Guide to the Best Beaches Near Tamarindo, Costa Rica
When people travel to Costa Rica, they can be overwhelmed with all of the great places to visit, and wondering what is realistic to see and do near where they are staying. Costa Rica is a small country, but travel times can be much longer than one thinks. If you’re coming to our area of Guanacaste, in our opinion these are the best beaches near Tamarindo, Costa Rica that you will enjoy visiting during your stay.
There are so many types of beaches in the world; beaches for surfing, beaches for swimming, white sand, dark sand, beaches with watersports, isolated private beaches, beaches with snorkeling, good for walking, sea-shelling, etc. etc. etc. These beaches listed below, in our opinion, are the best beaches near Tamarindo, Costa Rica. These are those nearby enough, and worthwhile visiting if you’re staying in this part of the country, each a different experience to the others.
Langosta Beach – This is personally our favorite beach. It’s a beautiful white sand and long beach, great for taking walks, sea-shelling, jogging and also going in the water. You can go in the water for at least 100 yards and still see your feet! Langosta Beach feels like a private beach (even though in Costa Rica all beaches are public), due to Hacienda Pinilla owning the property surrounding the beach access. Sunsets at Langosta Beach are to-die-for! This is truly a hidden gem in Costa Rica!
When you use the entrance within Hacienda Pinilla, you will have access to some lounge chairs with cabanas, a rustic restroom, and not much else. On a good day, we see no other people at this section of the beach, and have the place to ourselves. One of the reasons Playa Langosta is one of the best beaches near Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
Avellanas Beach – Playa Avellanas is another great white-sand beach for walking, shelling, jogging, swimming, and especially surfing. There are some world-class surf breaks at Avellanas, as well as areas and times of day with tamer waves for beginner surfers or boogey boarders. You can enter the beach from the Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club, and also public access points like the one near world-famous Lola’s – in our opinion the best spot on the beach. Here you can sit in the shade of palm trees with a local Costa Rican beer and some great food and watch great surfing, take a lesson, participate in a sunset pickup beach soccer game, or lounge in a hammock. I could easily spend the day here, or just come for sunset. This is a can’t-miss when you’re in the Tamarindo area of Costa Rica. Lola’s is a 15 minute walk for those fit enough, from the Beach Club. Note at high tide you may have to wade/swim across the estuary. Restrooms within Beach Club and Lola’s for customers. Playa Avellanas is definitely one of the best beaches near Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
Tamarindo Beach – Tamarindo Beach is one of Costa Rica’s (and Latin America’s) most popular beaches. It is the biggest beach town in the area, and it’s an ideal beach for surfing, swimming and people watching. There is not much shade, or dry spots to put a towel in the sand, so it’s not great for sunbathing. You can rent lounge chairs with umbrellas by the hour/day. Restrooms are nearby in shops and restaurants.
The strip is full of restaurants, bars, and various other hang-outs, there’s always a lot of action at the Tamarindo strip for those who enjoy the party atmosphere. One of the major ex pat communities in Costa Rica is also located in Tamarindo and its surroundings. The beach itself is beautiful, but always filled with people. The beach is long and wide, with grayish white sand, and ideal for surfing, for both beginners and advanced. If you want a beach packed with action and food and shopping on the beach, Tamarindo is your spot. Sunsets in Tamarindo Beach (as in Langosta), are spectacular, especially during the Costa Rican summer.
Conchal Beach – Located about a 15 minute drive north of Pura Vida House, Conchal is worth the drive. This beach is spectacular, it’s the type of beach that you see in commercials on TV, a turquoise water cove-like beach.
Conceal means shell, and though not great for sea-shelling, the white sand is made up of rougher crushed shells. The north end is noticeably courser, then as you walk south, it gets softer, and the steeper incline of the beach levels off.
Conchal is ideal for snorkeling, ocean kayaking, and fishing for lobsters. One of the locals usually takes us on a “panga” (a small boat), to fish for lobsters close to shore. When we are lucky, we come back with a great dinner for the night! The sand is deeper, but for those fit enough, Conchal is also great for a very scenic walk on the beach. It’s usually not too crowded, but there are always enough people around that there is a permanent “pop up” restaurant grilling out fresh seafood on the beach.
There is no surfing as waves break very close to shore, but it’s made up for it with snorkeling near the rocks located on its northern end. Also very close to the Catalina Islands, you can see them from the shore at Conchal. The Catalina Islands are a great spot to visit for great ocean fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Conchal Beach holds a special place in our hearts since this is the beach where Stephanie and I got married 3 years ago. Our ceremony was on the beach itself, and the reception at The Westin Playa Conchal. It is definitely worth a visit, and one of the best beaches near Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Seeking a Getaway to the Golden Coast? Starting in September, Costa Rica is re-opening its borders to several US states.