Playa Cabuyal, Costa Rica

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We recently were spending a week at our favorite all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica- Planet Hollywood. We wanted to get away from the resort for a bit to visit another beach.

Normally we crash the Four Seasons Resort beaches by riding the shuttle, but the shuttles were ending soon enough that we’d only have about 45 minutes at our favorite beach- Playa Nacazcolo.

Luckily, our shuttle driver at the resort told us about a little hidden gem nearby- Playa Cabuyal. We loved it! Here’s a quick guide to the beach.

Playa Cabuyal Locaton

Playa Cabuyal is located just north of the Gulf of Papagayo on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. It’s about 30 minutes exactly from downtown Liberia. This makes it about 40 minutes from Playas del Coco, Playa Ocotal, Playa Panama, and Playa Hermosa.

It’s also about 90 minutes north of Tamarindo Beach. One of our other favorite hotels- Hacienda Guachepelin, is about 45 minutes from the beach.

Getting there is easy- you’ll just pass the Liberia airport headed west. You’ll see a “Do It Right” sign in red and white on your right. Turn there and keep going for about 20 minutes.

You’ll then come to a Y-shaped intersection where you can either go straight on to Planet Hollywood, The Four Seasons, and The Andaz Papagayo, or you can take a slight right.

Take a slight right and follow that road until it stops- it will stop at Playa Cabuyal.

You will need to rent a car to arrive at Cabuyal, or have a private shuttle driver and ask them to take you. There aren’t really taxis or Ubers to take you there.

It’s not so hidden that it’s not on Waze or Google Maps though, so if you are navigating in Costa Rica you can just add the beach to those apps and get around.

Arrival At Playa Cabuyal

Getting to this beach is pretty unceremonious. The road ends and there is a sort of parking lot there where you can leave your car. There’s no parking guard (wachiman as we call them in Costa Rica) and so it’s best not to leave any items of value in the car.

The beach spreads out both from left to right- you’ll love the blue waters and the white sand beach.

There are a few benches and picnic tables here, so you can easily bring food and spend the day. The beach is shaded by plenty of trees, which is perfect for keeping the kids out of the sun during breaks.

Swimming at Cabuyal

We visited the beach in May, and the waves were really strong when we went. We didn’t let the kids get in more than their feet to wade. The pull of the tide was just too strong.

I’ve also read that there are tons of manta rays here during the off-season, so if you decide to swim, make sure you are aware of this possibility.

What makes this beach epic, however, are the sunsets. We were able to watch an epic sun dunk into the ocean- it was one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Plus, there was only one other group of people there- a few young ticos also enjoying the sunset. We loved the fact that this is a totally rural beach- no one was around and it felt like our own private beach.

Looking for other hidden gems just for you as you plan your trip to Costa Rica? I’m happy to help with customized travel advice– no sales at all. You just get to pick my brain about your specific trip. Book today.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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