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11 Best Things to do in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica

11 Best Things to do in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica

As one of the most popular beaches and destinations in Costa Rica, Playa del Coco is full of vibrant life and excitement. With excursions and adventures perfect for travelers of all kinds, you can get into excitement while visiting the sunny stretch.

If you’re looking to experience a beach vacation like none other in one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica – then this is the place for you. 

From watersports, diving, fishing, and the upbeat nightlife, the beach and small fishing village of “El Coco” have something for everyone. We will highlight the best things you can do and experience while you visit this Costa Rica beach town. 

If you’ve never been to Playa del Coco before, you’re in for a treat. Now, without any further ado, let’s get into it!

Fun & Best Things to do in Coco, Costa Rica

10 Best Things to do in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
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Looking for outdoor adventures, souvenir shops, hiking trails, private tours, or a surf lesson? We’ve got the top things to do in Coco right here!

Spend a Day at Diamante Eco-Adventure Park

If you have rambunctious little ones and you’re looking to kill a day – then half an hour southwest, you’ll find Diamante Eco Adventure Park.

With all the different exciting activities, no two trips are exactly the same – you can spend your time horseback riding, walking through nature, ziplining, kayaking, paddle boarding, or exploring the animal sanctuary.

There’s something for everyone – even if you don’t have little ones, anyone can carve out an exciting, unique experience for themselves all the same! 

Explore Downtown Coco

Explore Downtown Coco

The town of Coco in Costa Rica has been a fishing village for many years but as it grew in popularity, the town had to expand to accommodate all the new people and tourists. The town is now full of great places to eat and drink, perfect for a night out on the town.

You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, each with its own unique atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a lively bar scene or a relaxing dinner by the water, you’ll find it all in Coco.

The main road makes a great place for people to come and sit and watch others while listening to the live music booming in the background.]

There’s also a sunset point, a small eco-park with stunning views, perfect to end your day in style while enjoying true Costa Rican culture. 

See Related: Best Travel Insurance for Costa Rica

Visit Rincón De La Vieja

Visit Rincón De La Vieja
Image by Wilma Compton used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Other national parks might be bursting with tourists, but Rincon de la Vieja is still a peaceful hideaway. Less than an hour and a half from Playa Del Coco, this day trip is worth the travel.

You do just about everything – hiking, ziplining, horseback riding, and rubbing alike will all keep you active. In contrast, you can also check out the waterfalls and hot springs for a more relaxing outdoor adventure.

You’re in the shadow of the massive dormant volcano, making it a stunning place for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike – don’t forget the camera!

Get in Touch with Nature at Playa Grande

Get in Touch with Nature at Playa Grande
Image by PlayaGrandeCR used under  Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

You’ll find Playa Grande, an hour south of Playa Coco, teeming with exciting life and beach fun. This destination is one people come out from all over the world to see because you can see sea turtles nesting in person.

This beach is home to hundreds of leatherback turtles that lay their eggs from May to October. You’ll need a local guide to show you them, but each guest’s experience is excellent and unique. Playa Grande is also a great place to hit the waves and surf! 

See Related: Best Travel Sunglasses for Beaches & Vacations

Take a Day Trip to Tamarindo

Take a Day Trip to Tamarindo
Image by Tamarindowiki used under GNU Free Documentation License

While Playas del Coco (Coco Beach) has plenty to offer in terms of fine dining and nightlife, it’s well situated in Guanacaste for some pretty epic day trips.

Looking for a great day trip destination from Coco? Look no further than Tamarindo! Just an hour and a half away, this gorgeous town is surrounded by white sand beaches and is full of international visitors and locals alike.

You can spend the day kayaking or taking surf lessons, or if you’re looking for a more low-key day, enjoy local delicacies at great restaurants and pick up a gift to take home after a fun-filled day of adventure.

No matter what you’re looking for, Tamarindo is the perfect place to spend a day (or two!) exploring.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Check the sport-fishing paradise of Playa Flamingo

Check the sport-fishing paradise of Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. It’s well known for its bright, sunny beaches, and the waters are much calmer than other beaches in the area.

Playa Flamingo is only a 45-minute journey from Coco, meaning you can tack it on as a last-minute addition to your day no matter what else might be going on.

This is also perfect for indulging in a bit of sport-fishing for mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, or marlin. So if you’re ever in Costa Rica, make sure to check out Playa Flamingo.

Catamaran Tour

Catamaran Tour

While in Playa del Coco, be sure to check out the sunset sailing catamaran tour! This is a fun activity that will help you enjoy the ocean and coastal scenery in a way you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

You’d probably be surprised how much you can see, even if you’re not comfortable or can’t dive down below. If you keep your eyes on the sights, you’ll be able to see dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, and whales (though this depends on the season).

The tour includes a small meal and light snorkeling among the coral reefs if you want to make a whole day out of it. There’s something for just about everyone! So sunset sailing catamaran tour should definitely be on your list of things to do while in Playa del Coco!

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Looking for a scuba diving destination in Guanacaste?

You’ve come to the right place! This area is one of the most celebrated dive and snorkeling spots in Northern Guanacaste and it’s perfect for both enthusiasts and newcomers alike. There are plenty of local dive shops and tours offering PADI certification courses if you’re brand new to scuba diving.

And if you’re a serious diver, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an abundance of marine life to be found below the surface. You can expect to see big schools of fish, stingrays, manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, and even some sharks!

No matter what you’re looking for, the depths offer something for everyone. So come on in and explore the amazing underwater world that awaits you.

See Related: Diving the Cenotes of the Yucatan

Sunbathe at Coco Beach (Playas del Coco)

Sunbathe at Coco Beach (Playas del Coco)

No trip to Coco is complete without spending a day at their own beach right in town, Coco Beach.

