Playa Conchal – The Most Beautiful Beach in Costa Rica

A number of years ago (1999) while surveying the beaches and hotels in Costa Rica’s popular Tamarindo resort area, I visited the Melia Resort and Country Club, a luxurious all-inclusive resort that had recently opened at Playa Conchal. While I’m not very fond of large all-inclusive resorts per say because of their rather severe environmental impact, I must admit that the Melia was tastefully done and the 18 hole professional golf course was very impressive – despite the massive amounts of water needed to maintain it. Even more impressive was the dazzling beauty of Playa Conchal, a beach that is definitely one of a kind in Costa Rica.

The sand at Playa Conchal is composed of millions of crushed seashells of many different hues; it looks white but with a decidedly pinkish tinge and is very cool to the touch – definitely not your typical sand beach. The waters are a magnificent turquoise blue with a very gentle surf – perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Reminds me a little bit of the beaches that you’ll find in the Mexican Caribbean. Besides the sprawling Melia resort which occupies the southern end of the beach, there are a number of other small resorts scattered along the hillside. Located just north of Playa Conchal, separated by a hill and some rocks, is the small village of Brasilito – the sands at Playa Brasilito are a light gray and the waters a dirty brown, quite a contrast to the neighboring Playa Conchal.

Like all beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Conchal is open to the public- however unless you are staying at Melia or at one of the hillside hotels, the only way of getting to Playa Conchal is to swim around the promontory which separates it from Playa Brasilito. The alternative is to pay the Melia Hotel a day fee to use their facilities (and have access to the beach). In my opinion, Playa Conchal is by far the most beautiful (and most unique) beach in Costa Rica.

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