If you need an excuse to lie on the beach later, try a long hike along the nearby coastline to get you sweating even before you collapse under the sun. After all, it's hard not to be motivated by a vista of natural liquid wonder by your side the entire time (and the prospect of submerging yourself in it). From shifting sand dunes down in Georgia to the kale-green forests along New Zealand's Tasman Sea, the views and terrains of these six epic coastal hikes will keep you busy for hours.
Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica)
Hiking is the most adventurous way to explore the Nicoya Peninsula – although driving its sketchy roads is wild enough for some. Either way, carry a good map, such as the National Geographic Costa Rica Adventure Map ($12). You can rent a surfboard in Tamarindo for about $100 per week. December to February is high season, but it's relatively dry from late November to April; be aware that surfing is banned in some spots during turtle-nesting season, July through November. Beach camping is legal in most places, but if you want more comfort, here are some suggestions: Witch's Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo has first-rate instruction and a hopping open-air bar (from $900 a week). Los Monos Locos on Playa Coco is mostly a campsite but has clean toilets and showers. Hotel Luna Azul, a boutique hotel above Playa Ostional, has seven bungalows and a Jacuzzi with ocean views (from $110). The 12-room Gilded Iguana is within walking distance of Playa Guiones and has two open-air bars (from $50).
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