It’s a bustling little ‘Tico’ (Costa Rican) fishing village with a few souvenir huts and marisquerias (seafood restaurants).

Conchal Beach in Costa Rica | Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Conchal Beach

Conchal is great for those looking for a relaxing beach vacation. Despite being only a 20-minute drive from the larger surfing town of Tamarindo, Conchal has a more isolated atmosphere. You’re removed from the noise and bustle of the nearby towns, and you’re often the only one strolling certain sections of sand. Strolls along the beach and through the forested regions frequently provide guests with the opportunity to see a sloth hanging from a tree or to feel the curiosity of one of the many types of monkeys that call this area home.

For those who prefer to stay in the Conchal area, the region offers a wide range of activities. Visitors will find it easy to connect with the country’s natural beauty and diversity, from water sports to hiking in the nearby volcanic region of Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Even though Conchal is a dry tropical forest, travelers can visit other park areas to experience the rainforest and other ecosystems.

The gorgeous coastline, with its sweet sand and clear sea, is a beach lover’s paradise. Palm trees sway above lounge chairs given by the few owners with access to this lovely beach. It’s a fantastic destination for all types of travelers and a must-see for anyone looking for the serenity of a lovely Costa Rican beach.

Tamarindo Beach 

Tamarindo Costa Rica has a population of 500 people on average. During the busiest tourist periods, the population can reach 5,000 people. It’s simple to immerse yourself in this vibrant seaside town full of culture and fun while retaining its laid-back surf appeal. The beach is well-known throughout the world for being one of the greatest for surfers and active beachgoers. When you combine this with the golden beach, stunning sunsets, and lively ambiance, you realize Tamarindo is ideal for vacationers from all walks of life.

Tamarindo Beach in Costa Rica | Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo is also a convenient holiday location because it is only 45 minutes from the Liberia airport and has many activities. The Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge is located just north of the beach. It is densely forested and home to howler monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, and crocodiles. From November to April, the nesting of leatherback and green sea turtles in the adjacent Playa Grande is also quite popular. If you visit Tamarindo, you will be right in the middle of everything, but you will also be able to easily walk out and enjoy the natural side of Costa Rica.


How to choose among the best beaches in Costa Rica?

It depends on what do you want.   The best beaches in Costa Rica have plenty of activities to choose from. Depending on what you would like to do.

  • Potrero Beach: If your aim is to simply relax, take it easy, shop in local stores and enjoy an easy pace sort of location.
  • Flamingo Beach: Now, if you like to walk by the beach, secluded places, and fantastic sunsets.
  • Conchal Beach: For breathtaking all inclusive choice of hotels, and an amazing beach.
  • Tamarindo Beach: And if you like partying, going out for dinner to different places, and love surfing or want to learn with the best.


Tamarindo Beach | Olga Saenz, creative content writer
Tamarindo Beach

Surfing in Tamarindo

Tamarindo is one of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica, especially for novices. Every day, you can catch a wave at the beach because the waves are steady. Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before. There are numerous surf camps and schools throughout Tamarindo Beach. You can also rent boards (for around $20) if you don’t need a lesson.

Surfing is one of the must-do activities in Tamarindo because the beach is ideal for beginners, and there are waves almost all year!

If you’re a more experienced surfer, you can also go on a surf trip to Witch’s Rock. When there’s a swell, the waves can reach 6 feet and are overhead with fast hollow tubes! It’s ideal for longboarding on a small day.

Tamarindo Beach | Olga Saenz, creative content writer
Surfing at Tamarindo Beach


Tamarindo Estuary and Mangroves Boat Tour:  

Tamarindo is more than simply the beach; the Marino Las Baulas National Park includes a vast mangrove and estuary. Visitors may explore the estuary and view monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and other wildlife, thanks to locals who have set up boat tours and kayak rentals.

The ride is relatively easy, and you may also enjoy these tranquil flat waters by kayak or paddleboard.


In the area, you can find several possibilities to try ziplining. The most well-known tour through the dry tropical forest is the Congo Trail Canopy Tour, for me, probably the best! It is in the forest, it’s Costa Rican and have decades of experience.

Guanacaste ziplining near the best beaches in Costa Rica | Olga Saenz, creative content writer
Guanacaste ziplining close to the best beaches in Costa Rica | Olga Saenz, creative content writer

You can also enjoy  Diamante Eco Adventure Park, which is more of a theme park and receives big groups coming from incentive and corporate gatherings, is around an hour away if you want to do a more adventurous zipline. It offers the world’s longest superman zipline with an ocean view! They also feature a wildlife sanctuary, botanical garden, and cultural house for a full day of entertainment.

Sailing at sunset 

What better way to discover the best beaches in Costa Rica than on a sailing trip? Take a catamaran cruise in the morning (better snorkeling conditions) or appreciate the open ocean at dusk.

