Espadilla Beach


Playa Espadilla Norte

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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Welcome to our guide to this stunning Costa Rican beach, Playa Espadilla, located in one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio. This beautiful beach is situated near Manuel Antonio National Park, a renowned protected area known for its abundant wildlife and lush rainforest. Playa Espadilla, also known as Espadilla Norte Beach, is a famous spot for both locals and visitors alike, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding rainforest.


Over a mile long, this beach in Costa Rica is recognized as the crown jewel of Manuel Antonio. Vista Hermosa Estate has a private trail through the jungle that leads to the North end of this amazing beach, which is only about a 10-15 minute walk. 


Two beaches that share the name Playa Espadilla. One is referred to as Espadilla Norte Beach and is separated from Playa Espadilla Sur beach by a rocky point, this stunning beach is constantly rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


There are so many things to do in Costa Rica that you might forget to place some of its most gorgeous beaches on your list. With its warm-clear waters, soft white sand, and diverse array of wildlife and lush jungles, this Costa Rican beach is truly a natural wonder. Join us as we explore the many attractions of Espadilla Norte Beach and discover why it is a must-visit destination.

Playa Espadilla Norte Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Location and Access of Playa Espadilla Beach

Playa Espadilla Norte, located in the lovely beach town of Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica, is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Situated just north of the beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park, Playa Espadilla Sur, and Manuel Antonio Beach, Playa Espadilla is by far the most popular beach in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica.


One of the best aspects of Playa Espadilla is its convenient location. The beach is within walking distance of many hotels and restaurants, making it an easy and accessible destination for travelers. Additionally, free parking is available for those who choose to drive. One of the few beaches in Costa Rica where you can drive on the beach, visitors who access the beach via Playitas Road are permitted to park their car directly on this sandy beach. 

South End of Playa Espadilla

Travelers and locals alike are drawn to the southern end of the beach, which tends to be more bustling and crowded than the north end. Because the southern end is easily accessible with abundance of parking options, close proximity to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park, and a plethora of shops and restaurants make this end of the beach a popular destination for visitors seeking convenience and accessibility. Sundays at the south end of this beach tend to be more crowded, as the locals (known as Ticos) love spending time with their families and often choose to enjoy a beach day on their day off from work.

North End of Playa Espadilla

This end of the mile-long beach located just south of the amazing Playitas Beach, is the most beautiful stretch of this stunning beach.


For those seeking the most picturesque and awe-inspiring section of Playa Espadilla, the northern end is an absolute must-visit. Situated just south of Playitas Beach, this stretch of coastline is considered by many to be the most beautiful portion of this already stunning beach.


If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded spot to soak up the sunshine and relax, the north end of Playa Espadilla is a perfect choice. There is very limited parking on this side and because of this tends to be less crowded than the southern end. Access to this section of the beach is primarily through Playitas Road, which is the most common entry point for those seeking to enjoy a wonderful beach day.

Things to Do at Playa Espadilla

Manuel Antonio is a mecca for tours and activities and Playa Espadilla is no exception. This phenomenal beach is one of the most famous beaches in Costa Rica and a great destination for those seeking a fun and a marvelous beach encounter. Visitors can swim and sunbathe on the soft sand while enjoying the natural shade provided by towering palm trees and other rainforest plant life. And you surf, this beautiful coast make is a perfect place to catch some waves.


For those looking to observe the abundant wildlife, look up and keep an eye out for sloths and monkeys in the trees. You can also grab some fresh coconut water or rent a chair and beach umbrella from one of the many vendors on the beach. With plenty of water activities, sunset views, and enjoyable things to do, Playa Espadilla is a great place for the ultimate beach day!

Sunbathing and Swimming

Sunbathing and swimming are the quintessential beach activities, and Playa Espadilla is the perfect destination for both. The waves here break far from shore, because of this, its a great beach for swimming for all ages. And with its soft golden sand, its ideal for sunbathing, building sand castles, and everything else families typically love to do at a beach.


