As you begin to explore the world of Guanacaste real estate, you’ll soon find yourself wondering about the differences between your many options. Because, while they may be close geographically, their details, real estate, and amenities are always listed separately. And that’s because the flavor of every town – and the type of real estate options each offers – varies wildly.
So, we thought we’d pool our collective knowledge and cover the basics of the 17 beach towns and areas we know best. From north to south (Part 2 destinations, coming soon!):
Table of Contents:
- Playas del Coco
- Playa Hermosa
- Playa Ocotal
- Las Catalinas
- Playa Potrero
- Playa Flamingo
- Playa Conchal
- Playa Grande
- Playa Langosta
- Hacienda Pinilla
- Playa Avellanas
- Playa Negra
- Playa Junquillal
- Playa Lagarto
- Playa Marbella
Location: Google Maps
Thanks to its longtime popularity and a wide array of amenities, Tamarindo is a bustling town and home to some of the most sought-after Guanacaste real estate, both for residential – from high-rise condos and single-family homes – and investment opportunities, including small businesses and vacation homes with proven rental history.
This community is a popular choice for investors (especially those seeking inversionista residency) and is a regional hotspot for digital nomads, beach-loving urbanites, and families, thanks in large part to the top-notch international schools in the area. The town is also home to three gated communities: Senderos, Tamarindo Park, and Tamarindo Preserve (aka Punta San Francisco).
Prices start around <$100,000 for a small business or building lot; $300,000 for condos and townhomes; and $400,000 for single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties start at $1M.
Featured Property: Tamarindo Walk
Offered at: $600,000
Introducing Tamarindo Walk!
This downtown Tamarindo sanctuary offers no HOA fees and is just a leisurely walk to the beach, shopping, dining, and the vibrant night market. Here, you’ll immerse yourself in indoor/outdoor living – exquisite homes that feature lush courtyards, sliding glass walls, outdoor fountains, and private pools, paired with ensuite bedrooms, luxury finishes, and the convenience and security of condominium living.
#2: Las Catalinas
Location: Google Maps
Located along the picturesque coastline of Playa Danta and Plata Dantita, the Mediterranean-inspired,master-planned gated community of Las Catalinas is located just north of Playa Flamingo (5.25 miles/8.5 kms) and south of Playas del Coco (12 miles/19 km).
Welcome to Costa Rica’s only car-free community (you can own and park a car, though!). Las Catalinas is built around a compact Beach Town, designed in the walkable style of the Old-World Mediterranean. Amenities include 24/7 gated security, hiking & biking trails, fitness facilities, and a Beach Club with ocean-view pools, a restaurant, and a cocktail bar. This represents some of the most prestigious and hard-to-find Guanacaste real estate.
The community is incredibly popular for retirees, families, and anyone else who seeks an oceanside, luxurious, and walkable lifestyle. Prices start around $425,000-$600,000 for a studio and 1-bedroom condos and $1M for a villa or single-family home. Luxury properties start around $3M.
Featured Property: Posada San Rafael
Offered at: $4,990,000
Rooted in the traditions of Latin America’s colonial-influenced architecture and beach posadas (inns) past, Posada San Rafael is an elegant home built to stoke travel nostalgia while honoring Mayan architecture and converted colonial homes, monasteries, and chapels.
Here, you’ll find eye candy and heritage everywhere you look – from railings with candle holders and original textiles to hand-carved beams and columns, doors, and artwork. And, lest this all feel very Old World, there’s plenty of the contemporary here to love, too. One suite even has its very own private plunge pool!
#3: Hacienda Pinilla
Location: Google Maps
Located just south of Tamarindo – sweeping from Playa Langosta south to Playa Avellanas and Playa Mansita – Hacienda Pinilla span 4,500 acres of historic ranch property, pristine beaches, and backcountry to form one of the largest, most prestigious, and most established gated communities in Costa Rica.
Here, you’ll discover seven residential communities, each offering a distinct personality and appealing to families, retirees, golfers, and others who seek an active lifestyle. In common: Hacienda Pinilla’s distinct resort amenities, which include the community’s signature par-72 golf course, as well as tennis courts, horseback riding stables, hiking and biking trails, and a spectacular Beach Club with an oceanfront swimming pool, restaurant, fitness center, and spa.
