We were SO lucky to not only go to Costa Rica a few years ago but to actually rent a house. It made me feel like we were a local, which was awesome. Instead of being at a hotel that had activities planned for us, we were able to plan our own activities.
One of those activities was going to the beach, and for many reasons. The first was because none of us had seen the Pacific Ocean before, so that was obviously an important part of this vacation.
There were four different beaches that we went to. One which was right next to our house, so that was just a convenience, the second was for snorkeling, and the third was for some drinks and a boat tour. Each were so totally different that each experience was it’s own. The beaches literally made me feel like I was at a different beach and maybe even a different country every time we went to one.
Tamarindo was the first beach we went to.It wasn’t too far from Junquillal (where we were staying). It is very touristy, it’s where you go if you want to sort of feel like a local. The shops are all specific to souvenirs, the best part about it was the beach. It was the first one we saw when we arrived in Costa Rica and it took my breath away. It was that feeling of knowing you were finally on vacation, in not only a gorgeous country but also there for the first time.
This town also had an amazing boat tour that we went on. Which was actually the reason why we went there in the first place. It was AMAZING! It was about $75 a person. But it included dinner, drinks, snorkeling, sunset view, and paddle boarding. It was a great way to start our first adventure in Costa Rica that’s for sure.
The Juanquillal beach was very different from any of the other beaches we went to. The town was also very different. This was local living, and I doubt many people who are vacationing would go there. To be honest, I’m not sure if I would choose it again. It’s far from everything which is kind of a bummer (though we did get to wake up to monkeys every morning and not many people can say that)! The other problem was the beach, it was beautiful don’t get me wrong but the beach itself is really dangerous. It’s used for surfing and when we told a local in Tamarindo where we were staying, they actually warned us of the under current there. So if you have kids, this isn’t the place to go. We actually only went to see the sunset one day and try out hand at swimming (before we were told of the danger) and could feel the current and how strong it was. So while it was close to us and convenient, it was not my favorite.
The last two beaches were Conchal and San Juanillo. Both had their specialties just like the rest of the beaches we went to. One was clear blue ocean, perfect for snorkeling. When I say perfect, I mean all I had to do was put the mask on and my face in the water and I could see puffer fish and other tropical fish instead of needing to actually snorkel. PS- this is my way of snorkeling! The other beach wasn’t as calm but had a lovely restaurant, which is my absolute favorite. Eating out with a view of the Pacific Ocean? Can’t get any better than that.