PLAYA CONCHAL in Costa Rica – The Ultimate Guide

Playa Conchal is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica for a relaxing beach day. It not only has some of the most beautiful white sand mixed with shells, but the sea water is also very calm and has crystal clear water. Dotted with palm trees and mangrove forest, you can find plenty of natural shade under the trees. There are actually two entrances to the beach, and to get to the most quiet part of the beach you should come from the Puerto Viejo village which is on the west side of the beach. We loved our chill day at Conchal beach and explain in this blog post everything you need to know about this gem.

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How to get to Playa Conchal

With two entrances to Playa Conchal, you can either park on the Brasilito side, which is the north side of the beach. Or if you come from the southern side, for example from Tamarindo, then you drive via Puerto Viejo village. Note that you will need a car with higher clearance for the last mentioned dirt road. 


There is quite a difference in both entrances as coming from the Southern side with Puerto Viejo village as your parking location, you will have direct access to Playa Conchal. While coming from the Brasilito side, you first have to walk for about 15-20 minutes along Playa Brasilito to get to Playa Conchal. We came from Tamarindo to relax for a day along Conchal beach and therefore our navigation send us to Puerto Viejo along the dirt road. We had a 4×4 but in dry season you can also make it to the parking lot with a normal car.


Best time to go to Playa Conchal

The Guanacaste Province is the driest area of the country and has the shortest rainy season. You can actually visit Conchal beach easily in every month of the year. The rainy season peak in Guanacaste is from September to November but the hills surrounding Playa Conchal will be much greener around this time or after rainy season. 

In terms of the best time of the week you should take into account that locals flock to the beach areas during weekends. So expect the beaches in Costa Rica to be way more crowded with locals then. Especially at Conchal beach which is one of the most famous and beloved beaches among locals and tourists.

If you want to avoid the hottest hours of the day then head to Conchal beach in the morning and leave around 1PM. However, along the beach near the Puerto Viejo side are plenty of trees that provide natural shade.  


What to expect at Playa Conchal

Conchal beach got its name from all the tiny shell particles that have washed up on this beach. The Spanish word ‘concha’ means shell which is how the name Conchal beach was born. The exotic white sand and calm turquoise water make Playa Conchal not only some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica to visit, but also some of the best beaches to swim along the Pacific coast. It is the perfect beach for families, couples, peace seekers and nature lovers. Especially if you go all the way to the western part of the beach, you will be further away from the beach resorts such as Westin Playa Conchal and W Costa Rica. 


Things to do on Conchal beach 

While relaxing on the beach and swimming in the beautiful waters is one of the best things to do at Conchal beach, you can also do some other activities. 

  • Rent snorkel gear from one of the beach vendors or bring them yourself. Close to the volcanic rocks you can see plenty of marine life. 
  • Go scuba diving at the Catalina Islands which are one of the best sites for diving in Costa Rica. 
  • Rent a paddle board to enjoy the calm waters and explore the bay. 
  • Go horse riding along the beach.
  • Play golf at the golf course of the Westin Reserva Conchal.
  • Rent a jetski to feel the adrenaline and explore the bay of Conchal beach.
  • Go sailing and enjoy snorkeling, swimming, sun bathing, and kayaking during the tour. With a little luck and depending the season, you can even spot dolphins, sea turtles or maybe even whales!
  • In for sport fishing? Book at some of the tour operators along the beach.
  • Book an ATV tour if you’re in for more adventure.
  • You can also go sea kayaking from the shore of Conchal beach without booking the sailing tour.

Other things to do near Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal and the nearby area is a perfect base to do day trips from. You can visit the beautiful nearby beaches Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo beach, Sugar beach and Playa Grande. 

If you’re in for more adventure then head to the National Parks like Rincon De La Vieja, Barra Honda and Palo Verde. Waterfall lovers can go to the Llanos de Cortes waterfall which is 1 hour and 45 minutes driving. 

Things to know about Playa Conchal

Because Playa Conchal doesn’t have a town close to the beach, you won’t find many facilities along the beach. Therefore it’s the best to bring your own drinks, snacks etc. There are some small vendors selling smoothies and basic drinks, but if you’re planning on a beach day then better be prepared and bring your own food. 

There are also no public bathrooms, changing rooms or showers, so be prepared for that. 

It is said that you can see bioluminesence at Conchal beach during the dry season. But many factors influence this natural phenomena such as the position of the moon, current and much more. So you have to be lucky to see it during the evening! 


Where to stay near Playa Conchal

The biggest resort along the beach is the Westin Golf resort. This all inclusive resort has 326 rooms and the Royal Beach Club.  Another option is the W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal which is also beachfront. There are also plenty of other accommodations and Airbnb’s close by, but they are most likely not situated along the beach. 

Best tours around Playa Conchal

If you want to explore the best of what Guanacaste Costa Rica has to offer, then it is highly recommended to book a tour. During most of these tours you will combine a few locations on one day so you can see the diversity that the Guanacaste region has to offer. Because of Costa Rica’s popularity it is highly recommended to book your tours in advance as it is likely that tours sell out. So don’t wait with booking until you get to Costa Rica. Choose your favorite tours here and secure your booking! All of these tours include air conditioned transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes also lunch and the entrance fees. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.

Playa Conchal


National parks

More Costa Rica travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about Playa Conchal in Costa Rica.

For more travel inspiration about Costa Rica, have a look at our other Costa Rica travel guides.

20 best hikes in Costa Rica – The Ultimate Guide

Best 14 beaches in Costa Rica – The Ultimate Guide

11 best waterfalls in Costa Rica – The Ultimate Guide

Santa Teresa Costa Rica- The Complete Guide

El Tigre waterfalls Costa Rica – The Complete Guide

Best things to do in Puerto Viejo – The Complete Guide

La Paz waterfall garden Costa Rica – The Complete Guide

Playa Cocles in Puerto Viejo – The Complete Guide

Catarata del Toro – The Complete Guide

Arenal volcano hike – The Complete Guide

Rio Celeste waterfall & Tenorio National Park

La Fortuna waterfall – The Complete Guide

Irazu volcano – Everything you need to know

Cahuita National Park along the Caribbean coast

BriBri waterfalls near Puerto Viejo – The Complete Guide

Manuel Antonio National Park – The Complete Guide

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One Comment

  1. Marjoleine says:

    Hello Ilse, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica looks really beautiful. Such a nice place to relax. The water looks indeed crystal clear water.

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