Hacienda Pinilla real estate is diverse and suits a variety of price ranges. Prices start around $400,000 for prime homesites; $600,000-$700,000 for condos and townhomes; and $900,000 for villas and single-family homes. Luxury properties start around $1.5M.
Featured Property: Villa Oasis
Offered at: $1,999,000
Located on an expansive half-acre fronting the 5th fairway at the Hacienda Pinilla golf course, Villa Oasis offers 7,000 square feet over three levels of tropical living. Combining Spanish-Colonial construction and contemporary comfort in a unique architectural design, this is a special home.
The home’s spacious, open interiors and volume ceilings flow toward windows that allow for magical landscape views and vistas to the greens. Indoors, you’ll find seven bedrooms – including six primary bedrooms – as well as an open floor plan, a chef’s kitchen, and a 2-bedroom, 2-bath guest house. Be a part of Costa Rica´s premier gated community!
#4: Playa Flamingo
Location: Google Maps
Long known for its white-sand beaches, the idyllic town of Playa Flamingo is now also beloved for the new Marina Flamingo, which was inaugurated in 2023. There’s a reason this area is often called the “Beverly Hills of Costa Rica”: Its gorgeous coastline, upscale amenities, and refined communities give the town an exclusive (but not exclusionary) vibe.
You’ll find that Playa Flamingo is very popular among families and retirees who are looking for a tranquil beachside lifestyle: close to it all without being in it all. And with the new marina, Flamingo and Guanacaste real estate is booming, featuring a range of homesites and single-family homes, many within the upscale gated communities that reside here; they include Mar Vista, Flamingo Estates, and Altos de Flamingo.
Prices start around $500,000 for ocean-view homesites and lots; $600,000 for mountain-view single-family homes and villas; and $1M for ocean-view single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties also start at $1M.
Featured Property: Casa Escondida
Offered at: $1,490,000
A true piece of heaven, nestled on a hill and owning cool sea breezes and total privacy, Casa Escondida (a “hidden” paradise, for sure!) offers panoramic ocean, mountain, valley, and sunset views – a trifecta of natural beauty that promises to astonish and awe, every hour of the day.
Located within the prestigious Mar Vista gated community, the home offers upscale amenities indoors and out – from the entertainer’s kitchen and oversized terrace to the infinity-edge pool and lush landscaping. You’ll also have access to an on-site restaurant, hiking, and biking trails, a gym, a yoga studio, tennis, and 24-7 security.
#5: Playa Conchal
Location: Google Maps
One of Costa Rica’s most iconic and recognizable beaches, Playa Conchal is beloved for its shell-lined, pink-hued sands and sapphire Pacific waters. And then, there’s its prime location – between Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo – world-class amenities, and a world-class golf course, and it’s easy to see why so many choose to call Playa Conchal home.
An easy favorite for retirees, families, and other beach lovers, Playa Conchal is home to a variety of residential real estate, most of which is centered in the gated communities of Reserva Conchal, Montañas de Conchal, and Catalina Cove (Brasilito). Here, you’ll find both luxury condominiums and single-family villas and homes.
Prices start around $350,000 for small homes; $650,000 for luxury condos and townhomes; and $800,000 for single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties start at $1M.
Featured Property: Villa del Mar
Offered at: $685,000
A luxurious, third-level, golf- and ocean-view condominium located within the prestigious resort community of Reserva Conchal, Villa del Mar is dedicated to upscale living and the tropical lifestyle, outfitted in all the bells, whistles, and comforts you desire.
The condo’s single-level, open-plan living invites you to welcome the outdoors in: Sliding glass doors reveal those breathtaking views and every interior space is flooded in natural light. You’ll also have access to the Roble Sabana community’s pool and clubhouse, and Reserva Conchal’s resort amenities, which include a luxurious Beach Club, championship golf course, onsite restaurants, fitness & wellness facilities, hiking and biking trails, and more.
