Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica Beaches

Sisters enjoying Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica; (c) Soul Of America

Costa Rica Beaches

Surprisingly, the best way to explore Tortuguero National Park (tortuguero means turtle catcher”) and Beach is on the northeast side of Costa Rica is via boat, where the confluence of freshwater and that of the Caribbean Sea have created a plethora of fascinating lagoons, beaches, wetlands and canals. It is here that people come in droves to witness the nesting. If you’re lucky, you can see the hatching of Green Sea, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles, which takes place all along the beach areas.

This is just the beginning of the wealth of parks, reserves and refuges dotted all around Costa Rica. Each of these jewels has survived so well, in large part because of their natural characteristics. But equal credit should be bestowed upon Costa Rican’s steadfast efforts to maintain and preserve these national treasures for generations to follow. This passionate undertaking has earned Costa Rica a well-deserved distinction as one of global the leaders in eco-travel, wildlife preservation and sustainable tourism initiatives.

Tortuguero National Park
For something a little different and a little off the beaten path, visitors may want to head to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast. This area, accessible only by boat or plane, is one of the wettest areas in the country and offers something different than the rest of Costa Rica. The park is an important breeding ground for the green sea turtle and as a result, turtle watching is the main activity here. While there are many beaches, the coastal area is not suitable for swimming as the surf and currents are rough and strong. Sharks are common. Hundreds and even thousands of green and leatherback turtles can be viewed (guides are necessary) nesting and laying eggs on the beaches overnight. Recent conservation efforts have increased the number of turtles nesting in the area.

Dominical
Is one of the best places in Costa Rica for surfing. Surfers who come here find it hard to leave, and visits often turn into extended stays.

Jaco Beach
This beachfront city provides the comforts and amenities of a larger town. The beach here is spacious and pleasant by Costa Rican standards. The surfing and swimming here are both very good, with smaller waves than other areas along the coast. What Jaco does have that sets it apart from the numerous coastal towns along this stretch of the Pacific is modern apartments and stores, a strong selection of good restaurants and hotels, and other modern conveniences that have made it a popular choice with expats and retirees.

Mal Pais and Santa Teresa
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula along the coast known for great waves that attract surfers from around the world. The town of Santa Teresa is the main hotspot in the area, however a chain of villages and beaches lie along the Mal Pais, including the villages of Mal Pais and Manzanillo. The area has a trendy a mix of surfers and trekkers who always try to renew their visas. Tourists often plan longer vacations after staying a week. Development in the area has turned it more upscale.

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