If one of your resolutions this year was to discover new corners of Costa Rica, this information might be just what you’re looking for.

Costa Rica’s land area may be just 51,100 km² but it can still hide away a surprise or two, a paradise you haven’t seen yet. If you like more intimate getaways, or just want to fill your Instagram feed with photos that are sure to impress your friends, you have to check out these five beaches.

Are you up for it?

Playa Jicote, Cuajiniquil

Between the Junquillal Wildlife Refuge and Santa Rosa National Park lies a marvel of nature. Jicote is a small, untouched beach with scenery that will leave you speechless. Its crystal-clear water, its white sand and its calm waves make it feel just like a natural pool. It’s part of Cuajiniquil and is surrounded by the Santa Elena Gulf. This beach can only be reached by boat from Cuajiniquil, and there aren’t too many tour operators who make the trek there. If you do decide to go, make sure that you bring a bag to pack out your garbage in order to leave no trace on this pristine wonder.

Playa Arrecife, Puerto Viejo

Limón always has a surprise in store for us, and Arrecife is just one of them. Arrecife feels like having the ocean in a swimming pool, like a scene from a movie on a sunny desert island – but without leaving Costa Rica. It’s best to navigate using Waze or Google Maps when trying to find the beach, as the route is not well signposted. Once you arrive, you’ll take a trail that will lead you to this incredible beach. Remember to pick up all your waste if you eat anything at the beach in order to leave no trace of your visit. Once you’ve seen this beach once, you’ll want to keep coming back. We promise!

Playa Punta Vargas, Cahuita

Punta Vargas is located inside Cahuita National Park and is another one of those hidden-away spots that you should see at least once. The beach is pure white sand bathed in clear waters. One of the area’s attractions is the walk you’ll have to take to get to the beach, which you’ll share with monkeys, raccoons, coatis and even sloths. At the park entrance, there are bathrooms, showers, a parking area and a campsite. Don’t forget to ask about the snorkeling tours on which you can spot brightly colored fish and corals.

Playa Posa Colorada, Península de Nicoya.

This beach is very close to Playa Quesera and the Curú National Wildlife Refuge, so put it on your list if you’re ever in the neighborhood and pay a visit to this little gem.
Posa Colorada is a tiny, heavenly beach with aquamarine water and white sand. It’s the perfect place to relax, enjoy the sun and – naturally – update your instagram. The trail to this hidden gem is not in the best state, so the only way to reach it for now is in kayak. The trip from Playa Curú takes about 10 minutes.

Playa Rajadita, Guanacaste

Time to go to Salinas Bay, to a small, hard-to-reach and pristine beach. To get there, you’ll have to enter along the edge of Playa Rajada at low tide and clamber over some rock formations. While the water is generally quite calm, it’s important to keep all of this in mind when planning and be sure to take every precaution and consult any information available from locals. The road is unpaved, but in sufficiently good conditions for vehicle access from nearby Playa Rajada.

Already have your next picnic, sunset or photo session planned out? Now you have 5 more options for little-known beaches where you can enjoy a nice visit with your friends or partner. Remember to always follow the safety recommendations from the Ministry of Health and any place you visit. Don’t just look at the photos, experience it yourself!