Playa Ventanas

Playa Ventanas


This is the first blog in the ‘beaches’ category and, fittingly, I will introduce you to one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, which also happens to be a 5-minute drive away from our real estate office. Ventanas (meaning ‘windows’) Beach is, in many ways, typical of this area – dark sand, coconut palm-lined beachfront, cliffs covered in lush jungle, a nearby creek emptying into the Pacific waters, rolling waves, vendors selling food, drink and trinkets, and frequent visits by monkeys, toucans, and colorful Scarlett Macaws which enjoy the fruit of the Beach Almond trees that surround the area. But there is something special about this beach, a thundering formation which gives Playa Ventanas her name.

Playa Ventanas in Costa Rica
Playa Ventanas and the costal mountains.


The ‘busy’ side of Playa Ventanas, adjacent to the carpark, at high tide.
The ‘busy’ side of Playa Ventanas, adjacent to the carpark, at high tide.


The hill which marks the right (northern) boundary of the beach is pierced with two parallel ocean caves. The caves open into the surf on the far side of the hill and carve a passage straight to the sandy beach area. During low tide you can walk into the caves and see the waves rolling into them on the far end – the water being waist-deep on the ocean-facing entrance to the caves. During high tide, the caves become flooded with seawater and turn into horizontal blow holes with mist, wind and water shooting out of them at high pressure, creating a thunderous roar. A lot of caution is advised around the caves and it is not a good idea to walk too far into them, especially when the tide is riding higher. For the record I do not at all recommend coming anywhere close to these caves!

Playa Ventanas Sea Cave
One of the windows at low tide. During high tide, the water creeps up to the ceiling especially if the waves are big or a King Tide is in session.
Playa Ventanas Sea Cave
Water flowing out of a window during a higher portion of the tide.


You do not need a 4WD to access Ventanas Beach, however the road is not paved and can be a bit rough in places. Entrance to the beach is right off the coastal highway, a few kilometers north of the town of Ojochal. A dirt road leads down and over few small rises which are pierced by a river crossing shortly past the entrance (the river is usually fairly shallow however can rise a bit higher after heavy rains). The dirt road is in a decent shape and even smaller cars will not have trouble reaching the carpark; however the river can rise after very heavy rains, and the road can become degraded after a bout of bad weather, so keep this in mind.

Car crossing river near Playa Ventanas Costa RICA.
The river crossing on the Playa Ventanas access road.

A toll booth, right at the entrance to the parking area stretching under the coconut grove, is usually staffed and parking carries a 2000 Colones fee. There is plentiful parking for vehicles of all sizes however during nice weekends you may want to get there early, and especially so near holidays.

Playa Ventanas parking area.
Playa Ventanas parking area.


Weekend are usually busier and attract all kinds of vendors – beer, margaritas, ceviche, soup, tacos, clothing and souvenirs, and all kinds of snacks are readily available (the selection somewhat dwindles on quiet, rainy days). Shower facilities and toilets are located towards the back of the parking area and a lifeguard station provides security to the swimmers. You can also rent big canopies, chairs and lounges for additional comfort.

Amenities along Playa Ventanas beach.
Food, drinks, souvenirs and service stands at Playa Ventanas.
Toilet facilities at the beach.
Toilet facilities, free of charge. But you may want to bring toilet paper.
Shower facilities at the beach.
Shower facilities (cost: 300 Colones).
Lifeguards at the beach.
The Lifeguard Station at Playa Ventanas.


The main ‘commercial’ part of the beach lies just in front of the carpark – here you will find the vendors and amenities. Further to the left (south) is a more natural and serene area, beginning once you cross the river (which can be full of playing and screeching kids, teens and pets). This part of the beach is beautiful as it straddles high jungle covered cliffs – however caution is advised here because landslips are a possibility. A recent landslip is evidenced by piles of rocks and dirt as well as a huge tree that fell onto the sand and will remain in place for the next few months if not years. Take care if walking or staying near the cliffs.

River at the beach.
The river separating the busy commercial area of the beach (left side of photo) from the quieter and more tranquil area (right side of photo) – at low tide. During high tide the water comes up to the vegetation.

The view from this southern end of the beach is spectacular – ocean waves, dark sanded beach, and a coconut grove are framed by emerald green mountains that reach up to over 1000m elevation behind the beach. At times, low fluffy white clouds stretch under the peaks, providing additional contrast.

IMPORTANT: The waves and rip tides at Playa Ventanas can create dangerous conditions, so caution is always advised, even under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards.

With such interesting features, easy accessibility and diverse amenities, it is no wonder that Playa Ventanas has become a favourite beach destination for locals, expats, and tourists alike.

Sandy beach.
Low tide at the southern end of the beach.

Imagine a morning swim in the warm Pacific waters – each and every day! Or how about a lazy afternoon on PLAYA VENTANAS, in the shade of the coconut palms with a good book and a cold drink – this is the reality of many expats who have made our corner of Costa Rica their home. Let us make your dreams a reality – visit the RE/MAX We Sell Paradise website to view the hot properties in our local area: