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

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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 excited while visiting the sunny stretch. These are the best things to do in Playa del Coco.

If you’re looking to experience a beach vacation in one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, this is the place for you. 

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

Are you 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!

Things to Do in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica

Spend a Day at Diamante Eco-Adventure Park

Discover Tropical Ambiance at Diamante Eco Adventure Park Lobby in Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 350 east RIU Hotel, Playa Matapalo, Provincia de Guanacaste, Playa Matapalo, 50503, Costa Rica

If you have unruly little ones and want 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 the same – you can spend your time horseback riding, walking through nature, ziplining, kayaking, paddle boarding, or exploring the animal sanctuary.

Majestic Green Iguana at Diamante Eco Adventure Park, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There are options to suit various interests – even if you don’t have little ones, anyone can carve out an exciting, unique experience for themselves all the same! 

Explore Downtown Coco

Main Street of Coco, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The 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.

You’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants, each with its 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 authentic Costa Rican culture. 

See Related: Best Travel Insurance for Costa Rica

Visit Rincón De La Vieja

Hanging Bridge in Rincon de la Vieja
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, Alajuela Province, Upala, Costa Rica

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 almost 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 – don’t forget the camera!

Get in Touch with Nature at Playa Grande

Iconic Beach Sunset in Playas Coco, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Playa Grande is an hour south of Playa Coco, teeming with exciting life and beach fun. This destination is one where people come 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! You can also take a side tour, such as the Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo.

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Take a Day Trip to Tamarindo

Consistent Waves along the coast of Playa Grande, Tamarindo
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

While Playas del Coco (Coco Beach) has plenty to offer in fine dining and nightlife, it’s well situated in Guanacaste for some 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 in Tamarindo, 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 like a La Fortuna de San Carlos hike.

Check the sport-fishing paradise of Playa Flamingo

Jet skis ready for rental and boat excursions on Playa Panama, Costa Rica beach
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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. 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 sport fishing for mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, or marlin. If you’re ever in Costa Rica, check out Playa Flamingo. Experience the Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour for a side adventure.

See Related: Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica for Families

Catamaran Tour

Catamaran Tour

While in Playa del Coco, be sure to check out the sunset sailing catamaran tour! This fun activity 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 uncomfortable or can’t dive 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.

Scuba Diving

Rich Coast Diving, Coco, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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. Many local dive shops and tours offer PADI certification courses if you’re new to scuba diving.

And if you’re a serious diver, you’ll be pleased to know that abundant marine life can 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 cater to multiple tastes. 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)

Playas Coco, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

No trip to Coco is complete without spending a day at their beach in town, Coco Beach. The sand is dark, and the waves might not be as impressive as other beaches, but it’s still a great place to relax and get a healthy glow.

Plenty of free sand to spread out your towel, and you can enjoy a few hours of sunny weather. So when searching for a different Instagram experience or want to enjoy the sun differently, head to Coco Beach – you won’t be disappointed!

See Related: Things to Do in Liberia, Costa Rica

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.

Unsurprisingly, it’s always busy because the swimming conditions are always good and the weather is bright and sunny. Plenty of boat tours in crystal-clear water offer 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

Address: Playa del Coco, In Coconutz Sports Bar, Sardinal de Carrillo, Costa Rica

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 participate in the Costa Rican brewing scene, the ex-pats that run this joint began creating their 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 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!

Best Hotels in Playas del Coco

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, a poolside bar, and a lovely 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 on foot.
  • Hotel Chantel: This boutique hotel has 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 with 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

Aerial View of Papagayo, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Vacation rentals are a great option if you’re looking for something other than a hotel room during your stay in Costa Rica. Many vacation rentals are available in the Playas del Coco area, and they range in price depending on location and amenities.

One of the better-gated properties that are also affordable is The Jaguar Village, which also features spanning views of Papagayo and the Pacific Ocean. 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 Las Palmas 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. Use VRBO or to find the best possible price.

See Related: Things to Do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

All-inclusive Resorts near Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica

Pool at the Riu Guanacaste All-Inclusive
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

All-inclusive resorts are the perfect way to relax and enjoy your dream vacation without worrying about your budget. And there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts in the Coco area. Riu Guanacaste is one such resort, 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 30-minute drive from Playas del Coco, including Occidental Papagayo All-Inclusive (Adults Only), Secrets Papagayo (Adults Only), and CC Beach Front Papagayo All-Inclusive.

What is the best time of year to visit Playas 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.

Remember 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

Is Playa del Coco, Costa Rica, Worth Visiting?

Beach of Playa Panama, Costa Rica
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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.

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Tours in Playa del Coco

1. Cultural Tour of Costa Rica from Playa del Coco Area Top Recommendation

This tour is a unique opportunity to experience the real Costa Rica. Uncover the culture and traditions of Guanacaste and learn about daily life in Costa Rica while visiting a sugar cane plantation, a typical family home and an authentic restaurant favored by Ticos. Step outside of your normal tourist experience to discover the true meaning of ‘Pura Vida’ on this insightful excursion.

2. 4 Tours in 1 Action Package - Playa del Coco area

Explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica on a full-day adventure in Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Enjoy an exhilarating zip line tour through natural rainforest canopy, followed by hours of hiking and swimming in one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular parks. Afterward, learn about local traditions at a private farm and spend your afternoon horseback riding and tubing down a volcanic river.

3. Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sailing and Snorkeling Costa Rica is the quintessential way to enjoy a day in paradise. This guided sunset excursion takes you along the coast of Playa del Coco with an open bar, snacks and light meal on board. Kick back, relax, swim and snorkel in a secluded beach or walk along the shoreline of a pristine beach, all while viewing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.


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

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

We also recommend taking a boat tour for nature lovers 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. Avoid walking alone at night and keep valuables out of sight when possible.

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, rent a car or take a bus.

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

There is no definitive answer, as the time spent in Playa del Coco will depend on your travel style and preferences. Yet, we recommend spending at least 3-4 days to experience the highlights of this beautiful destination in Costa Rica

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