Our condo in Playa Langosta is as close to the ocean as a building can legally be built in Costa Rica -- 50 meters from the water line. As I explained in a comment in response to a question a few days ago, in Costa Rica today it is illegal to build within 200 meters of the ocean unless the property was recorded in a certain way on the real property records the law took effect in the 1970's that governed how close to the beach a person could build. The parcel of land where our condo is located was one of those parcels that had the pre-1970's right to be built so close to the ocean.
It is therefore real important for people buying property near the beach to have a good lawyer to know how close to the ocean they can have a house or condo. There have been a few homes that the government has torn down because the homes were built illegally too close to the ocean.
Unlike our condo, most other condos in Tamarindo are located 200 meters or more back from the ocean. In order to provide a view of the ocean, which of course commands a higher price, some developers during the real estate boom of the last 5 years have built condo buildings as high as 7 to 10 stories. The federal government has now restricted the height and density of buildings near the ocean. One way to compare a condo right on the ocean with a condo set back about 100 meters from the ocean but located on the 4th floor to have a view of the beach and ocean is to click on the sponsor links to our two condos at the top left of this website.
Because of the set back requirements, there is no way a property owner can block the beach and there is abundant and easy access to the beach. All beaches in Costa Rica are public, so we and others can walk up and down the beach as far as we want.