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LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL ADVENTURE IN NICOYA PENINSULA?
Explore hotels, cabins, rent a cars, restaurants, bars, surf camp and cafés by locality.
The Nicoya Peninsular stands out more than 110 kilometers to the south of the extreme northeast of Costa Rica and it is the largest Peninsular in the country. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the coast, go swimming, sunbathe and go surfing. In this area you can also discover isolated beaches and small villages. There are some natural reserves, and a national park that you can visit. The main highway begins in Liberia and goes into the heart of the Peninsular, passing by villages such as Filadelfia and Santa Cruz, until you get to Nicoya, the largest village in the area. The road continues to the east until you get to the Puente de la Amistad over the Río Tempisque, whilst if you travel to the southeast, the route will take you to Naranjo Beach, where a ferry crosses to Puntarenas several times a day. The roads are asphalt and are in good condition. The majority of drivers arrive at the Peninsular via the Puntarenas Ferry (Naranjo or Paquera Beach), or via the bridge over the Río Tempisque, entering the area from the north to the south. There are also flights from SANSA or Travelair that travel from San José to Tamarindo, Nosara, Sámara and Tambor Beaches. It is an ideal place to spend several days resting by the seaside. Coco, Hermosa, Panamá and Ocotal Beach, are linked to Liberia via asphalt roads and a good bus service. The Liberia Airport receives international flights with passengers that stay in the tourist complexes on the north coast, and surfers that head to the best known beaches.
Choose between these 50 exiting destinations in the Nicoya Península area
COSTA RICAN NICOYA PENINSULA AREA MAP
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
You are about to learn about 50 of the most important and exiting places in the Costa Rican Nicoya Peninsula.
1. COCO BEACH
2. OCOTAL BEACH
Is located 3 km west the Beach Coco, to 40 km from the city of Liberia, to the north of the Carrillo country. A small but full beach, with an extension of more than 700 meters in length. The landscape is beautiful, of great tourist value; it has a large amount of low ridges, cliffs and the beautiful Ocotal Island. It is not dangerous, nevertheless it is recommended to bathe close to the seashore. There are many activities you can enjoy such as: sunbathing, fishing, snorkeling, and observing the surrounding landscape. Ocotal Bay is small, but it is a beautiful strip of grey and black sand bordered by low ridges. Punta Gorda, headland that elevates to the west of Ocotal, it is surrounded by reefs and has excellent scuba diving areas such as Las Corridas.
3. HERMOSA BEACH
Like its name Hermosa Beach is a natural place of great scenic beauty. Surrounded by hills with patches of tropical dry forest, the Pelonas Island and Montosa are located in this bay. It is 1600 meters long, with grey sands. Suitable for bathing and practicing water sports on its gentle waves. It is only 10 km to the north of the Coco Beach. It is accessible throughout the year. Hermosa Beach is a precious “U” shaped bay, protected by a pair of hills that are covered by the typical Guanacaste Mountains. The atmosphere is quieter than in the nearby Coco beach and the relaxed atmosphere of Hermosa Beach makes it an excellent place to be alone and feel at peace. Some kilometers from the coast you can find the Pelonas Islands, ideal to go snorkeling and scuba diving.
4. BUENA BEACH
This is one of the best beaches that you can visit in the Golfo de Papagayo, a beautiful beach that is protected by two strips of reef that give the appearance of a huge horseshoe that has sunk into the sea and a large variety of typical vegetation in the dry forest, it is perfect for those who love to fish and for tourists in general.
5. PANAMA BEACH
Belongs to the Golfo de Papagayo Project. It gets its name from the trees which run alongside it. . It has an extension of 2,5 km, the color of the sand is a dark coffee color. It is flat and straight, inside a bay. It is shallow near the shore and the water is clear with little current. There is headland in the western area, mangroves, an estuary and the Rocha River. Its exuberant vegetation gives it an amazing shade for bathers and camper. It is a great place for water sports and fishing.
6. BLANCA BEACH BAHÍA IMPASSE
Located on the Golfo de Papagayo, 25 kms from the city of Liberia. It is between the two southeastern gulf points. As its name says, it is a beach with light sand, crystal waters and soft waves. From the shore it is 1km in length and you can look at the amazing landscapes of beaches Monte del Barco and Panamá.
7. BEACHES PIETRA - CULEBRA - MANZANILLO
Located in the Golfo de Papagayo, 28 km from the city of Liberia. It is a small beach, 400 meters in length, with clear sands and water so that you can go swimming and snorkeling. It is a cove located 200 meters from Playa Blanca.
Close to Playa Naranjo we find a beautiful bay located in the Golfo de Papagayo, it is a special place for bathers as it is not dangerous and it has exuberant landscapes and is peaceful; it is a great place to rest.
Located in Bahía Culebra, the beach is 1 km long, with small waves and so is great for bathing. The sand is light grey in color and contrasts against the water and is surrounded by tropical rainforests and mangroves.
