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Should I visit Costa Rica's Pacific or Caribbean coast?

Should I visit Costa Rica's Pacific or Caribbean coast?

Costa Rica boasts two glorious stretches of coastline - on the west the country meets the vast Pacific Ocean and on the east it is lapped by the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. This means beach lovers are spoilt for choice when they book a holiday in Costa Rica, but which of the nation's seaside regions is best for you?

You certainly won't have to worry about the weather on either side of the country - both areas are blessed with wonderful sunshine for most of the year. So, sun worshippers are well catered for no matter which stretch of seaside they decide to explore.

Costa Rica's Pacific coast

One of the things the Pacific coast stands out for is the quality of its surfing, with numerous challenging breaks to be discovered here, particularly in the central region. Jaco, Playa Hermosa and Playa Palma are just a few of the spots where you can ride the waves.

Other water sports, including kayaking and scuba diving, are also available on Costa Rica's Pacific seaboard, so it's a brilliant choice for active travellers. It is also a memorable place to visit due to the nature reserves that hug parts of the coastline, providing totally unspoilt bays fringed by verdant forests for you to discover.

Costa Rica's Caribbean coast

Head over to the Caribbean side and you'll also find pristine beaches that are backed by wildlife reserves, while the coral reefs just offshore are protected too, making this a good place for snorkelling and scuba diving. You can surf here as well, but the breaks are not as numerous or varied as those in the Pacific.

The atmosphere in this part of Costa Rica is distinctly Caribbean, with its vibrant and diverse heritage shining through in everything, from the food to the carnivals that take place throughout the year.

Beautiful beaches abound here, with golden sands in some areas and black or grey sands in others, providing a truly varied backdrop to a few days lounging in the sun. As with the Pacific coast, the Caribbean is home to well-developed tourist areas as well as small seaside villages that are off the beaten track.

Laura Rawlings

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Laura Rawlings

Family Expert

An energetic mum of three and an avid traveller with a passion for discovering new sights and...

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