Just south of Playa Flamingo, you’ll find Playa Conchal, one of Costa Rica’s most lovely beach escapes. This pristine stretch of coastline is known for its year ‘round spectacular weather and the millions of crushed shells that line the shores, its main claim to fame. On top of that, it’s also one of the best swimming beaches in the region.
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If you’re in Guanacaste, you shouldn’t miss Playa Conchal. Costa Rica has many amazing beaches, but this is truly one of the finest.
How to Get to Playa Conchal
Playa Conchal is fairly easy to reach. If you’re renting a car, you can make the drive from Liberia, San José, or any other Costa Rica destination.
It’s also possible to fly to an airport near Playa Conchal and take a taxi. The closest airport is in Tamarindo, just 20 minutes to the south of Playa Conchal. If you’re not coming in through this airport, you’ll likely fly in through Liberia Airport, about an hour to the northeast.
If you’re trying to get to Playa Conchal by public transport, things will be a bit more difficult. You can take a bus from Liberia to Playa Flamingo and then a taxi down to Playa Conchal, or you can take a bus through the town of Santa Cruz that finally drops you directly at Playa Conchal. The second option takes a lot longer, but it’s less expensive.
In general, we highly recommend renting a car if you can. Not only will your transportation be a lot quicker, but you’ll also have the freedom to drive between different beaches and points of interest in the area as you see fit.
To reach the beach from your accommodation, your methods will differ depending on where you’re staying. If you’re staying at the Westin Playa Conchal, Reserva Conchal, or W Hotel, you’ll be able to walk right from the property. If you’re staying elsewhere, you’ll need to park your car in Brasilito and walk from there.
About Playa Conchal, Costa Richa
When to Visit Playa Conchal
Playa Conchal is one of Costa Rica’s most famous and beloved beaches among travelers and locals alike. For this reason, timing your visit well is important.
Locals swarm the beach on holidays, so definitely avoid those days. In addition, the weekends can get quite busy, so try to visit during the week if at all possible. Other than that, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica is truly wonderful at any time of year.
Things to do in Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Swim & Enjoy the Beach
Playa Conchal is a great beach for swimming. With moderate waves and crystal clear waters, you’ll be happy to spend all day in the water here if you wish. Just make sure you’re a decent swimmer, as sometimes the waves can get quite strong.
The beach in Playa Conchal has no sand, it consists only of seashells, which is a unique attraction in and of itself. Enjoy the beach, play with the shells, but please do not take any home as a souvenir. Remember, if every visitor takes a few shells, there will be nothing left to admire!
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Playa Conchal is one of the few beaches along the Pacific Coast of Guanacaste, where snorkeling can be pretty good. So grab a snorkel (you can rent one from your hotel) and try your luck spotting some fishies in the water near the rocky break.
Sailing is a popular Playa Conchal activity. You’ll find a number of sailing tours being offered near the beach, so simply hunt for a good deal and then enjoy your time on the open sea.
Visit Playa Brasilito
Just to the north and separated only by large rocks sticking out into the sea, Playa Brasilito is also worth a visit. Its scenic location next to the fishing village of Brasilito makes it a very different atmosphere from the exclusive Playa Conchal. It’s also a lot less crowded, making it perfect for those who want a break from all the tourists.
Where to Stay in Playa Conchal
- Westin Playa Conchal: The Westin Playa Conchal is the most eco-friendly of the three all-inclusive hotels that are actually on Playa Conchal. The hotel is bright and modern with a spa, a golf course, and an awesome pool. If you’re looking for somewhere luxurious to stay, this is it.
- Conchal Hotel: If a 5-star hotel isn’t in your budget, try the Conchal Hotel, a local, family-run establishment. They have their own restaurant on-site as well as a lovely pool, clean rooms, and friendly staff that can help you book local tours or find your way down to the beach.
- Hotel Brasilito: For another more affordable option, check in to the Hotel Brasilito, a “garden-style property” right in front of Brasilito Beach. The hotel also has its own restaurant, as well as airport shuttles and a tour desk. From here, you can easily walk to Playa Conchal.
No trip to Guanacaste would be complete without a stop at Playa Conchal. Costa Rica has many stunning beaches, but with its crushed white shells and near-perfect weather, this one is something special. Make sure to spend at least one full day here enjoying the sunshine and crystal clear seas.