8. BEACHES NACASCOLO - IGUANITA -POCHOTE
It belongs to the Golfo de Papagayo Project, it is a small beach, with white sands, it is a straight beach, protected by Bahía Culebra, waves are moderate to soft. It has pretiles along the northern sector of the beach, mangroves, an estuary and a great hydric richness. Its vegetation is protected in some areas running along the shaded side of the beach. You can enjoy the sun, sea and beach, with water sports and snorkeling. It is suitable to swim in during low tide.
Located in Bahía Culebra to get there, take Liberia-Guardia, after 20 km, take a right turn 500 meters after the Río Tempisque Bridge and continue another 17 km where you will need to travel along a gravel road for 5km. It is a beautiful beach, with a deep blue sea and grey coloured sands. Along its coastline flows the Quebrada Grande that empties out into an estuary that forms an intricate mangrove of 25 hectares.
Located in the Golfo de Papagayo, it is small in length with grey sands and soft wave
9. PAPAGAYO GULF
The Gulf of Papagayo is a large body of water off Guanacaste province and the northwestern coast of Costa Rica. The Gulf and its coastline are part of a major tourism project by Costa Rica's government. One of the major resorts in the area is the Allegro Papagayo. Among the most popular destinations on the Gulf of Papagayo are Ocotal Beach, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Panamá. The Papagayo peninsula is the most developed area in the gulf region. The gulf waters are home to many wildlife including orcas.
10. BEACHES TO THE SOUTH OF OCOTAL
On the dirt road that joins Sardinal and Potrero, you will be able to see the beaches to the south; you will need a 4×4 to get to this area, the first 9 km are very narrow and this stretch is known as Caravana Del Congo that finishes in a Canopy Tour + 506 2666-4422, + 506 2200-5176. To visit other beaches to the south of Ocotal it is better to take the main road above La Comunidad and then travel a further 12 km to the south of the village of Filadelfia. From there, travel 18 Km until you reach Belén; the village of Santa Cruz is 35 km to the south of Comunidad. From Belén there is an asphalt road that goes to the west towards Huacas, from where there are many secondary roads that lead to some of the most popular beaches. To the west of Santa Cruz, there is an asphalt road of 16 km that takes you the 27 de Abril. It is possible to drive from 27 de Abril to Huacas, and all of the coastal villages of this area are accessible via Santa Cruz.
12. BRASILITO BEACH
The road from Huacas finishes in Brasilito village, it is a long strip that is interrupted by the Punta Conchal cliffs, the vegetation is sparse, the area is darker and the countryside is transformed by the village which offers some tourists facilities, it is possible to find pizzerias, internet access and a SANSA office.
13. CONCHAL BEACH
It is a type of bay that is located 2 km to the south of Brasilito, it is 1.5 kilometers long, and is named Conchal because of the large amount of shells that can be found in the sand.The clarity of the water is inviting for those who enjoy snorkeling, and there is a large hotel at the extreme north of the beach.
14. REAL BEACH
Located between Conchal and Grande Beach. From here you will be able to see Los Islotes that were once used by Morgan, a pirate, to hide his stash, at the foot of a beautiful beach which has pink sand. The area is warm and dry throughout the year, it is also surrounded by protected forests; here you can enjoy the most charming diversity of wildlife. The climate is warm and dry with an average temperature of 25ºC to 32ºC.
15. FLAMINGO BEACH
16. BAHIA POTERO BEACH
It is 4Km long, it borders the Punta Salina coastline. Where several estuaries lead to, such as Salinas, covered in mangroves and inhabited by monkeys, parrots and iguanas. At both extremes of the bay there are the Chocoyas and Plata Islands. To the south of Punta Salinas, separated by Potrero by the Salinas estuary, there is a fine white sandy beach, one of the most beautiful and most famous beaches on the Costa Rican Pacific Coast. Playa Potrero located 280 km from San José, 72 km from the International Airport Daniel Oduber de Liberia and 24 km from the local Tamarindo Airport. From San José: on the Interamerican highway to Palmares, San Ramón and Esparza towards Puntarenas, passing by the Puntarenas exit and continuing on the way, you can see the signpost that says Tempisque (its is located at a Shell Gas Station on your left hand side) Take a left turn and head towards Nicoya, crossing the Río Tempisque on the Puente La Amistad. After passing by Nicoya follow the signs until you get to Santa Cruz, continue along the same way towards Belen where you will find a crossroads with a lot of signs that state Tamarindo, Flamingo, Conchal and Playa Potrero. Double to the left and follow the signs to Playa Potrero. From Liberia: Head towards Filadelfia, take a right turn and follow the signs to Playa Potrero. By air from San José: There are two alternatives: SANSA and Nature Air both have daily flights to Tamarindo, with duration of approximately 45 minutes. From the Tamarindo airport you can take a taxi ride of about 25 minutes.
