Playa del Coco, Costa Rica — City Guide

by Jane Sophia
Playa del Coco, Costa Rica — City Guide

Why should you visit Playa del Coco, Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a Central American country. Her neighbors are:

  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Caribbean Sea

Playa del Coco Location:

There is something inexplicable that we like when we say, ‘coco’. Playa del Coco is a region in northwest Costa Rica. It faces the Pacific Ocean. The Playa del Coco is part of the Liberia district.

The destination for tourists has two aliases, namely:

  • Coco Beach
  • El Coco

As a beach town, Playa del Coco has developed into a perennial holiday destination. The Pacific Ocean rules over the Atlantic Ocean in terms of beauty, unique marine lives, and exotic islands.

Let us look into the things to do in Playa del Coco, and places to see.

The map is showing the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. Our beach town destination belongs to this province.

In addition, the captivating city of Liberia is just 20 km south of it. Await my exclusive travel guide to Liberia.

How to reach Playa del Coco?

I think you might have already guessed. You are right! Liberia is the gateway to the Coco Beach.

Liberia has an international airport. (There is a country named Liberia in West Africa.). This Liberia is a city in Costa Rica, Central America.

From the airport of Liberia city, hire a taxi to reach the Coco Beach town. The travel time is only 30 minutes.

Best Places to stay in Playa del Coco:

I must admit, it is slightly more expensive to stay in the beach town than staying in the big city of Liberia.

However, I would recommend the following hotels, and resorts to stay, The terrific locales will steal your heart.

  • Palms at Coco Beach
  • Bahia Pez Vela Resort
  • Villas San Angel Condominiums
  • Tropical Gardens Condominiums
  • Coco Beach Hotel

Budget backpackers can find cheap hostels, and guest houses in Liberia City. Plan one or two day-trips from Liberia to Coco Beach.

What are the local special foods to eat in El Coco?

  • Gallo pinto

This is the national dish of Costa Rica, It means “spotted rooster”.

This is basically a rice dish served with stir-fried or baked beans. The locals prefer to eat it for breakfast along with cheese or poached eggs.

  • Grilled Oyster

I think this is an exotic dish. I have not come across the name in hundreds of islands, and beach destinations that I have written about thus far.

Moreover, I have seen people eat the iced-oysters raw.

  • Tuna Nachos

The name indicates it is a Mexican dish. After all, the Gulf of Mexico is one of the maritime borders of Costa Rica.

  • Ginger Margarita

Margarita is a tequila-based cocktail. Generally, it will be a fruit based cocktail, containing lime juice. But ginger as one of the ingredients in a tequila drink sounds odd to me.

  • Fried Avacado

Ah, it must be purely a local special. It gets more exotic when a bowl of chipotle sauce is placed alongside. You are supposed to pick up the avocado fry with a fork, dip it in the highly spicy Mexican chilli sauce, and eat. Do you think the children would love fried avocado but without the hot dip?

  • Plantain fruit baked with honey

Wow! This dish is unheard of! What an innovation by the Cots Ricans.

  • Tostones

These are fried raw banana slices, but fried twice in oil.

  • Guacamole

When you find this green-colored chutney (paste), know it as mashed avocado. It is used to top the salad or used as a side dish for rice dishes.

  • Casado

Obviously, it is a full meal taken for lunch or dinner. The plate contains rice and beans, which are the staple in Costa Rica. In addition, there will be some white or red meat, and of course the familiar tortilla, the Mexican flat bread equivalent to the Asian roti.

Playa del Coco, Costa Rica — City Guide

  1. Visit a volcano


Strangely, it has a Mexican name that goes by , ‘Rincon de la Vieja’. It appears as a single volcanic mountain but it is actually a complex of volcanoes.

It is a rather tall volcano with its crater situated at an altitude of 6300 feet!

Even from Liberia City, you can reach the volcano in about half an hour. The distance is 23 km only between the two points.

Probably, this is the first thing to do in Playa del Coco because it’s a major geographical attraction. After all, you don’t get to see a volcano so often-right?

