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This scene is as typical as it is amusing: A boy creating his first sand castle with his parents´ help. Pure fun of getting your fingers with sand and play, the essence of a destination that can mark life forever.

Every Saturday my family and I spend some time drinking coffee in the afternoon. My parents still remember our first trip to the beach, and they tell me about it. They kept their eyes on me all the time, and I got a white cast due to the sunblock.

Just like every little boy, laughter and more laughter, still trying to understand the immensity I had in front of me for the very first time: the sea.

Beach experience can truly mark a child’s life from many points of view. For example, if a person since a very young age visits Ostional and experience the turtles’ arrival phenomenon, probably will appreciate natural life and support its conservation.

On an opposite situation: If a wave breaks against him and has no one around to lean on, he’ll never forget that bad experience.

With the intention to learn, to enjoy and above all to feel safe, we created a list of five beach destinations for family fun. And of course, they’re incredible spots.

Biesanz beach:

Biesanz beach. GOPlaya.

When traveling with family, parents want to enjoy, but at the same time want to make sure that their children are having fun without any risk. Biesanz beach in Manuel Antonio meets this goal. It’s a small spot, which lets you to look at the whole beach; this allows the family to always stay close, even when children move around, or run on the sand. Though do not get too confident, you should always stay close to the children to avoid an accident.

Biesanz is a white sand spot with barely noticeable waves. It’s a perfect beach to take relaxing swim in the sea as waves are minimal. It is very close to downtown Manuel Antonio, so you will have plenty of options to stay. Before entering the you’ll have to cross a rocks trail. A nice experience that should not tire too much the kids as trail is short.

When traveling with family, PANI reminds you that it is important to take the following precautions:

-Protect children with sunscreen

-Attend children to the beach. Don’t leave them alone for a second.

-To prevent children from getting lost, teach them their personal information and to recognize authorities that can help them.

San Juanillo Beach

San Juanillo beach. GOPlaya

I keep in my mind the image of a family snorkeling in San Juanillo. Two adults, a child and a teenager with the equipment put on and swimming under the sea. The next time I visited this place, I decided to try it… result? I loved it.

A sandbank divides San Juanillo into two small bays in which waves pass away and allows you to enjoy a beautiful scenery with crystal clear water.

Just remember that it is best to visit it at high tide, when the sea covers the rocks at the shore. Close to these rocks is that you can appreciate the fish.

This beach got white sand and is located in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste. The whole family will be able to enjoy the snorkeling experience in a healthy and safe environment.

PANI invites you to consider the following when traveling to the beach:

-Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages if you are taking care of children.

-Avoid transporting children under five years old on motorcycles.

Ostional Beach

Ostional beach. GOPlaya.

Sometimes we forget that there are exceptional natural wonders in Costa Rica, just like the ones you watch in National Geographic and documentaries on Netflix. Those wonders which young people and children are exposed every day on the TV. So, why don’t we change the armchair and the TV for a real-life experience?

It’s just what Ostional offers in Guanacaste, when thousands of turtles (seriously, they are thousands!) go out to spawn on the beach. The family must be accompanied by an authorized guide, who will provide an in-depth knowledge of the phenomenon. It is an educational experience, which strengthens the conservation concept from an early age. It’s amazing to see so many turtles at the same time. This spectacle only happens in two countries in the world and Costa Rica is one of them.

These massive arrivals occur in the months of June, August, September, October and November, with a spike in November. It’s because females synchronize their metabolism to put the eggs at the same time. The best way to ensure that you will observe the phenomenon is by calling to the Ostional Development Association, which has exact dates of arrival.

Manzanillo Beach

Manzanillo beach. GOPlaya.

If you decide to walk a long trail with a child, probably won´t like the idea. However, Manzanillo beach offers a nice environment surrounded by nature to enjoy a peaceful and paradise place. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be finding different spots. All of them got the same essence: calm waves, palm trees that provide shade and unique privacy that it’s hard to find.

It is a beautiful place, with a viewpoint and dozens of trees that make up a gallery forest. You don´t have to walk too much to find the beach, but enough to appreciate all the green that surrounds the area. Remember that Limon´s summer is the best time to visit Manzanillo, which is between January and December, April and then between September and October, preferably.

This beach in Limon is part of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and is very close to the downtown Puerto Viejo, where you can also enjoy bike tours; very popular around here because allows you to get to know the essence of Costa Rican Caribbean.

If you are planning your trip and renting bikes is part of it, PANI recommends the following:

-Teach children the traffic signs and the correct way to ride a bicycle.

Samara beach

Sámara beach. Alonso Tenorio.

Do you like waves but those ones surfers look for? Samara beach offers you just that, a place with a mid-sized swell to play and enjoy. Of course you should always be careful in the sea. There’s usually a lifeguard at the watchtower. Also, different tours are offered such as banana boat, so the family can have fun.

It is a large beach that will allow you to have a long walk or simply enjoy the sun. Also, there are beach beds chairs for rent. There are dozens of lodging options available in Samara to plan a real experience. It is also close to another destination where you can enjoy peacefulness: Carrillo beach.

A spot of white sand and great beauty, located near this beach of Guanacaste.

José Pablo Alfaro

José Pablo Alfaro

Journalist and nature lover. He likes boat trips, walking through trails and living natural experiences.