Costa Rica's Pacific Coast
World-class beaches and surfing, tropical forests and luxury accommodation
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is very different from its Caribbean counterpart in both looks and atmosphere.
To the north, in Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula, you find rugged and beautiful shorelines with some great beaches, while the surrounding land comprises fields and tropical dry forest. Further south the landscape is different, with lush, jungle-clad mountains dropping dramatically to meet the ocean on deserted beaches.
The Pacific coast is renowned for its world-class surfing, dramatic ocean views and opportunities for other marine activities such as fishing and yachting – not forgetting swimming or just chilling out on the beach.
Manuel Antonio, in the middle of the coast, is one of the most popular destinations. The National Park includes both a forest and marine reserve, which includes a dozen islands and coral reefs. There are some well-known beaches here, perhaps the best of which is Palay Espadilla Sur.
Guanacaste, in the north, is the driest part of Costa Rica. The sun shines nearly almost every day and the wet season is much shorter than in the rest of the country. Historically, the people from this part of the country have different roots and this is reflected in a distinctly different culture and cuisine.
Liberia International Airport provides convenient access to this part of the country, and in addition to the sea and beach life, there are a range of land-based activities including great zip lining and canyoning at Rio Perdido along with hiking, mountain biking or quad biking. And for keen golfers, there are a number of golf courses in the province.
Guanacaste is also home to the upmarket Papagayo Peninsula, where there are two high-end hotels and some swanky villas for rent.
Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park
One of the most impressive nature reserves is the 43,000-hectare Corcovado National Park, on the Osa Peninsular. Osa is a real biodiversity hotspot, being home to some 750 species of tress (more than in all of the northern temperate regions of the world combined) and almost half of Costa Rica’s bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species
This extremely rich habitat comprises pristine rainforest, swampland, rivers, lagoons, marshes and beaches and supports a very complex ecosystem and is teeming with wildlife. It is home to all four of Costa Rica’s monkey species, and is a good place to spot wild cats such as margays, ocelots, pumas – and maybe even the elusive jaguar. The action is not all in the forest either: at certain times of year you can see whales and dolphins entering and cavortinig in the Golfo Dulce.
This is one of the more remote corners in Costa Rica and we recommend staying at either Lapa Rios or Casa Corcovado, both of which provide relatively easy access to the park and expert naturalist guides.
To discover more about Guanacaste, Osa and Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and the broad variety of experiences it offers give us a call or send us a message.
Places we love to stay
The Four Seasons is the epitome of style and class and has a fabulous location on the Papagayo PeninsularView details about Four Seasons
The Andaz Papagayo is a top notch hotel with two beaches and full facilities in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.View details about Andaz Papagayo
The Rio Perdido is a hideaway resort and spa with thermal pools and great adventure activities.View details about Rio Perdido
Kura Design Villas
The Kura Design Villas are the perfect romantic hideaway in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.View details about Kura Design Villas
Lapa Rios Eco-Lodge
Lapa Rios is a delightful eco-lodge with a natural feel set overlooking the Pacific Ocean.View details about Lapa Rios Eco-Lodge
Arenas del Mar
Arenas del Mar is our top beachfront pick at the popular Manuel Antonio National ParkView details about Arenas del Mar
Latitude 10 is an exclusive beachfront hideaway on Costa Rica's Pacific coast.View details about Latitude 10
Casa Corcovado is the closest hotel to the Corcovado National Park and offers a fabulous nature experienceView details about Casa Corcovado