17. PAN DE AZUCAR BEACH
This white sandy beach is located 5 km to the north of Potrero, and it is the last beach that you can get to by land. The waters here are protected by rocky channels at both extremes of the beach. It is an ideal place to snorkel.
18. TAMARINDO BEACH
It is 280 Km to the south of San José, 30 km from Santa Cruz and 67 km from the Liberia Airport. Instead of heading to the north from Huacas to Brasilito and Flamingo, head south via a paved road that is in good condition, and you will arrive at Tamarindo. Commercial fishing and tourism have the same economic importance in this area, although you will see more surfers on the streets than fishermen. Tamarindo is an active fishing village, with a wide white sandy beach and an estuary that meets with the Marino National Park. It is located in Tamarindo Bay, framed by the Punta de San Francisco and the estuary of the Río Matapalo. Because of its surf and wind conditions, it is a beach that is liked by surfers as well as wind surfers. The scarce shade is made up of some coconut, tamarindos, robles and Sabana trees scattered along the beach. Some 700 meters offshore you will be able to make out picturesque Capitán Island, a craggy rock covered in vegetation. You need to take care when swimming as there are areas of the beach that have strong currents. We recommend that you ask locals about which is the best area to go swimming. There are three life guard posts. Tamarindo Beach is an excellent tourist hotspot as it is easy to get to by land or by plane. Here you can practice any sport and enjoy large ecological attractions, such as the nesting of the Baula Turtles (one of the largest in the world) in the Marino Las Baulas Park. Tamarindo, with its white sands, is one of the quietest and most fascinating of all of the beaches on the pacific coast. As well as its natural beauty Tamarindo offers accommodation, restaurants and hiring of nautical equipment, that also allow those who don’t surf to enjoy the beach environment and the nature reserves. Langosta Beach, 2 Km to the south, is very quiet and you will also find a river there, which is good for fishing and surfing.
19. LANGOSTA BEACH
Three kilometers south of Tamarindo. It is a long walk around the point to the south of Tamarindo Bay, or a short walk driving outside the town, to 5 minutes, the river has located an A-frame wave that breaks over a flat rock bottom. Both waves are very good, however the left is a little longer and hollow. With big swells this wave could get up to 12 feet and breaks way outside, In Beach Langosta with Strong waves rights and lefts. That breaks really close to the shore.
20. GRANDE BEACH
The Tamarindo National Refuge for Forest Wildlife, according to the 17566 MAG decree on the 23rd of June 1987, and is corroborated by law Nº 7149 on the 27th of June 1990 with an approximate extension of 500 hectares along the continent. Later on they would extend Marino Las Baulas National Park, with decree 20518 MIRENEM on the 9th of June 1991 and ratified by law Nº 7524 on the 16th of August 1995 with an extension of 112 hectares. The importance of the area is due to the colony of Baula Turtles (dermochelys coriáceas), that lay their eggs in the beaches of: Langosta, Grande and Ventanas. It is the largest turtle in the world and is in danger of extinction according to Chapter 1 of the book titled Conservation for International Commerce of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). With low tide, Grand beach can be up to 70 m. wide.
21. AVELLANAS BEACH
A 2km beach, it has rocks on both sides with varying vegetation. Along the coastline there is some evidence of deforestation with some patches of vegetation that is characteristic of the area. You need to be careful when you bathe at this beach especially in the front area because of a submerged rock. Visit this beach if you like the sun sand sea or surfing. It is a long beach with 8 good quality breaks. There are two wave points: one with a left break close to the beach and a right break (Little Hawaii) where you can enjoy long and solid waves although not perfect.
22. NEGRA BEACH
Is located 5 Km to the north of Playa Avellana. It has black sands and coral, with an extension of approximately 2Km that is great to bathe and surf with waves up to 3 meters high, with hotels and cabins, restaurants, a bakery, a patisserie, horseback tours, sportfishing, internet access and public telephone.
23. JUNQUILLAL BEACH
24. MARBELLA BEACH
Located in the canton of Santa Cruz, in the province of Guanacaste. 14 km from Nosara and 19 km from Tamarindo. Located between Manzanillo Beach and Ostional Beach. With clear sand beach, it is 1.5 km long. In the coast it presents medium vegetation. Ideal surf for surfing. It borders the river and areas of environmental conservation. Marbella is one of the quietest beach destinations, and it is a popular surfing destination; This fishing village, is now one of the least isolated areas along the coast, as it is fast becoming a major tourist attraction. The beach is one of the best in the area for surfers, as it offers world class surfing, due to the high seas winds. With these excellent conditions, it is not surprising that many surfers both local and foreign want to come constantly. It must be taken into account, that Playa Marbella is for the most experienced and qualified surfers, since the waves here can get quite big. The beach is usually very quiet and rarely crowded, making it ideal for the surfer who wants solitude.
