Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — The infamous polar vortex has taken hold in North America, and Punxsutawney Phil agrees that Americans are in for a long winter. For visitors in search of a warm escape, travel expert Christopher P. Baker— author of Moon Costa Rica— shares the top ten best beaches in Costa Rica by region, from the Caribbean to the Central Pacific.
Tortuguero: This silvery beach backed by lush rainforest is the most important green turtle nesting site in the Caribbean.
Playa Blanca, Parque Nacional Cahuita: With several beautiful golden-sand beaches broken by rocky headlands, Cahuita is a great place to sunbathe or snorkel amid the offshore coral reef.
THE NICOYA PENINSULA:
Playa Conchal: This sometimes crowded beach of tiny seashells changes from bleached white to gray, depending on tidal and weather conditions. The calm turquoise waters host a beautiful coral reef.
Playa Flamingo: Perhaps the most splendid white-sand beach in the nation, this gently curving scimitar is cusped by rugged headlands.
Playa Santa Teresa: Rugged headlands and isles, tropical forest, and fearsome surf make this one of the nation’s most dramatic beaches.
Playa Naranjo: Surrounded on two sides by swampy estuaries, this golden-sand beach provides access to Parque Nacional Santa Rosa. See big cats, crocodiles, tamanduas, and scarlet macaws.
GOLFO DULCE AND THE OSA PENINSULA:
Playa Platanares: East of Puerto Jiménez, Platanares abuts both rainforest and mangrove, is an important nesting site for marine turtles, and offers whale and dolphin viewing.
Playa Zancudo: Washed by surf and littered with tree trunks, this beach has stupendous views across the Golfo Dulce.
Playa Manuel Antonio: Curling around a sheltered bay like a shepherd’s crook, this beach has it all: calm turquoise waters, rocky headlands, rainforest, and views toward distant mountains.
Playas Esterillos: Palm-fringed with gray sands, four beaches in one run along some 12 miles of shoreline.
For more information on Moon Costa Rica and Central America’s magnificent beaches, visit moon.com/destinations/central-america.
About Moon Travel Guides & Moon.com:
Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying travel experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, California, Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit Moon online at moon.com.