Lonely Planet Writer

Locals create website to find Costa Rica's best beaches

If you are planning on going to this Central American paradise, do not forget to look for the best beaches of the country on goplaya.cr.

A woman enjoying the calmness of Playa Rajada. Image by José Pablo Alfaro

Two beach-lovers from Costa Rica have created a website where locals and tourists can find over 200 beaches all around the country. Jose Pablo Alfaro and his best friend, Carlos Alpizar, grew up going to Costa Rica’s beaches with their family and friends.

Aerial view of Playa Quesera. Image by José Pablo Alfaro

The clear water, the white sand beaches, the surfing and the many natural activities were some of the things they enjoyed. However, at some point, they thought they had seen them all. “We thought we had seen all of them or at least all the well-known beaches. It happened that we knew less than 20 of them all, and the country has more than 200” says José Pablo.

Swimming with turtles is one of the best experiences in Guanacaste. Image by José Pablo Alfaro

That was when they decided to create GoPlaya, a search platform where tourists and locals can go and find more than 220 beaches all around the country. José Pablo and his best friend spent a year looking for the beaches in a map, asking locals about it and traveling from town to town, creating routes, collecting all the information that would become GoPlaya.

A view of playa blanca, located in Santa Rosa National Park. Image by José Pablo Alfaro

“The greatest thing about GoPlaya is that people can go and select their preferences and the things they would like to find in a beach, for example: white sand seafront, a specific location, if they would like to snorkel, watch turtles, whales and dolphins, to surf, or if they look for a place with great nightlife.

Tourists can also select the area where they would like to go and create their own route, rent a car and find the nearest hotels available. “This is a great way for people that are traveling from outside the country to make their Costa Rica vacation safer. Also, the website lets them know about the beach in advance, if it’s safe for kids and if its accessible”, he added. Every location on the website has photos and videos, so people can see what it’s like before they get there. The guys are always looking for new places, so do not get surprised if you find something new every time you visit. The platform also offers discounts on car rentals, hotel rentals and more.

Words: María Esther Abissi