Best Beach Towns to Live in Costa Rica

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Known for its varied topography, Costa Rica is a beach lover’s paradise with world-class beaches and quaint seaside communities on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The information shared below is meant to inspire travel to the many beach settlements across this country, each telling a different tale of tropical delights and vibrant local culture.

Beach towns in Costa Rica provide a variety of experiences, from the exhilaration of surfing on Pacific waves to the peace of little coves and the lively atmosphere of coastal cities. Accompany us on a tour through the best beach towns to live in Costa Rica, where vibrant rainforests blend with the beat of the waves, and the ever-present Pura Vida philosophy promises an amazing blend of natural splendor and cultural diversity.

Beach Towns in Guanacaste

An aerial view of a coastal town nestled in a cove with a crescent-shaped beach.
Guanacaste is a gateway to Costa Rica’s finest beaches, offering a harmonious mix of tranquility, community spirit, and the “pura vida” lifestyle.

Guanacaste, located on the golden Pacific coast, offers a variety of beach towns that encompass some of Costa Rica’s best beaches, unique blends of tranquility, community, and pura vida spirit. With easy access through its international airport in the town of Liberia, visitors and residents can enjoy the tropical sun and welcoming communities found in the Guanacaste region, making it a perfect destination for beachside living.



Tamarindo, situated on the Pacific coast of Guanacaste, is one of the most famous surf towns in the area, offering perfect sunsets and a vibrant coastal lifestyle. This beautiful beach town is an appealing place to live for those who love world-class waves, a thriving expat community, and a laid-back atmosphere coupled with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Tamarindo’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices further enhances its allure, providing a holistic and conscious lifestyle that extends beyond the typical tourist experience.


Coco Beach

An aerial view of a beach town in Costa Rica, showcasing a vibrant community with rows of houses topped with red-tiled roofs, interspersed with lush greenery.
Coco Beach has transformed from a serene fishing village into a vibrant community, providing a mix of Costa Rican tradition and modern amenities.

Once a quaint fishing village, Coco Beach, or Playa del Coco, has evolved into a lively and diverse community that you wouldn’t want to miss. Situated in a horseshoe-shaped bay, Coco Beach offers a unique blend of traditional Costa Rican culture and modern conveniences. The town’s vibrant nightlife, local markets, and proximity to national parks make it an exciting place to visit and live.



Nosara, located on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, is a haven for nature lovers and wellness enthusiasts. Nosara is recognized for its consistent surf, lush jungles, and thriving yoga culture that attracts individuals seeking a holistic and balanced lifestyle. The town’s commitment to sustainability, yoga studios, wellness retreats, and organic markets contribute to a community focused on well-being. Residents of Nosara enjoy an active lifestyle and a sense of belonging in a community that values health, making it an ideal spot for those prioritizing physical and mental wellness.


Playa Flamingo

An aerial view of Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica, displays a lush peninsula with a mix of natural foliage and developed properties. The area features a combination of residential buildings with terracotta roofs, lush trees, and a curving shoreline edged by the clear turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Playa Flamingo in Guanacaste’s Gold Coast caters to those seeking comfort and high-end living by the sea.

For people inclined towards a more upscale coastal living experience, Playa Flamingo on the Gold Coast of Guanacaste is the place to be. Known for its pristine white-sand beaches and upscale amenities, Playa Flamingo attracts individuals seeking tranquility without compromising comfort. The town’s marina, high-end residences, and gourmet dining options create an atmosphere of exclusivity, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate the finer things in life and desire a luxurious beachside lifestyle.



Samara, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, is a hidden gem characterized by its long sandy beach and a laid-back atmosphere. What sets Samara apart is its genuine Costa Rican charm and a sense of community that goes beyond the surface. The town is perfect for those who seek a slower pace of life, surrounded by nature and a welcoming local population. Samara’s blend of authenticity and tranquility makes it a great choice for those looking to truly immerse themselves in the Costa Rican way of life.


