Costa Rica’s maritime zone law (ZMT) stipulates that land less than 200 meters from the sea is part of the country’s national heritage and belongs to the state, so virtually every beach in Costa Rica is open to the public.
That leads to situations like what you’ll find at Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca, two neighboring beaches located near Herradura on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.
Playa Blanca is a beautiful, white-sand beach with clear water and is frequented by scarlet macaws. But the road leading to Playa Blanca is private and is accessible only to Punta Leona Hotel guests.
But if you’re on a budget, you can enjoy it just as easily by driving to Playa Mantas via the public road and walking across the beach to Playa Blanca. This involves a little more effort — you’ll have to climb over a rocky embankment with the help of a rope — but will make you feel as if you’ve discovered a little slice of paradise.