Well, they don’t call it Tamagringo for nothing. Tamarindo’s perennial status as Costa Rica’s top surf and party destination has made it the first and last stop for legions of tourists. It stands to reason, then, that this is the most developed beach on the peninsula with no shortage of hotels, bars and restaurants.
Mal País & Santa Teresa
Get ready for tasty waves, creative kitchens and babes in board shorts and bikinis, because the southwestern corner of Península de Nicoya has all that and more. Which is why it's become one of Costa Rica's most life-affirming destinations. Here, the sea is alive with wildlife and is almost perfect when it comes to shape, color and temperature.
Santa Catalina is one of Central America's top surf spots. Indeed, the right and left breaks here are comparable to Oahu’s Sunset Beach on a good day. The fishing village has a laid-back feel, with limited dining and nonexistent nightlife. Enjoy it while it’s still remote, undeveloped and home to some seriously wicked surf.
Palm trees and white-sand beaches form the backdrop to this lovely little island, just 15km from Portobelo. A popular getaway for Panama City folk fleeing the urban grind, Isla Grande is an ideal setting for snorkeling, scuba diving or simply soaking up the island’s relaxed vibe. There are no roads, just a path along the eastern island perimeter.