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Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula straddles Costa Rica’s North and Central Pacific Coasts and features beautiful beaches and great surfing. The Nicoya is beautiful, rugged and isolated.  Visiting the Nicoya is difficult and time-consuming and necessitates a 4x4 vehicle for most areas. Count on several hours and/or a ferry ride from most areas. The Nicoya Peninsula is perfect if you want to get away from everything and don’t need to have many activities to choose from. The East side of the Nicoya Peninsula has a few more hotels and is more easily accessed than the Pacific side.

 

Advantages

  • Surfing
  • Beaches

Disadvantages

  • Isolated
  • Fewer activities
  • Travel time

 

Attractions
Nicoya Peninsula Beaches
Beaches

Lighter sand, few people and spectacular sunsets make many of Nicoya’s beaches very attractive.  Carrillo, Nosara, Malpais and Santa Teresa beaches are particularly nice, but there are many others.

Dry Forest on the Nicoya Peninsula
Dry Forest

The Dry Tropical Forest on the Nicoya Peninsula is different than other parts of Costa Rica.  In dry season, it is very dry, dusty and brown: Most trees lose their leaves.  In rainy season, the vegetation is green again.  Different plants and animals are found here than other parts of Costa Rica.

Cabo Blanco Reserve
Cabo Blanco Reserve

Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve comprises the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and is a haven for land and marine life.  This is one of the least-visited National Parks in Costa Rica.  For hard-core Nature Lovers, Cabo Blanco may be worth the trip.

Tortuga Island in Costa Rica
Tortuga Island

Located on the East side of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island features safe swimming and a lovely white sand beach.  Accessible by boat only.

 

Activities
Surfing on the Nicoya Peninsula
Surfing

Several beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula feature excellent surfing, including Santa Teresa, Nosara and Carrillo.  Waves tend to be higher January – March when the winds are stronger.

Horseback Riding on the Nicoya Peninsula
Hiking and Horseback Riding

Several places offer excellent guided hikes in the Nicoya Peninsula’s Dry Tropical Forest, but perhaps the best is in Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.  Horseback riding is also available along the beach in several places.

Nicoya Peninsula Fishing
Fishing

Inshore fishing and deep-sea (Sport) fishing are both available on the Nicoya.  Typically, the best fishing is dry season, from December – May.  Sailfish, marlin, tuna, dorado, wahoo, roosterfish and snapper are all found in these waters.

Turtle Nesting on the Nicoya Peninsula
Turtle Watching

Ostional Beach on the North Nicoya Peninsula is home to a huge population of nesting turtles once a year.  If you are lucky enough to see this, it is a once in a lifetime experience.  But it is unpredictable.  Ostional is very isolated and the turtles only nest at night.

Hotels
More InfoFlor Blanca DollarSignDollarSignDollarSign

Flor Blanca is a beachfront jewel on the Pacific side of the Nicoya Peninsula. One of the small, distinctive hotels of Costa Rica, intimate freestanding bungalows are nestled in the rainforest along the beach. It is a great romantic hideaway or perfect for upscale surfers.

More InfoHotel Tango Mar DollarSignDollarSign

Tango Mar is more easily accessible, located on the east side of the Nicoya Peninsula. The grounds are expansive, with many rooms and free standing villas to choose from. Popular for weddings and with honeymooners, Tango Mar is also a good choice for families.

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