Costa Rica Beaches

Playa Zancudo

Costa Rica

Starfish Rating of 4.5

Claim to Fame

One of the best locations in the world for swimming in the Pacific Ocean; romantic, tranquil and with low number of tourists.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of by MiguelVieira
  • Where is it?southern coast of Costa Rica, on Golfo Duce, on the Pacific Ocean, at the town of Zancudo
  • Coordinates: latitude» 8.54405°
    longitude» -83.1467°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: developed areas within the town of Zancudo; beach is undeveloped
  • Length of Beach: 3.75m/6km
  • Type: black sand
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Tourists from all over the globe cite this beach as one of the best places on the planet for swimming. The Pacific Ocean is warm, and all manner of water sports can be had here, including excellent surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Strolling the long, elegant black beach is a popular pastime, as is sunbathing and beachcombing.

A huge attraction for people who love fishing, Play Zancudo has excellent sport fishing with catches like tuna, marlin and sailfish. Boat rentals are available nearby, as are chartered fishing tours and pleasure cruises.

Situated near the old banana port of Golfito, the beach is relatively unspoiled, a draw for tourists, but not in droves. So far, itís been a well-guarded secret. The beach is rimmed with coconut palms and almond trees that add a sweet scent to the ocean breezes. This is a spot for tranquility and romance.

Other outdoor activities enjoyed at the beach and in the adjacent town of Zancudo are backpacking, horseback riding, hiking and kayaking, and a visit to the stunning Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens; the orchid collection is breathtaking! In the town are terrific restaurants and bars, very inexpensive by any standards. You can catch a water taxi from the town to the beach; take your camera because the short trip is resplendent with beauty to be preserved on film.

Donít miss the nearby mangrove swamp, a natural habitat for monkeys, exotic birds and even crocodiles. Itís a wildlife paradise, and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in the shade.

With unobstructed views of the ocean and sky, the night is especially dazzling here. Spectacular sunsets are followed closely by magnificent displays of thousand of stars, their light reflecting on the shimmering water and black sand, dark as the night sky. Phosphorescent marine life in the water makes it glitter with color at night. Just lie back on the beach and enjoy the show!

Play Zancudo has all the amenities needed to make a fabulous beach holiday, but none of the usual things like high-rise hotels and hustle-bustle that other places have. Itís the best of both worlds: unspoiled and sufficiently outfitted.

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