Best Liberia, Costa Rica, Beaches to Work on Your Tan

Get ready for an epic trip to the beaches of Liberia, Costa Rica. Find out when to go, what to do, and what to pack.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links, we may earn a small commission. Thanks for your support.

Ready to go beach hopping?

Then head to the beaches near Liberia, Costa Rica.

This magical area of the country is packed with beaches to explore. You can spend your days hopping from one sandy shore to another, enjoying the sunshine, crystal clear waters, and plenty of activities. 

Liberia’s nearby beaches are located in the northwest along the Pacific coast of the country and include the Nicoya Peninsula, which also happens to house some of the best beaches in all of Central America!

Best beaches to visit near Liberia

While Liberia isn’t home to any beaches, plenty of great sandy shorelines and stunning azure waters are nearby. 

Coco Beach

Best for stunning views and water activities. 

2 kayaks on beach

Coco Beach, located 36 km (~22 miles) southwest of the airport, is one of the closest beaches to Liberia, Costa Rica. It’s only 45 minutes from Liberia to Coco.

Known for its charming rows of palm trees along the coastline and sparkling, rocky bays, this is a picture-perfect place for a swim or a day of relaxation. 

Playa del Coco is a great place to base yourself if you are interested in watersports, such as diving, surfing, snorkeling, and jet skiing. There are plenty of adventurous activities to complement your time lounging on the beach. 

Ocotal Beach

Best for unique beauty.

Ocotal beach near Liberia, Costa Rica

If you haven’t seen a black sand beach, you absolutely have to head to Ocotal Beach. It is a short 5-minute drive from Coco Beach, but the landscape will take your breath away. Here the half of a kilometer (one-third of a mile) of black sand is a stark contrast to the cerulean waters with a stunning backdrop of lush green forest. 

Playa Ocotal is great for swimming, as it is located in a cove protected from wind and large waves. 

The waters are calm and peaceful, and the weather is perfect for a day in the sun. This is also a great spot if you enjoy diving, so come ready for some underwater adventures!

Ocotal is 39 km (24 miles) southwest of the city. It is definitely one of the best beaches in Costa Rica near Liberia.

You can get from Liberia to Playa Ocotal by taking an hour-long shuttle. You can book a seat on a shared shuttle or book a private car for you and your friends.

Playa Grande

Best for spotting turtles and surfing.

turtle underwater

Located in the National Marine Mark Las Baulas, Playa Grande is a stunning beach to add to your list. It is a stunning beach with soft, powdery sand and clear, cerulean waters.

Because it is located within a protected marine park, you may have the chance to see a turtle nest. Nesting typically happens between October and May each year. 

Playa Grande is also an excellent spot for surfers. There are consistent, medium-sized swells great for experienced wave chasers. 

You can get from Liberia to Playa Grande via shuttle or by driving. The ride will take about an hour and 15 minutes.

Playa Hermosa 

Best for swimming and relaxation.

Hermosa beach near Liberia Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa means beautiful beach, and you’ll certainly find plenty of natural beauty here. 

The tranquility of this gray-sand beach is unmatched at any other hot spot around. 

Despite the fact that Hermosa is one of the most popular beaches in Liberia, Costa Rica, it is rarely overcrowded. In fact, many beach bums opt to come here because it is easy to get to via shuttle, and you can still have a calm, relaxing spot by the sea.

Playa Hermosa is a great option if you enjoy swimming and snorkeling. The water is calmer than other areas along the Pacific coast, making it a dream for a leisurely swim or somewhere to spend a few minutes underwater observing the colorful marine life. 

As an added bonus, the lush greenery surrounding the beach provides an epic backdrop for your photos. 

You’ll find this slice of paradise 37 km (23 miles) southwest of the city. You can drive from Liberia to Playa Hermosa in about 40 minutes or organize a shuttle from your accommodation or the airport. 

Playa Flamingo

Best beach for a luxury experience.

Flamingo beach near Liberia Costa Rica

Just 44 km (27 miles) southwest of Liberia, you will find Playa Flamingo

This beach is located along the protected Potrero Bay and is home to the world-famous Flamingo Marina. It is internationally renowned because the crystalline azure waters and powder-soft white sand are considered one of the country’s most beautiful beaches. 

