The town and its people
Playas del Coco the paradisiacal place where grandparents came on their vacations and many of them ended up falling in love in their youth. A fisherman’s village became the favorite place to vacation for many local and foreign tourists over the years. Playas del Coco has located 35 km from the city of Liberia and only 25 minutes from the Guanacaste airport, which is the main entrance for international tourists to the Guanacaste province.
El Coco is like a small valley, with approx 5000 residents, it is surrounded by hills that turn brown during the dry season and radically change to an intense green during the rainy season. Very near you can visit other beaches such as Ocotal, Hermosa, or Panama. There is a principal boulevard where most of the businesses are located, and end up at the park called Amor de Temporada. On the beachfront, you will find some bars/restaurants to enjoy a drink or some local food.
El Coco is the largest coastal town in Guanacaste and probably the last one where you can find a mix of nationalities that have made Playas del Coco their home. That makes this area a town rich in diversity of cultures, Italians, Canadians, U.S ex-pats, Argentinians, Spain, French, and Germans are just some of the citizenships that you can meet around.
Of course, the beach is the highlighted part of Playas del Coco; it is a 3 km long beach, with gray sand, with intermediate waves, during the low tide you can enjoy very calm waters, mostly a natural pool. The best area for swimming is on the right side of the beach, the water is much cleaner and more transparent, and it is perfect to enjoy the beach.
There is a trail from the park to almost the end of the beach, it is a very nice hike, and you could find some nice spots to relax. Also, during the rainy season, you could find a waterfall that comes down from the mountain and flows into the sea. It is a quiet, family beach during the weekends, and in times of festivities, you may find the place crowded with local tourists.
Do not swim near the river mouths as rip currents could be present.
Playas del Coco Things To Do
Playas del Coco is the entrance to several destinations of incredible beauty, from where the boats sail to the Gulf of Papagayo, where you can visit beaches of exuberant beauty and accessible only by boat. White sand beaches, crystal clear waters, excellent snorkeling spots, caves, and incredible sunsets, are just some things you can enjoy here.
The Papagayo Gulf has many beaches, some accessible by land, others only accessible by boat. Some of the beaches you will visit are Playa Huevos, which has a cavern that you can visit during low tide. In addition, there is Playa Jicaros and its shore with calm and crystal clear waters. Palmares and Zapotillal enjoy extraordinary conditions to relax there.
You can also find some of our marine life, such as turtles, dolphins, and during its season, humpback whales. The gulf has exceptional conditions for snorkeling and observing colorful fishes, octopuses, colorful fishes, and a great variety of aquatic life.
Private boats, yachts, and catamarans offer daily services to the Gulf of Papagayo, with which you can discover the scenic beauty of the area and share a sunset with your friends or loved ones. All cruises departs from Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Ocotal, and Playa Panama. Some services include picking up at the hotels in the Peninsula such as Four Seasons Costa Rica, Planet Hollywood Costa Rica, and Andaz Papagayo.
From Playas del Coco, boats leave for the famous Roca Bruja or Witch’s Rock, located in the Santa Rosa National Park. With 45-minute navigation, you will arrive at this paradisiacal place where the best in the world come to surf. It is also possible to visit the famous point break of Potrero Grande, better known as Ollie’s Point. Without a doubt, if you are a professional surfer, you will want to visit these places.
Witch rock does not offer the opportunity to go down to the beach; it is closed at the moment by the local authorities. Conditions are for intermediate to professional surfers only; paddling can be a challenge because of the extreme winds and currents. If you are a beginner, this place is not the best to start surfing.
On the other hand, Roca Bruja is that place that every professional surfer wants to mark on their list of run waves. The area is paradisiacal, the size of the rock is enormous, and the views of Playas Naranjo and Parque Santa Rosa are unforgettable. The best time to ride waves is when the tide is halfway up and down, so if you want to do both turns, you have to have a little patience and wait on the boat.
The best months to visit Witch’s Rock are between December and April since with the arrival of the northern winds creates conditions to have almost perfect waves.
The Papagayo Gulf is rich in marine life, and during your navigation, it could be possible to observe everything from turtles and dolphins to impressive humpback whales and whale sharks, manta rays, and much more. The gulf has some of the best diving sites in Costa Rica; if you plan to enjoy some diving, this is undoubtedly the ideal place.
In the same way, due to its currents and the wealth of nutrients in its waters, the gulf offers the perfect place for different marine species to meet, and you can enjoy excellent, world-class sport fishing. Depending on the season, the pacific ocean will offer species to catch, from yellowfin tuna, sailfish, and roosterfish; to marlin, mahi-mahi, snapper, and more.
Papagayo Gulf Fishing Seasons
- Dorado can be found all around the year, but the best months are between May and October.
