Last updated on January 24th, 2021 at 06:06 pm EST
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Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) photos
Note: The Playa Ventanas referred to in this article is the Playa Ventanas that is located along Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, between the communities of Uvita/Bahia and Ojochal. We cite the beach name as Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) to distinguish it from Playa Ventanas (Guanacaste), a similarly named beach located along Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast.
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) fast facts
- English name: Ventanas Beach (Ventanas translates to “Windows”)
- Distance from San Jose: 235km (approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes)
- Closest Town: Uvita (small town), Quepos (large town)
- Beach Status: Public beach
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) beach details
Sand, shade, scenery, and unique features
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) is a medium-size, pebbly beach with light-brown sand. The shallow beach is edged by rock, lush greenery, and a row of palm trees. A row of chairs and tents provide cooling shade at the back of the beach. Caves (at the north end of the beach), which you can enter at low tide, carve out a rock wall and provide unique photo opportunities.
Crowds and noise
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) receives a small but steady number of visitors, mainly because it’s the best beach in the Ojochal area. People come to this 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 Ventanas (Central Pacific) participated in the Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica and received a 3-star rating. You may see the achievement displayed at Playa Ventanas on a sign that reads Playa Galardonada (Award-Winning Beach).
Development at Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific)
Hotels, restaurants, tours, bathrooms, etc.
There is no commercial development at Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific), apart from the line of chairs and tents positioned at the back of the beach. There’s usually a snack vendor parked at this beach who sells chips, copos (learn more about copos by reading our related blog post Copos In Costa Rica), and other treats.
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) safety
Swimming and water safety
Swimming is allowed at Playa Ventanas. As always, exercise caution in and around the water, especially if you plan to visit with children or inexperienced swimmers. Be extremely cautious of rising water levels when visiting the caves; only attempt to enter the caves at low tide. Water levels rise quickly and can be dangerous.
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 Ventanas (Central Pacific) location and road conditions
Access to Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) and 4×4 requirement
Playa Ventanas is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It is the principal beach of Ojochal, an inland community positioned on the north side of Highway 36, east of the beach.
Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) sits at the end of a short, unnamed, unpaved side road that juts off Highway 36 approximately 11 kilometers southeast of Uvita/Bahia. During rainy periods, you may need to ford (cross) a small river along the side road. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended to reach Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific).
Map of Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) Costa Rica
Parking at Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific)
There is no official parking at Playa Ventanas. However, the back of the beach has enough space for several vehicles, which is where locals park.
Best reason(s) to visit Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific)
The best reason to visit Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) over other beaches in the central Pacific region is to see the beach caves at low tide. Alternatively, Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific) is a worthwhile day trip if you plan to station yourself in the Ojochal, Uvita/Bahia, or Dominical area of Costa Rica.
Beach hopping from Ventanas (Central Pacific) (or alternative beach options in the region)
Recommended day trips from Playa Ventanas include visits to Playa Uvita, Playa Dominical, and/or beaches in the Manuel Antonio vicinity such as Playa Manuel Antonio, Playa Espadilla Sur, and Playa Espadilla Norte.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to Playa Ventanas (Central Pacific)? What did you think?
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