The Best Diving in Costa Rica


Costa Rica lies between the shorelines of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. With such an expansive shoreline, the Beaches or Playas of Costa Rica are Diverse, with Unique and Varying Characteristics. You will find something fascinating –  a Beautiful White Sand Paradise lined with Palm Trees, Volcanic Black Sand, or Naturally Rugged Beach Coves surrounded by Tropical Rain-Forest. From Luxurious Beach Resorts to Untouched Shorelines, there is an Ideal Beach setting for everyone. Beaches here are Best Experienced here Early Morning to Early Afternoon to Avoid Crowds and Afternoon Showers in the green season. Here is the run down on Beaches in our Area and what they offer.


Flamingo Beach is one of our favorite beaches and lies on the west side of Flamingo town. It gets its name from the slightly pink-white sand. It is a little over 1km long, is fairly flat, uninterrupted and for the most part is calm. You get a great view of Las Catalinas Islands from here and the sunsets can be amazing. This beautiful beach is surprisingly quiet early mornings and weekdays, but beware of weekends and public holidays as it can quickly become crowded. Coco-Loco, one of the most popular restaurants in the area, sits closer to the south side of the beach and is right on sand. Best experienced late afternoon and at dinner time, get there early for a front row view of the sunset. There are two accommodation options on Flamingo Beach. Margaritaville on the North point and The Palms Residence on the South point. The North and South ridges are littered with luxury rental homes and condos.


Potrero Beach also lies in Flamingo and is often mistaken for Flamingo Beach as it is home to the new Flamingo Marina Development and the first beach you see when entering the area. Potrero Beach is a Dark Grey Volcanic Beach and on the left side close to Marina it is littered with Fishing Boats, Catamaran's and Dive Boats. The majority of the beach and to the right is sparse with a few Residences, Hotels and Restaurants fringing the back of the beach. The most popular facility on this beach is the Costa Rica Sailing Center & Hemingway's Restaurant. Here you can rent Paddle Boards, Kayaks, various sail boats and they offer sailing lessons and have a large fun group of members. This is also the focal point of Potrero's social and Live Music scene. If you are looking for a quiet local dining experience, then you should check outEstero Azul closer to the boat mooring area. We highly recommend this hidden gem during the day. You will only find local food and drinks here.

Good for Boogie Boarding but take your own as there are no Surfing Rentals on this beach.


Playa Penca is another one of our favorite beaches in the area and it’s amazing how different the beaches are in Costa Rica. Playa Potrero just next door is not considered an attractive beach but Penca is a beautiful Blonde beach, hidden and does not get busy. Iy is a great escape not too far off the beaten path. Penca is not a long beach but it has such charm and has a great view. Penca also connects to Playa Prieta , another hidden gem making a beach way a good distance when you combine the two.

To get to Playa Prieta, you need to trek through the trees at the North end by the Estuary for just a few minutes and hang a left when you get out of the trees by Villas Estival.

There are currently no services on Penca but there will be a very small and quaint outlet opening soon. Be sure to go with what you need.

Good for Boogie Boarding but take your own as there are no Surfing Rentals on this beach.


Conchal Beach or Shell Beach in English, is one of the most underestimated and missed out beaches in the area, and is another favorite of ours. It is mainly white in appearance and gets its name from the tiny white Seashells it is made up of. For a stunning beach, it is much less frequented and mainly due to the park and walk access from the Brasilito side, but it is getting busier down that side as it is the beach for the all-inclusive Westin - Reserva Conchal and the luxurious W - Reserva Conchal. We do, however, have a secret for you. If you access Conchal Beach via Matapalo, this will bring you to the far left of the beach to what is known as Puerto Viejo or Old Port. This name comes from Pirating days when Pirate ships would enter the bay and hide from the open sea. There is plenty of parking right at the beach and a small old local Restaurant & Bar called El Ecanto, nothing fancy but you can eat and drink. To get the best of Conchal Beach, walk to the middle where there is a Mangrove Estuary on the back of the beach, this is by far the most scenic and quiet area. If you are into snorkeling, take snorkeling gear! This is probably the only beach worth snorkeling in this area. Far right by the rocky outcrops is the clearest and most active, we have even seen Eagle Rays there in very shallow water. Avoid weekends and national holidays.

Good for Boogie Boarding but take your own as there are no Surfing Rentals on this beach.


Tamarindo has grown up on the back of surfing culture and is the most popular beach town to stay in and learn to surf in, with a vast array of hostels, hotels and Airbnb’s to fit every budget. Tamarindo beach is flat, medium dark brown and about 1km long. Tamarindo Beach is great for beginner surfers, so don’t be intimidated by its surf town reputation. Tamarindo is also home to Surfing Legend & Pop Culture Icon Robert August from the Movie Endless Summer 2.

August still has his Surfboard workshop and shapes boards and can be spotted around Witches Rock Surf Camp most days

This is a busy beach fringed with surf schools and hotels, hostels, bars and restaurants. If you are looking for a quiet, secluded beach to relax and enjoy the scenery, this is not the beach for you. See Playa Langosta.

Great for learning to Surf and for Boogie Boarding. Also good for Intermediate Surfers on the right day. There are plenty of Surfing Schools & Rentals on the back of the beach and on the main road.


Playa Langosta is definitely worth a visit if you are staying in Tamarindo and want to avoid the crowds. There are many spots to claim and spend an uninterrupted day. This scenic White Sandy Beach is much quieter than its neighbor, and is one of the best places in this region to let your hair down and relax. Cross the Estuary to the other side and the beach widens up for a good walk. Surfers are still found here but not as many, as the waves are bigger and there are rocky hazards.

Good for intermediate Surfers and on the day right beginners. There are no Surfing Rentals on this beach.


Playa Avellanas is a wide open Light Tan sandy beach fringed by mangroves and twisted gnarly trees. The tree line is a prime spot to set yourself up for shade. There is a large old Mangrove swamp hidden on the back of Playa Avellanas with a rickety raised boardwalk that leads to Cabinas Las Olas. This is a must visit spot and excellent photo opportunity. We actually prefer to park securely at Las Olas and enter the beach via the boardwalk, it is such a dramatic entrance! Once on the beach if you head South you will find Lola’s Restaurant. It has grown considerably over recent years and the food & drink is excellent. Don’t forget to look out for Lola the Pig!

The biggest attraction of Avellanas is the surf. The waves here attract surfers from every corner of the world to experience some of the best breaks in Costa Rica. Suitable for advanced beginners and intermediates on a regular day. There are no Surf Rentals right on the beach or other services but for Lola’s. Take your boards with you!

About us

Scuba Dive Costa Rica is a multilingual Diving Agency located at the heart of Costa Rica's diving region in NW Pacific, serving Tamarindo, Flamingo, Reserva Conchal, Brasilito, Potrero and Las Catalinas Resort. We offer incredible diving opportunities at Las Catalinas for certified divers and first time divers through our Discover Scuba Diving Program. Snorkellers & Passengers are welcome too. Further north we have the famous Bull Shark Dive at Bat Islands which is available from May to October

Contact info

  • Playa Potrero / Flamingo
  • +506 8602 6581
  • Costa Rica Sailing Center
    Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • Tamarindo
  • +506 8602 6581