But Playa Flamingo is more than just a lovely beach near Liberia, Costa Rica. The entire coastline is dotted with luxury resorts, several restaurants, and plenty of adventurous tour options. 

Flamingo Marina offers a plethora of water sports, surfing, and fishing, all of which attract plenty of international visitors each year. So you’ll definitely want to check this beach out on your trip to Guanacaste. 

You can drive from Liberia to Playa Flamingo in about an hour and a half. It is also possible to organize a seat on a shared shuttle. 

Playa Conchal

Best beach for locals and tourists alike. 

Playa Conchal Beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Six kilometers (3.7 miles) south of Playa Flamingo is Playa Conchal. The luxury continues down to this beach, home to several all-inclusive resorts and golf courses. 

The beach, though, is the main attraction. You’ll find a barely-pink beach made entirely of seashells rather than sand. It is absolutely gorgeous and very different from the soft sandy beaches to the north. It’s very popular amongst locals looking for a beautiful weekend getaway, packing the beach with plenty of people lazing and soaking up the scenery. 

Because Conchal is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica near Liberia, you may notice it gets crowded, especially on the weekends. Travel during mid-week to avoid it. However, if you enjoy the vibe of people splashing around in the water and relaxing at the beach clubs, weekends are a good time to visit. 

Just like many of the other beaches, you can get from Liberia to Conchal via shuttle or by driving. The ride will take just over an hour. This is a great spot to add to a day of beach hopping! 


Best beach for surfing and nightlife.

sunset i Tamarindo

If you are searching for a sunny beach to surf and party the night away, Tamarindo is the spot for you. 

The surfing scene is great because it offers a wide range of options for experienced surfers and beginners. And if you’re more of a lounger than a surfer, you’ll have no problem chilling and enjoying the sun and the sand. 

Because Tamarindo is a slightly larger city, as opposed to a charming beach town, you’ll have plenty of delicious restaurants, some even with international cuisine, to choose from. 

There is a bustling nightlife scene here, with bars and clubs to visit once the sun goes down. 

Tamarindo is only 58 km (36 miles) south of the Liberia beaches. You can easily grab a seat on a shared minivan or a bus to continue your Pacific coast tour of Costa Rica. The ride from Liberia to Tamarindo is about an hour and a half.

Golfo de Papagayo

Best beach for an all-inclusive experience. 

beach in Costa Rica

More great Costa Rica beaches near Liberia are along the Papagayo Peninsula. This area is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in Guanacaste.

Papagayo is wild and untamed compared to several other beaches in the area. This natural beauty is the perfect place to escape the crowds and fully experience the country’s beauty. You’ll be treated to mesmerizing views of the glittering ocean and lush tropical forests pretty much any way you turn.

When you visit, you can snorkel, unwind on the beach, or go on a hike to birdwatch. Calm, warm waters, luxurious soft sand, and spectacular sunsets make Papagayo an absolute dream to visit. 

Liberia is about 27 km (~18 miles) east, and daily buses take about an hour. You can also easily book a shuttle from Liberia to the Papagayo Peninsula to get you there quickly and efficiently. 

Ostional Beach

Best for nature lovers.

baby turtle on black sand

Ostional Beach is one of the most beautiful natural beaches in the region. It is located in the Wild Life Ostional Refuge along the Pacific Coast. 

The beach is about 200 meters (a tenth of a mile) long and is known for crystal clear waters, dark, sandy shores, and lush vegetation that is home to diverse bird species. Additionally, you can catch some great waves here due to the strong swells and tides.

Ostional is also notable because it houses and protects a range of sea turtles. These incredible animals come to the shores and lay their eggs every year, especially between July and December. 

Ostional is 113 km (~70 miles) south of Liberia. The easiest way to get there is to drive or grab a seat on a shared shuttle. The ride will take about an hour and 45 minutes. 

Guiones Beach

Best for surfers.

Playa Guiones near Liberia Costa Rica

Guiones is home to a 7-kilometer (4 miles) stretch of sparkling, azure waters and a white sandy beach. 

