Costa Rica South Pacific Beaches: One of the wildest areas in the country, with dramatic coastal scenery as deserted beaches
This beach’s big waves are ideal for surfing. The place is also popular with campers, with facilities available. Tours and excursions can be taken from Dominical to neighboring places of great scenic beauty, such as the Nauyaca waterfalls and nearby hills offering spectacular views of the entire coastal area. Dominical offers a variety of tourism services and shops.
One of the most stunning beaches on the Southern Pacific coast, Uvita features moderate surf safe for swimming, as well as estuaries and mangrove swamps, especially at its north end. South of the Quebrada Villegas estuary is a lovely line of coconut palms. Near the south end of the beach is Quebrada Colonia. This beach is ideal for walking and horseback riding, as well as observing the marine life around Punta Uvita.
Rich in marine life, this tongue, or tombolo, features a reef that shelters it from dangerous currents and strong surf, making it a perfect place to swim and cool off in its waters. It’s also a popular spot among divers.
UVITA MANGROVE SWAMP
Located behind Punta Uvita, this mangrove swamp is rich in typical coastal flora and is home to several species of seabird, including the little blue heron, the white ibis and the osprey
Accessible only by boat or panga, this island is an extraordinary place for diving and observing the variety of marine species.
Featuring little surf and fine sand, this beach is set in a breathtaking coastal landscape that includes Isla Ballena less than three kilometers offshore. Playa Ballena, along with Isla Ballena and Rocas Tres Hermanas, make up part of Ballena National Marine Park, which stretches from Punta Uvita to Punta Piñuela. The park’s waters are visited by humpback whales every year from August to October and from December to April.
A beautiful, small cove with moderate surf, Piñuela is great for swimming, especially at its south end. Behind the beach is a steep, mountainous slope covered with greenery. A small promontory lies north of the beach, close to which the Quebrada Piñuela empties into the sea. Isla Ballena may be viewed from here.
Though small, this beach is surrounded by lovely scenery. Ventanas (“Windows”) gets its name from the rocky promontory at its north end featuring holes in the rock that can be explored at low tide.PLAYA DRAKE
This beach is made up of highly scenic rocky areas and coves. Frequent rains nourish a very wet tropical forest rich in biodiversity. Many sport-fishing and diving tours to Isla del Caño depart from Drake, as well as tours to Corcovado National Park. Visitors can hike or horseback ride to nearby attractions. Every February, the landing of pirate Sir Francis Drake at this spot is commemorated with official and local celebrations.PLAYA CACAO
Though Playa Cacao is located just two kilometers from Golfito, the best way to get here is by boat (panga). Little surf makes it a very safe place to swim. Green with plant life, Cacao is a great place for walking around and observing the flora and fauna. The town of Golfito can be seen from the beach.
A long beach with fine sand and moderate surf, Zancudo features a lovely estuary and plenty of coconut palms and tropical greenery. It’s a great place for swimming, sunbathing and walking, as well as other recreational and sporting activities. Sport-fishing and whale- and dolphin-watching tours are offered.
A large, pleasant beach featuring coastal vegetation, mangrove swamps and the mouth of the Río Platanares, this is an excellent place for sunbathing and enjoying the ocean. Stretching south from Punta Arenitas, Platanares is very popular with the residents of Puerto Jiménez, as well as the tourists who come here on their way to Corcovado and other destinations on the Osa Peninsula.
Located two kilometers form the village of La Palma, this beach features moderate surf and is popular with the village’s residents. Set on Golfo Dulce and surrounded by mountains perennially clothed in green, Playa Blanca is a lovely spot..
This rocky stretch of coast offers beautiful scenery, thanks to its luxuriant plant life and small bays ideal for swimming. Set on a small cove, Pavones’ main attraction is its open ocean surf, which forms the world-famous long left wave that draws many surfers to this beautiful and remote spot. To the south, horseback rides and long walks to the least explored stretch of coast in Costa Rica may be enjoyed.PIEDRAS BLANCAS NATIONAL PARK
Along with Corcovado National Park and the Golfo Dulce Forest Preserve, Piedras Blancas forms an important biological corridor that, aside from being rich in itself, protects the great diversity of plant and wildlife species inhabiting Golfo Dulce. Visitor services include only trails and natural viewpoints.
ISLA DEL CAÑO BIOLOGICAL PRESERVE
This preserve protects very important marine environments, particularly large coral reefs rich with life. The reefs are home to a variety of fish species, invertebrates, algae and mammals such as dolphins and whales. The island has great archeological importance as well; in pre-Columbian times it was used as an indigenous burial ground, traces of which still remain. Visitor services include trails, viewpoints, an archeological site and dive sites.