Play Conchal: BEST Things To Do & Where To Stay

Located in the northwest corner of Guanacaste, Conchal Beach, commonly referred to as Playa Conchal, is a beach lover’s dream. It backs up to the exclusive resort and condominium complex that is home to the W Resort and Westin Playa Conchal. This unique stretch of shoreline lives up to its name, as it’s not traditional sand—approximately 98% of its ‘sand’ is made up of tiny white sea shells. Conchal Beach is consistently rated one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, and it’s no wonder why! With its striking natural beauty, sunny location, and a plethora of activities for all kinds of travelers, Playa Conchal is a must-visit spot. Whether you want to explore the beach by kayak, horseback, or even sailboat, you’ll be spoiled for choice with a multitude of activities and excursions at your fingertips. Feel free to take off your shoes, dig your toes into the unique shell sand, and discover this beloved beach destination! 

10 Things To Do In and Around Playa Conchal 

Beach Exploration

Playa Conchal Costa Rica

Playa Conchal

Conchal Beach is consistently rated a top 5 beach in Costa Rica by … just about all sources.  The water is a brighter blue compared to surrounding beaches like Playa Brasilito. Because the seabed is made of tiny seashells, the water is clearer. Spend at least a day here relaxing and exploring this beautiful crescent-shaped beach. Laze about in the shade of the broadleaf trees, soak up the sunshine while taking a dip in the bright turquoise water, or get active with a boogie board or stand-up paddleboard.

Search for Shells

It’s not named Playa Conchal for nothing! Conchal Beach is a haven for shell collectors. The east end of the beach is the best place to look for sea shells. There are fewer shells further west as the beautiful shells have been taken (in some cases hauled away in trucks for construction and landscaping projects) over the years as popularity has spread. As so many shells have been removed from the beach, we encourage travelers to admire the intricacies of nature but leave any discovered beach treasures on the beach.

Catamaran Sailing

Conchal Beach Catamaran Sailing

Take off from Flamingo Marina and see Playa Conchal from the water. A catamaran sailing excursion is a great way to experience a few activities in one: sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, or maybe fishing. The crew will navigate approximately 5 miles to reach some of Costa Rica’s most exquisite secluded beaches and prime snorkeling spots. A knowledgeable snorkeling guide will lead you to encounter marine creatures such as sea turtles, dolphins, and whales (if in season), as well as pufferfish and other fascinating underwater life. Additionally, guests have the opportunity to partake in kayaking and fishing activities. Upon reaching a serene bay, the catamaran will drop anchor, providing ample time for snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring a pristine white sand beach while the onboard chef prepares a delectable buffet lunch, allowing you to savor breathtaking natural scenery to the fullest.

Whether you’re dropping anchor and snorkeling, or enjoying a sunset cruise, a catamaran cruise is a relaxing and luxurious way to explore the coastline. 


Given the volcanic rock that emerges around parts of Playa Conchal, creating some smaller bays and coves, there are plenty of snorkeling opportunities in the area that make for some great aquatic experiences. You can pair snorkeling with a catamaran sailing tour out in deeper waters (mentioned above), or rent equipment and snorkel off the shore in areas with calmer waters. Alternatively, you might also consider asking a Costa Rica Expert about a snorkeling tour of the Catalina Islands.

Scuba Diving

There are a few beaches that offer stellar scuba diving spots in the area. Playa Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo are some of the best places to scuba dive in the greater Guanacaste region, offering some truly magical underwater ecosystems to explore. 

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

On those beautiful days when the waves are calm and flat, rent a board and hit the water. SUP is a relaxing way to enjoy the water and sunshine while still engaging your whole body, making it a great option if you’re looking for something soothing to do while still getting out and being active. 


Kayaking is a great way to see and experience not only the beach but the estuaries in the area as well. Rent some kayaks at the beach for a relaxing day out on the water or book a guided kayaking tour of the nearby mangroves. A guide will help you spot the ecologically diverse flora and fauna while you take in the scenery from your kayak—ask one of our experts about the best mangrove tours near Playa Conchal! 


The waters off the northwest coast of Guanacaste are teeming with Mahi-Mahi, Sailfish, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, and Marlin. Head out on the high seas for a half-day or full-day deep-sea fishing excursion and see what you can reel in! 

