A Costa Rica yacht charter offers the choice of two diverse coastlines, with both coasts promising great adventure. From the developed, surf loving Pacific Coast to the more off the beaten track ecolodges on the Caribbean Coast, fewer places deliver as spectacular an appeal.
It is not easy having to pick just one coast to explore on your Costa Rica yacht charter. However, a good start is considering the time of year, the climate and what you ultimately want from your yacht charter trip. If you are still undecided, read our guide to both coasts, and discover which one is right for your next Costa Rica yacht charter.
East Vs West Coast of Costa Rica: What to see & what to do
The West Coast
The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is far more developed than the Caribbean coast, with two international airports and dozens of beachfront towns dotted along its shores. However, one of the most popular starting points for a Costa Rica yacht charter is the bustling port of Puerto Caldero. Situated along the Pacific coast, this port city is the gateway to some of Costa Rica’s most exciting offerings.
To begin, head up the coast to Puntarenas for its pristine beaches, and take to dry land for an afternoon at the most biodiverse place on earth, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, home to more than 500 species of mammals and tropical birds. The world-renowned Monteverde Cloud Forest zipline is a wonderful highlight for the whole family, treating its visitors to breathtaking vistas above the rainforest canopy.
The Pacific coast is home to some world-class and beginner-friendly surfing breaks. Playa Grande and the neighboring islands on the Pacific Coast are the ideal spots for surf enthusiasts, offering both strong surf and beginner waves. Not only does Playa Grande have fantastic surf, but it is also part of the Las Baulas National Marine Park, home to howler monkeys, Leatherback turtles, and dozens of tropical birds.
Tamarindo, Samara and Jaco are superb surf spots for beginners, with a great choice of surf schools, camps and instructors. If surfing isn’t for you, spend a leisurely morning indulging in the Pura Vida lifestyle with an afternoon shopping in Tamarindo’s boutiques or head further inland for a Volcanic trek around the active Arenal Volcano.
Costa Rica is the world’s number one ecotourism destination, home to an estimated 6% of the Earth’s plant and animal species. The Pacific coast is home to more than 10 national parks and several other reserves, wildlife refuges, rainforests, mangroves, wetlands and coral reefs. These national parks offer great opportunities for unique wildlife encounters, including several species of monkeys and sloths. Humpback whale sightings are also common as they migrate to Costa Rica throughout the year.
The East Coast
The Caribbean region of Costa Rica is one of the most idyllic yet undiscovered areas of Costa Rica. Boasting warm and humid temperatures all year round, the East Coast is home to unique wildlife encounters, untouched landscapes and fantastic jungle adventures, making this coast irresistibly charming for a Costa Rica yacht charter.
The Caribbean coast is beautifully authentic, with long stretches of secluded beaches, swaying palms and turquoise waters. For one of the quietest beaches on the coast, head to Punta Uva Beach for an afternoon soaking up the idyllic sun or taking some impressive drone shots over the sheltered bay. For a little more adventure on your Costa Rica yacht charter, the Cahuita National Park has some of the best coral reefs in the country for snorkelling, where you will see parrotfish, lionfish, butterflyfish, among over 100 others.
While the daytime is an oasis of tranquillity, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is well known for its nightlife. With multiple bars, happy hours and live music, this is the perfect spot to let loose and have some fun.
While there are not as many national parks on the Caribbean coast, the few that exist are not to be missed. Costa Rica’s famed green sea turtle nesting site is the Tortuguero National Park on the Northern Caribbean coast, one of the world’s most reputable green sea turtle nesting sites. With breathtaking sighting experiences led by professional conservationists, observing the largest leatherback turtles known to exist is a perfect stop-off on a Costa Rica yacht charter. For more animal encounters, head to the sloth sanctuary Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Centre or the Jaguar Rescue Centre dotted along the Caribbean coast.
Of course, no yacht charter would be complete without some exceptional local cuisine. The Caribbean coast has its own take on traditional Costa Rican dishes. The smells and flavours of coconut, ginger, cinnamon and chillies pair exquisitely under the shaded palm beaches, clear waters and luscious rainforests.
Contact your chosen yacht broker today to plan an unforgettable Costa Rica yacht charter and discover Central America’s exceptional offerings.