Skip to main content

6 Beaches you must visit in Cobano

My friends and I and were craving some sunny and warm days so we decided to take a small break and drive to one of the most remote and coveted surf spots of the country, located in the north pacific.

This place hides all kinds of adventures but let´s start from the top… 

How to get there?

If you drive from San José it will take about 5 hrs minding a couple of stops for stretching, getting some fruit or snacks on the way. We wanted to be there for lunch so we hit the road around 4:30 am to make sure we would be on the first ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera which is at 7 am. We took route 27, the fastest road to get there.

Keep in mind there are some tolls on the way and if you plan to use the same route, here are some tips: a 4x4 is highly recommended since the road to Cóbano is not in perfect condition. Exchange some dollars or euros to colones if you are driving, it will help you to reduce the stress of thinking about the exchange rate at the tolls or if you stop on the way to get fruit or snacks. It took less than two hours to get to the ferry pier but it was way too early and since it was my idea to get up that early, my friends were a little mad at me, but nothing that a good breakfast couldn’t fix.

Once we finally got on the ferry it took about an hour and a half to arrive at Paquera, from there we set up Waze straight to our destination. On the way, there are some good places to visit like Montezuma Waterfall and Montezuma beach but we will talk about that on another occasion, we arrived at our final destination just before noon.

cuevas 2

The Beaches and activities

The first beach to visit is Playa Carmen. It is facing the main road, that’s why it will be always the first beach to see. Its white sand and the fresh breeze is perfect to tan and relax while reading a book or having a snack after the long drive. This beach is the closest to restaurants and souvenir shops, even though it is in the middle of town it is really quiet and clean.

Playa Malpaís is a must if you are looking for a specialized surfing beach. Its huge waves and strong currents make it a perfect place to practice this sport, to get here you just have to follow the only road and keep an eye on the signs because they are really small and hard to read. Once you see the Playa Malpaís sign turn left to park the car between the trees and take a small walk to the beach which will take about 5 minutes.

If you keep driving that road south you will get to Playa Cuevas. To get there is a little bit tricky because you cannot drive to the beach itself. There are two options, the first one is to drive until you get to "Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco", leave the car there and walk, but there will be nobody watching the car. That’s why we recommend parking the car at Pescadería Malpaís, this is the safest way if you are driving a car. For a small tip of around 2 to 5 USD, they will keep an eye on your car. From there, you walk around 300 meters until you get to the "Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco" fence and follow the path that says Playa Cuevas. Walk on the jungle path for another 200 meters and suddenly you will be at this beautiful beach surrounded by rocks and jungle in the back. It feels like you are in a movie cast. No civilisation around and a huge rock dividing it from Playa Malpaís. This beach is different from the others because it does not have waves since the rocks block them. When the tide is low it forms natural pools filled with clear water between the rocks. This is the right place to get away from all the noise and pollution of the city or if you want to surprise your special one with a beach date at sunset.

playa carmen sunset

All the way back to the main road passing by Playa Carmen, there is the most popular beach on that side, Playa Santa Tere. the complete name is Santa Teresa but since Ticos tend to shorten names we call it "Santa Tere". It is located between Playa Carmen and Playa Hermosa and is the longest beach on the stripe. Its perfect waves and white soft sand makes it a perfect combination of a surfing spot and a beach to relax. There are many paths to get to different parts of this beach and a few meters from the main road, where you can look for a parking place to leave the car close and watch it from where you are while chilling with your friends or surfing. Santa Tere is also famous as one of the favourite beaches of many music stars and actors, since the locals are really friendly and Pura Vida, and so they don´t have to worry about paparazzi.

The next beach is Playa Hermosa, this is the widest one on the stripe. Its white sand is more compressed than the rest which makes it a great option for long walks or a horseback riding tour which will cost you about 30 to 50 USD for one hour or so. This is the only one with howler monkeys right next to the beach, highly recommended if nature photography is your thing.

playa hermosa

The last one is "Playa Manzanillo", this is the farthest one from Santa Tere downtown which makes it the least visited. The road to get here is really damaged so this is where a 4x4 becomes handy. So, you do not have to worry about damaging the car. The rocky surface covered by a thin layer of sand makes it risky to walk on, a pair of water shoes will be great to avoid getting hurt with the sharp rocks because it really hurts.

