Playa Bejuco in Puntarenas is a beautiful dark sand beach that is the complete opposite to the nearby Jaco or Manuel Antonio, making it the perfect day trip for anyone looking to experience a more rural and natural beach in Costa Rica.
Here is our guide to Playa Bejuco.
Playa Bejuco, Puntarenas
Playa Bejuco is in Puntarenas, in the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. It is 117 kilometers (72.8 miles) from San Jose Airport, 32 kilometers (19.7 miles) from Jaco and 42.9 kilometers (26.7 miles) from Manuel Antonio.
Although the main road to Bejuco, the Costanera Sur is all paved, like all destinations in the South Pacific it is recommended to have a high car for this area, especially if you plan to keep going down south towards Uvita, Ojochal and Osa Peninsula.
You can park anywhere in town and walk to the beach. Just make sure to roll up windows, lock your doors and don’t leave valuable visible. There may the local “parking guards” and we usually give them like 500 or 1000 colones even though they aren’t official guards.
Bejuco is a tiny town with just a few neighborhoods and local restaurants. It’s one of the main reasons why tourists love Bejuco though, you can escape the touristy and developed areas and crowds of Jaco or Manuel Antonio and experience a more rural Costa Rican beach town.
If you are staying at Bejuco for a couple nights or using it as a home base, you must rent a car. No shared shuttles services are available, buses are few and the town is very small with only a few businesses. For pharmacies, banks, full service supermarkets and those kinds of services, you will need to go to either Jaco or Parrita.
In the last year or so, Bejuco has become more popular and is growing with new developments and construction going on.
Bejuco beach is a classic beach in the Central and South Pacific of Costa Rica with palm trees, dark compact sand, long shores and dark blue waters. This beach also has the Blue Flag award, given to only the cleanest and most natural beaches in Costa Rica.
However, Bejuco is not the best for swimming as this area commonly experiences rip tides but it is perfect for walking, boogie boarding, surfing and sunbathing. Snorkeling is not good at this beach either. It is not recommended to swim far at Bejuco. You can play in the shallow waves and dip your toes but don’t go too far out.
Many times, you will feel like Bejuco is your own beach as there are not many tourists in this area. We spent an afternoon here hanging out with a couple local families, watching their kids play futbol. Sunsets were beautiful!
Thanks to the year long humid climate in this area, the mountains stay lush and green. Additionally, you may see toucans and Scarlet Macaws flying around at the beach or the surrounding mountains.
Hotels, Restaurants and Other Services
There aren’t many hotels in Bejuco. Hotel Playa Bejuco and Hotel Delfin Playa Bejuco are two decent cozy hotels right on the beach.
However, thanks to the high end developments, Jardines del Pacifico and Condominio Horizontal Residencial Costa del Sol, you can find many vacation rentals in Bejuco.
For restaurants, the town is tiny so there isn’t much. Sunsets Restaurants is right by the beach which serves seafood, steak, sandwiches and other dishes. Other than that, you can find local restaurants (soda) with fried chicken or basic Costa Rican dishes.
You can find a handful of restaurants at the Esterillos town center though like El Chiringuito and Selva Middle Eastern. This is another reason why you should rent a car if staying at Bejuco or making it your home base as there really isn’t much there. With a car, you can drive to Esterillos or even Jaco as they have more restaurants and services.
Things to do at Playa Bejuco
If you’re using Bejuco as a home base, you’re in a great central locations to many attractions in the area such as Carara National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Rainforest Adventures Jaco, Nauyaca Waterfalls, Esterillos and many more. You can take many day trips from Bejuco all within a couple hours drive.
Read about other similar beaches below!
Puerto Viejo Guanacaste: This is the southernmost point of Conchal beach, a very local and non touristy beach.
Playa Los Suecos: Beautiful white sand beach with great snorkeling in Mal Pais. Lesser known.
Linda beach: Long, tan sand beach with nice surfing waves by Dominical.
Pochote: Dark sand beach near Paquera in the Nicoya Peninsula. Nice camping facilities, a local favorite.
Hermosa: Long, dark sand beach in Uvita with nice surfing waves.
Lagartillo: Hidden beach by Avellanas in Guanacaste.
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Steve Terry says
We are at the upstairs retaurant at Playa Bayuco Hotel y Restaurante right now during a thunderstorm… loving it!
….and the food! My chicken in curry sauce…. so, so good. Wendy had the chicken in mushroom sauce, loved it. This is a gem.
We are spending our 25th wedding anniversary here one night to get away from the heat in our coldwater Airbnb up the road, with no AC.
Oh, how good our room is here, and AC and hot water.
Our Adobe rental is of course just parked outside.
Glad you’re having a good time Terry! Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Bradbury Blake says
You say “It is not recommended to swim or go in the waters at this beach.” I respectfully disagree, as I body surf and cavort in the waves of this Blue Flag beach all the time at age 69. I fell in love with Playa Bejuco and bought a home at Costa del Sol. I LOVE it!
That’s great! I just recommended it because this beach does have rip tides so it’s not recommended to go out far if you’re not a strong swimmer during certain times of years.
Mark Copeland says
I agree with Sammi. Two ticos drowned there in late November. More recently my brother in laws family plus a lifeguard pulled a man out TODAY. This guy came out alive.
Yes it’s a beautiful beach, but a treacherous one at that.
oh my gosh I am glad to hear the man is OK and he got rescued but yes, we have heard of several people drowning at that beach for rip tides 🙁