Horseback Riding

If you’d prefer to enjoy Playa Conchal from dry land, consider taking a guided horseback tour along the beach or through shady trails. Scout out wildlife from the back of your horse,  

Golfing at Reserva Conchal Golf Course

Golfing at Reserva Conchal Golf Course

Given the consistently warm weather and access to the 18-hole course at Reserva Conchal, this is a great area for golfers of any experience level. Rent a set of clubs, schedule a tee time, and hit the course! 


The northwestern coast of Guanacaste is home to a wide variety of species and offers some spectacular opportunities for spotting wildlife in their natural habitats. Playa Conchal located near Palo Verde National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, and the Tamarindo Mangroves. Ask our experts about booking guided hiking, kayaking, or boat tours for the best chance to spot the flora and fauna that call this region home! 

Playa Conchal Hotels & Accommodations

Playa Conchal is unique in its status as an exclusive development shared by the hotels in the area, The W Reserva Conchal and Westin Playa Conchal All-Inclusive Resort and Spa. Our experts highly recommend both properties if you’re looking for a deluxe beachside resort experience. If you’re ready to book your trip to Playa Conchal, let us know and one of our experts will help you decide which resort is right for you! 

The W at Reserva Conchal

the w at reserva conchal costa rica

Nestled within the lush tropical landscapes of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, the W at Reserva Conchal stands as an oasis of luxury and tranquility. With its sleek architecture, stylish design, and unparalleled amenities, the W at Reserva Conchal provides a haven of sophistication and comfort. Guests can indulge in world-class dining, rejuvenate body and soul at the lavish spa, and immerse themselves in a wealth of outdoor adventures, from golfing on the championship course to exploring the pristine beaches and tropical rainforests that surround the resort. Whether seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a taste of paradise, the W at Reserva Conchal invites guests to experience the epitome of luxury in one of Costa Rica’s most enchanting destinations.

Westin Playa Conchal All-Inclusive Resort and Spa

Westin Resort at Playa Conchal Costa Rica

Set against the backdrop of lush tropical landscapes and pristine beaches, the exclusive Westin Playa Conchal All-Inclusive Resort offers a diverse array of world-class amenities and services, including gourmet dining options, upscale accommodations, and a rejuvenating spa, the Westin Playa Conchal ensures that every aspect of your stay is tailored to perfection. Whether you’re lounging by the sparkling infinity pool, teeing off on the championship golf course, or embarking on a thrilling adventure through the nearby rainforest, the resort provides endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation. With its unparalleled beauty, exceptional service, and commitment to sustainability, the Westin Playa Conchal All-Inclusive Resort and Spa promises an unforgettable escape to paradise for discerning travelers seeking the ultimate Costa Rican getaway.

Conchal Beach FAQ’s 

Can you swim in Playa Conchal?

Yes! While you should always use common sense and pay attention to the Pacific Ocean tides, Playa Conchal is one of the better beaches for swimming in Costa Rica. Sometimes there will be days with stronger tides and bigger waves, but this stretch of coastline is a great place to swim and snorkel with typically calm waters. 

Is Playa Conchal touristy?

Since Playa Conchal is an exclusive development, the amount of travelers present in the region is dependent on the occupancy of each hotel. During peak travel times and holidays like Christmas and Easter, the area can feel more populated than usual as the resort traffic increases. On the flip side, Playa Conchal feels less crowded and more relaxed outside of the busier travel seasons. 

What is the nearest town to Playa Conchal?

The closest town is Brasilito, a small beachside haven approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) north along the coast.

How do you get to Playa Conchal?

The easiest way is to stay at one of the resorts or condominium complexes that back up to the beach. If you are driving, you will have to park at the neighboring Brasilito beach and walk about 20 minutes to Playa Conchal.

Which airport is closest to Playa Conchal?

The closest international airport is Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR). It’s approximately 1 ½ hours away, which makes it a great option if you’re staying in the region. The closest domestic airport is Tamarindo Airport (TNO).

Is Playa Conchal safe?

Like most areas in Costa Rica, Playa Conchal is relatively safe and great for all kinds of travelers. However, our experts always recommend using common sense when you’re traveling anywhere—stick together with your group, never leave your belongings unattended at the beach, and be aware of your surroundings when out and about.