VRT Tours


There is a wide variety of sport activities you can enjoy at the Costa Rica Gold Coast, among them: Surfing, Soccer, Golf, Basketball, Pool, Tennis, Swimming, Mountain Biking, Volleyball, Fishing, Sailing and Gym work outs.

The most popular sport is of course Surfing. Guanacaste is popular among surfers who are drawn from near and far by the quality and consistency of the waves. Though Guanacaste gets plenty of the big waves that true surf fanatics live for, there are also days and spots that are perfect for people who have little experience with the sport, or who have been away from the ocean for a long time, and would like to try it again. This means that whether you’re a veteran wave ripper or a belly-boarding beginner, you can usually find the conditions you need to have a great time. The country’s surf is complemented by its comfortable water temperatures — you can leave that wet suit at home — beautiful scenery, and the convenience of a variety of accommodations and restaurants near most breaks. Many of the country’s best breaks are found in the northwest province of Guanacaste: Playa Naranjo: Great beach break by Witch’s Rock, in Santa Rosa National Park, accessible with four-wheel-drive vehicle or boat; camping permitted. Playa Grande: Very consistent beach break north of Tamarindo. Tamarindo: Good beach break, excellent base for surfing nearby beaches. Playa Langosta: River mouth break south of Tamarindo. Avellanas: Very good beach break further to the south.

Sports activities in Tamarindo Area, map from Google Maps


Playa Pan de Azucar (Sugar Beach) is located at the end of the graded road as you head north and west out of Potrero. The Sugar Beach Hotel sits on part of this beach, but there is a dirt parking area accessible from the road beyond the hotel.

Sugar Beach is a short beach of less then 1 km in length but its grey/white sand is exceptionally beautiful. There are private spots along the coast here where it is possible to declare your own “clothing optional zone” as you may not see another person all day. Nude swimming is not legal, but there is no one to enforce the rule in the coves along the road past the Sugar Beach Hotel. Sugar Beach lies at the foot of a coastal range of volcanic rock that dates from the Tertiary Era 60-80 million years ago.

Here one can walk along the entire coastline and admire the marine life. The Pitahayas Islets, which measure 0.75 hectares and lie just off the coast, and the Santa Catalina Island, which has 19 hectares, lies 4 km to the southwest, near Salinas Point.

Playa Pan De Azucar (Sugar Beach), credit to Instragram user archer357


This white fine sand beach and its calm waters are perfect for swimming and fishing. Playa Prieta is further along the road to Sugar Beach after Playa Penca. The beach is encompassed to the west by the hills and cliffs of Punta Salinas, to the south by Playa Penca, and to the north by the cliffs of Punta Ostional. Beyond there are three estuaries: Cacao, Plantanar, and Salinas, the latter covered with saltwater forests.

Playa Prieta, credit to Instagram user ludovicuscr


This secluded, beautiful beach is less than 1 km long has clear sands, relatively rough waves and features a mangrove swamp. It is a blue-flag beach located between Playa Potrero and Sugar Beach at a distance of about 4 km from Playa Flamingo. You can access it by turning left at the first road after the Potrero soccer field as you head in the direction of Sugar Beach. New development has begun in this area, but Playa Penca’s unique sense of intimacy will never change.

Playa Penca, credit to Instagram user nikojaackson


Potrero Bay is immediately north of Flamingo and looks back at it. Playa Potrero and Surfside are the first grey fine sand beaches on the bay. The calm waters are perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. Potrero is a small fisher village located in the center of the beach. It is also becoming the community that lies at the gateway of new resort territories to the north.

After Potrero follow the existing beaches Penca, Prieta, and Pan de Azucar (Sugar) to the north. The road after Sugar Beach becomes a little rough, but intrepid beach goers (with 4 wheel drive) can find special spots with total privacy most days of the week.

Please be sure to drive on safe terrain and be mindful of tidal schedules. The Potrero Bay beaches are bordered to the west by the hills and cliffs of Punta Salinas, to the south by Flamingo, and to the north by the cliffs of Punta Ostional. Beyond there are three estuaries: Cacao, Plantanar, and Salinas, the latter covered with saltwater forests.

Playa Potrero, credit to Instagram user ludovicuscr


This beautiful white sandy beach is nestled between two peninsulas embracing Flamingo Bay. The beach is a corridor of white sand flanked by low altitude hills. From the shore one can see the small island called Plata.

