Location: between Manzanillo and Caletas Beaches in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
GPS Coordenates to Ario beach entrance: 9.729647, -85.208097 (°43’46.73″N, 85°12’29.15″W)
Canton: Puntarenas, district: Cóbano.
Zone postal code: 60111.
Arío is an isolated beach, part of the Playa Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge since 2006, as it’s a nesting site for the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles. It also hosts an important number of one of the world’s most endangered species of sea turtle, the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). Olive ridley nesting peaks in September and October, while Leatherback nesting peaks in December and January. The beach also receives occasional visits from nesting Pacific Green (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles.
Getting to Arío Beach in Puntarenas:
From San José go to Puntarenas and then take the Ferri to Tambor or Paquera. (Tambor Ferri is the largest and most comfortable, we recommend you get to Puntarenas an hour before the ferry leaves). Go through Tambor to Cobano. In Cobano cross the village and after about 8 miles, and just before the beach, there is a junction, turn right onto Manzanillo Beach, passing through Carmen, Santa Teresa and Manzanillo towns. From Manzanillo to Ario beach you can continue through a stretch of beach, by which you can pass only if the tide is low and using a 4×4 vehicle. It is a very scenic trip as you go down the coast (this route exemplifies rural Costa Rica and is very beautiful). Or you can go through the mountains until you reach the junction that leads to Ario Beach, this way takes longer, but it’s the official road and its use is not dependent on the tides. This route requires a total of five hours from San Jose.
From Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR), drive south through Nosara, Samara and Coyote, cross the Bongo river to get to Ario beach. It is a very scenic trip which exemplifies rural Costa Rica.
Take a local bus from San Jose – Malpais – Montezuma, which takes about 5 hours (Transportes Rodriguez, 2642-0219).
You can also take a flight from the Juan Santamaria Airport to the Tambor Airport, either with Sansa Airlines or Nature Air every day. From here you can rent a car and drive, or take a bus or taxi to Cobano and then to Manzanillo Beach, passing through Carmen, Santa Teresa and Manzanillo towns, which is about 40 minutes.