Nude Beaches in Costa Rica

by Roger on February 19, 2009

by Roger | February 19th, 2009  

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

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!

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!

{ 3 comments }

cindy booker May 20, 2009 at 8:26 am
Corner

Nudist Resort Bares Niche in Tourism Market

By Patrick Fitzgerald
Tico Times Staff | editorial@ticotimes.net

Tourism outlets in Costa Rica have responded to the global economic crisis in different ways. Some have offered discounts and package deals, while others have worked to establish a niche as ecotourism destinations. For Cindy Booker, the answer was simple: go au naturel.

Outdoor beds overlook the water-volleyball pool.

Ronald Reyes | Tico Times

Booker, 58, originally from the U.S. state of Florida, bought the Río Palmas Hotel and Restaurant last year and immediately faced a decision. While the restaurant was well known among travelers on the highway between San José and the Caribbean port city of Limón, the hotel was not.

“I needed to come up with a niche,” Booker said. “People came to Río Palmas over and over and didn’t know there was a hotel here. Yes, I have a beautiful hotel, but so does everyone in Costa Rica.”

So Booker stripped the hotel down to the basics and relaunched as Club Mi Amor, an “alternative lifestyle-friendly” and “clothing-optional” hotel that she said is the first and only nudist resort in Costa Rica. Despite reservations about opening such a resort in a Catholic country such as Costa Rica, the response, she said, has been “amazing.”

The central pool area invites lounging.
Ronald Reyes | Tico Times

While Booker said several upcoming weekends are booked with “swinger parties,” no one was baring it all during a recent Tico Times visit. Booker and her 10-person staff – the rule is that all employees must wear clothes – were putting the final touches together in anticipation of a swinger party over the weekend.

“It’s not what everybody thinks,” Booker said about the groups, which she said are often made up mostly of Costa Ricans. “It’s not a sex fest. It’s very respectful. They are very nice people.”

Still, it was hard to let go of preconceptions when, after we passed a sign prohibiting the entry of minors, the first room Booker showed us was the “orgy room.” Under construction and scheduled to be complete this month, the room will feature mirrored walls, a tiki bar and sound system and a custom-made, seven-by-16-foot mattress that can fit between 20 and 30 people, Booker said.

Mi Amor has 25 rooms, most of which – aside from the orgy room – have double beds and air conditioning. In a few weeks, Booker plans to have air conditioning and televisions in every room. A themed “jungle room” boasts a Jacuzzi and doubles as Mi Amor’s massage parlor, with one side opening onto a nearby creek.

Staff member Joey Fernández takes a twirl around the stripper pole.
Ronald Reyes | Tico Times
“When you lie down here and hear the water, you’re just so relaxed,” Booker said.

After she insisted I hop up onto the massage bed for a minute or two, I could not help but agree.

We next passed the centrally located pool to reach the bar, complete with dance floor and stripper pole.

“Our pole isn’t just for women,” Booker said, as Joey Fernández, a member of Mi Amor’s staff, launched into a running jump and took a twirl around the pole. “The guys have just as much fun as the girls.”

Behind the bar is a second, waist-deep pool specially outfitted as a water volleyball court, as well as two outdoor beds. The resort also has a trail running through 10 acres of jungle, where visitors often spot wildlife, including sloths, armadillos and Booker’s pet parrot, Lolita.

Booker has been sure to leave the Río Palmas restaurant, which she called “an institution,” alone and separate from Mi Amor. Clothes are required at the restaurant. Both the hotel and restaurant can be rented out for groups, which, along with nudists, have included religious and yoga groups in recent weeks, as well as a gathering of government officials.

Booker, a grandmother of eight whose husband is in Florida managing the family business, seems an unlikely candidate to be overseeing orgies and swinger parties.

“My world’s a little different now,” she deadpanned.

Did she ever imagine herself in this position?

“Not in my wildest dreams,” she said. “But it’s been great.”

Though Costa Rica has no law against nudist resorts, Booker has been “careful” in spreading word about Mi Amor so far. She put the “no minors” sign up as a precaution against sex trafficking of minors and puts condoms in every room, following Costa Rican regulations.

Still, she plans to forge ahead. Within the next six months, Booker hopes to build a 60-by-120-foot clubhouse behind the volleyball court. She has longer-term aspirations as well: a series of townhouses to create the first gated nudist community in Costa Rica. But she stressed that Mi Amor is not only about swingers and nudism.

“There’s so much here that you are really at ease if you want to stay dressed,” she said. “And if you want to get naked, it’s your own choice. You do your own thing.”

Nevertheless, nudity is helping keep Mi Amor afloat.

“It’s like the hottest thing out there right now,” Booker said. “With the economy now, if I just had a (standard) hotel, I’d be closing.”

Check out a sampling of The Tico Times’ ever-popular travel guide, Exploring Costa Rica, at
http://www.ticotimes.net/guidebook/exploring_costarica.cfm?index=100.

a

Corner
Henry June 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Corner

There’s no more nude bathing at Manuel Antonio Beach…Playa de Playos now backs on a new hotel, and they’re severely discouraging nudity. Just thought everyone should know…

Corner
Lee Bourdon June 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm
Corner

One of the best spots in Costa Rica for nude sunbathing and bathing is the sparsely populated Isla Garza. There is no land link to this island but the deserted stretch of palm-lined beach is the place for it. You will need to find it first!

Corner

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: