If you’re looking for places to visit where your family can enjoy some peace and quiet, check out these five recommendations that should be on your list if they aren’t already.

Of course, when we’re travelling with our loved ones, one thing we all want is for everyone to feel comfortable and safe. With children, it’s especially important to visit beaches where the surf isn’t too strong.

So pack your towels, sandals, plenty of sunscreen

Playa Biesanz

This beach is located inside Manuel Antonio National Park, with plenty of lodging options nearby along with a variety of restaurants. It’s a perfect place for spending a weekend with your family, since the waves are nice and calm, perfect for children to play in – but make sure not to let them out of your sight! The water is crystal-clear, not to mention the natural beauty of the surrounding park.

  • Location: Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Travel time: 3 hours from San José.
  • Sand: white
  • Access: vehicle

Playa San Juanillo

San Juanillo has a special kind of magic: if you and your family haven’t seen the awe-inspiring sunsets here, there’s no time like the present!
Locals offer fishing boat tours that can bring you face-to-face with turtles, dolphins, whales and even manta rays. San Juanillo is like a true-life painting: white sand, aquamarine water, peaceful surf, and sunsets that will have you watching from the beach till the very last moment. The beach is easy to get to, with vehicle access with to the edge of the sand, along with bathrooms and campsites. One of its most popular attractions is the sandy trail and the rock formations that divide the beach into two halves, one rocky and the other sandy. Visitors often climb to the highest point of the rocky island to take in the sunset.

  • Location: Santa Cruz de Guanacaste
  • Travel time: 5 hours from San José.
  • Sand: white
  • Access: vehicle (4×4 recommended).

Playa Ostional

Ostional offers visitors the opportunity to admire a natural phenomenon that’s taken straight out of a documentary. This beach sees the second-largest nesting season of turtles anywhere in the world, with populations of olive ridley, leatherback and green sea turtles laying their eggs in the beaches in this area. According to data from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), the waves of turtles can range between 1,000 and 200,000 individuals, depending on the season. Impressive!
Keep in mind that only accredited local guides can let you into the refuge in order to avoid interfering with the nesting.
Turtles arrive continuously during the Costa Rican rainy season, lasting from July to November, but September and October see the greatest concentration of nesting activity, with 7 km of the beach full of turtles. The waves in this area can get quite high, which should be taken into account.

  • Location: Ostional National Wildlife Refuge
  • Travel time: 5 hours from San José.
  • Sand: gray
  • Access: vehicle.

Playa Sámara

Sámara is just the white-sand beach you’ve been waiting for. The perfect spot for a family vacation, it offers a variety of activities including horseback riding tours, ATV tours, kayak tours and beginner surfing lessons, not to mention its incredible beauty. In addition, it has abundant hotel and restaurant options.
The long expanse of the beach makes it perfect for a nice walk under the sun. The intensity of the surf is intermediate, so make sure to keep an eye on everyone in your group. Always remember to read the instructions posted at any beach you visit.

  • Location: Nicoya, Guanacaste.
  • Travel time: 4 hours from San José.
  • Sand: white
  • Access: vehicle

Playa Manzanillo

We’ve reached the Caribbean! Playa Manzanillo is an ideal getaway, with its picturesque beach and the surrounding natural environment. It offers a unique cuisine, gorgeous views from its lookout, and, of course, calm waves that are perfect for the whole family.
Just 15 minutes away is Puerto Viejo, with plenty of options for tours, lodging and restaurants.
There’s nothing like relaxing and reading a nice book beneath a palm tree, wandering the trails of the wildlife refuge, or enjoying the one-of-a-kind environment of the Caribbean.

  • Location: Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
  • Travel time: 4 hours and 50 minutes from San José.
  • Sand: white
  • Access: vehicle