Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Blue Flag Program

This blue flag program evaluates the beaches in Costa Rica with a strict criteria. The beaches are assessed on water quality of the ocean & drinking water, waste disposal, sanitary facilities, tourist safety & displayed signs.. Beaches receiving 90% or more receive a blue flag which is displayed at the beach. They are then monitored on a monthly basis.

Winning Beaches from the Blue Flag Program:

(courtesy of Costa Rica Institute of Tourism)

Guanacaste Beaches:

  • Area Conserv. Bahia Junquillal
  • Monte de Barco
  • Hermosa
  • Octal
  • Pan de Azucar
  • Penca
  • Cochal
  • Grande
  • Tamarindo
  • Samara
  • Carrillo
  • Punta Islita
  • Laangosta
  • Junquillal

Limon Beaches:

  • Blanca (Cahuita)
  • Negra (Cahuita)
  • Puerto Vargas (Cahuita)
  • Cocles
  • Chiquita
  • Uva

Puntarenas Beaches:

Puntarenas

  • Isla Tortuga
  • El Roble
  • Aguijas
  • Limoncito
  • Mantas (Punta Leona)
  • Blanca (Punta Leona)
  • Esterillos Oeste
  • Bejuco
  • La Macha (Tulemar)
  • Espadilla Sur
  • Blanca
  • Gemelas
  • Pto Escondido
  • Ballena
  • Zancudo

Best Hidden Beach in Costa Rica

(James Kaiser picks)

  • Playa Arcos (near Marino Ballena National park)
  • Playa Ventanas (Ojochal)
  • Playa Barrigona (near Samana)
  • Playa Carrillo (Playa Samana)
  • Uvita (known as the whales tail)
  • Cahuita (near Cahuita National Park)
  • Isla de Cano (Osa Peninsula)
  • Playa Cocalito (near Drake Bay)
  • Papagayo Peninsula (Playa Blanca & Playa Virador)
  • Islas tortugas (Nicoyal Peninsula)
  • Playa Matapolo
  • Playa Grande
  • Punta Uva (west of Punta Uva)
  • Esterillos (between Jaco & Manuel Antonio)
  • Ostinal (north of Nosara)
  • Playa Biesanz (Punta Quepos)

Best Beaches Costa Rica

Map courtesy of Essential Costa Rica