3 Costa Rica Beaches Ideal for a Month’s Vacation–InternationalLiving.com

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When folks dream of a vacation in the tropics, often the first thing that comes to mind is the coastline—long sandy stretches of palms swaying in the sea breezes—and Costa Rica offers just that in spades. A new report from the editors at International Living points to the best beaches in Costa Rica for a month-long stay—Tamarindo, Manzanillo and Playa Biesanz.

Manzanillo beach Caribbean Coast Costa Rica

Manzanillo beach Caribbean Coast Costa Rica

“Despite being a small country (about the size of West Virginia) with a relatively small coastline of 801 miles on the Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rica has a beach to suit every desire.”

“Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls…mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing people to Costa Rica,” says Kathleen Evans, IL Costa Rica Correspondent.

Costa Rica is such an attractive destination that newcomers often rush in without doing their homework. As a result, they waste valuable time and miss opportunities that more savvy visitors know to look for.

“Costa Rica’s beaches all have different personalities—bustling to deserted. And they come with sands that run the gamut from black volcanic to golden to white. Levels of surf vary from professional surfing swells to gentle protected coves,” says Evans. “Despite being a small country (about the size of West Virginia) with a relatively small coastline of 801 miles on the Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rica has a beach to suit every desire.”

In their new report, the editors at International Living have selected three outstanding beaches to give vacationers a savvy head start—particularly if they’re planning an extended getaway. These beach communities are perfectly fine for a short vacation, of course, though they often charm visitors into wishing they could stay longer. IL’s top picks for beaches in Costa Rica for a month-long adventure are Tamarindo, Manzanillo, and Playa Biesanz…

Tamarindo

Despite a surge of growth, Tamarindo still offers that “place where everybody knows your name,” small-town vibe. It’s a well-known bustling small resort town on the northern Pacific coast with restaurants, bars, and shops galore.

Historically, this Pacific coastal town nestled along the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste region, was a quiet fishing town. Not until the 1970s did some curious surfers stumble upon this otherwise undiscovered beach town and recognize the incredible surf break that exists just offshore. Shortly after, in 1974, Coopeguanacaste (the electric cooperative servicing the Nicoya Peninsula) brought electricity to Tamarindo–though the arrival of landline phones was still many years in the future, not arriving until 1996.

The hot, dry climate offers sunshine nearly year-round in Tamarindo. A mix of locals, retirees, digital nomads, and surfers from around the world makes this an easy place to fit in. And it’s convenient. About 45 minutes away in Liberia is an international airport, which makes getting in and out easy, and there are lots of amenities there—like a good hospital, fast food joints, and shopping (including Walmart). A couple can live comfortably in Tamarindo on a budget of $2,000-$3,000 a month.

Manzanillo

Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is about a four hours’ drive from the capital of San Jose and the least developed region of the country. If you take the coastal highway (it’s really just a two-lane road) south of Limon, toward Panama, you come to the end of the road in the settlement of Manzanillo.

The beach at Manzanillo is perfect for nature-lovers. The sand is a beautiful golden-white and the waters are gentle. Just to the south is Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, where you can find a series of coves lined with overhanging palm trees. Pick one and set up for a day of sunbathing and snorkeling in the crystal-clear water. The undersea world here is amazing.

There are a few small hostels and cabinas in the area, or you can stay in the main town of Puerto Viejo, a 25 minute drive north, with a much better variety of accommodation, dining, and entertainment.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca—the Caribbean coast’s heart— is a tiny fishing village turned tourist hub for the small number of visitors who make their way here.

The year-round warm weather on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast lends itself to outdoor activity like beach combing, snorkeling, surfing, and more. People tend to walk or bike everywhere and there are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood. All this contributes to a healthy lifestyle for travelers of all ages.

The vibe in Puerto Viejo is casual and thoroughly unpretentious. But a couple can live well on $2,025 a month here.

Playa Biesanz

Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s most visited beach destination, with the national park of the same name drawing sold-out crowds most days. As an off-the-beaten-path alternative, you can check out Playa Biesanz, which is just to the north of the popular beaches.

Although Manuel Antonio has been a long-time coveted expat destination due to its breath-taking beauty and amenities, Playa Biesanz remains a secret beach.

“It is the most LGBTQ-friendly beach community,” says Evans. “And there is plenty to do in this thriving international arts community. It is also home to the most visited national park in the country—possessing a staggering amount of wildlife.

“To top it off, it is located on the Central Pacific Coast, which is the most established beach area because of its close proximity to the large population base of Costa Rica's capital, San José.”

This areas comes with a slightly higher price tag—a couple can live well here on $2,990 a month.

More information on the beaches—plus two more bonus picks—can be found, here: 5 Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Editor's Note: Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to Internationalliving.com

Further information, as well as interviews with expert authors for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

For information about InternationalLiving.com content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532, mkelly@internationalliving.com

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About International Living

Since 1979, InternationalLiving.com has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving.com provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. InternationalLiving.com has contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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