Playas del Coco

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Playas del Coco, Costa Rica, called “El Coco” by the locals, is one of the most popular beaches along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast for both Costa Ricans and international visitors. If you’re planning to visit Playas del Coco and Downtown Coco during your trip to Costa Rica, follow this guide to discover all the best hotels and vacation rentals, beach activities, restaurants, souvenir shops, and other things to do at Coco Beach!

Playas del Coco Facts


Map of Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Beach Details

Playas del Coco Costa Rica: Beach Details

Coco Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations on the Pacific Coast. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this sought-after destination in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province.
Terrain at Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco is a dark sand beach with generally calm waters due to its location on the Gulf of Papagayo. It’s also known for its gorgeous sunsets!

While the calm waters make Coco Beach an ideal destination for swimming, boating, and fishing, it’s not a perfect destination for surfing, so if you want to take a surf lesson, you’ll need to head to one of the beaches an hour south on the Pacific Coast, like Playa Grande or Playa Tamarindo, or north to Witch’s Rock.

Weather Conditions at Playas del Coco

Just like the rest of Costa Rica, Playas del Coco has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. High temperatures range from 87°F to 96° F. The dry season is characterized by warmer temperatures and minimal rain, while the rainy season has cooler temperatures and heavier rain.

The dry season lasts from December to April, and the rainy season lasts from May to November. Typically, the dry season is considered the best time to visit if you would like favorable weather and sunny beach days, but the shoulder season, May and November, is a great time to visit for lower prices when the rain is calmer. If you’re visiting Playas del Coco on a budget, it’s best to visit from June to October.

Conditions at Playas del Coco

As we mentioned earlier, Playa del Coco is located along the Gulf of Papagayo on the Pacific Coast, along with other favorite beaches, like Ocotal Beach and Hermosa Beach.

Coco Beach itself is situated along Coco Bay, so the beach doesn’t see many big waves. Because of this, Playas del Coco is an excellent destination for boating, swimming, snorkeling, and hanging out on the beach, but it’s not a great spot for surfing.

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Best Things to Do at Playas del Coco

Whether you’re planning to explore Playas del Coco on a quick day trip or for a week-long dream vacation, check out the following activities on and beyond Coco Beach to make your trip to Playa del Coco memorable.

Diamante Eco-Adventure Park

Diamante Eco-Adventure Park is a popular theme park that’s just a short drive from Coco Beach. The cost for the Diamante Adventure Pass per adult is $118  and $95 per child. The activities include a zipline course (featuring the longest dual-line zipline in the country!), access to Diamante’s Animal Sanctuary and Botanical Garden, and snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding at Hammock Beach.

Horseback Riding
If you want to ride horseback on the beach or in the jungle, Playas del Coco is the perfect destination. You can drive a short distance to The Monkey Farm for horseback riding or find a local vendor in Downtown Coco, like Guana Adventures or Marvin’s Tours, who can set up a horseback adventure in Costa Rica for you.
Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, and it’s only a 38-mile drive from Playas del Cocos. While here, you can adventure on spectacular hiking trails, marvel at gorgeous waterfalls, relax in volcanic hot springs or mud baths, and enjoy the park’s stunning natural beauty.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is one of the top activities in Playas del Coco. You can join boat tours from local dive shops, like Marlin del Rey or Kuna Vela, that will take you to excellent scuba diving spots, like the Bat Islands or Catalina Islands. You can see rich marine life at the Bat Islands, like manta rays, bull sharks, and snappers.

Playas del Coco is also a fantastic snorkeling destination to see marine wildlife. If you’d like to see wildlife without getting into the water, you can head south to Playa Grande, where you can come face-to-face with leatherback sea turtles while you’re nesting on the beach.

Sport Fishing
Playas del Coco may be a popular tourist destination, but at the core, this town is a small fishing village. So naturally, sport fishing is one of the most popular activities you can enjoy while visiting Playas del Coco! In this fishing village, you can catch red snapper, mahi-mahi, sailfish, and other types of fish.
Safety at Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco is considered one of the safest beach towns in Costa Rica. It has a notable ex-pat, tourist, and digital nomad community, so plenty of people are around at all times of the day.

However, like when traveling anywhere in Costa Rica, use common sense. Don’t flash expensive items or jewelry, keep valuables tucked away in a safe at your hotel or vacation rental, and always have a buddy when you’re walking around at night.

Getting to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco is one of the most accessible beaches from an international airport in the entire country. If you fly into the Liberia International Airport, it will usually take less than 30 minutes to arrive in Playas del Coco!

Here are the distances you will need to travel to get to Playas del Coco from these popular destinations in Costa Rica:

  • Liberia Airport: 17 miles (26 km)
  • San Jose Airport: 142 miles (227 km)
  • Tamarindo Beach: 33 miles (52 km)
  • Manuel Antonio National Park: 183 miles (293 km)
  • Arenal Volcano National Park: 102 miles (164 km)
Beach Town

El Coco Beach Town

Downtown Coco, nicknamed “El Coco” by the locals, is a popular destination for dining, nightlife, and shopping for both Costa Ricans and international visitors.