Each one of these beaches is worth a visit. They are really close one to another, so you can do a one-day beach tour by renting an ATV which is around 70 to 120 USD depending on the time and the tour agency. You will be asked for your passport, driver´s license and credit card, or if you are driving a 4x4 it will get the job done, too. The beaches are separated from each other mostly by mountains and rocks.

rocky sunset manzanillo


There are many options for lunch and dinner, from sushi over pizza to "casados" and "vigoron", most of the restaurants are owned by locals. We chose a "soda" (a small place where you will find only local food) called Soda Santa Teresa. They served great food, super fresh fish caught the same day, and the prices were between 8 to 10 USD drinks included. Most of the culinarian variety is located between Playa Carmen and Playa Santa Teresa.


In our case, we opted for a hostel since we knew we were not spending too much time there, but there are plenty of options from tourist to first-class hotels and private villas with prices from about 40 to $1200 a night, it all depends on what are you looking for.

playa carmen

If you have more questions please don`t doubt sending us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us through our social media and we will be happy to assist you.

Until the next one...

Recommended Blogs

Nearby Hotels

ARA Tours Testimonials-FeedBack


  • Janaina & Dieter, Brazil

    The trip was wonderful! Your help was invaluable and without your choices it would not have been so good! I am very very satisfied and very happy with the choices you made!

    Thank you very much for everything!

    Janaina & Dieter, Brazil
  • Kathrin, Ines, Matthias & Ingo, Germany

    Hello dear Aline, many thanks to you for the great compilation and organization of the trip. We were able to spend eventful, interesting and wonderful days in Costa Rica and will keep them in good memory. A thank you also goes to the ARA Tours team, which was available 24/7 for problems and questions, which were solved and answered quickly and reliably. The punctuality of the transfers offered should also be emphasized. In summary, it was a wonderful holiday.

    Kind regards

    Kathrin, Ines, Matthias & Ingo, Germany
  • Carina & Thomas, Germany

    Hello dear Aline,
    Now we have arrived back at San Jose Airport after a great trip. Everything worked out great and the tour was just perfectly planned and organized. Thank you very much. We take a lot of positive memories with us.
    Best regards.

    Carina & Thomas, Germany
  • Yvonne, Switzerland

    The Costa Rica trip together with my family is already behind us - it was wonderful!!! Everything went smoothly from A to Z, we had a wonderful time, no incidents and wonderful experiences.
    We all enjoyed it very much; the nature is enormous, but also the warm-hearted people, the cleanliness, the food - we are very enthusiastic!
    At this point I would like to thank you very much for your support in the preparation, for all the bookings, clarifications and enquiries!!!
    We visited the waterfall in La Fortuna and had a great view of the Arenal. In Monteverde we did a Hanging Bridges and Zipline tour and in Nosara a surf course. In Finca Rosa Bianca we did the coffee tour, it was all great, fun and interesting 😊. All in all, we saw lots of animals, always ate well, enjoyed the beaches....even in rainy weather 😊. Often we were even glad that it was overcast, otherwise it would have been almost toouuu hot for us.
    So THANK YOU again so much for everything!!!!

    Yvonne, Switzerland
  • Christina, Switzerland

    Many thanks for the extensive support (before, during and after the trip) and the professional handling of our concerns. With your support we had a smooth and unforgettable vacation in Costa Rica! Our favorite hotels: Hotel Plaza Yara and the Poas Volcano Lodge - a dream!
    All the best

    Christina, Switzerland
  • Jeanne, Bernd & Bill, USA

    Yay! I´m glad we are back on track. Thank you again for helping us with all these changes.
    I´m glad we choose ARA-you are amazing! Thanks for all your help! It made it a very memorable visit!

    Jeanne, Bernd & Bill, USA
  • Janka, The Netherlands

    Hi Eli & ARA Team,
    We have spoken to the guest and they are super enthusiastic about their Costa Rica roundtrip! Everything was well organized, nice hotels, nice mix of activities & beach and they have big compliments for you guys!!
    Many thanks for all the good work!! The guest highly appreciate it!!
    They had lunch nearby in Ara Ambigua Lodge, and they loved this place. Friendly staff and good food!
    Do you work with this accommodation? If so, we would love hear 😊
    Once again, heads off for this amazing trip!
    With warm regards

    Janka, The Netherlands
  • Thomas, Deborah, Eva & Paula, Switzerland

    Dear Priska
    Happily I write some words to you in English, so you can easily forward them also to Ara Tours, please. Thank you all, we spent a magic time in Costa Rica! Baumeler's and Ara Tours organisation and logistics were perfect, everything worked out even better than we expected. The tours were brilliant, we really enjoyed everything very very much!
    All the accomodation was absolutely wonderful... the setting, the quality, the food, with happy helpful friendly staff everywhere. It was a wonderful way to experience this beautiful country the way we did, on a private tour with personal guide and drivers. We saw and learnt sooo much - it would have been impossible to do so on our own.
    Especially we praise our brilliant guide Fernando Perez, we benefited so much from his truly wide knowledge and deep love for his Country which he passed on in lovely encouraging way. We even became friends and we will meet in Switzerland coming September! Also our driver Carlos Sandi was great, not only as a driver but also as a compagnion, animal spotter and photographer. Thank you!
    So.... now we just enjoy our last day...
    Sunny greetings, pura vida

