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benches fronting coco beach
 - Costa Rica

Playa del Coco

Playa del Coco

    Playa del Coco Snapshot

  • Summary: Popular beach town; excellent base for aquatic excursions; nice selection of shopping and upscale restaurants.
  • Landscape: Beaches, Tropical Dry Forest
  • Attractions: Adventure Tours, Nightlife, Sailboat Sunset Tours
  • Activities: Scuba Diving, Shopping, Sport Fishing, Surfing
  • Caters to: Couples/Honeymooners, Families, Independent Travelers

Playa del Coco, or Coco Beach, is one of the most accessible and popular beach areas in Guanacaste. The mile-long stretch of beautiful, gray sand is lined by leaning trees, oceanfront restaurants, tour operators and small souvenir stands. One thing is certain - in Playa del Coco, you’ll never lack things to do.

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Coco’s history lies in fishing, a way of life still active and evidenced by the myriad fishing boats out in the bay. Today, the town’s burgeoning tourism industry takes center stage, welcoming both young Costa Ricans and visiting tourists who enjoy long weekends and even longer weeks on this cocoa-colored beach. 

Playa del Coco is one of Northern Guanacaste’s most celebrated dive and snorkeling areas, and many local tour operators have set up shop here. Sailboat snorkeling cruises, color-filled open water dives, and PADI certification courses are given daily, and serious divers will be pleased by the Pacific Coast offerings. Tropical favorites like puffer fish, eels, stingrays and dolphins swim these waters, and many people say that Coco Beach is home to the best diving in Costa Rica.

Surfing expeditions also depart from Coco Beach daily, mostly headed for Witch’s Rock to the north. The iconic landmark, made world famous in the movie Endless Summer 2, lies just a few miles north of Coco. With spectacular, consistent waves, the spot is a surfer’s favorite. Anglers also flock to Coco’s waters, and sport fishing trips can be arranged by any of the area tour operators.

Back on land, the town has grown rapidly. Large grocery stores, banks and a post office have come to Coco, and roads are dotted with “Coming Soon” signs. Rapid development has unfortunately scared most of the native wildlife away – you’ll have to head north to Playa Hermosa for that – but Coco is still wonderfully small-town in many ways: roosters crow in the mornings, neighbors know each others’ names, and everyone will be happy to point you to the best pizza joint in town. 

In addition to offering excellent water sports and a hard-packed sand beach for lazing, Coco is an extremely convenient base for your Northern Guanacaste wanderings. The region’s most popular attractions – canopy tours, adventure sports, and nature reserve tours – all offer pick up from Coco’s many hotels. In addition, the town is just 23 miles from Liberia and is well-connected to all area roads.  If you want to explore a beautiful destination where adventure is always at your fingertips, Playa del Coco is the place to do it.

Places to Stay: 

Playa del Coco offers accommodations ranging from budget to luxurious and everything in between. Beachfront hotels are affordable – usually under $90 per night – though mountaintop retreats tempt visitors with cooler temperatures and stunning views. Several of Coco’s upscale hotels have on-site restaurants, though the town’s beachfront eateries and top-notch pizza joint should not be missed.

Playa del Coco in Pictures