#6: Playa Potrero
Location: Google Maps
Playa Potrero is a special place: both beachside and quiet, at once convenient but still affordable, Potrero retains the allure of a best-kept secret without quite being a secret. Because true secrets don’t have dining and shopping and beachy amenities – things that Potrero definitely and proudly does!
It’s no surprise, then, that Playa Potrero is particularly popular among retirees seeking tranquility and families who pursue the rhythms of family life. Potrero is also a favorite among Costa Rica’s growing population of digital nomads. As such, the area is populated primarily with residential Guanacaste real estate options that extend to condominiums, single-family homes, and luxury villas, including those in the sought-after community of Surfside Potrero.
Prices start around $170,000-$250,000 for condos and townhomes and $400,000 for single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties start at $700,000.
Featured Property: Casa Tucan
Offered at: $689,000
Why buy one home when you could own two? Welcome to Casa Tucan, a two-home duo just steps to the sands of Playa Potrero. True to its word, the property consists of a completely remodeled main home (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) and a newly built second home 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom).
Located just a hop, skip, and a salto to Surfside Potrero, this dream-worthy property is conveniently close to schools and the beach, and promises a friendly, established neighborhood. What’s more, as it’s located on the south side of Potrero, it overlooks Potrero Bay, next to the new Flamingo Marina. Close enough but not too close.
#7: Playa Grande
Location: Google Maps
Located just across the estuary from Tamarindo, Playa Grande houses all the accouterments of modern living, while evoking the spirit of “old” Costa Rica. So, while you’ll find a full menu of local restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and contemporary architecture, you’ll also find some of the country’s original Guanacaste real estate and the epic surf breaks that built these homes.
The result is a diverse community – families and surfers, beach-goers and retirees who seek the quieter (but not silent) life. As a result, you’ll find plenty of residential real estate offerings, with some investment opportunities sprinkled in. The area’s premier gated community is Las Ventanas de Playa Grande.
Playa Grande offers a diverse community, where your neighbors will come from
Prices start around $170,000-$250,000 for condos and townhomes and $400,000 for single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties start around $1M.
Featured Property: The Surf House
Offered at: $775,000
Imbued with the spirit of Costa Rican beach living, The Surf House defines a beloved heritage of decades past: A spacious home bathed in natural light and blending indoors and out, this traditional beach house is done in the traditional local style of concrete, wood, and a clay-tile roof.
Located just a short walk to Playa Grande’s sands, surf breaks, and sunsets, The Surf House puts you close to Las Baulas National Marine Park, breathtaking sunsets, shopping, and dining options. Back home, you’ll have access to your thatched-roof palapa, swinging hammocks, and private pool. Don’t miss your opportunity to own the dream!
#8: Playa Avellanas
Location: Google Maps
Located just south of Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas is one of three beaches that comprise Hacienda Pinilla. And yet, it’s important to state that Playa Avellanas is not just Hacienda Pinilla, as the town itself houses its own amenities, services, and real estate.
Here, you’ll find a quiet mix of seclusion and convenience, which creates a delicate balance of not-too-developed but not-too-secluded, either. The result is a multicultural community built around the surf and beach lifestyles, with Guanacaste real estate that attracts surfers, families, and retirees seeking sun and affordable real estate. In addition to Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas is home to the Enclave at Avellanas gated community.
Prices start around $100,000 for building lots and homesites; $160,000 for condos and townhomes; and $300,000 for single-family homes and villas. Luxury properties start at around $850,000.
Featured Property: Casa Aloha
Offered at: $299,000
Just three minutes from the sands of Playa Avellanas, Casa Aloha bids you a warm welcome to single-story living, friendly neighbors, and natural surrounds. The home is nicely built with high-end finishes, gorgeous cedarwood finishes, and top-quality appliances. And there’s still time to add your special touch to the final finishes!
This is a perfect choice for anyone seeking peace and the good life. Ideal for surfers and everyone who loves the beach, Casa Aloha is the definition of relaxation and tranquility. And, as the property still has room to build, you could also add two more apartments to create an income-producing property.
Perusing Your Guanacaste Real Estate Options?
You have questions, we have answers! Whether you’ve already settled on your favorite gated community or are still browsing the options for Guanacaste real estate, we’d love to help you explore the world of master-planned communities.
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