The sand is dark and the waves might not be as impressive as at other beaches, but it’s still a great place to relax and get a healthy glow.

There’s plenty of free sand to spread out your towel, and you can enjoy a few hours of sunny weather. So if you’re looking for a different Instagram experience, or just want to enjoy the sun in a different way, head to Coco Beach – you won’t be disappointed!

Snorkel at one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches; Playa Conchal

Snorkel at one of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches; Playa Conchal

As its name implies, Playa Conchal is covered in millions of crushed-up conchas – or seashells. It’s well-known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, just an hour away from Coco.

It’s no surprise it’s always busy because the swimming conditions are always good and the weather is bright and sunny.

There are plenty of boat tours in the crystal-clear water, offering fantastic snorkeling with high visibility and vibrant marine life on display.

See Related: Best Beaches in St. Thomas for Snorkeling

Sample Local Craft Beer at Angry Goats

Angry Goats
Image by Angry Goats Brewery CR

If you’re looking to sample some local craft beer on your trip to Costa Rica, Angry Goats is a great option.

Originally reluctant to take part in the Costa Rican brewing scene, the ex-pats that run this joint began creating their own locally-produced beers in 2015.

Angry Goats was the first microbrewery in the Guanacaste region, and today offers a wide range of brews, from pale ales and IPAs to hefeweizens and porters.

You can find Angry Goats products throughout Guanacaste, or stop by the tasting room for a sample. And if you’re looking for other unique Costa Rican experiences within a short drive from Coca, your tastebuds won’t be disappointed!

Playas del Coco Hotels

Coco has limited hotels but there is plenty to do in the area and a few decent reasonably priced accommodation options nearby:

  • Toro Blanco: An elegant hotel, just minutes from parks, beaches, and towns. Featuring a fully equipped kitchenette, poolside bar, and a nice pool with beautiful lighting.
  • Hotel Colono: Located downtown, this hotel opened in late 2017 and offers modern furnishings. A 15-minute stroll from the sea.
  • Puerta del Sol: A cozy beach house with a pool, just a quick walk to the sea. The house has been recently restored and renovated, providing excellent value for money. The property is five minutes from the sand by foot.
  • Hotel Chantel: Boutique hotel with 12 rooms situated on the hillside.
  • Hotel M&M Beach House: For an easy, economical option, stay at Hotel M&M beach house. The house has clean and comfortable rooms within a traditional lodge-style structure.
  • Villa Del Sol: An eco-friendly boutique hotel, Villa Del Sol lies in the city center. The house features a large garden area which includes a patio and swimming pool.
  • Palms of Coco Beach: Just a two-minute walk from Coco Beach, The Palm is characterized by spacious rooms overlooking the pool. It features an excellent restaurant and pool snack bar for the perfect vacation.

Vacation rentals near Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica

Vacation rentals are a great option if you’re looking for something other than a hotel room during your stay in Costa Rica.

There are many vacation rentals available in the Playas del Coco area, and they range in price depending on location and amenities. Most of the properties are rented out by foreign residents who live in Costa Rica or by people who don’t reside in Costa Rica.

There are several popular neighborhoods in the area of this vacation rental, including Los Palmas (as of now gateless and a two-minute stroll to the beach) or Pacifico (luxury, 3-4 floors gated, 20-25 minutes walk).

Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find a vacation rental that fits your needs and budget.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

All-inclusive resorts near Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica

All-inclusive resorts are the perfect way to relax and enjoy your dream vacation without having to worry about your budget. And there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts to choose from in the Coco area. Riu Guanacaste is one such resort, located just a 30-minute drive from Playas del Coco.

There are also several other all-inclusive resorts along the Papagayo coastline, all within about 30 minutes drive from Playas del Coco.

So whether you’re looking for a luxurious escape or a budget-friendly getaway, you’re sure to find the perfect all-inclusive resort for your needs in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.

What is the best time of year to visit Playas del Coco?

things to do in playa del coco

The best time to visit Playas del Coco is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is sunny and relatively warm, with average temperatures of around 27 degrees Celsius.

Keep in mind that Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast experiences a relatively high amount of rainfall during the rainy season, so even during the dry season, you may experience some showers.

See Related: Visiting Las Catalinas, Costa Rica: Best Things to See & Do

How many days should I spend in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica?

There is no definitive answer, as the amount of time you spend in Playas del Coco will depend on your individual travel style and preferences. However, we recommend spending at least 3-4 days in order to experience the highlights of this beautiful destination in Costa Rica

Ready to Explore Playas del Coco, Costa Rica?

Playa del Coco is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an exciting and bustling beach town and former fishing village. There are plenty of activities and experiences to enjoy in this town, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica.

Don’t miss out on all the fun things to do in Playas del Coco! Subscribe to our travel newsletter and we’ll keep you up to date on the latest news and events.

FAQs

What are the must-see attractions in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica?

Some of the must-see attractions in Playas del Coco include the Playa Hermosa Beach, the Papagayo Peninsula, and the Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

For nature lovers, we also recommend taking a boat tour to see some of Costa Rica’s incredible wildlife, such as dolphins, turtles, and whales.

Is Playas del Coco safe for tourists?

Yes, Playas del Coco is considered safe for tourists. However, as with any destination, it is always important to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings. When possible, avoid walking alone at night and keep valuables out of sight.

What is the best way to get around Playas del Coco, Costa Rica?

The best way to get around Playas del Coco is on foot. The town is small and relatively flat, making it easy to explore on foot. If you want to venture further afield, you can also rent a car or take a bus.

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