Las Catalinas

An aerial view of Las Catalinas in Costa Rica, capturing the architectural charm of a coastal town with white buildings and terracotta roofs, nestled on the slopes of a lush hillside. The town overlooks a serene bay with gentle waves meeting the rocky shore. In the distance, the calm Pacific Ocean extends to the horizon, dotted with several small islands.
Las Catalinas entices with pristine beaches and diverse outdoor activities for both thrill-seekers and those seeking relaxation.

The captivating beach town of Las Catalinas allures visitors with its seamlessly crafted blend of coastal beauty and thoughtful urban design. This pedestrian-friendly enclave, nestled between tropical dry forests and the Pacific Sea, offers a unique experience where vibrant architecture coexists harmoniously with nature. Boasting pristine beaches, inviting cobblestone streets, and a plethora of outdoor activities, from water sports to hiking trails and horseback riding, Las Catalinas caters to both adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts.

Beach Towns in Other Provinces

An aerial view of a vibrant beach town situated along the lush coast of Costa Rica. The town is a tapestry of colorful buildings, with a central street leading straight through the heart of the community toward the forested hills in the background.
Discover Costa Rica’s coastal gems outside of Guanacaste.

Explore the coastal treasures of Costa Rica beyond the renowned Guanacaste province, where each beach town tells a unique story of sun-soaked splendor and cultural richness.


Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio, a picturesque beach town nestled along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas, is a tropical paradise that seamlessly blends lush rainforests with pristine sandy shores. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, this little town is home to the renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, a lush haven teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Visitors to this idyllic destination can explore dense jungles and encounter exotic species like capuchin monkeys, sloths, vibrant tropical birds, and much more. The town itself exudes a laid-back charm, with a relaxed atmosphere that invites travelers to unwind and savor the pura vida lifestyle.


Jaco Beach 

An aerial view of Jacó Beach in Costa Rica, featuring a long stretch of sandy shoreline with waves from the Pacific Ocean gently breaking on the beach. The coastal town is densely packed with a mix of residential and commercial buildings.
Jacó is a dynamic hub on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, known for its excellent beaches, easy access from San Jose and its airport, and bustling atmosphere with renowned surfing.

Jacó is a vibrant area of Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast that draws visitors with its beautiful beaches, convenient access from San Jose in the Central Valley and its Juan Santamaria International Airport (about 88 km or 54,6 miles), and a lively vibe. Jaco is another well-known surf town with a lively nightlife for those who want to unwind after a day of touring. A wide range of eateries, shops, and entertainment venues line the busy streets of Jacó, offering visitors many experiences. Jacó is an adaptable location in Puntarenas province that perfectly captures the essence of Costa Rica’s coastal splendor.


Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Situated on the vibrant Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Limon, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca entices tourists with its Afro-Caribbean charm, verdant tropical surroundings, and a carefree vibe that embodies the Pura Vida way of life. This charming small beach town has lively streets, a vibe filled with reggae, and unspoiled beaches surrounded by lovely coconut trees. Puerto Viejo is more than just a place to visit; it’s a cultural mosaic where visitors may discover indigenous villages, savor Caribbean food, experience exhilarating surfing and diving in pristine waters, and fully immerse themselves in native rhythms.

Book Your Beachfront Vacation

A view from a beachfront villa's shaded patio, looking out towards a picturesque tropical beach.
Costa Rica’s diverse beach towns offer unique charm and a true sense of community for an authentic pura vida lifestyle.

Costa Rica offers an extraordinary array of beach towns on both coasts, each with its unique charm and appeal. Beyond the allure of tourist destinations, these towns in Costa Rica provide a genuine living experience, fostering a sense of community, embracing the pura vida lifestyle, and offering a coastal paradise for those ready to call this green country a home. If you want to find the best vacation rentals or properties for sale in any of these amazing beach towns in Costa Rica, click here and let us assist you.

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