Costa Rica Blog
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Guanacaste Beach Named One of the World’s Most Beautiful

Described as lovely, secluded and tropical by TripAdvisor reviews, Playa Nacoscolo is one of four eye-catching beaches within the Papagayo Gulf. What makes this section of Guanacaste shoreline so notable are its crystal-clear waters, isolation and suitability for swimming and snorkeling. Nacoscolo is so “insanely gorgeous” that it ranked eighth among the world’s most beautiful beaches, according to travel site DreamPlanGo.

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Playa Nacascolo located in Gulf of Papagayo Guanacaste
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Nacoscolo beach one of the 10 most gorgeous

The impressive news comes courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, which published the ranking on February 25, 2014. Nacoscolo beat out the white sands of Hawaii’s Lanikai Beach, and the Caribbean isles of the Turks & Caicos. First place went to Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, Greece, with Sardinia, Italy ranking second for its sunny, Mediterranean shores. Other top contenders include Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, Yelapa Beach in Mexico and the alluring islands of Langkawi, Malaysia. Costa Rica’s national tourism institute noted that Nacoscolo was the only Latin American beach featured on the list.

Papagayo Gulf a popular honeymoon destination

In their commentary, the travel experts at DreamPlan Go portrayed Nacoscolo as “a local beach away from the bustling tour areas… undoubtedly among Costa Rica’s prettiest beaches. The water is so clear that snorkeling gear isn’t even necessary to enjoy the vibrant sea-life below.” Flanked by Virador, Prieta and Blanca beaches, Nacoscolo is roughly a 45-minute drive from Liberia, and close to the tourist attractions and accommodations of Papagayo – one of Costa Rica’s premier honeymoon destinations. Sheltered by rocky headlands, the warm waters of Nacoscolo are virtually without waves, and ideal for swimming.

Gulf of Papagayo aerial view located in Guanacaste Costa Rica
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Northern Guanacaste tourist activities

Thanks to the recent expansion of Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International airport, travel to northern Guanacaste has never been easier. Numerous airlines now feature direct routes to LIR from major hubs in the U.S. and Canada. Beyond swimming and water sports among the region’s sun-dappled beaches, the area boasts myriad cultural and adventure activities. Some of the most popular are bird and wildlife watching in Palo Verde National Park, scuba diving among underwater rock formations of the Catalina Islands, sportfishing for marlin and sailfish off Tamarindo, and shopping for handicrafts made by indigenous peoples in the village of Guatil.

Perfect for a romantic escape or family vacation

While the rest of Costa Rica prepares for rains in mid to late May, the province of Guanacaste has an extended dry season, meaning more sun-filled days for the perfect beach holiday. Nacascolo beach is backed by rolling bluffs blanketed in tropical dry forest that transforms into a lush backdrop when the rains do begin. Other points of interest that are worthwhile day trips from the Papagayo Gulf include Santa Rosa National Park (home to several historic buildings) and the volcanic craters and boiling mud pots of Rincon de la Vieja.