The cliffs of Punta Salinas and the rocky headlands are the littoral areas where the fauna and flora lives. There are few other areas in the world where can you lie on a beautiful white sand beach, swim safely in the surf on the mighty Pacific Ocean, catch world class game fish, go on a sunset cruise, walk to restaurants and bars feeling safe, and have an 18 hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. within a five minute drive.

Playa Flamingo, credit to Instagram user manina29


The main attraction of the 2 km long Playa Brasilito Beach is its closeness to Playa Conchal. By traveling south from Brasilito, you can reach Playa Conchal by walking or driving over a rocky path at the end of Playa Brasilito. It is important to be mindful of tidal schedules as high tides can block the way.

Playa Brasilito is a wide grey sand beach that draws few regular visitors, because Playa Conchal is so close. The town of Brasilito has many “beach goer” amenities for those passing through. There is a program of building demolitions underway in Brasilito, as the national government is enforcing development restrictions near the shoreline. Brasilito will undoubtedly evolve past this period of change as economic pressures increase it future attractiveness to investors.

Playa Brasilito, credit to Instagram user nela_leal


At Playa Conchal, so called for the many conchas (shells) that pile up on the beach, the sand is made up of millions of crushed shells that constitute a rare environment. Conchal is also the most common name given to a pretty sweep of bay beginning about 2 km south of Brasilito. The clear water makes for nice snorkeling.

Many swimmers and sunbathers believe that Playa Conchal is the most beautiful beach on the entire Pacific Coast for its sand, water and views to the northern coast. Playa Brasilito and Conchal make up a unit separated by the rock headlands of Punta Conchal.

Playa Conchal, credit to Instagram user _natti_s


Playa Grande lies immediately north and west of Playa Tamarindo and is really the continuation of the same arcing beach. It is divided from Playa Tamarindo by the estuary of the Matapalo River, which can be forded on foot at times of low tide. Please be careful, as crocodiles do inhabit the river, but usually not near the ocean.

Even though Playa Grande is a short walk from Playa Tamarindo, it can be a 30 minute ride in a vehicle. The lack of any bridges over the river forces people to drive all the way back to Huacas (see our map) to move from one beach to the other by road.

Grande, as a town, has far fewer amenities that Tamarindo, but its feeling of remoteness is appealing to many vacationers. Currently, questions about development hang over Grande, because of the government’s active interest in preserving the shoreline and turtle nesting areas.

The Grande beach is where leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs. The leatherbacks take over the beach from November to April. They dig their nests one meter deep, lay their eggs and cover the pit with sand, returning once again to the sea. After 60 to 90 days, the hatchlings emerge and immediately make their way back to the water. Along the treacherous path, which measures only a few meters, they are easy pray for crabs, seabirds and various mammals, which means only a few of them are able to survive. Sometimes Pacific Ridley turtles also arrive to nest as they do at Santa Ana and Corcovado National Park.

This sea turtle can measure up to 2.5 meters and weigh around 700 kilos. Unlike other turtles, this species has no hard shell, but rather a black, leathery skin with ridges running lengthwise. It is the epitome of a nomad and its favorite food is the poisonous jellyfish. Like all other sea turtles, the leatherback spends its life in the warm, tropical seas, coming ashore only when the females nests.

Playa Ventanas lies just outside of the Las Baulas National Marine Park next to Playa Grande from where one can reach Ventanas beach as well as Playa Carbon. Nearby Cerro El Mono can be climbed being bordered by platforms and rocky cliffs, in which in low tide, it is possible to observe colorful small fishes.

Playa Grande, credit to Instagram user farewell5


Playa Avellanas is a popular surfing beach. Avellanas is a long stretch of white sand about 15 km south of Tamarindo by road , but closer to 10 km if you walk in along the beaches, about 5 km to the north of Playa Negra, north of Playa Junquillal. There are few amenities, but there is a popular beach restaurant.

Information for Surfers: Here you’ll find both left and right breaks, 8 different surf breaks, reef, sand or beach breaks with rocky points and a good beach break called ‘Guanacasteco’ with very hollow rights and lefts, along a three kilometer long stretch of beach. Surfing is best at mid or high tides.

Avellanas Beach, credit to Instagram user okjasper

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