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playa carrillo northern sand stretch
 - Costa Rica

Playa Carrillo

Playa Carrillo

Quick Facts

  • Location : 3 miles southeast of Samara
  • Altitude : Sea level
  • Good For : Sunbathing, swimming, walking, wildlife watching

At a Glance

    • Splashable waves
    • Warm Sands
    • Picnic Tables
    • Easy and fast access to the highway

Golden-hued palm trees reflect their color across coconut cream sands on Playa Carrillo, reminiscent of a piña colada – which you'll crave immediately when you arrive at this paradise poster child.

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Journey just three miles southeast by the paved road from Samara and you'll drive directly onto Playa Carrillo's grassy lawns where you can park your car and skip over to the soft swimmable waves crashing their powder blue-tinted white caps across the shore. A distinctive double-row of palm trees extends along a large stretch of the beachfront, stopping just short of the beginning of rocky cliffs locals call "Sleeping Indian" separating Samara and Carrillo.

You can walk across the entirety of Playa Carrillo, as long as you steer clear from the swamplands that have been known to behold sunbathing crocodiles. But hey, who can blame those crocodiles from wanting to catch some rays in such a beautiful place?

Playa Carrillo's almost never crowded during the week, filling up with locals and tourists (who, like you, have the inside scoop) during weekends. Sunsets and sunrises at Playa Carrillo are picture-perfect, emanating a blue-pink tint behind boats anchored offshore from the beach's southern tip. For the absolute best views, take a five-minute walk up the paved road to a lookout point where you can see hundreds of miles offshore into the Pacific Ocean.

Playa Carrillo in Pictures