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About 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) south of Playa Sámara, you’ll find the pristine bay of Playa Carrillo. This palm-lined stretch of crystal blue water and chalk-colored sand is considered one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. There has been very little development here, and you won’t find any restaurants or hotels on the beach itself. This is probably why the water is known for being exceptionally clean and still maintains its Blue Flag status. Signs boasting of this achievement and how you can help maintain it are posted all over and it’s clearly a source of local pride.

Rocky headlands at either end of the bay and an offshore reef ensure that the water remains calm and friendly. The gentle waves have made this beach a favorite with families, Ticos and tourists alike. The stretch of palm trees backing the ocean is dotted with hammocks and tables for picnicking and relaxing in the shade. The calm waves also mean the beach won’t be overrun with surfers, as it’s rare to catch a decent break. The shore is hardly ever crowded, though it can fill up a bit on weekends and holidays.

The town of Carrillo is little more than a small fishing village that winds up the hill with some restaurants and hotels tucked in along the way. If you’re heading into town from the beach, be sure to stop at the bridge where the river meets the ocean. At high tide, this is an excellent place to spot crocodiles.

It’s not surprising that the big tourist draw in this fishermen’s town is sport fishing, Excursions don’t come cheap, but if you’ve got the cash, there’s no shortage of deep sea fishing expeditions. Since the cove provides safe anchoring, fishing tours from both Carrillo and Sámara, use it as a departure point. The colorful reef also provides some excellent snorkeling.


Other places nearby Carrillo: Refugio Nacional De Fauna Silvestre Ostional, Sámara, Tamarindo, Nosara, Santa Cruz, Playa Carrillo, Playa Junquillal, Playa Avellanas, Montezuma and Santa Teresa.

By Bramble Heidt
11 Nov 2010

Things to do in Carrillo


If deep sea fishing is out of your price range then try your hand at surfcasting. As the name suggests, this is fishing from the shore. Rocky outcroppings are the best spots to tackle this ...
Other Activity
Carrillo, Costa Rica


The waves at Playa Carrillo are usually decent and the surfing opportunities are good here at high tide. The area often hosts local surfing competitions on the weekend. The nearest big surf schools ...
Carrillo, Costa Rica


Activities in Playa Carrillo are mainly beach-based and the excellent opportunities for fishing, surfing and surf casting are among the most popular tourist attractions. The area often hosts ...
Other Activity
Carrillo, Costa Rica
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