Coco Beach Costa Rica: A Complete Guide
Coco Beach Costa Rica or Playas del Coco is the main town and hub of all the North Pacific beaches. Anyone traveling to the area absolutely must make a stop in Coco Beach. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to check out, and is where you will most likely be doing your grocery shopping as they now have four large supermarkets in town. This guide will help navigate through the lively town no matter the reason for your visit. Take a look at the “Best List” along with other helpful tips and information.
View Map of Coco Beach Costa Rica
View Map of Downtown Coco Beach
Things to do...
Is it 4:00 P.M. yet? Check out our new Happy Hour Guide!
Local Fiestas-When visiting Coco Beach, you must check out a Costa Rica fiesta. Enjoy the local food, dancing, bull riding, and horse parades.
“The Best”of Coco Beach…
Hotels-The accommodation in Coco is mostly small boutique style hotels and cabinas. Listed below are some of the best hotel options:
Villa del Sol – This quaint hotel is away from town on the north side of the beach and is about a minute walk to the best part of Coco Beach. Choose a room in the bed and breakfast house or a fully equipped studio apartment. A rental car is a good idea to have to get into town, but it is only about a 15 min. pleasant walk on the beach to reach downtown Coco.
Coco Palms – They have any type of room at any price range and the pool is fantastic. They also offer free international calls for guests and a 24 hour mini market. This hotel is right in town. Watch out for the restaurant prices though…way to high for what you get.
Restaurants– It is hard to find a great meal in Coco that is excellent in quality and won’t break the bank. Try these specific spots and menu items to get the best deal and dining experience:
Papagayo Seafood – This family owned eatery has been in Coco from the beginning. Most of the menu items are pricey but not if you order the daily special. It is a nine oz. filet of fresh fish prepared in one of their famous sauces. The blackened with pineapple rum sauce is a favorite. The entre includes garlic bread; cesar salad; a side of mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice; and steamed fresh vegetables. All this for about $10 USD is a great deal! Make sure to sit up on the balcony to get a view of Coco Beach, Costa Rica.
Guajira (Now located at the Pirate Ship, next to the Home Center)– This is a family owned local spot that has many affordable and delicious options. Each main dish comes with French fries and salad. The Mahi Mahi and fried shrimp plates are around $8 USD. The best deal here is the lobster. You get four small tails and the dish is about $18 USD. Try the patacones: fried plantains with bean dip, a huge order for $3 USD.
Dolce Vita – The salad bar here is a great deal! The small is $3 USD and the large is $6 USD. Help yourself to lettuce, tomatoes, prepared egg plant, heart of palm, boiled eggs, cucumbers, cheese, prepared potatoes, beets, corn, bell pepper, and more. Top with olive oil and balsamic and you have a healthy and cheap lunch or dinner. The pizzas are also a good option, especially La Diabla.
Burger – It used to be hard to find a good North American style burger in town, but not anymore. Here are two great places to try!
Father Rooster – Not technically in Coco…but close enough in Ocotal. The half or one pounder can come with a variety of toppings. The burger comes with fresh cut fries and an ocean view. The half pounder is about $8 USD.
Zi Lounge- This popular night spot has one of the best burgers in town. The charbroiled half pounder comes with fries and is only about $8 USD.
Part of the Beach – The cleanest and best part of Coco Beach is the Northern end from the Pacifico Beach Club on. If you walk all the way to the end of the beach there is a natural waterfall that forms during the rainy season. This part of the beach is quiet and very clean.
Souvnier Shops– Coco Beach is the best place to buy local souvenirs.
The one stop shopping location for any souvenir or local craft you could imagine is the giant warehouse looking store right across from the Aloe Pharmacy. The only items that you might have to purchase somewhere else are T-shirts. A good shop to buy T-shirts is Souvenir Suzy. This shop is air conditioned and has a great selection of clothing type souvenirs.
Tips and other information:
The cheapest grocery store is Mega Super, even compared to Liberia grocery stores and Pali in Sardinal. Stop there to get the majority of your shopping done. Anything you can't find there and meat/poultry items you can get at Louperon or Auto Mercado. Auto Mercado always seems to have the best produce and seafood selections. They have just opened up the fourth grocery store in Coco and it is on the way to Ocotal. The prices didn't seem much different than Luperon, but their meat and fish section looked fresh. Be careful when purchasing imports from the states such as cereal, frozen foods, peanut butter, etc. The prices are a lot higher than in the states because of the importation tax. If possible, select local brands and save a ton of money.
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