25. SANTA CRUZ
It is located 272 km from San José, 23 Km from Nicoya, 25 Km from Filadelfia and 57 Km from Liberia. It has a total area of 1.312.27 km2 and is made up of seven districts. It has an altitude that goes from zero to 500 meters above sea level. It was declared a national folkloric city, where they retain customs and traditions from the region. It has a large amount of beaches 21 areas that are considered to be main tourist hotspots. In the pre-Columbian period the land that is presently occupied by the county of Santa Cruz formed part of the indigenous Provinces of Chorotegas, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, those domains reached as far as the Nicaragua lake, which was made up of several villages, one of the tribes who initiated the conquest was Chief Diría. In 1974 Santa Cruz was declared the National Folkloric City and its popular festivals were named by decree the National Civic Festivals of Santa Cruz. It was established in 1760; it is one of the oldest cities in Guanacaste and is the National Folkloric Capital. The traditional dances, the folkloric music and the bull ring are still strong traditions here and can be appreciated during the city festivals. The Festival of Cristo Negro de Esquipulas is celebrated on the 15th of January. The celebration of the joining of Guanacaste takes place on the 25th of July. You can visit the Frondosa plaza in the city, with its mango trees and ruins of an old church that was destroyed by an earthquake half a century ago. 12 Km to the east of Santa Cruz is Guaitil, where in the last few years they have brought to life the old ceramic traditions of the Chorotega Indians. The members of the local arts and crafts cooperative enjoy teaching tourists the process of where the clay comes from in the area to the heating of it in the ovens that are situated behind the workshop.There is gas station on the main highway.
To the south
To visit the other beaches that are in the south you need to get back onto the main Peninsula road and pass by Nicoya, 23 km to the south of Santa Cruz. The dirt roads to the south lead to Nosara, Garza, Sámara and Carrillo Beach, it also leads to Ostional National Refuge for Wildlife. In Nosara, Sámara and Carrillo there are landing strips for regular flights. The paves roads to the east of Nicoya pass by the Barra Honda National Park and lead to the Puente de la Amistad, which takes you to the central region of Costa Rica. To the southeast, the roads to Naranjo Beach and the Puntarenas Ferry pass by the communities of Jicaral and Lepanto, the majority of the road is paved. If you also would like to go to Paquera to visit the Tambor, Montezuma, Cabo Blanco and Mal País beaches, take the detour that is at the gas station before you get to quay of Naranjo Beach (there are signposts) and take a detour on the right hand side on a paved road that is in good condition until you get to Paquera, here you can take the ferry to Puntarenas. For those that travel by bus it is difficult to get to Montezuma beach and other areas, so you will need to return to Puntarenas and take the ferry to Paquera.
It is the second city of the county of Guanacaste, but its history dates back many years. It is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, 198 Km from San José via the Puente de la Amistad; you can also get to here via Puntarenas, Naranjo-Nicoya Beach or via San José-Liberia-Nicoya: the six districts are: Mansión, San Antonio, Quebrada Honda, Sámara and Nosara, it has extension of 1.333.68 Km2. Its altitude is from zero to 500 meters above sea level. Nicoya has three important areas of tourist attraction such as the beaches of Sámara and Nosara, as well as the Mata Redonda Lake and the Corral de piedra lagoon; it has the Barra Honda National Park, with a beautiful landscape, vegetation and fauna, and above all its caves, some of which have been unexplored. One of the oldest cities in Costa Rica, Nicoya was founded during the middle of the XVI century as a market and a religious center for the surrounding villages, which was then made up of Indian Chorotega slaves. The pillar of local culture during the colonial period was the San Blas church, the oldest magnificent temple in our country. San Blas is still the most impressive in the city, and at present, houses an archeological museum with modest treasures from the Pre-Columbian period. The largest celebration in the city takes place on the 12th of December, the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe. And like many other festivals in Guanacaste, there is music, local dances, rodeos and cattle exhibitions and large displays of local food. Nicoya is situated on the bank of the Río Grande de Térraba, half an hour by car to the south of Santa Cruz and three hours to the north of Naranjo Beach and the terminal for the Ferry that crosses the Nicoya Gulf. This area is used is a good base from where you can go on excursions to Barra Honda National Park, as well as the beaches to the north of the Peninsula de Nicoya, including Nosara Beach, some 70 km away, and Playa Sámara, some 36 kms away.
