Last updated on April 22nd, 2021 at 02:47 pm EST
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Playa Chiquita photos
Playa Chiquita fast facts
- English name: Chiquita Beach
- Distance from San Jose: 223km (approximately 4 hours)
- Closest Town: Manzanillo (small town), Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (large town)
- Beach Status: Public beach
Playa Chiquita beach details
Sand, shade, scenery, and unique features
Playa Chiquita is a small, narrow beach with soft, golden sand that’s sometimes awash with driftwood. Offshore, a reef provides snorkeling opportunities, and the water is light blue and ultramarine in places. Beach almond trees, in which green macaws are frequently seen, and a handful of tropical palms back the beach; their angled stems are perfect for hanging hammocks.
Crowds and noise
Playa Chiquita receives few visitors, mainly because it’s overlooked in favor of other beaches along the southern Caribbean coast that are larger and easier to access. People come to this beach to relax in solitude, so noise is kept to a minimum.
Cleanliness and Ecological Blue Flag rating
Costa Rica’s Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica (Ecological Blue Flag Program) promotes sustainability and public health (to learn more about the program, see our related blog post: Costa Rica’s Ecological Blue Flag Program: Safe and Sustainable Beaches). Every year, several beaches in Costa Rica compete for top honors, which are bestowed annually according to strict criteria that span the topics of water quality, beach sanitation and garbage disposal, the treatment of industrial waste, beach security, and environmental education. Beaches that participate in the program and meet 90-100% of the eligibility criteria achieve a 1-star rating. Additional efforts invite beaches to achieve 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star ratings (5 stars is the highest rating).
In 2019, Playa Chiquita participated in the Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica and received a 1-star rating. You may see the achievement displayed at Playa Chiquita on a sign that reads Playa Galardonada (Award-Winning Beach).
Development at Playa Chiquita
Hotels, restaurants, tours, bathrooms, etc.
The tiny Playa Chiquita area is home to a few local residences. Most line the beach access road and are not directly on the beach. For this reason, Playa Chiquita feels secluded although it isn’t remote.
Playa Chiquita safety
Swimming and water safety
Swimming is allowed at Playa Chiquita. As always, exercise caution in and around the water, especially if you plan to visit with children or inexperienced swimmers.
There’s a small reef off Playa Chiquita. For your own safety and the protection of Costa Rica’s underwater world, please be careful swimming or snorkeling around the reef.
Never bring items of value with you to the beach and always keep an eye on your belongings. Remember to lock your rental car if you have one. Do not visit the beach before sunrise or after sunset. If possible, visit the beach as part of a group to avoid being at this remote-feeling beach alone.
Playa Chiquita location and road conditions
Access to Playa Chiquita and 4×4 requirement
Playa Chiquita is located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It sits east of Playa Cocles and west of Punta Uva.
Playa Chiquita is an approximate 5.5-kilometer, 10-minute drive southeast from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on Road 256. The cutoff to the beach isn’t marked; when traveling from the west (via Puerto Viejo de Talamanca), look for it on your left roughly 1.5 kilometers after passing the cutoff to the Jaguar Rescue Center on your right. If you hit the Shawandha Lodge, you’ve gone too far. Follow the narrow, bumpy, gravel beach access road to Bar Restaurante Playa Chiquita Paradise, which is adjacent to the beach. A 4×4 vehicle is not required to reach Playa Chiquita.
Map of Playa Chiquita Costa Rica
Parking at Playa Chiquita
There is no official parking at Playa Chiquita, though steps from the beach (at the end of the beach access road) is Bar Restaurante Playa Chiquita Paradise, an informal, open-air restaurant with a large parking lot. If you order a drink or food from the establishment, you should be allowed to keep your car in the lot while you visit the beach. Do not park directly under the tall almond trees opposite Playa Chiquita; the green macaws that dine on the almonds in these trees often drop nuts from great heights, causing vehicle damage.
Best reason(s) to visit Playa Chiquita
Offering a quiet, remote-feeling retreat along the southern Caribbean coast, plus regular macaw sightings, Playa Chiquita is worth visiting purely to experience the beach, which is best enjoyed during a day trip from whichever destination you plan to station yourself at along the southern Caribbean coast.
Beach hopping from Playa Chiquita (or alternative beach options in the region)
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