Conchal Beach Costa Rica
Known as a stunning and glamorous Costa Rica beach, Playa Conchal is found on the Pacific Ocean shores north of Guanacaste province. This fabulous beach is close to the infamous Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo and just two kilometers from Playa Brasilito. Along with Playa Brasilito, Playa Conchal is divided by Punta Conchal, a rocky headland that is named from its sand that consists of millions of small, crushed shells.
Featuring perfect weather every day of the year, this awesome beach is immersed in sunshine almost all of the time and provides sunshine each day for at least 10 hours between December and April. With all this sunshine, the water at Playa Conchal stays a lovely warm temperature that is perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Named after the ”concha”, the Spanish word for shell, Conchal Beach is made of small shell particles and white sand making it one of the most gorgeous beach destinations in Central America. With billions of shells that have been crushed repeatedly into the beautiful sand, you get a very unique beach and definitely one for your bucket list. Conchal has more of a remote feel due to its separation from the local towns. You won’t be bothered by too many people as you walk in the forest or along the beach.
There isn’t a specific season that is better than others, so you can have a good time for year-round travel in this region. Even during rainier seasons, don’t be discouraged to visit as you might encounter a good rain shower in the afternoon but you’ll also have sunny morning sand clear evenings. Transitional months, June, July, and August, tend to be preferred by travelers due to the green and lush landscapes of the countryside.
Flying from San Jose to Tamarindo Domestic Airport, you arrive by air to the four kilometers of beach where you can catch a taxi for the 10-minute ride to town. Taxi service is also available from the Liberian airport Daniel Oduber International which is 45 minutes away. There is also a route that provides a gorgeous scenic drive to Conchal Beach from San Jose that takes about four hours.
Found in one of the driest and hottest provinces in Costa Rica, Conchal is hot and sunny all year long. Following typical tropical rainy and dry season patterns, Conchal finds December to April as the dry season and May to November as the rainy months. Typically, you will find the temperature in March and April in the mid-90s which are the hottest months of the year. You also get a lot of humidity in October and November during the rainy months which turns the nearby mountains deep green while the dry months find the mountains turning yellow and dry.
Things To Do in Playa Conchal
Along the Gold Coast, you will find some of the clearest water making snorkeling a popular pastime. If you know how to swim, this is the best way to see an incredible variety of marine life and to actually swim among the tropical fish that live there. Plus, you may see a few stingrays that lurk in the area. Surfing is also not too far from Conchal Beach if you make a short 20-minute drive to Tamarindo.
If you are a little more adventurous, scuba diving and deep sea fishing are other options for when you get tired of lying on the beach. Since Conchal is close by a couple of nature reserves and national parks, there is a variety of places to visit. You will also find several cattle ranches in the area as well as many areas where you can camp out and count the stars at night.
Golfers will enjoy the Garra de Leon Golf Course that is located just steps from the beach. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed this championship course that boasts scenic views of the Pacific coast making it a top golf course in Central America. Adjoining a forest on one side, golfers often get glimpses of howler monkeys as they golf through.
While many people are drawn to Conchal Beach because of the beautiful white sand beach, others like to experience the dry tropical forest that is also found there. Even though Conchal tends to be a beach destination, Brasilito is more of a local fishing town that is found a half mile north. After sunning yourself all morning, this can be a fun afternoon trip into town to buy souvenirs and eat at a marisqueria.
When you stay in the Conchal area, you not only have several water sport options, you can also hike to Rincon De La Vieja National Park where you can visit the local volcanic region. Through the diversity and beauty of the countryside, a visit to Conchal allows you to experience many different environments that all feature beautiful scenery away from the crowds. From sloths hanging from trees in the forest to the expansive view of turquoise water, you can see the views of the following:
• The far edges of volcanic rocks that border the bay
• The sweeping beach of Conchal
• Nearby beaches of Playa Grande, Sugar Beach, Tamarindo, and Flamingo
• Palo Verde, Barra Honda, and Rincon De La Vieja National Parks
• Nearby towns of Tamarindo, Flamingo, and Brasalito
If you are more adventurous and are looking for more diversions that simple relaxing on the beach, Conchal also has several enticing activities for you including:
• Horseback Riding
• White Water Rafting
• Kayak, River Boat, or Mangrove Tours
• Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
• Mountain Biking
• Ocean Kayaking
• Cave Spelunking
• Wildlife and Bird Watching
If you like taking day trips while you are on vacation, Conchal is a great home base to start out from. Many interesting properties are only an hour or two away including:
● Rincon De La Vieja National Park—Featuring a volcanic region and a rainforest, this national park is perfect for hiking, zip lining, and horseback riding. When you visit, you will enjoy hot springs as well as mud baths.
● Palo Verde National Park—The perfect spot for lovers of wildlife that provides a wide variety of animals and terrain to check out. This site is especially known during the rainy season for the migratory birds that gather there.
● Whitewater rafting—You have your choice of the Colorado or Tenorio River
● Sportfishing—Anglers can make their choice between river fishing, off-shore fishing, or inshore fishing.
● Barra Honda National Park— If you are interested in cave spelunking, the Barra Honday is the perfect place to try it out.
Wildlife & Nature
If you like nature, especially wildlife, you won’t be disappointed in Conchal. Marine life, reptiles, tropical birds, sloths, and monkeys are easily seen in most of the Conchal Beach area. You can venture into the Rincon De La Vieja and Palo Verda areas for more intense wildlife viewing. Examples include rides on the Tempisque River that will give you a glimpse into the habitat of parrots, macaws, and toucans while crocodiles swim alongside your boat or sun themselves on the river bank.
Playa Conchal Hotels & All Inclusives
There are limited Playa Conchal Costa Rica hotels, but those that do boast some of the finest experiences and accommodations. There are two main Playa Conchal Costa Rica hotels that give guests direct access to the beach as well as the best all-inclusive property found in Costa Rica, The Westin. Other properties include the Reserva Conchal property that has a wide range of accommodation types like private villas, penthouses, and luxury condominiums. That property is now a “W” and falls under the Marriott Hotels brand. (I highly encourage you check it out, as their loyalty program is second to none.)
Restaurants in Playa Conchal
There are several on-site dining options on these properties due to the location of the Conchal area away from town centers. The Westin is all-inclusive so everything is available for you including beverages, snacks, and meals. The Reserva Conchal also features an on-site restaurant with a snack and meal menu. You can also go off property to Brasilito to eat at a local restaurant which has several seafood options available. In Tamarindo and Flamingo, you can get a wide range of dining options from the Caribbean, American, Italian and local Costa Rican food. Other options include beach vendors that specialize in cold coconut water, fresh ceviche, and grilled kebabs as well as local fruits, mixed drinks, and beer. Tamarindo has the best nightlife options featuring a wide range of live music spots, beach bars, and clubs, head to the town of Tamarindo. There are a wide variety of clubs, beach bars, and live music venues open each night.
If you are looking for some good shopping spots, you will find several vendors that sell souvenirs on the beach of Conchal. If you are looking for a larger shopping option as well as a large grocery store, the town of Tamarindo is your best choice while you will find some smaller grocery stores located in Brasilito.
No matter what activities you choose, you will have an exciting time at Conchal Beach. Just the beauty of the beach and the amazing scenery of the local forest will create a vacation to remember.