Playa Ventanas: A hidden gem right at the heart of the Gold Coast
This secluded beach is a great option to spend a day relaxing and dipping your toes in the calm Pacific Waters.
In the last couple of decades, Guanacaste’s Gold Coast has risen to become Costa Rica’s main tourist hotspot. From the vibrant community of Tamarindo, to the high-end lifestyle of Hacienda Pinilla and the charming and laid back vibes of Avellanas and Grande, Guanacaste offers visitors and residents a wide array of experiences, all within close proximity to each other. But going beyond the usual destinations always featured in blogs and brochures, Costa Rica’s northern province manages to still have some hidden gems ready to be explored.
Given this Central American nation’s unparalleled natural abundance, many corners of this blessed land are safely kept by conserved areas and lush vegetation, maintaining their appeal as secluded destinations. As a perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of some of the more crowded tourist destinations in the area, Playa Ventanas offers a truly authentic experience that builds off Playa Grande’s relaxed aura.
Playa Grande is particularly known for its amazing surfing scene and its enthralling tropical forest backdrop, features that extend to Playa Ventanas, which can be reached by a 30-minute walk from Grande. Another option is to drive the parallel road to Playa Grande and park at the small entrance to Ventanas. This latter option is better suited for 4×4 vehicles, particularly in the rainy season, as the road is unpaved and gets muddy and full of potholes during Costa Rica’s winter months.
Whichever method you choose for your transportation, it’ll all be worth it as soon as you arrive at the unassuming oasis that’s Playa Ventanas. This long beach has a crescent shape and tan sands, and its name comes from the windows at the outcropping of rocks on both ends of the beach.
Low tides and tide pools make Playa Ventanas a perfect complement to Playa Grande, as it offers a breakaway from the surf for those who just want to dip their toes in the waters or take a relaxing swim. Given its hidden access, Ventanas is a local favorite, as it provides an enveloping sense of calmness where you can enjoy the tropical fauna and the sights of Tamarindo in the distance. If you walk even further North, you’ll even come across Playa Carbon, another secluded beach with its own charm. As Playa Grande, Playa Ventanas is part of Marino Las Baulas National Park, so it’s possible to catch a glimpse of turtles depending on the time of the year, and the beach access!