27. BARRA HONDA NATIONAL PARK
28. NOSARA BEACH
The meaning of the word Paradise is perfect for describing the white sands of Nosara. It is surprising to find so much beauty in just one place. It seems as if time has stood still here. The simplicity of life and the hospitality of its inhabitants make you appreciate how special Nosara really is. It is located on the northeast of the Nicoya Peninsula, on the Guanacaste coast. The beaches are protected by the Ostional National Refuge for Wildlife, Tourism here is regulated, and the numbers of hotels here are limited and are located behind the protected area; so that they do not disturb the existing natural balance. The village of Nosara Airport is located 5 km from the beach; where there are small stores and a gas station. There are three beaches: in the south Guiones, a long strip of white sand with corral, Pelada Beach, beautiful, quiet, white sands and the best waters to go scuba diving; Nosara, to the north of the river and is preferred by surfers. Located 55 km to the Southeast of Nicoya and 266 km to the west of the capital San José. You arrive here via the highway from Samara. Playa Nosara is next to Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada and Playa Ostional which makes up the Refugio de Vida Salvaje Ostional, where every year hundreds of thousands of sea turtles come to lay their eggs. Playa Nosara falls in the delta where Rió Nosara and the Rió Montana meet, it extendí to the north from Punta Nosara, this beach offers a large variety of fauna and flora and has mangroves. The sunsets are beautiful here as Playa Nosara offers spectacular panoramic views to enjoy. In the tropical rainforest you can see a large variety of animals and birds making it a beach with one of the most varied ecological environments in Costa Rica.
29. OSTIONAL BEACH
This coastal extends as far as the Nosara and Ostional beaches, to the mouth of the Río Nosara and Ostional village. The reserve is a strip 8 km long and only a few meters wide. The protected land has an extension of 352 hectares and 587 hectares of sea. The main attraction is the annual egg lyings of the Lora Turtle in Ostional Beach, whose sands are next to Nancite, in Santa Rosa National Park, they are the most important and preferred areas in Costa Rica where this phenomenon occurs. The nesting period is from June to November, and is more intense between August and October. The rocky Punta India, in the northeast area of the protected area, has several natural swimming which are home to an abundance of sea creatures such as Anemone, sea urchins, Star fish, crustaceans and fish. Along the beach there are almost transparent Ghost Crabs, as well as crabs, red crabs and different varieties of lizards. The vegetation is dispersed around the beach and basically consists of deciduous trees such as Jazmine de las Antillas or frangipani and cactus. The best time to see the turtles is from May to December, when there an annual rainfall of 2.000mm is registered; its average temperature is 28°C. There is a biological investigation station that belongs to the University of Costa Rica; and there is also a local committee of local guides, you can call this number for more information + 506 2682-0428, entry is 2 US$ for nationals and 7 US$ for foreigners, to be paid at a small office at the entrance to the park, its timetable is from 05:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m (24 hours) from Monday to Sunday, if it is the nesting season then you can only enter via this entrance and there are always people guarding the area. You will need to be careful as there are strong currents that mean this beach is not suitable for swimming.
30. GARZA BEACH
It has moderate to soft surf in the south sector of the bay. It has an extension of approximately 2 km, it has light grey sand. With short headland at both extremes. You will need to be careful because there is a rocky platform that is hidden during the high tide and at the mouth of the estuary. Its infrastructure, as well as its tourist post is rustic. The coastal vegetation is varied and sparse. This beach is visited for the sun, sand sea and fishing. Located 17 km to the northeast of Samara Beach and some 51 km to the southeast of Nicoya.
31. SAMARA BEACH
It is located 332 Km from San José on the north Interamericana highway, 234 km via the Puente de la amistad. From Liberia 115 km, 102 km from Daniel Oduber Airport, 36 km from Nicoya. From Sámara Beach to Nosara 31 km, 17 km to Garza Beach and 7 km to Carrillo Beach. It is especially for tourists who enjoy to bathe, it has one of the safest beaches in the country, which is excellent for swimmers of all ages, it is 8 Km long. At low tide from the seaside, to where the waves reach is 300 meters. It has a totally flat topography; which is perfect for a range of sporting activities. Sámara is a beach that is relatively hidden and is not very busy – located 31 km to the south of Nosara via the coastal road. The warm grey sands in Samara are surrounded by small residences and small complexes. Despite its isolation, Sámara Beach has a good selection of high quality accommodation. On both sides of Samara there are several outstanding beaches Garza Beach, to the north, with white sands and a magnificent view of the Pacific. Carrillo Beach to the south is bordered by palm trees and coral reef. Camaronal Beach is a world famous surfing center. In the village there are shops, discos, hotels, bars and restaurants.
32. CARRLLO BEACH
Located some 7 km to the southeast of Sámara and passes for one of the best in Costa Rica. You are not allowed to camp on the beach, the landscape is beautiful, 3 km of white sand bordered with coconut trees, ridges and green hills. From Carrillo, on the road that heads south, you will need to cross the river mouth of the Río Ora so you may need to check the tides, you will arrived at Camaronal Beach the first in the county of Nandayure.
33. CAMARONAL BEACH
Works very well with up coming tide and can hold any size of swell. Rights and lefts can be found all along the beach. This spot is known to be very consistent, in fact, it is said that is one of the beaches that holds great size.
