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Why This Latin American Country Is One Of The Best Beach Destinations In The World

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Beaches are in high demand this spring as the weather warms and more travelers take advantage of Spring Break.

If you have your passport in tow then Mexico may be your go-to beach getaway, but there are others well worth a trip to get your sun and sand fix.

beautiful beach tortuga island costa rica

Excluding Mexico, there are still amazing beaches to visit all across Latin America from Belize to Brazil and many in between.

There is one trendy country in relatively close proximity to the U.S. with plenty of nonstop flights to choose from that stands out among the crowd as one of the top beach destinations worldwide.

That would be the tropical paradise of Costa Rica where 2024 is one of the best years yet to live Pura Vida.

Americans Are Loving Costa Rica This Spring

Mexico, particularly Cancun, may be Americans' absolute favorite international beach getaway, but Costa Rica is creeping up and forging its own path.

lush jungle and sandy beach of Ballena Bay in Costa Rica

The Central American paradise teeming with exotic lush jungles, incredible beaches, and insanely beautiful landscapes has already broken tourism records and remains high on Americans' travel radars.

And springtime is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to visit. One might think spring is the peak season, but travelers can explore the fascinating country and avoid the crowds in many places.

As many of the season's most popular festivities are nearly over, the rest of spring may be even better. There is a slim margin between late spring bliss and summer crowd chaos.

Plus, during this period, you're more likely to score hotel deals in what is notoriously one of Central America's priciest destinations.

costa rica coast

Given all that and more, Costa Rica is seeing an influx of U.S. travelers, with flight bookings up nearly 30 percent.

151 Pristine Beaches

While all the cool kids post about their beige flags on TikTok, Costa Rica is boasting their 151 blue flags this year for the world to see.

This is big news for Costa Rica, which is planting its flag as one of the best beach destinations in the world, both literally and figuratively.

Travelers to the country's scenic beaches may notice more and more blue flags posted at entry points to signify the prestigious award that's not only hard to obtain, but maintain.

coastline of playa hermosa costa rica

For example, when Los Cabos experienced a hurricane last year, the mega-popular beach destination was at risk of losing its blue flag status if beaches were not cleaned of waste and debris in a timely manner.

Blue flags are distributed by the Blue Flag program, which is highly reputable for promoting and teaching sustainability for both people and our planet.

Receiving a blue flag is no easy task and involves a rigorous process, but ultimately, it signifies that the selected beach is one of the most pristine, clean, and environmentally friendly on the planet.

In 2024, 15 more beaches were honored with the award, as there were 136 Costa Rican beaches awarded last year, which is still pretty impressive.

playa conchal in costa rica

“The Ecological Blue Flag program and the 151 award-winning beaches are testimony to the country's institutional and private efforts and commitments to sustainability and the care of nature.

Behind these 151 beaches there are 151 committees that work in a community way to achieve the long-awaited flag in the coastal areas of the North, Middle and South Pacific, as well as in the Caribbean.”

William Rodríguez, Costa Rica's Minister of Tourism.

Where To Find Costa Rica's Blue-Flagged Beaches

As one might expect, blue flags have been divvied up across the nation since there are so many.

pristine beach in Cahuita National Park

According to a new report, this is how blue flags were distributed across Costa Rica:

  • 39 blue flags in the Gulf of Nicoya Islands and Puntarenas
  • 28 blue flags in the Middle Pacific
  • 26 blue flags in North and South Guanacaste
  • 24 blue flags in North Guanacaste
  • 18 blue flags in the Caribbean
  • 16 blue flags in the South Pacific

Additionally, 11 of Costa Rica's beaches will fly their blue flag proudly with the highest distinction of 5 stars:

playa matapalo costa rica
  • Playa Blanca (Punta Leone)
  • West Esterillos
  • Playa Blanca (Cahuita National Park)
  • Matapalo (Guanacaste)
  • Punta del Madero (Guanacaste)
  • Playa Blanca, Liberia (Guanacaste).
  • Virador (Guanacaste)
  • Prieta Beach (Guanacaste)
  • Sombrero Beach (Guanacaste)
  • Nacascolo (Guanacaste)
  • Playitas (Puntarenas)

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