Playa Carrillo, Guanacaste

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Costa Rica beaches are known for their white sand, palm tree forests and clear waters. The beach at Playa Carrillo is no exception. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Guanacaste Costa Rica, Playa Carrillo is the perfect destination for your next beach vacation.

The City

Puerto Carrillo is the hillside city associated with the beach in this district. The population is around 1,800, making it more of a village. The town is known for its laid-back vibe and is considered a nice vacation spot even by native Costa Ricans, especially during local holidays. You will enjoy experiencing genuine Tico culture during your visit, not far from the fun-loving action in Sámara, but quiet enough to feel like a getaway.

The town is generally centered around services and provisions for visitors. You can find anything you need for an enjoyable getaway in Carrillo.

  • Restaurants

  • Hotels and vocational rentals

  • Yoga and surf tours

  • Hiking and camping tours

  • Dolphin and whale watching

  • ATV and off-road tours

  • Horseback riding

  • Gear rental

  • Sport fishing tours



You can easily travel to Playa Carrillo by plane. Flights land at Sámara Domestic Airport, which is actually closer to Carrillo than to Sámara. You can also take a bus from Nicoya or San Jose into Carrillo. In 2006, Road 150 from Nicoya was completed, making travel to the region much more easily accessible.

The Beach

Playa Carrillo is a less-developed beach. There are few buildings in the area and instead of the beach being lined with shops, it is lined with palm trees. There is a roadway along the beach and ample parking. Picnic tables are available. The waves are generally small, as the beach is situated on Bahía Carrillo, bay protected by rocky headlands. This make the beach a good option for families with small children or beachgoers who prefer calmer waters.

At the beach you can enjoy snorkeling the coral reef, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, sport fishing or windsurfing. If you prefer to stay on land, take part is some beach yoga or horseback riding or explore the tide pools that form at high tide on the southern end of the beach. If you take the road to the southern end of the bay where it climbs the hill to the town, you will find a lookout perfect for enjoying the breathtaking Costa Rica sunset.

The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a non-governmental organization with a presence in 73 countries around the world. The FEE make annual evaluations of beaches in member countries and awards certifications in the form of a Blue Flag award to beaches that meet their criteria for environmental awareness, safety, water quality, and other factors. Playa Carrillo has been awarded the Blue Flag. What this means for you as a traveler is that you will enjoy one of the cleanest beaches in the country when you visit Carrillo.

Nearby Beaches

While you could be content to enjoy the friendly atmosphere of a relaxing day at Playa Carrillo, you could also venture out to explore other beaches nearby. As you make your way up or down the Pacific coast there are many unique and beautiful beaches you can visit.

Playa Samara: a larger beach with waves suitable for beginning surfers
El Roble: This beach is famous for its volcanic and sand and for having one of the best surf spots in the country. When the wave are breaking just right, you can ride for nearly a kilometer!

Visit Soon

Escape the ordinary and come see for yourself what a unique experience awaits you at Playa Carrillo. You are sure to be pleased with the variety of activities available to you, as well as by the stunning natural beautify of this undeveloped coastal gem.
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