The Camaronal Wildlife Refuge is a Wildlife refuge of Costa Rica, part of the Tempisque Conservation Area, on the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. The refuge was created for the protection of sea turtles nesting sites for Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles. The success of the program was evidenced by the November 2006 mass arrival of egg-laying turtles (the first registered in 15 years). Unfortunately, proposed massive and unregulated real-estate developments constitute a grave threat to the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge. Although there is a groundswell of activism opposing said development, the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge's future remains uncertain.
34. PUNTA ISLITA BEACH
Continue to the southeast of Carrillo Beach, along the coast, passing over several rivers and panoramic views of the ocean, until you get to the south of the Peninsula; Punta Islita, is 10 Km away.
35. COYOTE BEACH
It is a slightly curved beach with medium surf. There are not strong currents; you should take precautions to the south, because of hidden rocks during high tide. The beach runs from the mouth of the Javila estuary and the Coyote estuary. The mangroves of both estuaries have a wide extension with vegetation. A beach where you can enjoy the sun, beach and the sea. Its infrastructure and tourist plant are rustic.
San Francisco de Coyote
It is a village situated 4 km inland from Coyote Beach; there are a couple of Sodas, grocery stores and public telephones.
36. JICARAL LEPANTO NARANJO BEACH
To the southeast
From Nicoya, you will arrive at the Ferry Terminal of Naranjo Beach some 72 km to the southeast, via Jicaral and Lepanto. From Jicaral you can take a bus to Coyote and San Miquel Beach. To travel to Naranjo Beach to the extreme south of the Peninsula you will need to travel by car: the bus only goes as far as the ferry that crosses to Puntarenas. Naranjo beach and the extreme south of the Peninsula are part of the Province of Puntarenas, although geographically it appears to belong to Guanacaste.
Jicaral & Lepanto
These are two villages in between Nicoya and Naranjo Beach. There are a few cheap places to stay in Jicaral, and you can also get a 4×4 taxi to take you to any destination. There is also a bank, gas station, supermarket, soda and restaurant.
The village is the ferry terminal which offers a crossing to Puntarenas and the beach is not attractive. There is a gas station; supermarket and restaurant on the crossing to Paquera, there are also sodas close to the ferry departure point.
37. BAHIA GIGANTE
The bay is located 9 km to the southeast of Naranjo Beach.
There are many islands in the waters of Bahía Gigante, there are more islands here than in any other area, and it attracts a large amount of nautical enthusiasts. The largest is the San Lucas, with a surface area of 600 hectares. It is some 4 km to the northeast of Bahía Gigante and 5 km to the west of Puntarenas. Until 1992 there was a prison, the most rigorous of the country, known as the Island of lonely men. It is also located close to the Isla Gitana, on maps they are cited as the Isla Muertos because of the discovery of several indigenous burial grounds. There are 10 hectares that that house a type of rustic tourist complex, with footpaths that lead through the forest, a beautiful beach and a salt water swimming pool. There is a small lodge, offering cabins that cost 50 US$ per person, a capacity of six people. There is a bar restaurant on the beach, and there are also boats and kayaks, snorkeling equipment and windsurfing equipment available for hire.
38. ISLAS GUAYABO, NEGRITOS & PAJAROS BIOLOGICAL RESERVES
Isla Guayabo is located approximately 8 Km to the south of Puntarenas in the Golf of Nicoya. The Negritos Island 16.5 Km to the south and Pájaros Island 13 Km to the northeast of Puntarenas. Guayabo and Negritos Islands where´s established as reserves with the Executive Decree Nº 2858-A on the 28th of February 1973. Pájaros Island was created by means of the Executive Decree Nº 5963-A. on the 28th of April 1976. Guayabo and Negritos Island have an extension of 143.5 hectares and the Pájaros Island has an extension of 4 hectares. The islands are home to abundant populations of sea birds, as well as species of flora typical to the area. Guayabo Island is an important rock that is 50 meters high, covered in some sectors by bushes and small spiny plants. Some species such as the Guaco, higuerón, Coyol palm and Pala Viscoyol are particularly common in this area. On the Islas Negritos, there is semi deciduous vegetation, such as species of white flower, pochote and Indio desnudo. In the fields there are areas of Piñuela casera and Palma viscoyol. In La Isla Pájaros, the vegetation is made up of short standing forest and areas of pasture. The mixed guava, the Guanacaste, the fig tree and the golden spoon bushes are very popular here. The fauna of the islands is mainly made up of seabirds. During some periods of the year migratory birds arrive to look for food and reproduce. The most common species are the frigate birds, the black headed gull, the brown layers gannet and the Pardo pelican. This last species uses the Guayabo Island as a nesting area and it is estimated that there is a population of around 200 to 300 birds. Other species of fauna include the peregrine halcyon, the white tailed dove and the black iguana. There are violin crabs, sea crabs, cambutes, oysters and a large variety of fish.
