One Of Costa Rica's Most Beautiful Beaches Is A Little, Lesser-Visited Paradise

Costa Rica is well known for its beautiful beaches, expansive nature preserves, and gorgeous rainforest ecosystems. It's one of Central America's most popular tourist destinations, attracting around 2 million tourists each year. The country offers an incredible destination for all types of travelers for the ultimate laid-back vacation experience. Whether you're looking for a luxurious beach resort with all-inclusive amenities or an off-the-grid hideaway in a remote rainforest, you'll find plenty of options in Costa Rica. It's the perfect international destination for travel newbies and solo-travelers in Central America.

Among the many beautiful regions of the country, the Nicoya Peninsula stands out for its stunning natural beauty and unique bohemian beach towns. Nestled in the peninsula you'll find one of Costa Rica's most beautiful and secluded beaches, Playa Quesera. The hidden gem destination is the perfect place for a relaxing beach day. Lounge on soft, white sand beaches surrounded by rugged rock formations and take a swim in the aqua waters as palm trees sway in the breeze and tropical birds fly overhead. From the beach, you can see epic views of Isla Tortuga across the water, and if you visit in the late afternoon, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking, colorful sunsets over the ocean.

The perfect tropical beach day awaits in a secluded nature preserve

Playa Quesera sits within the Curú National Wildlife Refuge on the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula. It is a private National Wildlife Refuge, meaning the land is privately owned and protected. The family managing the land has turned it into a beautiful eco-tourism destination popular for travelers and students who wish to learn about the area's biodiversity. The refuge encompasses more than 200 acres of a 3,700-acre property, including forests, mangroves, farmland, and beaches. It's teeming with wildlife like monkeys, lizards, margays, and pumas. There have been 232 different types of birds, 78 mammal species, 87 reptile species, and 500 different plants discovered throughout the property. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might be lucky to see some as you hike through the nature preserve to the secluded Playa Quesera. Cabin rentals on the nature preserve offer the best accommodations if you wish to spend all day on the beach.

Pack a picnic lunch and relax on the beach with a good book as you watch brightly colored Scarlet Macaws soar overhead. If you're feeling adventurous, consider booking a tour where you can try kayaking through the friendly waves and exploring the rugged rock formations. Snorkeling off the beach in the amazing coral reefs is another popular activity, and you'll see plenty of colorful fish and other marine creatures. If you visit during the migratory season, you may even be lucky enough to spot whales offshore.

Planning your trip to Playa Quesera

You have a few options to reach Curú National Wildlife Refuge from San Jose, where the main international airport is located. The first option is to take a public bus. Multiple buses depart from San Jose daily, but the direct bus only departs twice daily at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. You'll cross over on the Paquera ferry and then let the bus driver know to stop at Curú.

If you rent a car, the trip will take three to five hours total, depending on traffic. You'll drive to Puntarenas and board the ferry to Paquera in your vehicle. The drive will take about two to three hours, and the ferry ride takes about an hour and a half. After you drive off the ferry, you will drive an additional half hour before you reach the entrance to the nature preserve. Flying is another excellent option. Flights depart daily from San Jose to Tamborn and only take about 25 minutes. After you land, you can hire a taxi to take you the additional 20 minutes to Curú Wildlife Reserve.

To reach the Playa Quesera beach, you must either hike through the preserve on designated trails, kayak in, or hire a boat to drop you off at the beach. Hiking on the forest trail will take around two hours, and the boat ride will only take 20 minutes. Hours of operation for the refuge are from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., and admission costs about $13 per person.