There are a great deal of beach rentals available, including lounge chairs, umbrellas, and even water sports equipment. Vendors on the beach offer a range of beverages and snacks, making it a good place to grab lunch or a refreshing drink. Alternatively, there are many restaurants and stores conveniently located right across the street on the southern end of the beach with a slew of options for groups and families to have lunch, buy beer, snacks, and other beverages. Playa Espadilla is an ideal destination for those looking to spend some time in the water and soak up the sun.


Don’t forget to catch the beautiful sunset! Playa Espadilla is known to be one of the best locations to watch a captivating sunset In Manuel Antonio.

Surfing and Water Sports

Surfing and water sports are incredibly popular activities at Playa Espadilla, and for good reason. With its warm waters, perfect wave breaks, and stunning coastline, this Costa Rica beach is the perfect destination for the active beachgoer. Surf lessons are available for beginners and and down the beach, and experienced surfers can access some of the best waves in Manuel Antonio at the beaches northern end known as Playitas Beach. Trip Advisor reviews rave about the access to other activities, such as boogie boarding and body surfing including the many parasailing tours available along with jet ski and kayak rentals. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time visitor, Playa Espadilla is the perfect destination for surfing and water sports enthusiasts looking to experience the best of Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches.

Beach Wildlife Watching

For nature enthusiasts, visiting Playa Espadilla in Costa Rica is an absolute must. Where its location of lush jungles meet a sandy coast, visitors can experience the incredible wildlife of the region in a way similar to what they might encounter in Manuel Antonio National Park. The playful monkeys and curious iguanas are a favorite among tourists, while the two-toed and three-toed sloths can be seen taking it easy in the trees. Also, while relaxing on the beach, you are sure to spot some hermit crabs. Children and adults alike can revel in the one-of-a-kind experience of witnessing the region’s diverse wildlife up close and personal while basking in the sun and sea at this magnificent beach.

Safety Tips For Epadilla Norte

While visiting the beautiful beach in Costa Rica, it’s important to keep in mind a few safety tips to ensure a memorable and enjoyable beach day. While relishing the warm waters, be cautious of rip tides, especially during the rainy season and if you happen to get caught in one, swim parallel to beach, not towards the shore. Its also a good idea not to go for a swimming when you hear thunder and lightning nearby.


Tourists should also be mindful of their valuables and avoid bringing expensive items to the beach, as theft can be an issue depending on what part of the beach you decide to visit. When parking your car, be sure to keep valuables out of sight and lock all doors and windows.


Additionally, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone on the beach at night. Foreigners should also be cautious when making purchases and avoid carrying large sums of money or expensive items with them.


If you have members in your family that are not strong swimmers, it is also recommended to swim near a lifeguard station, where there are trained professionals who can assist in case of an emergency.


By following these recommendations, you’re well on your way to experiencing a great time and enjoy this Manuel Antonio beach with its stunning scenery, sandy shores and abundant wildlife while staying safe and secure.

Where to Stay Near Epadilla Norte Beach

There are a variety of accommodation options available in near the sand and shores of Espadilla in Manuel Antonio, including:


🌴 Hotels: The choices of hotels in Manuel Antonio are endless. Ranging from very large to boutique hotels and budget-friendly alternatives.


🌴 Luxury Resorts: There are a few 5-star luxury resorts in the area walkable to this incredible beach. Here are a few worth mentioning: Arenas Del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Makanda by The Sea, and Los Altos resort


🌴 Vacation Rentals: Manuel Antonio is a mecca for vacation properties including luxury villas, condos, apartments, and houses that can be rented for short or long-term stays. There are several large luxury villas that can host large groups, Including the most popular luxury vacation rental in Manuel Antonio, Vista Hermosa Estate.


🌴 Hostels: Manuel Antonio is home to many hostels that are ideal for budget-conscious travelers seeking shared accommodations and a social atmosphere.


🌴 Bed and Breakfasts: Many bed and breakfast accommodation in Manuel Antonio offering a more personalized experience with home-cooked meals and local hosts.


🌴 Eco-Lodges: There are a few eco-lodges in town providing a sustainable and environmentally-friendly lodging option for visitors who want to reduce their carbon footprint.


No matter if you’re on a budget, a luxury traveler, or traveling with a large group, there are plenty of accommodation options in Manuel Antonio for the most amazing beach vacation.

