Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica

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Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica

Find the best place to stay — Playa Ocotal

Something different in Playa Ocotal

While the other resort towns pulse with cocktail bars and scuba touts all over the coastline of Guanacaste Province, Playa Ocotal seems happily content to carry on with those laid-back Tico vibes. It's not built-up but rustic. It's not hedonistic but chilled. It's got a smattering of homey Playa Ocotal vacation rentals hiding between the palm blooms that dress its shores, and a wide, shady beach that tumbles into a yacht-spotted bay. The town of Playas del Coco offers nightlife and gastronomy nearby, while little coves around the coast are a snorkeler's dream-come-true.

Unhurried beach life in Playa Ocotal

The pace of life in Playa Ocotal is noticeably slower than in the other beach towns of Costa Rica's northern Pacific Coast. Here, you can while away whole days lost in the pages of a book, soaking up the tropical rays on the patios of those luxurious Playa Ocotal vacation rentals, or with hard-earned hammock time between the palm trees close to the shore. When action does call, snorkeling abounds in the nearby coves, and there's always plenty of beach shacks, cocktail bars, and Central American seafood joints in the town of Playas del Coco over the hill.

Plenty to see around Playa Ocotal

The draws of Playa Ocotal might be mainly low-key and Zen-inducing but there are plenty of world-class attractions just a stone's throw from the shores. Check out the enthralling provincial capital of Liberia, sat only 25 miles away inland. There, you can lose yourself between intriguing relics of Mesoamerican civilizations in the Museum Guanacaste, or delve into colorful Tico marketplaces. Further north is the acclaimed Santa Rosa National Park, where safaris include sightings of spider monkeys, capuchins, and mud-caked mangroves.

Playa Ocotal shines throughout the year

Playa Ocotal enjoys long, sunny days for much of the year, not to mention temperatures that sit steadily in the high 80s and low 90s _ talk about needing the Pacific to cool off. There are some slight seasonal changes to be aware of, though. Occasional rains drift in between May and September, but they are often light enough to keep the beach sessions ticking over. Then there's the Christmas and New Year period, when visitor numbers peak and prices in Playa Ocotal vacation rentals climb to their annual high.

Playa Ocotal is raw, Costa Rican coast

Playa Ocotal doesn't have the glimmering, shimmering light-sand beaches of the other resorts that enfold it along the coast of Guanacaste Province. Instead, it's got dusty, beige-black sand that peaks just out of the verdant clusters of palm trees that fringe the shore between 2 craggy headlands of stone. It's those rocky outlets that make Playas del Coco a veritable mecca for snorkelers. You can don the gear and hit the waters to spy out schools of colorful tropical fish and huge manta rays alike.