Costa Rica, Costa Rica
NileGuide Expert tip:
Look for the colored flags for safe swimming before jumping in the water.
Surfing and sunbathing are the main attractions at Cocles Beach, with swimming drawing third place. Rip currents can make it dangerous, but Cocles is the only beach with a lifeguard station, and flags in the sand to designate safe swimming spots. Surf boards may be rented on the spot and lessons are offered by local surfers. The focal point of Cocles beach is the rocky islet that juts from the water just off-shore, a place where legend has it there is hidden treasures- pirate's booty guarded by spirits of ancient sailors, embodied in the vultures and other birds who make their nests on the rock and come home to roost at night. Cocles is accessible from the main road, but another option is the shady path that runs through the rainforest between the coast and the road. It runs from Salsa Brava at the north side and ends at Cocles, woodsy, green walk or bike ride that is still the scenic route less traveled. Look out for all kinds of ants, monkeys and sloths along the way.