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Playa Garza photos
Playa Garza fast facts
- English name: Garza Beach
- Distance from San Jose: 250km (approximately 4.5 hours)
- Closest town: Nosara (small town); Nicoya (large town)
- Beach status: Public beach
Playa Garza beach details
Sand, shade, scenery, and unique features
Playa Garza is a heavenly crescent beach comprised of soft, light-grey, dimpled sand that you’ll love digging your toes into. The sparse trees that line the back of the beach provide little shade. The beach curves around Bahia Garza (Garza Bay), a body of water that’s sometimes speckled with small, quiet fishing boats. The bay’s long, unbroken waves are perfect for playing in. Playa Garza is also home to a small children’s playground.
Crowds and noise
Despite its proximity to Nosara, Playa Garza receives only a handful of visitors. People come to the 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 Garza participated in the Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica and received a 1-star rating. You may see the achievement displayed at Playa Garza on a sign that reads Playa Galardonada (Award-Winning Beach).
Development at Playa Garza
Hotels, restaurants, tours, bathrooms, etc.
There is no commercial development at Playa Garza, though the small residential community of Garza, which has a few sodas (traditional Costa Rican restaurants), is located behind the beach (within walking distance). A handful of accommodations dot the area (along Road 160) but most are not directly on the beach.
Playa Garza safety
Swimming and water safety
Swimming is allowed at Playa Garza; the bay tends to be calm save for waves created by passing fishing boats. As always, exercise caution in and around the water, especially if you plan to visit with children or inexperienced swimmers.
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 Garza location and road conditions
Access to Playa Garza and 4×4 requirement
Playa Garza is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It sits south of the community of Nosara and is separated from Nosara’s principal beach—Playa Guiones—by Punta Guiones, a headland. It’s an approximate 6.5-kilometer, 10-minute drive to Playa Garza from Nosara.
Playa Garza sits on the south side of Road 160; the beach is visible from the road. Though a 4×4 vehicle is not required to maneuver the stretch of Road 160 that lies between Nosara and the beach, it is recommended to have a 4×4 vehicle if you plan to reach Playa Garza from other destinations that fall along Road 160, such as Samara (to the east) and Ostional (to the west), because you may need to ford a river along the route.
Map of Playa Garza Costa Rica
Parking at Playa Garza
There is no official parking at Playa Garza, though steps from the beach is a makeshift lot that sits on the south side of Road 160. There is room for several vehicles. The playground is in front of the lot.
Best reason(s) to visit Playa Garza
The best reason to visit Playa Garza is to sunbathe or swim at a beach in the Nosara area that’s void of Playa Guiones’s waves and crowds. If you wish to station yourself in Nosara to take advantage of the destinations upscale boutique accommodations, health-conscious eateries, yoga retreats, and/or surf schools consider the peaceful, nearby Playa Garza a beach that’s worth retreating to for a few hours of rest and relaxation.
Beach hopping from Playa Garza (or alternative beach options in the region)
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