Many people consider the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica the best coast to visit. Typically, the stunning beaches of the remote Osa Peninsula, the monkey-filled jungle of Manuel Antonio, or perhaps the touristy Nicoya Peninsula have captured their attention.
Yet, the Caribbean side offers a unique charm. While it might be a bit rainy, it’s no less beautiful and has many lovely sites to discover. Let’s see what makes the Caribbean side of Costa Rica worth exploring.
Explore Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast Popular Beach Destinations
Each beach town along the beautiful Caribbean coastline has a distinct character. Here, pristine beaches surround you, natural beauty abounds, and laid-back vibes rule the people’s lifestyles.
See why these enchanting shores make Costa Rica’s Caribbean side a tropical paradise like no other:
Tortuguero, often referred to as the Costa Rican version of the Amazon rainforest, dominates the north Caribbean coast. This vast area is a network of rivers and canals weaving through the jungle.
Although the beaches are beautiful, they have consistent rain, so a full day of sunshine is rare. Also, sea currents tend to be strong, with toothy barracudas and sharks roaming the waters.
Despite this, there are compelling reasons to visit:
- The primary attraction is Tortuguero National Park, where you can witness sea turtles nesting along the shoreline. This sanctuary is dedicated to protecting nesting beaches for four sea turtle species and other significant populations of endangered species. The best time to witness this is in April and May.
- There are many canal cruises in Tortuguero that you can explore by canoe, kayak, or electric motorboat and see its abundant wildlife, mainly birds.
- You can also hike the El Jaguar terrestrial trail, which runs 1.55 miles (2.5 km) parallel to Tortuguero National Park’s beach. During the spawning season, you can view turtle footprints and nests. You’ll also see hawks, monkeys, peacocks, dragonflies, and butterflies.
Tortuguero offers a remote and off-the-beaten-path experience for those looking for an unconventional adventure in Central America, despite the five-hour drive from San Jose and the necessity of bringing supplies in by boat.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
You’ll discover fantastic surf spots, lively crowds, deep-sea diving, and lively parties along the Caribbean coast toward Panama. The Puerto Viejo area is the region’s main hub, attracting backpackers with its surfer lifestyle and vibrant party scene.
Puerto Viejo town is a lively seaside destination with a distinct Afro-Caribbean culture. The town is small and easy to explore, with plenty of beaches and dining options. From local ‘sodas’ offering affordable Tico (Costa Rican) food to excellent Western spots serving delicious baked goods, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
As you wander the streets, reggae tunes will surround you, showcasing the town’s Caribbean influence, where Caribbeanites outnumber Spaniards in Puerto Viejo.
Near Puerto Viejo, there is another town worth seeing: Cahuita. Tucked beside the breathtaking Cahuita National Park, just an hour north of Puerto Viejo, Cahuita is the perfect spot to unwind. Although it sometimes has a lively bar scene, most folks prefer to relax with a good book after a day of hiking, swimming, or surfing.
Only 12 kilometers from Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo is an easily accessible destination, perfect for a day trip. Following the scenic beach, you can walk here from Puerto Viejo in about two hours.
The town, even smaller than Cahuita, offers a tranquil and less crowded atmosphere, making it a beautiful, secluded getaway. It’s a favored destination for older couples, families, and retirees seeking a peaceful retreat.
Additionally, Manzanillo boasts a reef system close to the shore, establishing itself as the area’s main diving spot.
Plan Your Trip to a Secluded Paradise!
Ready to live the tropical getaway of your dreams? Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast offers pristine beaches, delicious seafood, and abundant wildlife.
Considering it rains a bit more often, you’ll find far fewer people on this side of this paradisiacal destination. So, if you’re looking to enjoy some time to reflect away from crowds or the hassle of cities, this is the perfect place.
As scuba diving and snorkeling experts, we know Costa Rican beaches are indeed a paradise. While you’re relaxing on the Caribbean coast, take the time to check out our scuba diving packages in Costa Rica!
Our agents can set up the all-inclusive or à la carte vacation package and itinerary you want throughout the country. We’ll save you money and lots of time, ensuring you get the vacation you desire. For more information on our services, contact Bill Beard’s Costa Rica!
We invite you to see customers’ comments on TripAdvisor here!
Get in Touch with Bill Beard’s Costa Rica:
- Direct: 954-453-5044
- FAX: 321-400-1404
- Toll-free: 877-853-0538
- Office Hours: 8-6 CST M-F & Sat 9-5 CST
- Bill Beard Costa Rica LOCAL number 2479-7089 from 9-5 PM when you are in Costa Rica.
- Email anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for our Latest Newsletter & Adventure Travel Deals