a VirtualTourist member from Munich
At the moment I'm studying travel brochures about Costa Rica.
I plan to go there in January. First, after the flight, three or four nights in San Jose.
Then 2 weeks across Costa Rica to see some vulcanoes and national parks.
After that 1 week at the beach. The beach hotels are all on the pacific coast of Costa Rica.
But there are a lot of beaches with high waves for surfing.
Where can you go for swimming ? Are there calm waters ? Any warnings about some beaches because of pollution ?
Are there also sandy beaches or only vulcanoe beaches with some rocks ? I want to book the next days.
We have a place in Playas del Coco and I taught my kids to swim in that area. Playa Hermosa, GTE has a little surf , but nothing dangerous . We also like Punta Uva just south of Puerto Viejo on the Carri bean side. It has a yellow spongy sand, gentle surf and great snorkeling.
Costa Rica beaches on the Pacific side are beautiful and many have white sandy beaches. One of my favorite is a little town called Samara, [original VT link]
It is great for swimming and many other activities.
Manuel Antonio national park is also very good with amazing beaches and swimming. But here can be very touristy.
Some of the Guanacaste beaches are a little strong as far as surf goes. But there are so many it isn't hard to find an area with calm surf. Manuel Antonio National Park has 3 beaches each with different strengths.
Hi, we were just there this past Christmas/January season and although some of the beaches do indeed have high waves others, as mentioned (Playa Escondida (our favorite), Playa Hermosa, Uvita, Dominical, Mata Palo, Dominical and of course, Manuel Antonio are all perfectly fine for swimming and many have protected inlets which remain quite calm.
Here is an image of Dominical last January: [original VT link]
Here is Matapalos: [original VT link]
here is Quepos: [original VT link]
Here is Domincal: [original VT link]
Pacific Beaches are awesome its best known of their high waves and great travel adventures too, But I came across also with Australia's beaches and they were awesome too with surfing adventure and sailing trips I've tried.
As Bluesky John points out, Samara is a good bet for calm waters, but January is a summer month and so many of the Pacific beaches will be calmer than in rainy season, whereas the Caribbean will probably have rougher waters that time of year.
My wife and I spent a couple of nights in Cahuita on the Caribbean coast last January. My wife, who cannot swim, felt comfortable going into the water at some of the beach areas within the national park (located just at the edge of town). Within the park, they do a good job of indicating which areas are most likely to experience any dangerous waves, so you can feel pretty confident about enjoying yourself in the water without too many worries. Also, the beaches within the park are white/yellow sand.
Another beach that you may want to check out near Sámara is Playa Carrillo. It's beautiful, unspoiled and quiet. Few people, beautiful scenery and the quiet solitude to really enjoy yourself.
Already mentioned in the second response.
I can recommend you Playa Nicuesa, it is on the south pacific coast of Costa Rica.
I was there in a eco lodge called Nicuesa Lodge. I have never seen calm waters such as in this place. Wonderful for kayaking and swimming. it is quiet, no pollution place , full for biodiversity.
Check this web for more info: http://www.nicuesalodge.com/
Hope you enjoy Costa Rica.