Dining and Nightlife Near Playa Espadilla Norte

Satisfy your appetite and indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of some of the best Costa Rica cuisine while visiting the enchanting Playa Espadilla Norte in Manuel Antonio. Costa Rica is known for having some of the finest cuisine in Central America, and Manuel Antonio is no exception.


The area towards Espadilla Sur Beach is known for its delectable dining options, with restaurants and shops conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Take your taste buds on an unforgettable culinary journey as you savor the most delicious food the region has to offer. From authentic Costa Rican specialties to international cuisine, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Manuel Antonio right here in this in this stunning locale and are sure to tantalize and delight. 


As you walk towards the northern end of Playa Espadilla, guests can delight in a unique dining experience that is both mouthwatering and indulgent. Located directly on the beach, these restaurants offer not only delectable cuisine, but also comfortable lounge chairs and umbrellas to make your beach day even more gratifying. Savor the flavors of local and international cuisine while sipping on refreshing tropical drinks and basking in the warm Costa Rican sun. Immerse yourself in the relaxed and vibrant atmosphere on its sandy shores, and take your beach day to the next level with a delicious meal served right on the sand.


As the sun sets, the energy of the area comes alive with the sounds of live music and dancing. Embrace the vibrant nightlife scene and let loose as you enjoy the rhythms of local musicians and DJs. The warm evening air and stunning beach setting make for an unforgettable atmosphere that sets the stage for an incredible night out.


Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply enjoy a refreshing drink under the stars, the nightlife scene is sure to captivate and enchant. Get ready for an unforgettable evening of fun and excitement in one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beach destinations.

Other Great Beaches in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is a treasure trove of beaches, each with its own unique charm along the vibrant coast. Just north of Playa Espadillas sits Playitas Beach. This excellent beach is a serene escape, where the surf whispers secrets to those who come to explore its sandy shores. Just south of Playa Espadilla Norte lies Espadilla Sur Beach which offers easy access to fresh coconuts and a lively vibe, making Espadilla Sur Beach suitable for a family day out while visiting Manuel Antonio National Park. Hidden like a gem, Playa Biesanz is a tranquil nook with calm water, perfect for those seeking a bit of peace and excellent snorkeling spots.


Lastly, also located within the national park, Manuel Antonio Beach where lots of natural beauty meets leisure; with an estuary on one end and playful monkeys overhead, it truly captures the essence of a tropical paradise. Each beach, located within a stone’s throw from each other, promises an array of activities and scenic views, ensuring your time spent here is nothing short of excellent. If you can, try to visit all of these beaches in Manuel Antonio.

Visit Playa Espadilla, the Quintessential Tropical Beach Experience

The magnificent Playa Espadilla in Manuel Antonio where you’ll experience a Costa Rica beach that is truly remarkable. With its stunning location near the entrance to the Manuel Antonio National Park, visitors have access to a variety of attractions, specialty vendors, services, diners, surfing lessons, water activities, and more. With two beaches to choose from – Espadilla Norte and Espadilla Sur – there’s plenty of sand to relax on while watching the sunset or exploring the many vendors and food services available. Visitors can purchase umbrellas, chairs, and even beer right on the beach, making it easy to enjoy the water and the shade at their own leisure.


Escape to the tranquility of Playa Espadilla’s northern side and bask in the serene beauty of its tropical backdrop. This slice of paradise offers a peaceful respite from the crowds found on its southern side, making it the perfect place to unwind and recharge after a tour of the national park. Listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean and feel the soft sand between your toes as you take in the breathtaking scenery of this stunning oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to read a book, meditate, take some surf lessons, or simply enjoy some peace and solitude, the northern side of Playa Espadilla is the ultimate peaceful beach location. Let the beauty of this hidden gem envelop you as you relax and rejuvenate in the heart of Costa Rica’s natural splendor.


As one of the best beaches in Manuel Antonio, hundreds of travelers flock to enjoy this breathtaking beach every day, and one of the main reasons why travelers choose to vacation in Manuel Antonio, an absolute must-destination for those traveling to Costa Rica. So rent a place to stay, pack your bags, bring your sunscreen, and get ready to enjoy all that Playa Espadilla has to offer!