These sunset sailing cruises usually depart in the early afternoon, and you may enjoy snorkeling or diving in beautiful areas around the coastline.

Sunset at the best beaches in Costa Rica
Sunset at the best beaches in Costa Rica

They arrange their way back closer to dusk so you can enjoy the magnificent colors of the sunset from the water and arrive almost right away.

Depending on the time of year, you may encounter dolphins, turtles, or even whales along the journey. This is an excellent trip for all ages.

The Flamingo Marina serves as a launching place for scuba divers heading to the Las Catalinas Islands.

Diving in the sea

You can earn your scuba diving certification or go on a curiosity dive if you don’t already have one. Some tours give you an hour of instruction before taking you on two tank dives, and guides are with you the entire time. You can witness a lot of fish on a clear day in the Catalinas’ Islands: sea turtles, giant manta rays, whitetip reef sharks, eels, dolphins, and massive schools of fish. You might encounter humpback whales or turtles if you come in August or September!


Guanacaste fishing is excellent almost all year, and you can catch your food! Go deep-sea fishing for mahi-mahi, wahoo, and other species.

Boat Tour in Palo Verde National Park 

This Guanacaste day trip is the finest way to see animals if you’re traveling with senior citizens! You will be able to witness iguanas, crocodiles, bats, two types of monkeys, river birds, and other exotic animals during this 1.5-hour safari boat ride in Palo Verde National Park aboard a covered motorized boat.

Jabiru at Palo Verde National Park, close to the best beaches in Costa Rica | Olga Saenz, Creative Content Writer
Jabiru at Palo Verde National Park, close to the best beaches in Costa Rica | Olga Saenz, 

This is also an excellent tour for birdwatchers since you will see many aquatic birds like herons, egrets, Northern Jacanas, and the famous and endangered Jabiru, the biggest stork in the Americas, as well as other exciting river species.

Rio Celeste Waterfall and Hike 

Rio Celeste, the sky blue river in Tenorio Volcano National Park, is a must-see for hikers and environment lovers. It’s a 7-kilometer (about 4-mile) hike and a 2.5-hour trip one way.

You’ll see a sky blue waterfall and river in the rainforest, which is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful spots! Click the link for additional information and to book your trip to Rio Celeste!

Rio Celeste is a 2.5-hour one-way journey from Tamarindo. If you rent a car, you can effortlessly accomplish this as a self-guided day excursion. If you require transportation, some excursions include transportation, lunch, and national park admission.

Sloths and the Rainforest 

On this one-day rainforest excursion in Bijagua, hike into the primary rainforest and look for sloths. This is ideal for individuals staying in these fantastic beaches of Costa Rica, for the duration of their holiday and who want to see something new. You will be able to view sloths and experience the primary rainforest!

Nesting turtles

The best months to witness turtle nesting in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, about 2 hours one way from the listed beaches, are May through December.

You must go with a guide and make a reservation to see the Ostional Wildlife Refuge.

Leatherback Turtle | Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Leatherback Turtle

Volcanoes, volcanoes

From these amazing beaches you can actually get to three different volcanoes and their national parks: Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles and Arenal. All of them offer one day trips and each one is pretty different from the other.

For me, the most amazing is Rincon de la Vieja, which reunites not only several different ecosystems in one small place, but included in these amazing forests, you can witness the fantastic volcanic activity.


Rincon de la Vieja Volcano | Best beaches in Costa Rica
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

One-day adventure trip at Hacienda Guachipelin 

Hacienda Guachipelin is almost at the entrance of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, they offer an amazing full-day tour that combines adventure, excitement, and relaxation. With choices like ziplining, horseback riding, lunch, white water tubing, hot springs, and mud baths. You can also choose to go to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and enjoy a couple of activities in Guachipelin afterwards. 

The park is around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Potrero, Conchal, Flamingo and Tamarindo Beaches. And you can drive alone or take a trip if you do not have transportation.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano | Best beaches in Costa Rica
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Beach-hopping boat ride 

In the area, there are several possibilities to hire a boat to go beach hopping. And there are so many secluded and remote beaches that this is worth it.

If you rent a car, this is an excellent possibility for a great day in the sun.

You can also head south to lesser-known beaches like Playa San Juanillo and Playa Junquillal and even travel further south to Nosara or further north to La Cruz to visit beaches such as Playa Rajada.

Whatever the case may be, you’ll find a gorgeous beach to throw a blanket on and relax.

Activities for Children in the best beaches in Costa Rica. 


Near these beaches there are several choices for children to enjoy:  Bolas Locas, Tamarindo’s mini-golf course, an estuary boat trip, surf instruction, boogie boarding, Reina’s Chocolate Tour, and art classes at Paint Club are among the favorite things.


To wrap it up, 

Among the beaches in Costa Rica, these are the fantastic four!  I hope this post helped you take a choice, if however you have any doubts, you can send me an email to writer@olgasaenz.com and I might be able to clear some doubts and answer some questions.