Located just a few kilometers outside the Wild Life Ostional Refuge, you’ll be charmed by the rugged surroundings and stunning natural beauty. It is known for its constant swells, making surfing one of the main draws to this beach.

If you aren’t interested in surfing, don’t panic! Many people come to Guiones for horseback riding or simply to walk along the coast to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets. 

You can drive from Liberia to Guiones in about two hours. It is also possible to take a shared shuttle, but the ride will take a bit longer. 

Nosara and Playa Samara

Best beaches to get off the beaten path and for surfing.

Huts on Samara beach

Nosara and Samara are two other great beaches near Liberia, Costa Rica.

These beauties are known for their epic surfing and are easily visited together. 

Not a surfer? 

Don’t stress! 

Both are wild, natural beaches less known to tourists and far less crowded than neighboring Tamarindo.

While Nosara is 101 km (~63 miles) and Sámara is 115 km (71 miles) south of Liberia, they are certainly worth the two-hour drive to visit! The water is warm, there is a ton of wildlife to discover, and you can definitely relax and soak up the sun while you watch the surfers hang 10. 

Getting from Liberia to Nosara and Sámara is just as easy as the other beaches nearby. You can drive, take a bus, or grab a seat on a shuttle. The ride will take about two hours. 

Weather at Costa Rica beaches near Liberia

sunset on beach in Costa Rica

The temperatures in Liberia beaches, Costa Rica hover around 31℃ (88℉) year-round. Still, you’ll want to plan for the rain when booking your trip. 

The best time to visit is during the region’s dry season, which lasts between December and April. You’ll have the sunniest days, allowing you to maximize your time on the beach. 

May, June, September and October tend to be the wettest months, so avoid traveling during this time unless you would rather check out the epic green scenery in Liberia than relax in the sun. 

Packing list essentials for Liberia, Costa Rica, beaches

dark sand beach near Liberia Costa Rica

The beaches around Liberia, Costa Rica, are perfect for de-stressing and soaking up some sun. To get ready for your trip, you’ll want to pack the following: 

  • Bathing suits
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera/GoPro
  • Waterproof bag
  • Waterproof phone pouch for underwater pics
  • Water shoes
  • Snorkel equipment

How to get to Liberia, Costa Rica beaches

Luckily for you, getting to Liberia is relatively easy.

Flying into Liberia Guanacaste International Airport is your best option for starting this incredible beach vacation. There are many daily international and domestic flights to choose from.

However, if you’re already in Costa Rica, there are a few other transportation options. 

Coming from the capital? You can take a four-hour bus or grab a seat in a shared minivan from San José to Liberia. If you plan to stay closer to the beach, it is easy to catch public transportation for the remaining distance.

You can also get from Nicaragua’s surf hotspot San Juan del Sur, to Liberia in about two and a half hours. There are a few different minivan options, including a seat on a shared van or booking private transport. Either option is great if you are going from one beach to the next!

Liberia beaches map

As you can see, there are a lot of beaches in the area. Check them out on this map.


Is Libera, Costa Rica safe?

Liberia, and Guanacaste in general, is one of the safest places in Costa Rica. However, you should always be vigilant about your surroundings and keep your valuables locked up.

What is the closest town to Liberia, Costa Rica?

Playa Hermosa or Panamá, Costa Rica, are the closest towns if you want to be by the ocean.

What is the closest airport to Liberia, Costa Rica?

Liberia Guanacaste Airport is the closest.

Can you swim on the beaches near Liberia, Costa Rica?

Not in Liberia, but on the beaches around Liberia—especially Playa Hermosa.

Posted January 9, 2023
image of blog writer Sam
Samantha Bryant
Samantha has been wandering the globe since 2010, when she hopped on a plane for a gap year in order to wait out an age restriction for a job application. Twelve years, four continents, and countless experiences later she has decided that she is perfectly content embracing her wanderlust. Samantha works as an English and ELL teacher at an international school in South Africa, but her passion for writing has kept her busy in what spare time she can find. If she isn't working or writing, you can find Samantha exploring a new city in an off-the-beaten-path destination or relaxing on a beach somewhere.
image of blog writer Sam