The volcano is backed by a sad folklore behind it. So, it is important for you to hike up to the crater and then hear the story.

Hikers will be in for more surprises on their way. Natural hot springs and fumaroles can be seen venting hot water, and hot gases.

You may like to know when Ricon de la Vieja last erupted. Jun 2021 was the volcano’s recent eruption.

Rincon de la Vieja has 5 companions. I would like to mention one of them. This volcano’s name is Turrialba. It is also an active volcano.

Look at its cone spewing gaseous substance!

Hikers can also spot a few animals on their way. The wildlife includes:

  • Tapir
  • Jaguar
  • Sloth bear
  • Puma (rare feline)

It is surely a big cat that has an alias, ‘cougar’.

  • Spider Monkey
  • Howler Monkey

Flora in Rincon de la Vieja:

You must go with a guide to the volcanic mountains. He will point out to the trees of cloud forest and rain forest.

Adventures activities in and around the Rincon de la Vieja and other active and extinct volcanoes.

Adventure travelers throng the El Coco mainly because they are in a for a salivating treat in the form of several adventure activities that include:

  • Hiking the active volanoes
  • Riding on horse backs
  • Forest walk
  • Bird watching
  • Canopy walks
  • Rafting in the forest river

I am lured fully by Playa del Coco because of this very exciting hike on on an active volcano.

  1. Go to Diamante Eco-Adventure Park

More adventurous things to do in Coco Beach for the dare evils in the Diamant Eco Adventure Park in Playa del Coco.

The most thrilling fun is sliding on a metal rope, known as ziplining. Study the following figures, and you will winder why this ziplining sport is not very popular.

  • The length of the metal rope is 1400 meters! That is quite long.
  • The speed at which you will slide across the zipline is a dizzying 100 km per hour!

You will slide hanging horizontally, thus giving you a splendid view of the gorge below.

More actions are available in the form of paddling while standing and kayaking (paddling while sitting in the kayak).

For wildlife lovers, the added attraction is the wildlife sanctuary inside the adventure park.

  1. Spend an evening in the downtown

Every tourist to any city would be waiting impatiently to go to the downtown area. It is where you eat local food, drink, and stroll along the road to do window shopping.

In Coco Beach downtown, tourists are attracted by road shows, and street music performers.

Oh, you can also do some souvenir shopping. Central American countries are known for exotic drinks, bakery items, colorful boutiques, and attractive handicrafts.

  1. Playa Flamingo

This beach near El Coco is known for diverse marine lives, including the big ‘sea cow’, alias ‘manatee’. Therefore, you can spot quite a lot of scuba divers, going in a boat to the exact diving spot.

Man, don’t wait for any pink flamingos to show up. There are no flamingos in Playa Flamingo.

  1. Playa Grande

Literally meaning the ‘big beach’, it is one of the nest places to see in Playa del Coco.

You have to hire a taxi for going to this very popular destination. The beach is a favorite nesting habitat for leatherback turtles.

Oblivious of human eyes watching them, the turtles lay their eggs on the beach, covering their precious future family with the beach sand.

So, watch your steps, buddy. A local guide cal alert you.

  1. Tamarindo

It is a beautiful beach, near El Coco. Again, you need to depend on a local taxi to reach the place. 32 km is the distance to be covered in a taxi.

Inexplicably, the waves compete with each other to lure wave surfing enthusiasts. I read the ‘wave season’ prevails throughout the year.

It is nothing short of breathtaking. It is no wonder that Tamarindo is a big tourist attraction in Playa del Coco.

If you are a fishing buff, take a chartered boat tour in the Gulf of Mexico. You will have a bgg (net) full of fishes and oysters, clams, and crabs.

Release them back into the sea as soon as you take a photo of your catch.

I think our beach destination in Costa Rica is literally blowing hot and cold.

I am winding it off, buddy. Playa del Coco in northwest Costa Rica on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico is a typical beach holiday destination.

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