With bright blue waters, beautiful coastal views and a very local atmosphere, Puerto Viejo is a must for anyone looking to get away from the crowds of Conchal. It may not have the white shells in the sand, but it’s a beautiful beach nonetheless. Puerto Viejo is definitely one of those under the radar, local only beaches!
Here is our guide to Puerto Viejo, Guanacaste.
Puerto Viejo, Guanacaste map
Puerto Viejo is in the Guanacaste province, 74 kilometers (46 miles) from Liberia.
How to Get There
Puerto Viejo is actually the most southernpoint of Conchal beach. You can get there via Playa Conchal by walking all the way past the estuary or by driving there directly through the local towns.You can use Google Maps or Waze and look for Puerto Viejo Guanacaste to set as your destination. When you reach the beach, you can park under the trees.
From the main Hucas intersection, you will need to continue on the main road so don’t turn right towards Brasilito. You will drive to Matapalo town. From Matapalo, you’ll take the local roads past Hotel Condo Lodge to reach the beach access.
In dry season, it is accessible by any car but in peak rainy season (October/November), it is highly recommended to have car with high clearance. It gets super muddy on that road and there are a lot of potholes. When we visited mid October, we had to rescue a sedan that got stuck in the mud!
Puerto Viejo beach is just lovely. It has soft sand and swimmable waves, though it is also a bit rocky.
We visited the beginning of December so everything was lush and green. Also, it was not crowded at all! We saw only two other local families there. This is one of the best things about Puerto Viejo. It’s connected to Conchal but so much quieter and less crowded since all the tourists stay by the northern part where all the shells area.
There is only one bar restaurant at Puerto Viejo and no facilities. For this reason, it is better to visit as a day trip. It’s a fun way to explore a less touristic area of Guanacaste (and practice driving on pot holes and gravel roads).
The shore is rocky so be careful when swimming of the rocks. During high tide, it comes up pretty high so best time to visit would be low to mid tide. Waves can get a little strong but this beach is swimmable.
No camping facilities. No additional facilities like bathrooms, showers and changing areas. Make sure to bring water, food, towels, beach chairs, etc.
Read about other beaches like Puerto Viejo in the posts below!
Playa Mina: Beautiful lesser known beach very close to Puerto Viejo (you can visit both in one day if you like)
Playa San Juanillo: Gorgeous white sand beach an hour south of Tamarindo
Junquillal: Beautiful beach by the small local town of Junquillal, about 30 minutes south of Tamarindo
Playa Marbella: Empty surfing beach, about one hour south of Conchal
Playa Pelada: Nice white sand beach in Nosara
Playa Real and Bahia de los Piratas: Two beautiful white sand turtle nesting beaches by Conchal. 4wd only.
Lagartillo: Beautiful, small beach by Avellanas. Very empty!
Prieta: Nice local beach near Las Catalinas
Rajada: Beautiful white sand beach up in the La Cruz/Salinas Bay in the Guanacaste province. Not touristy, calm swimming waves.