- Marlin & Sail are found; between May and November.
- Yellowfin & Black Tuna season runs from June through November.
- Roosterfish’s best months are from November to May.
- Snapper and Amberjack are present all around the year, but the best months are August to December.
- Grouper’s best months are from December to April, but it is present all around the year.
- The mackeral season runs from June to November.
- Grouper & Jack are found all around the year.
Playas del Coco is the departure point for the Islas Murcielago day trips, a beautiful unexplored place with unparalleled scenic beauty and unique landscapes. The navigation time takes about an hour, once you arrive and visit the viewpoint of San Jose island, you will understand what we are talking about, and of course, the clarity of its waters is unparalleled.
The best time to visit the archipelago is from May to November, that time is when the winds calm down, and the navigation is safe. The staying on the island is short because of the conservationist rules to protect the area. There is a nice hike to the viewpoint, and the trails offer you amazing landscapes.
The trips to Islas Murcielago depart around 7.00 am from Playas del Coco and surrounding beaches and resorts in the Peninsula Papagayo.
Without a doubt, Playas del Coco is the ideal place to make it your headquarters and enjoy your vacations in Costa Rica from here. In addition to all the aquatic adventures that you can do here, the area also offers excellent conditions in terms of location, access, and arrival time to many attractions and parks.
A few kilometers away, you will find national parks such as Palo Verde, the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, or the famous Rio Celeste Waterfall. Adventure parks where you will experience zip lines, suspension bridges, tubing or water slides, hot springs, and volcanic mud baths; are located within minutes of driving from Coco.
You can also do activities such as white water, hiking in tropical forests, and visiting caves or history centers such as the Santa Rosa National Park. Also, and although it may seem incredible, from here, you could visit Nicaragua in one of the one-day tours that depart daily from Playas del Coco.
As you can read from Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, Ocotal, Playa Panama, and the hotels of the Papagayo Peninsula, such as Andaz Papagayo, Planet Hollywood, and Four Seasons, you could enjoy many activities and save driving time.
Click here to check our Tours in Guanacaste.
The town offers you essential services for your travel needs, such as pharmacies, dental services, and general doctors. ATMs, banks, supermarkets, stores, and souvenir shops, among others, are also easy to find.
Where to stay?
In addition, Playas del Coco offers a wide variety of accommodations. You can find many vacation properties as condominiums, most of them located on the right side of town, known as Las Palmas. Most complexes offer condominiums with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, equipped and all very close to the beach. Nearby you can find services such as restaurants, a supermarket, a cafeteria, a doctor, a beauty salon, and tattoos, among others.
The area also offers vacation homes and villas, most of them on the hills that surround the town, from where you will have views that will take your breath away. Also, very close to beaches such as Ocotal or Playa Hermosa, you will find a variety of vacation rentals and hotels.
You can also find hotels and resorts nearby, such as the Riu Guanacaste and Riu Palace hotels, located about 30 minutes from Playas del Coco. Other options are hotels on the Papagayo Peninsula, such as Andaz Papagayo, Four Seasons Costa Rica, and Planet Hollywood Costa Rica. El Mangroove Resort, Casa Conde del Mar, and Secrets Papagayo Resort are located in Playa Panama. The Occidental Papagayo is located in Playa Buena and in Playa Hermosa you can find places like Villas Sol and Bosque del Mar.
Where to eat?
Playas del Coco is a place where you can also find a wide variety of international cuisine and local restaurants. Taste and enjoy local dishes, including our famous ‘Casados’, or the Gallo pinto for breakfast, or try some of the Lebanese, Greek, Argentine grill, Peruvian, Chinese, and Italian food. In addition, the nightlife offers some places to have a good time. During the day, the beachfront area enjoys a variety of places to have lunch or enjoy a drink with friends.
For the Mediterranean and Italian food, we recommend Verde Salvia, located on the main boulevard at the hotel and casino complex. There you will enjoy fresh and handmade pasta, Mediterranean recipes, and the best Pizza in town. Another good place to visit is Gingers Restaurant in Playa Hermosa, the place offers a variety of tapas and drinks.
For local food you can try Soda Jardin Tropical, you will recognize it because of its particular tropical deco, it is located crossing the park. If you are staying by the Las Palmas complex you can enjoy some Italian food at La Dolce Vita. Crossing the street you will find Cafe Java, a good place for breakfasts, bagels, smoothies, and coffee.
As you can see, Playas del Coco offers endless advantages to enjoy your vacations from here. Friendly people, unparalleled sunsets, a cheerful and familiar atmosphere, and many things to do; this is what this paradise located in the north of Costa Rica offers you.
Playas del Coco Gallery
Guanacaste Nature Safari
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip
Additional services for your Guanacaste Vacations!