Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province (Provincia de Guanacaste) is a top vacation destination. Surfers, sports fishers, nature enthusiasts, beach bums, and thrill-seekers flock to the coast and nearby national parks (Parques Nacionales) year-round.
One of the province’s most popular beach towns is Playas del Coco in Carrillo Canton. It is located only 35 km (22 miles) from the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia. The wide horseshoe-shaped bay, calm waters, and offshore reefs are the town’s trademark attractions.
Playas del Coco was once a quaint fishing town.
Today, it is a lively party town brimming with traditional and international restaurants, bars, casinos, shopping, and tour providers. On any given day, you’re sure to see both locals (Ticos) and tourists celebrating side by side. The weekends and holidays are especially lively, particularly during the high season.
Playas del Coco has a large local and ex-pat resident population. The availability of hospitals, modern supermarkets, shopping, schools, and government services draw a fair share of retirees as well.
The area’s distinct geography and drier climate set it apart from the rest of tropical Costa Rica. Several animal species favor the Guanacaste climate and are found nowhere else in the country.
The colorful Guanacasteco culture and festivals lend a feeling of community and tradition to the area. The region is often compared to the Old West of the United States. Cowboys, brahman cattle, and rugged grasslands cover much of the province. And dry tropical coastal forests blanket the hill-lined coastline.
Seasonal celebrations like Topes (horse parades) and Toreros (bullfights) can last for days on end. Guanacasteco cuisine is also famous. Steaming hot local favorites served from roadside stands is a common site during festivals and religious celebrations. Typical dishes include giant tortillas with natilla, sweet tamal asado, arroz de maíz, rosquillas, and cajetas.
New Year’s Eve is the wildest celebration of the year. The streets and beaches are packed with revelers living the Pura Vida life. Anyone wishing to visit Playas del Coco over the holidays should book ahead to ensure hotel space and rental car availability.
Keep in mind that the peak tourist season runs from December through May, and lodging, tours, and vehicle rentals may be more expensive. The earlier you make your reservations, the better your chances of getting a good rate.
How to travel in Playas del Coco
The best way to get around Playas del Coco is by car. Nothing beats the freedom that having your own vehicle brings. Playas is a big town and there are lots of exciting things to do and see. And driving is the best way to do it.
Tourists almost always want to explore nearby attractions and towns. Quiet Playa Ocotal is only three km south of Playas. Its black sand beach, calm waters, tide pools, and reefs are perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Don’t miss out on a day of relaxation at the scenic Del Coco beach towards the south end of town. At day’s end, top off the experience with a dazzling sunset happy hour and waterfront dining.
Activities and tours
Playas del Coco has pretty much every type of water sport or eco-adventure you can think of. Make sure to bring a credit card if you’re traveling on a budget, so you don’t miss out on the fun.
Not far from Playas del Coco are two of the country’s most famous surf breaks – Witches Rock (Roca Bruja) and Ollie’s Point. Experienced surfers can either drive or hire a boat to make the trip from one of the surf shops in town. Beginner surfers can also arrange to take classes from a surf school near the beach.
Horseback riding and ATV tours are great ways to see the countryside. Or get an adrenaline rush flying through the treetops on a canopy zipline adventure.
Scuba diving and snorkeling to nearby islands and reefs provide a glimpse into the fascinating underwater world just offshore. Swimmers can see sea turtles, mantas, eels, and even the occasional shark.
And last but not least, visit the nearby Rincon de la Vieja National Park for a day of hiking and hot springs only a 1:15 drive from the beach. There are several national parks in Guanacaste Province within driving distance of Playas del Coco.
Why rent a car in Playas del Coco?
It would be a shame to miss out on all of the fantastic places to see in Guanacaste. Renting a car is easy, and it is an affordable way to travel as a family or group.
Save precious time over using public transportation or private shuttle services. Renting a car can be a great way to save money when traveling. You can choose the right car to fit your needs.
Options like the economical 4×4 Suzuki Jimny is excellent for lone travelers or couples. Mid-size sedans are the right choice for families with young children. And full-size SUVs and passenger vans can accommodate large groups comfortably.
There are a few car rental companies in the area, but none can compare to Adobe. We’re proud to be a 100% Costa Rican-owned business. And with over 30 years in the market, we know rental cars! We promise great rates, exceptional vehicles, and no hidden fees, ever!
The closest Adobe car rental locations to Playas del Coco are in Liberia and Tamarindo. The full-service Liberia Airport office (Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber) is 7km from the airport gates. Share your flight itinerary with your Adobe agent and an Adobe shuttle bus will be waiting for you when you arrive. Free of charge.
Our Tamarindo office is approximately 51km south of Playas del Coco Beach along the Pacific Coast. It is another wildly popular beach town. Consistent wave breaks make it a big draw for surfers. And the Tamarindo estuary and nearby Playa Grande National Park are ideal for spotting wildlife, including nesting Leatherback sea turtles.
Delivery of your Adobe Rent a Car – delivered/picked up?
There is no Adobe Costa Rica Playas del Coco car rental. However, we can arrange for your car rental to be delivered directly to your hotel. Vehicle deliveries outside of the 12-mile radius from the office where you rented your car incur a fee.
“Adobe brought the car to our condo. They were great and very professional,” said Karen from Newmarket, Canada, on TripAdvisor.
The rate can range anywhere from $20 to $240. Please speak with one of our friendly bilingual agents for more information and delivery options.