10 Reasons To Make Playas-del-Coco Your Costa Rica Destination

Playas del Coco, a small fishing village in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, attracts many foreigners. It’s a popular beach town for international visitors and locals. Playas del Coco is a great destination for solo travelers, couples, and families. 

One of the reasons I love Playas del Coco is how easy it is to get there. My family flew directly from the United States to Liberia International Airport. Even budget airlines, such as JetBlue, have direct flights to Playas del Coco. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel and paid $30. 

Key Takeaways From This Article

Playas del Coco has become a popular destination for Canadians, Americans, and European retirees, digital nomads, immigrants, and expatriates. There are various reasons why Playas del Coco is attractive for foreigners, whether they are looking to stay for a short or long term. Here are my key takeaways on why you should make Playas del Coco your Costa Rican destination. 

  • The warm weather makes Playas del Coco attractive to those who live in countries that experience winter. 
  • The Pura Vida lifestyle is a slower way of living, which is ideal for people who have a busy life and would like a slower lifestyle. 
  • Playas del Coco has something for everyone, whether you are an art enthusiast, love exploring, or just want to lie on the beach or go shopping.
  • The local community is welcoming, and you will experience the “pura vida” lifestyle. 

10 Reasons To Make Playas del Coco Your Destination

Playas del Coco is 30 minutes from Liberia International Airport and five hours from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. It is one of the more accessible places, as there are plenty of buses and other means of transport. Here are another 10 reasons to make Playas del Coco your Costa Rican destination.

Plenty Accommodation Options

If you are not staying with friends, you will have many options for accommodation. Budget-friendly hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, and luxury hotels and resorts exist. If you want to stay in an all-inclusive resort, you can stay at Riu Guanacaste, about 30 minutes from Playas del Coco. 

Other resorts a few minute’s drive from Playas del Coco include. 

  • Planet Hollywood is 36 km from Playas del Coco. Planet Hollywood is an all-inclusive resort where you will see Hollywood memorabilia. 
  • Occidental Papagayo: Playas del Coco is only 5 km from the resort. It’s an all-inclusive adult-only resort with spectacular sea views. 
  • Secrets: It’s in Playa Avenille, 15 minutes from Coco town. Secrets Papagayo is an adult-only resort with 202 rooms and suites. 
  • Four Seasons is on the remote island of Anguilla, 7 km from Playas del Coco. It also provides spacious villas for group vacations.

Vacation rentals are also popular with foreigners who want to avoid staying in hotels, resorts, or hostels. There are short-term and long-term vacation rentals. Las Palmas residential neighborhood is not gated and has 12 units comprising 1-2 bedroom apartments. Pacifico/Breeze residences have 2-3 floors and are 20 minutes from the beach. 

Near Several Beaches 

You can enjoy more than one beach when you visit Playas del Coco. Fortunately, there are several beaches around Coco town that you can visit since they are not far away. You can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving, and water skiing.

Playas del Coco stretches 3 km from one point to another and has a horseshoe shape. It is a dark-sand beach, and its primary activities include swimming. Your kids will enjoy swimming as the waves are gentle. There are many cliffs and hills around the beach. The sand is black and might be less attractive than white-sand beaches. 

Fortunately, Playas del Coco has some beaches with white sand and clearer waters. The nearest beaches are Playa Panama, Playa Bonita, and Playa Conchal. 

Art Galleries

If you’re an art enthusiast, you should visit Playas del Coco. Coco Town has several art galleries. 

  • The Art Boutique: It opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM daily, except on Sundays. The art gallery is above Johann Bistro, along the main street. Five local women display their artwork and run the gallery. Their artwork comprises canvas paintings, jewelry, woodwork, throw pillows, and hats. The women hold classes to train anyone interested. 
  • Alessandra Cola Art: The artist is from Rome and has the most colorful paintings. Her gallery is next to the Coco Beach Hotel on the main street. The paintings are small, so you can easily put them in your suitcase. But she still has larger paintings, which are packable. Most of her paintings are budget-friendly. 
  • Sot Quibi Boruca Masks and Art: Locals used the masks to scare away Spanish invaders. The gallery is at the reception of The Palms at Coco Beach and displays artworks from indigenous Boruca artists. You can visit any time between 9 AM and 9 p.m. 
  • Tafa Souvenir and Indigenous Gallery Art: Opens from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, apart from Mondays. 

Good Food 

Playas del Coco has several restaurants serving various international cuisines. Hence, you won’t have to miss home food. Alternatively, it’s the best place to enjoy cuisines from other countries. Many travelers from different countries visit, and the restaurants try to make them feel at home. 

But also ensure to try out local Costa Rican dishes. I love that most restaurants use fresh ingredients when making food. They get fresh seafood from the nearby beaches, beef from the cattle farmers, and freshly grown ingredients from their gardens. 

Some of my favorite restaurants include:. 

