Playa Pan de Azucar, Guanacaste

Playa Pan de Azucar - Sugar Beach
Playa Pan de Azucar - Sugar Beach

Playa Pan de Azúcar literally means Sugar Bread Beach, but it is usually called Play Azucar, or Sugar Beach.

This beach is one of the most secluded and private shorelines in Costa Rica, making it an ideal place to escape the crowds of the more popular tourist areas.

Best Hotels in Playa Pan de Azucar

There’s only one large property on this beach. Guests can easily hear the sounds of the native animals and enjoy the calm waters while sitting on the white-sand beach.

Flora and Fauna on the Beach

Costa Rica is home to hundreds of different species of animals and plants. Playa Pan de Azucar is no exception.

The dry tropical climate is home to black iguanas, magpie jays, trogons and howler monkeys.

The Pacific waters are home to manta rays, sea turtles, whale sharks, eels and a myriad of other brightly colored fish.

Hike through the forest to appreciate the beauty of the plants. Sit on the beach to enjoy the sounds of nature.

Go scuba diving to see stunning creatures that many only get to view in zoos.

More Activities

Pan de Azucar is a perfect beach for swimming and snorkeling, because the waters are typically pretty calm.

Grab a boogie board or kayak to enjoy the waters. The small lush islands are close enough to explore and enjoy without getting stranded.

During the right tides, you can surf on the beach too, but recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers, not beginners.

Fishing boats can be chartered year-round. You can catch yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi or red snapper and more.

Take a half-day excursion to try it out, or go for a full day to get even more time on the water.

Choose inshore or offshore fishing for whatever type of excitement you want. Many hotels have chefs that will cook your catch, if you simply ask.

Horseback riding on the beach is another option you have to take in the surroundings.

Tours to the Rincon de la Vieja volcano area, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and Volcanic Hot Springs can be arranged.

Guanacaste is the perfect romantic getaway, whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or any other special occasion.

Playa Pan de Azucar is close to many other beaches which have some phenomenal features. Playa Conchal is about 30 minutes away by car, and it’s known for its crystal-clear water and sea shells.

Playa Prieta is just south of Sugar Beach. During low tide, you can walk through the tide pools to get there. It, too, has calm waters great for snorkeling.

Playa Penca is another beach that can be reached by walking, and it has excellent waters for swimming.

If you’re looking for sophisticated fun and nightlife, Playa Flamingo is just a short drive away. This beach is considered charming and beautiful, but it is more frequented by tourists.

There’s plenty of shopping, dancing and entertainment at Playa Flamingo. Take a day or night trip to Playa Flamingo to explore a different side of Guanacaste.

Reaching Playa Pan de Azucar

Playa Pan de Azucar is truly an isolated beach that is only about 300 meters long. It’s not easily accessed.

There are two main options, either trek from Playa Prieta or take dirt roads that wind around until they reach this beautiful beach. It’s not on the beaten path, which keeps visitors to a minimum.

Costa Rica is a bustling tourist destination for its stunning, pristine beaches and natural sites. Playa Pan de Azucar has been named one of Costa Rica’s Top 10 beaches.

The waters are clear and bright. You can watch the sun set over the Pacific at night before you go to sleep. Relax and rejuvenate in this private paradise.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $2,068 per person

Where to Stay near Playa Pan de Azucar

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CC Beachfront Papagayo All-Inclusive Boutique Hotel
Starting at $380 / night All-Inclusive
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Blue Zone Resort
Starting at $102 / night
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Palo Verde Jungle Boat Tour with Lunch
Starting at $120 / person
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El Mangroove, Marriott Autograph Collection
Starting at $218 / night
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Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas
Starting at $66 / night
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Tamarindo Dreams Hotel & Villas
Starting at $191 / night
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Bahía del Sol Beach Front Boutique Hotel
Starting at $145 / night
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Starting at $339 / night

Things to Do near Playa Pan de Azucar

Featured Activity
Palo Verde Jungle Boat Tour with Lunch
Starting at $120 / person
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Coyote Sportfishing Tamarindo
Starting at $475 / Day
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Del Mar Surf Camp - Nosara
Starting at $65 / person