    Thomas, Deborah, Eva & Paula, Switzerland
  • Yvonne & Andrea, Switzerland

    Hello all
    Unfortunately, our wonderful trip is already over and everyday life has caught up with us again. We would like to thank you very much for everything. The trip was planned exactly according to our wishes and we have seen so many beautiful places.
    Thank you Stefanie!
    We have felt completely comfortable and top cared for by you. Via Whats App we got immediate answers to our questions, with the car everything worked out great. In all locations we were treated very warmly and nicely. It was just so indescribably beautiful, we will dream of the beautiful experiences for a long time. In any case, we will warmly recommend you and hope for a next time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Best regards.

    Yvonne & Andrea, Switzerland
  • Anita, Switzerland

    We have arrived safely in Switzerland and have already returned to work.
    It was a wonderful trip you put together for us.
    Your excellent service, as well as the 24 hour support service from ARA Tours, was truly outstanding.
    I have already recommended you several times and would book with you again and again. Thank you very much and keep me informed if there are any interesting offers.
    Best wishes.

    Anita, Switzerland
  • Lukas & Isabelle, Switzerland

    Hello Pedro, our time in CR is coming to an end and we wanted to say "thank you very much for organizing a phenomenal week". Everything has been well organized and we have seen many beauties of nature. Thanks!

    Lukas & Isabelle, Switzerland
  • Reinout & Yvonne, The Netherlands

    Thanks Jenny for the clear answer. We will make an appointment via the link you gave us.
    Today we visited National Parc Cabo Blanco. What an amazing park, so quiet for tourists, so full of animals, really lovely and therefore together with Monte Verde, Cahuita and Corcovado the park today, Cabo Blanco, scores high in our ranking of most beautiful parks of CR.These parks give us reason, together with the Pura Vida in CR, to come back soon. We'll keep in contact.

    Reinout & Yvonne, The Netherlands
  • Dominik, Germany

    Good day Jennifer
    As we have already told Simone, the stay at Lapa Rios is extremely enriching, thanks to the well planned planting and the untouched environment we see a lot of animals. Contrary to the plans before the stay, we do not want to visit more animals in captivity at the end. We will have a look at the few hours before we leave.
    We thank you and your team very much for the excellent advice and the permanent support! We can only recommend Ara Tours.
    Best regards.

    Dominik, Germany
  • Daniel, Jana & Theo, Germany

    A big thank to you, you saved our vacation!
    Communication already worked very well in Germany. The help from you, especially through Aline, should be mentioned here. This was fantastic from the first WhatsApp message to the last. We already know Costa Rica, so we knew what we wanted and what not. Ara Tours was an important point of contact for us. We are very grateful to Aline precisely because our actual travel agent cancelled our trip 36 hours before departure. She immediately organized everything for us. Whether the hotel in beautiful Punta Leona, the tours to the national parks, even the shuttle service with the great driver Guillerno Ortega has to be mentioned here. We are very grateful to you, dear Aline, but also to the entire Ara Tours team. You too made our almost 3-week trip to Costa Rica unforgettable again. We would love to come back and of course we will book through Ara Tours again.

    Daniel, Jana & Theo, Germany
  • Alexander & family, Switzerland

    Thank you, everything really worked out great. Super organization and at any time quick info / help / support from you!
    We liked it very much. The conclusion in Quepos was crowning. We liked the beach in the National Park Manuel Antonio very much. We would have liked to stay longer, but we take home many wonderful, unforgettable impressions. PURA VIDA!
    Many thanks to you Aline! We will gladly recommend you to others.

    Alexander & family, Switzerland
  • Neumann Family, Germany

    - The route was super planned, first on the beach time to arrive and then only from Monteverde with excursions inland etc. and at the end again beach - perfect!
    - Support from Ara Tours was VERY good!!! Through Whatsapp reachability the service was great, very quick answers / very flexible, good suggestions etc. Also with the doctor Ara Tours helped with translations by phone - that was really very, very good!
    - The home stay day was an absolute highlight - very authentic - so we got to know the locals REAL, the family was super friendly and very open and have talked about everything. Not at all touristy perceived.