Restaurants In Playas del Coco
Le CoqApart from Sundays, the restaurant is open from 12 to 7.30 PM daily.
Offer Lebanese cuisine and vegan and vegetarian options.
It’s on the main street, next to the casino.
La CavejaOpen from 5 to 10 PM daily, apart from Mondays.
The restaurant is famous for its Italian cuisine, especially pizzas.
It is on the street to Ocotal, a bit out of town, but worth the visit.
Jimmy BurgerThe restaurant is next to the Coco Beach Hotel.
You will get delicious burgers and other fast food options.
It is open from 12.30 to 9 PM daily.
The LookoutIt’s a bar and restaurant famous for fresh seafood.
The restaurant is on the top floor of Hotel Chantel and has the best view of the Pacific Ocean.
It is open from 12 to 10 PM daily, apart from Tuesday.
Numu Taproom and BistroChoose craft beer with your favorite food from chef Nicolas Devenelle.
Open from 12 to 9.30 PM but remains closed on Tuesday.
It’s in the Pacifico Village, in suite C7.

Vibrant Nightlife 

Being lovers of a good party, we were happy to discover that Coco Town had a beautiful nightclub. Zi Lounge has a “ladies’ night” on Thursday, where you can enjoy complimentary drinks and shots. It also hosts theme parties and events. 

Coconutz is the leading sports bar in Playas del Coco. Here, you can watch all major sporting events while you have local beer or cocktails. The club also hosts live music several nights a week. Karaoke night is on Wednesday. 

Another cozy bar in Playas del Coco is Bambu, in Plaza Zisa on the main street. It has an assorted selection of drinks and an elegant interior. Once a month, the club hosts live music, with DJs playing all types of music. 

A Welcoming Local Community

The local community in Playas del Coco is very welcoming. Coco town has only one street with many shops, bars, and restaurants. That means that the locals know each other well. The locals live in small neighborhoods not far from the town center. 

The foreigners and the locals have a very cordial relationship. Because Coco town is small, you can learn more about Costa Rican culture through traditional cultural events. Over the weekend, Playas del Coco is full of locals trying to escape the big towns of Liberia and San Jose. 

Pura Vida Lifestyle

Pura Vida, the Costa Rican way of life, means living a relaxed and simple life. Costa Ricans appreciate the simple things in life while promoting a straightforward approach. It means learning to live in the present and letting go of trivial matters. 

Costa Ricans take time to enjoy life by eating good food and participating in fun activities. They also foster tight-knit communities and encourage frequent interactions. It is the kind of lifestyle that you will get at Playas del Coco. 

When you visit Playas del Coco, be ready to hear the locals answering greetings with “POO-rah, VEE-dah.” You should also use the term POO-rah VEE-dah when you like something or are happy. 

Great Weather All Year Round

Playas del Coco experiences tropical-season weather. Due to the surrounding mountains, Coco Town has a longer dry season than most other parts of Costa Rica. While the rest of the country experiences dry months from December to April, Playas del Coco is drier for more months. 

That means you can enjoy more outdoor activities since the weather is warm. You also don’t have to visit during the peak tourist season. Enjoy cheaper rates and lower crowds by visiting Playas del Coco during the low season. 

You could liken Playas del Coco to a yellow desert due to the lack of lush green vegetation during the dry months. From August to October, Playas del Coco experiences the peak of the rainy season, when the area turns green even with little rain. It’s unlikely that Playas del Coco will rain the whole day.  

Safe Beach Town 

Playas del Coco is safer than most towns in major world cities. Crime against foreigners is infrequent. However, you must take caution and not do the following: 

  • Don’t leave your things unattended in public places. 
  • Leave your flashy jewelry, money, and original passport in the safe deposit box where you stay. 
  • Avoid walking at night, especially at the beach and in unlit areas. Always take a taxi when leaving the nightclubs. 

Shopping Expeditions

You will love shopping in Playas del Coco. Several boutiques sell clothes made from beautiful and exciting fabrics. Their designs are also unique, as local designers make the clothes. Tourist shops will also have colorful clothes with labels reading Vida. They are not as expensive as buying them from your country. 

In downtown Coco, you’ll find Costa Rican clothing store chains such as Arenas or Fusion. These stores sell a variety of local designs at great sales. Most Costa Rican grocery stores, like Luperon or Mega Super, sell basic clothes. 

Alternatively, you can select clothes from second-hand stores called “Ropas Americana.” The clothes in these stores are American brands but at a more reasonable price. On the way to Liberia, you’ll find Pricemart, which is similar to Costco, if you want high-quality clothing. 

Conclusion

Playas del Coco has long been a popular destination for locals and foreigners. Locals affectionately refer to it as “El Coco” and foreigners as Coco Beach. It is a bustling town with a laid-back atmosphere. 

What made you want to visit Playas del Coco? Please share your experience. 

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About 

Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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