40. CURU NATIONAL REFUGEE FOR WILDLIFE
+ 506 2641-0100 + 506 2641-0590 + 506 2641-0394. Curu National Wildlife refuge and Hacienda is located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of Northeast Costa Rica, 6 km from to the Paquera of Puntarenas ferry, on the road to Cobano. The refuge contains approximately 75 hectareas from point Quesera to point Curu. The refuge is included in the private property, which contains 1496 hectares. Curu’s property was established in 1933 when the owner, Federico Shutt de la Croix, declared it. Extraction of native tree species, transforming land to pasture for cattle and farming were the main activities at the beginning. In February 1983, the property was declared as the first wildlife refuge in Costa Rica and was registered by Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines (MINAE). Today, the Shutt family has converted this area into a site for ecotourism and a study center for students from Costa Rica and around the world. Common wildlife species encountered in the area: Mammals: white faced capuchin, mantled howler monkey, spider monkey, raccoon, white nosed coati, agouti, nine banded armadillo, white tailed deer, collared anteater, tayra, collar peccary, variegated squired, paca, bat and others. Amphibians and reptiles: crocodiles, iguana, giant toad. Boa constrictor, land and sea turtles, lizard, frog and others. Birds: scarlet macaw, yellow naped parrots, orange fronted parakeets, motmot, trogon, caracara, collared aracari, pale billed and Hoffman’s woodpeckers, and many shorebirds. Rules of Curu: Do not take plants, shells, fruits, wood or other natural resources out of the refuge. Alcohol, drugs and bonfires are prohibited. Do not disturb or feed the animals. Curu Services: Curu is opens from 07:00 a.m to 03:00 p.m, Cabins, dining hall, horseback riding, trails, beaches, shop and parking.
41. POCHOTE BEACH
It is located 21 km from Paquera in a westerly direction, 3 km from the main road. The beach is apt for swimming, the water here is relatively calm and surprisingly you can walk along on the beach at high tide for some 300 meters out to sea, where the water will only reach your waist. The surface is flat. You can also hire a boat to take a trip along the estuary and see the mangroves.
42. TAMBOR BEACH BAHIA BALLENA & BEACH QUIZALES
With no strong waves this is one of the best beaches to swimming. It has a scenic beauty, with the sun sand and sea as well as the ecology of its impressive waterfall Sula. Go jet skiing, parasailing, water skiing, sports fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, horse rides, and trips on boat, bicycles and motorcycles. Tambor is located 23 km from the center of Paquera. On the paved road it is recommendable to be careful and not drive faster than 60km per hour because of the amount of curves in the road. The village is a beautiful place to visit and is surrounded by vegetation, hills, river and waterfalls with pools of crystal water that are excellent to bathe in. 4 km before you arrive at the village of Tambor there is an airport where SANSA and NATURE AIR offer daily flights to and from San José. Flight times are 35 minutes, there is a tourist complex located here Hotel Playa Tambor (Barceló), sometimes you will be able to see whales from the bay. There is a supermarket, public telephones, cabins, camping and restaurants.
It is a tropical dreamy beach, located approximately 45 minutes from Paquera, half of which spreads into the village of Tambor and the Cabo Blanco Park. To go to the beach it is through the entrance of the Hotel Tango Mar, there found a street by hand right and here you arrives at the beach, with steep cliffs on the left and the right toward the beach. The climate, consists of a dry season from November to May and from June to August, with some short but strong storms, mainly in the afternoon. The months of September, October and the first half of November are generally the wettest months of the year. Temperatures are never below 24ºC, throughout the while´s year. From February to April, temperatures can rise to 30ºC or 35ºC during the day.
Cobano village is located in the south of the Peninsula of Nicoya in the Province of Puntarenas; it was a small and quiet village where tourists can visits the pacific coasts. All of the highways go towards Playa Mal País, Playa Santa Teresa, Playa Cabuya and Playa Montezuma and they go through this village. You can also visit the marvelous Cabo Blanco National Park. To get to Cobano the best thing to do is fly to the village from Tambor from the capital of San José, which is a journey of 20 to 25 minutes. From there you can take a bus or rent a car and drive until you get to Cobano, or you can get to the city of Puntarenas from San José and there you can take a ferry to Paquera, and you can drive to Cobano vía Tambor. In the months of February and March, the major attraction of the village is the yearly rodeo that lasts three days and which begins with a horseback ride. There is also a great fayre where you can go horse riding. There is a lot of dancing and a lot of food. In Cobano you will find a gas station, cabins, restaurants, bar, seafood shops, sodas, supermarkets, Internet, hardware stores, shops, Souvenirs, dentists, ice cream shops, dancing hall, mechanics, electrical appliance stores, Banco Nacional, Pharmacy + 506 2642-0685, beauty salons, Police, Costa Rican Post Office, Church, Transportes Rodríguez ( Montezuma-Mal País- San José Bus Station), Emergencias 2000.
