In Pictures: Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific Coast

Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, also known as the Gold Coast, has been an expat haven for decades thanks to a dry and warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. In towns like Playa Flamingo, Playas del Coco, and Tamarindo, you have walkable seaside villages, expat enclaves where foreign residents of all nationalities have started new lives and, in some cases, businesses.

Surfers were the first to explore this region. But these days, visitors of all ages travel here and fall in love enough to call it home. And there are plenty of amenities like world-class golf, high-quality medical care, stores full of imported items, top-notch restaurants, and much, much more.

Though popular with expats and home to many large-scale developments, much of the northern Pacific coast remains undeveloped and wild, as this area just north of Playa Flamingo shows.Playas del Coco is a quiet beach community with a protected cove, perfect for swimming and anchoring your boat. It’s also a launching point for sport fishing and scuba diving expeditions.Just south of Tamarindo is Playa Avellanas. It’s a well-known surf spot and hang out for beach soccer players too. Check out Lola’s restaurant for cold beer and excellent ceviche.Playa FlamingoHowler monkeys are a common site in the trees of the northern Pacific coast.In Tamarindo, watching sunset with friends and family is a daily ritual.The northern Pacific coast remains a rural area in many ways. The province, Guanacaste, has a long history of cattle ranching.The best place to shop is at the local roadside fruit and vegetable stand, like this one in Villarreal, five minutes east of the popular beach town of Tamarindo.The end of another day – and surf session - in Tamarindo.
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Playas del Coco is a quiet beach community with a protected cove, perfect for swimming and anchoring your boat. It’s also a launching point for sport fishing and scuba diving expeditions.

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