South America Travel News

Road tripping through Costa Rica's beaches

Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and picking just one to visit may not be so easy. Fortunately, those willing to hit the road don't have to. 

Exploring Guanacaste
In the northwestern region of Costa Rica, a stout peninsula juts down into the Pacific Ocean. It is here, in the province of Guanacaste, that some of the country's best beaches lie in wait for those looking to enjoy surf, sand and even - for the moment - solitude, which becomes increasingly hard to attain as hidden travel gems become exposed, written about, frequented and eventually developed for tourists. All along the coastline, you can find beach escapes, from the southern tip up to the Nicaraguan border. 

Dedicated travelers could easily get a taste of all of these beaches by car. According to Google Maps, the drive from the famed Montezuma Beach in the south to the northern Santa Rosa National Park, with stops at Giones, Junquillal Beach and Nacascolo Beach, is approximately 190 miles, which can be done non-stop in just under six hours. Travelers can expand or condense this trip as they see fit, stopping at any place that catches their fancy. 

Beaches in brief
A potentially good starting destination is Montezuma, a beach town that's known for its alternative, artsy and vegetarian culture. The area is home to hippies and hikers, making for an enjoyable resort stay, but there is also plenty of beach to savor. Travelers can then head north, slowly making their way up the coastline toward the Nicaraguan border.

Along the way is Guiones, which, according to the Associated Press, has been commended for nearly a decade for sustainable tourism. There, beachgoers will find a handful of surf shops and restaurants, and little else. The town is quiet, offering respite in the form of beach-combing and horseback riding. 

Nearby Junquillal offers more than just waves. There, gray-brown beaches are lined with coconut trees and bluffs in its northern region. It's also home to sea turtles. Nesting season is from July to November, peaking from August onward, according to Lonely Planet. Conservation groups may be spotted protecting and preserving the turtles and the eggs come this time of year.

There are plenty more spots along the way to Santa Rosa National Park, but that last stop is perhaps one of the most secluded. According to Frommer's, travelers have to hike or four-wheel-drive 8 miles from a ranger station to these beaches. 

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