The Playas del Coco area is perfect for you if you’re looking for a fun atmosphere where you’ll have plenty to do while still getting in touch with the Costa Rican culture. These are the best restaurants, nightlife venues, vacation rentals, and other can’t-miss spots in El Coco:

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Coco Restaurants
From fine dining establishments to laid-back beachfront dining, the main street of Coco Beach is filled with tons of unique local restaurants. These are just a few of the most popular places to eat in Coco:
Soda La Teresita
Soda Teresita is a “soda” (or local restaurant) located just off the beach in Coco. They serve local Costa Rican favorites, like Casado Con Pescado, Casado Con Carne, and Arroz Con Pollo, at affordable prices. If you are looking for a great place to enjoy local fare during your trip to Playas del Coco, Soda Teresita is an excellent place to stop for lunch or dinner!
Villa Italia Restaurante

If you are craving Italian food during your trip to Playas del Coco, head to Villa Italia for a meal with a high-end feel and reasonable prices. They serve handmade pasta, like Gnocchi Alla Bolognese and Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, and savory meats, like chicken and tenderloin. They also have a list of wine, beer, and spirits to enjoy with your dinner.

Villa Italia also has a breakfast menu featuring pancakes, yogurt, coffee, and other breakfast favorites. They are closed on Monday but open for breakfast from 8 am to 2 pm and dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm every other day.

The Lookout Restaurant

The Lookout Restaurant is a fabulous upscale restaurant in Playas del Coco with amazing views and equally fantastic food. They boast the freshest seafood from Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean but also serve other items like burgers and sandwiches. You can also order a cocktail at The Lookout Restaurant, like the Coco Loco or Spicy Ginger Margarita.

The Lookout Restaurant is closed on Tuesday but is open from 12 pm to 8 pm every other day of the week. They’re only open during peak or shoulder season, so if you’re here during this time, be sure to book a reservation!

Nightlife in Coco
Coco Beach is one of the top destinations for nightlife in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for some of the best places for a late-night hangout, don’t miss the following venues:
Coconutz Brewhouse

Coconutz Brewhouse is a popular sports bar, microbrewery, and live music venue in Coco Beach. They serve yummy bar food, like pizza, pub bites, and seafood, and even have a vegan menu. However, Coconutz Brewhouse is known for its selection of craft beer, including the Lazy Hazy IPA, Pipa Porter, Hammerhead Lager, and other types of beer to satisfy every palette. They even have a Coconutz Root Beer as a nonalcoholic option!

Coconutz Brewhouse is open daily from 11 am to 11:30 pm, so you can stop here for lunch, an afternoon beer, dinner, or a late-night snack.

Zi Lounge

Zi Lounge is arguably one of the best places to dance, listen to live music, and grab drinks in Costa Rica. They also have an enormous food menu, with items like pizza, burgers, salads, sandwiches, nachos, pasta, tacos, and many more. You name it—Zi Lounge serves it! Plus, they’re open from 11 am to 2:30 am daily, so whenever you desire a drink or snack in Playas del Coco, you can rest assured they’ll be open!

Zi Lounge is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its daily happy hour from 11 am to 7 pm. They serve national beers, margaritas, and mixed drinks for $2.50 each and pina coladas, daiquiris, frozen margaritas, mojitos, wines, and martinis for $4.50 each. If you’re looking for a cheap place to grab a refreshing drink, Zi Lounge is the perfect place to stop.

Shopping in Coco

Whether you need to buy some groceries for your vacation rental or stop in souvenir shops to find gifts to bring home with you, Coco Beach has all that—and more! 

Coco Beach is home to an Auto Mercado, the most popular grocery store chain in Costa Rica. You can also shop at the Pacifico Village Shops—a premium shopping center that sells nicer jewelry, clothing, and trinkets. There are also several souvenir stores, street vendors, surf shops, and other places to shop near Playas del Coco. 

Vacation Rentals in Coco

Special Places of Costa Rica offers several charming condos and spacious homes within walking distance of Playas del Coco. Many of our properties are near the popular Las Palmas Neighborhood and provide great amenities, like a patio and swimming pool.

Here are a few of our spectacular properties you can make your “home away from home” during your trip to Playas del Coco:

From $110/night
From $110/night
Playas del Coco, Pacifico
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 5.0/5
From $110/night
From $110/night
Playas del Coco, Pacifico
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 5.0/5
From $65/night
From $65/night
Playas del Coco, Coco Center
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
  • 5.0/5
From $150/night
From $150/night
Playas del Coco, Pacifico
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 4.0/5

nearby beaches

Beach Hopping from Playas del Coco: Which Beach Should You Visit Next?

Playas del Coco is surrounded by beautiful beaches. Playa Hermosa, to the north, is literally named “beautiful beach” and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and watching the sunset. Playa Ocotal, to the south, is one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Costa Rica, sheltered in a bay, and offers proximity to fun attractions, like The Monkey Farm and Diamante Eco-Adventure Par

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