    Neumann Family, Germany
  • Marine & Bruno, France

    We would like to thank you personally for this beautiful trip that you organised for us and for the follow-up that you did throughout the stay. A big thank you also to Jennifer d'Ara tours! Thank you again and have a great week!

    Marine & Bruno, France
  • Walter, Switzerland

    We really appreciated your (almost) daily updates from Costa Rica on Covid and related issues. That was a highlight compared to other incoming agents worldwide! We thank you for your effort and wish you that you manage the coming time well and stay healthy.

    Walter, Switzerland
  • Ronald, Germany

    Our great compliments for keeping us informed every day on the developments. We wish you all the best and keep yourself and families in good health and mood during this unprecedented period!

    Ronald, Germany
  • Kathrin, Germany

    You are really super! It is impressive how you manage the crisis with your super flow of information and the great reversal. Hats off!

    Kathrin, Germany
  • Michael, Germany

    Hello, we were on a round trip in Costa Rica from 27.11., which was booked through BigXtra and organised by them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much. The tour was simply amazing! The support by Carlos was just great. We have done many trips before, but this one was an unforgettable experience thanks to Carlos. Carlos speaks very good German and was able to sensitively introduce us to Costa Rica, its incomparable nature and its great, friendly inhabitants. Pura Vida became for us a term for the attitude towards life in Costa Rica. Please say hello to Carlos from us and once again a huge thank you to him in the name of the whole group of 8. We wish him only the best for his future.

    Michael, Germany
  • Evelyne, Switzerland

    Wie just did a 4 week trip in Costa Rica which was organised from ARA tours and we really liked it - well done Ara Tours! We also had a guide - his name is Enrique. His German is really good and he knows a lot about Costa Rica and he showed us a lot of animals. We had a wonderful time with hime - thank you so much Enrique!

    Evelyne, Switzerland
  • Tanja, Germany

    perfect tour perfect tour guide pablo, everything very well organised 👍👍👍👍🇨🇷🇨🇨🇷 were thrilled

    Tanja, Germany
  • Ines, Germany

    Many thanks and great praise to our tour guide Mauricio and our bus driver Adrian! We felt very comfortable during the 2 weeks in Costa Rica. The wide-ranging knowledge of Mauricio and the super driving skills of Adrian were particularly admirable. Thanks to the eagle eyes of both of them, we had the opportunity to observe a variety of animals in Costa Rica. Thank you for everything!

    Ines, Germany
  • Sabine, Germany

    I can only recommend ARA Tours. Thanks again to Nicole for the great planning of the tour and the support. Our tour guide Peter Käser was simply incredible (a walking encyclopaedia) and always had an answer to all my questions about the flora and fauna and the history of CR. Our driver Julio carried my father on his hands, for which I am very grateful. CR is also worth a trip for wheelchair users at any time (with ARA Tours, of course).

    Sabine, Germany
  • Thieme Family, Germany

    We would like to thank you once again for organizing our trip [...] through the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Our special thanks go to our tour guide Enrique, who with his extensive knowledge of flora and fauna about his country brought it very close to us and made us want to come even a second time. We were very glad and happy to travel with him, as he was also very committed to our problems on site, in addition to his competent function as a tour guide.

    Thieme Family, Germany
  • Antonia-Maria & Boris, Austria

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sensational effort! I do not know such a competent tour guide as with you really from nowhere else... and we have already traveled a lot... 🙏🏻🍀

    Antonia-Maria & Boris, Austria
  • Katja, Germany

    I wanted to thank you again for the great Costa Rica trip. We flew back home very happy and with many great impressions. A compliment for the super organisation. Everything worked out perfectly (except for the handover of the rental car, which was force majeure...). So thank you again and I have already recommended you to friends:-)!

    Katja, Germany
  • Denise & Alain, Switzerland

    Thank you very much for your email and the tickets. We really appreciate how quickly and efficiently you deal with our requests each time!

    Denise & Alain, Switzerland
  • Philippe, Switzerland

    Hello Christine Thank you very much for this information. The support is super👍 many thanks Gruss

    Philippe, Switzerland
  • Marianne & Stefan Gräub, Switzerland

    Otherwise, the planned trip was a complete success. Everything went well and the visits you organised were all very interesting. The visits you organised were all very interesting and gave us a great insight into the respective topics. The fact that the Ticos are very friendly and always ready to help was fully confirmed.

    Marianne & Stefan Gräub, Switzerland

    Contact Information

    WhatsApp: +506-8893-3863
    Phone: +506-2232-0400
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Apdo 799 – 1007
    San José, Costa Rica

    Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294

    Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica

    Derechos Reservados - ARA Agencia de Viajes Internacional S.A © 2023