It was my husband’s birthday and I wanted to surprise him. So, I planned a 3 day/2 night trip to Playas Del Coco!
About Playa del Coco
Playas del Coco is located in the Gulf of Papagayo and stretches for 3 kilometers. It is located in Guanacaste, on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, 243 kilometers from San Jose and 27 kilometers from Liberia.
Due to its proximity to the city of Liberia and the Daniel Oduber International Airport, Playas del Coco is one of the fastest growing areas for tourism in Costa Rica. It is also quite famous among expats and retirees from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Getting to Playas Del Coco from San Jose
I took a public bus from San Jose. The Pulmitan of Liberia the bus runs from San Jose to Playas del Coco daily at 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. It takes about 6 hours to arrive. The bus drops off passengers at the Panaderia Tico bakery.
Location of the bus station in San José – 500 meters al Norte from Torre Mercedes in Paseo Colon, Barrio Mexico.
Activities: What to do
Playas del Coco has something for everyone. Although my husband and I preferred to relax for most of our trip, there are plenty of activities one can do here!
If you are looking to go scuba diving, Playas del Coco is a great place for you. It is close to several islands like Bat, Monkey Head and Catalinas Islands which are known for their rich marine life. There are many tour operators that offer scuba diving excursions. Deep Blue Diving, Rich Coast Diving and Summer Salt to name a few!
Coco is a fishing village and is very popular for fishing among tourists. You can indulge in offshore or shore fishing to catch Mahi Mahi, Red Snapper, Sailfish, and more.
Watch the sunset
Coco is known for its beautiful sunsets. With a winding beachfront promenade, water fountains, a park – Parque Amor de Temporada, a basketball court, a skatepark and vendors selling snow cones and coconut water, Coco Beach offers a Action-packed (but beautiful) space to sit in peace and watch the sun go down.
The best way to explore the beaches around Coco is by boat trip. There are many tour operators that offer both private and open sailing excursions. These excursions include sailing around the Gulf of Papagayo, snorkeling and access to incredible white sand beaches accessible only by boat.
Jetskiing & Kayaking
You will see many tourists enjoying jet skiing and kayaking near the shore. You can go to the tour operator to book your tour or book it in advance.
Coco has amazing nightlife on weekends (Friday and Saturday night). Don’t be disappointed with the city’s laid-back and quiet vibe during the day which turns into a party spot at night (around 10pm). Some of the popular bars that turn into party spots at night are Zi Lounge, Coconutz, El Ancla and Bambu Beach Bar.
There are many shops on the main boulevard (route 151) offering hand-carved wooden sculptures, magnets, handbags, hammocks, clothing, jewelry and a plethora of trinkets. You will also find many beach vendors selling handmade items.
Scooter, mountain bike, bike rental
Something you’ll probably notice upon entering the town of Coco (I certainly did) are tourists riding ATVs, scooters, and bicycles. It’s a nice and fun way to explore the beaches around Playas Del Coco by land. Don’t forget to have your driver’s license with you (well, I did).
Accommodation: where to stay
There are many hotels, hostels, all-inclusive resorts, Airbnbs, and beachfront properties in Coco. Although most of them are reasonably priced, prices can vary depending on the amenities you are looking for.
I was invited to stay at Toro Blanco Hotel, which is 3 minutes walk from the beach and 1 minute walk from the town. The hotel has a swimming pool and a swim-up bar. Each room has a private patio and a fully equipped kitchenette. I loved the hotel!
Restaurants: where to eat
There is a mix of local (soda) and international restaurants in Coco. Here are some restaurants under different categories –
- Asian cuisine – Hot Wok Coco
- Mexican cuisine – El Capricho
- Indian cuisine – Indian restaurant Masala
- Greek Cuisine – Santorini Greek
- Italian cuisine – Villa Italia
- Bistro – Johann Bistro, Cafe Corazon
- Beachfront Bars – Claudio y Gloria, El Ancla, Bambu Beach Bar
- Soda – Soda Teresita
- Sports Bar – Coconutz, Zi Lounge
Return to San Jose
We took the same public bus via Pulmitan de Liberia from the Panaderia Tico bakery. The bus departs from Playas del Coco for San José at 4:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily.
In summary !
We had a memorable time in Playas del Coco, and although the long bus ride was a bit tiring, my husband loved the birthday surprise. Relaxing in peace, enjoying the beauty and serenity and spending quality time together is all we needed!