44. MONTEZUMA BEACH
It is a place of rich ecology. You can enjoy these beaches, by bathing in the sea, contemplating their beauty when the sun sets; discovering rock pools where you can find shells and fish of many different colors. It is surrounded by forest landscape, there are two waterfalls. One 30 minutes away and the other in an hour away on foot, or half an hour on horseback. Montezuma is a very busy coastal destination, and there are an endless amount of tourists that stay here for several days to enjoy not only the beach but the village, there are also natural reserves and activities.
A twenty-minute walk will take you to the beautiful waterfall with a natural swimming pool; a footpath, that heads south, take a turnoff to the right crossing over the bridge that is after the hotel and La Cascada restaurant. You can climb, although it is risky, five people have died trying and other have been badly injured, there a small sign warning of these dangers. A second series of waterfalls, some which are even more beautiful, located upstream, up in the mountains.
Playa and Río Piedra Colorado: Empties into the sea. You have to walk heading towards the mountains some 800 meters to find the waterfall and spring. Jake is in charge of carving stone figures at the exit of the river and other parts of the beach.
Playa Grande: It has an approximate size of 1 ½ Km. It is a beach suitable for swimming, sunbathing and occasionally surfing.
Playa Cocalito: 400 meters. Suitable for bathing. This is where Mr. Velásquez is located, he has refreshments, coffee and beer available for purchase and you can appreciate the beautiful landscape of Montezuma, with monkeys, pizotes and other animals. He has owned this property for 24 years and he has lived here for more than 14 years. He lives alone and there is no electricity or a path through the mountain, you can only get to it walking, riding a horse or by boat. From Montezuma until the waterfall you will find two private reserves, where it is prohibited to cut trees.
The Waterfall. With a fall of approximately 30 meters into a pool. In all of these beaches you can rest, bathe, sunbathe and enjoy nature without any sort of danger. It is not advised to bathe close to the rocks.
45. CABUYA BEACH
The village is located some 9 km to the south of Montezuma, and 2 km to the north of Cabo Blanco. A place of interest is the cemetery situated in the southeast, on the Cabuya Island; you can get here when the tide is low.
46. CABO BLANCO NATURE RESERVE
It has a land extension of 1.250 hectares and 1.800 hectares of sea; it is the most southern point in the Nicoya Peninsula. It was created on the 21st of October 1963, by Karen Morgensen (A Dane who died in 1994) and Nils Olof Wessberg (Swiss, died in 1975), there bodies are entombed in the Wessberg Reserve in Montezuma, which they donated to Costa Rica and it became the first protected are in the country. Until the end of the 80’s, the reserve was called ‘Absolute’ because no visitors to the park were allowed. There are now 2 footpaths, the Dane and the Swiss, which gives you access to the park, the growing popularity of Montezuma has increased as well as the flow of tourists to the reserve. And it is for this reason, and to reduce ecological impact, the park is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
47. CARMEN BEACH
The majority of these beaches are known like Mal País. There are crests on the breaks and some reefs. The majority of surf is on the main beach on the way to Cobano. El Carmen has to be one of the most consistent breaks that you can find. The angle of the beach and the depth of the seabed help pick up any waves from the Pacific as there is nothing that blocks the waves. It is also good at any tide, when the wind conditions as well as the surface are calm. The best direction of the waves has to be west. The west waves produce break peaks with a fun center. The closed to the outside are not very common. The south waves are more aligned and are more frequent. They are powerful, but they tend to close further out. The beaches are approximately 2 Km long, with rocks on each extreme. There are approximately 12 crests along this line and it is a little bit crowded, you can only go up or down the beach a little to be able to get your own crest.
48. MAL PAIS BEACH
Located 15 kilometers from the center of Cóbano and 4 km to the north of Cabo Blanco or you can arrive at Cabuya Beach along a natural route using a 4×4 vehicle, the distance from Mal País is 6 kilometers. The tarmac road is in good condition for all vehicles, from Cóbano cross the road until you get to the crossing at Frank’s Place, leaving Mal País to the south, to the left. The end of the Mal País Beach is rocky and unpopulated, this is where you can see beautiful sunsets, as well as enjoying the sand and the sea. In some areas when you go down to the sea in front of the Bar Restaurant Cabins & Camping Mar Azul, there are small natural pools that both the young and old can enjoy. It is surrounded by lush vegetation, rocks, corrals and trees. It is an ideal place to go surfing; you can go sports fishing and scuba diving. Discover the caves and the caverns in Mal País, 4 kilometers from the center. The caves are covered in stalactites and bats.
49. SANTA TERESA BEACH
50. MANZANILLO BEACH
20 kilometers from Cobano and 6 kilometers from Santa Teresa. You can arrive during the dry season without any problems in any type of car. The most outstanding attractions at this beach are the sunsets and surf. The beach is apt for swimming. In this zone there are pulperías, administered restaurants, cabins, hotels, public phones. Located at 6 km and 10 minutes from Santa Teresa.