5 Best beaches around Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Enjoy the best paradise on your Adventure

Nestled on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is a tropical haven that boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the country. With its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and crystal-clear waters, this region is a dream destination for beach lovers. Whether you’re looking to relax, surf, or explore the vibrant marine life, the beaches around Manuel Antonio have something for everyone. Here are the top five beaches you simply can’t miss.

1. Playa Manuel Antonio: The Crown Jewel

Playa Manuel Antonio is the star attraction of the Manuel Antonio National Park, and for good reason. This beach is famous for its pristine white sand, calm turquoise waters, and the lush jungle backdrop that teems with wildlife. Imagine sunbathing while spotting monkeys swinging from the trees or iguanas basking in the sun nearby.

Why Visit? Playa Manuel Antonio offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. The gentle waves make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling, while the surrounding trails provide opportunities for wildlife spotting. Be sure to arrive early, as the park limits the number of daily visitors to preserve its natural beauty.


  • Bring your own snacks and drinks, as there are no vendors inside the park.
  • Don’t forget your camera for capturing the stunning scenery and playful monkeys.

2. Playa Espadilla Norte: Surf and Sunsets

Just outside the boundaries of Manuel Antonio National Park, you’ll find Playa Espadilla Norte. This expansive beach is popular among surfers due to its consistent waves, but it’s also a fantastic spot for sunbathing, beach volleyball, and enjoying spectacular sunsets.

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Why Visit? The long stretch of sand allows for plenty of space to spread out and relax. With numerous beachfront bars and restaurants, you can easily spend an entire day here without needing to leave. The laid-back vibe and stunning views make it a must-visit.


  • Rent a surfboard from one of the local shops if you want to catch some waves.
  • Stay until dusk to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see.

3. Playa Biesanz: A Hidden Gem

For those who prefer a more secluded and intimate beach experience, Playa Biesanz is the perfect choice. Tucked away in a cove and surrounded by lush greenery, this hidden gem offers calm waters and a tranquil atmosphere.

Why Visit? The gentle waves and clear water make Playa Biesanz ideal for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. The beach is less crowded than others in the area, providing a peaceful retreat where you can unwind and connect with nature.


  • Access to the beach requires a short hike, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring your own snorkeling gear to explore the vibrant underwater world.

4. Playa La Macha: Off the Beaten Path

If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, Playa La Macha is the beach for you. This secluded spot requires a hike through the jungle, but the effort is well worth it. You’ll be rewarded with a pristine beach that’s often deserted, offering a true escape from the hustle and bustle.

Why Visit? Playa La Macha’s remote location means you’ll likely have the beach to yourself, making it perfect for a private picnic or a quiet day of reflection. The untouched natural beauty of this beach is breathtaking, with crystal-clear waters and lush surroundings.

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  • The hike can be challenging, so bring plenty of water and sturdy footwear.
  • Pack out all your trash to keep this hidden paradise clean and pristine.

5. Playa Playitas: Natural Beauty and Serenity

Playa Playitas is another lesser-known beach that offers a serene and beautiful setting. Located just north of Playa Espadilla Norte, this small beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs and verdant jungle, creating a picturesque landscape.

Why Visit? The tranquil atmosphere of Playa Playitas makes it an excellent spot for sunbathing, swimming, and simply enjoying the natural beauty. The rocky outcrops provide interesting snorkeling opportunities, and the seclusion ensures a peaceful experience.


  • Check the tide schedule before visiting, as high tide can cover much of the beach.
  • Bring a good book and relax in the shade of the trees lining the beach.

Making the Most of Your Beach Adventure

Visiting the beaches around Manuel Antonio is not just about lounging in the sun; it’s about embracing the natural beauty and vibrant ecosystem of this stunning region. Here are a few additional tips to enhance your beach experience:

  1. Respect the Wildlife: Manuel Antonio is home to a rich array of wildlife, from monkeys and sloths to colorful birds and marine creatures. Always keep a respectful distance and avoid feeding the animals to ensure their safety and well-being.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Protected: The tropical sun can be intense, so make sure to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen regularly. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can also help protect you from the sun’s rays.
  3. Explore Beyond the Beach: While the beaches are the main attraction, the surrounding area offers plenty of other activities, such as zip-lining, hiking, and exploring the local markets and eateries. Take the time to immerse yourself in the culture and adventure that Costa Rica has to offer.
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Manuel Antonio is a paradise for beach lovers, with each beach offering its unique charm and beauty. From the bustling Playa Espadilla Norte to the secluded Playa La Macha, there’s a perfect spot for every type of traveler. So pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to discover the breathtaking beaches of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, these beaches are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.