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Playa Quesera photos
Playa Quesera fast facts
- English name: Quesera Beach
- Distance from San Jose: 275km (approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes) via ground transport; Shorter travel distances/times are possible by taking ferries that cross the Nicoya Gulf from Puntarenas
- Closest Town: Paquera (small town)
- Beach Status: Public beach (access is granted with payment of a fee; see below for details)
Playa Quesera beach details
Sand, shade, scenery, and unique features
Playa Quesera is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Unfortunately, it’s also one of Costa Rica’s smallest beaches. Set around Bahia Curu (Curu Bay), Playa Quesera has nearly white, fine sand that declines into shallow, crystalline water that’s a soothing hue of robin’s egg blue. Behind the beach providing pockets of shade is protected forest and a few tropical palms.
Crowds and noise
Playa Quesera is part of the Curu National Wildlife Refuge. Though several people tour the refuge each day or depart from neighboring beach Playa Curu on snorkeling tours, diving tours, or tours to Tortuga Island, few visitors opt to visit Playa Quesera. This means that if you make the daunting hike out to the beach (or hire a boat to take you there) you may just have the beach all to yourself.
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 Quesera participated in the Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica and received a 1-star rating. You may see the achievement displayed at Playa Quesera on a sign that reads Playa Galardonada (Award-Winning Beach).
Development at Playa Quesera
Hotels, restaurants, tours, bathrooms, etc.
Playa Quesera is void of commercial development. Neighboring beach Playa Curu has bathrooms and a tour office.
Playa Quesera safety
Swimming and water safety
Swimming is allowed at Playa Quesera and is lovely in the tranquil Bahia Curu, save for waves caused by tour boats crossing the bay. 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.
Playa Quesera location and road conditions
Access to Playa Quesera and 4×4 requirement
Playa Quesera is located on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. It sits south of the community of Paquera and falls within the boundary of the Curu National Wildlife Refuge.
Because Playa Quesera is part of a protected land area, beach access is limited to individuals who pay the Curu National Wildlife Refuge entrance fee (for more information about the Curu National Wildlife Refuge entrance fee, see our related blog post: A List Of 50+ Costa Rica Entrance Fees: How Much It Costs To Enter National Parks, Reserves, And Refuges).
To reach Playa Quesera, you must first reach Playa Curu. Playa Curu is located at the end of the main access road that leads through the Curu National Wildlife Refuge; an approximate 2.5-kilometer, 8-minute drive from the refuge’s entrance. A 4×4 vehicle is not required to reach Playa Curu.
From Playa Curu, a challenging forest trail leads through the refuge to Playa Quesera. Alternatively, you can catch a boat ride from Playa Curu to Playa Quesera. Boats are run by Turismo Curu, a tour operator that operates from within the refuge and has an office on Playa Curu.
Map of Playa Quesera Costa Rica
Parking at Playa Quesera
There is no official parking at Playa Quesera, though there is a makeshift lot at the end of the road that leads through the Curu National Wildlife Refuge from the refuge’s entrance to Playa Curu (you must hike or take a boat to Playa Quesera from Playa Curu; see above for details). There is room for several vehicles and parking is free.
Best reason(s) to visit Playa Quesera
Offering some of the prettiest sand along the Nicoya Peninsula, the paradisiacal Playa Quesera is worth visiting purely to experience the beach. As a bonus, the fee you’ll pay to access the beach also buys access to the Curu National Wildlife Refuge so you can couple your glorious beach visit with some hiking and possible wildlife encounters. Playa Quesera can easily be enjoyed during a day trip from destinations in the southern half of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Beach hopping from Playa Quesera (or alternative beach options in the region)
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to Playa Quesera? What did you think?
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