Beach goers who like to have the option to go nude should have no problem doing so on a Costa Rica beach. While it is slightly frowned upon outside of major hotels and resorts in tourist areas; for the most part it is widely accepted. In smaller beach towns it rarely causes a reaction. If you feel uncomfortable being nude around groups of clothed people, it is often very easy to find a private stretch of beach.
Though there are no actual beaches targeted for nudity in Costa Rica, there are plenty of “clothing optional” hot spots throughout the entire span of this beautiful Central American oasis. It is true that legally, in Costa Rica, public nudity is not acceptable, so what are you to do if you are a tourist feeling the need to relax in the buff? Where would you go?
Manuel Antonio Beach
First, I have to mention Manuel Antonio Beach. This is a popular place for all kinds of tourists, and is primarily a more conservative place to sunbathe and play, however, north of the public area is a nice little area where you will find a lot of topless basking. Sometimes, though rare, you will even find completely nude beach-goers. This is also known to be the gay and lesbian friendly part of the beach. The locals call it Playa de Playos.
Montezuma Beach (or Playa Montezuma) is the perfect place for those who are of the “bohemian” persuasion. This is perhaps the most budget friendly of get-aways and attracts a wide and colorful spectrum of liberal minded folk like backpackers, gypsies, surfers, street musicians and other fun loving tourists and locals. As if the entertaining mix of locals and tourists, and the veritable smorgisboard of cuisine in Playa Montezuma isn’t enough, just take a scenic drive (or hike) farther North and behold Playa Grande, a secluded, yet vibrant patch of beach that just comes to life with art, surfing, bonfires, and of course, the option to go bare!
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Hotel Villa Roca
Hotel Villa Roca is a Gay owned resort for the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community, found within the city of Quepos, overlooking the Pacific Ocean with grand views of the rain forest. Though this is not a designated clothing optional resort, after ten o’clock pm, it is permitted. Quepos, on the road to Manuel Antonio, is a world renowned gay/lesbian hot spot and tourism firehouse. Not only is this resort nestled in perhaps the most beautiful region of Costa Rica, the owners take pride in their environment and run all of their jacuzzis on solar power. Enjoy nature, and wildlife, and feel free to take off some clothes after ten!
Club Mi Amor
There is also a fine little place called Club Mi Amor. It is a nudist/clothing optional resort, and the only of its kind found in Costa Rica. Club Mi Amor is easy to locate, right between San Jose, the capital city, and the coast, about 40 miles from Juan Santa Maria Airport, making it convenient for tourists and travelers. Accommodations include luxurious poolside rooms, with breathtaking views of the scenic Central American landscape complete with a spectacular waterfall to gaze upon on those hot, clothing optional nights. Club Mi Amor takes up about sixty thousand square meters, and offers twenty different high quality suites both poolside, and gardenside, with color television, central air conditioning, and private wash facilities.
With the recent onset of non-local resort owners in Costa Rica, there are fewer and fewer places to enjoy a buff romp in the sand. Most clothing optional areas are found within the walls of adult’s only, or swingers clubs and resorts, tucked away from the eyes of tourists and not-so-liberal-minded locals. Even Manuel Antonio’s own Playa de Playos is threatened by new developments in so called “upscale” business, that frown down upon the openness of its visitors.
Generally, however, the further South you travel, in Costa Rica, the fewer tourists you will see, which leaves you plenty of opportunities to get some all over sun, without the tan lines. In most cases, locals and authorities will overlook the festivities, just make sure to respect the customs of the smaller towns, and make sure its okay before you disrobe!