Nicoya Peninsula Beaches

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Visiting the Nicoya Peninsula Beaches

The Nicoya Peninsula is considered one of Costa Rica’s top destinations due to its diversity of life and stunning beaches. Many visitors in Nicoya enjoy leisure, surfing, observing the turtles nesting, nature hiking and many other activities. The Nicoya Peninsula is a gulf in Guanacaste Costa Rica and its biological diversity, location, and magnificent beaches have made it a top destination in the country.

Six of the main beaches are Nosara, Samara, Carillo, Santa Teresa, Mal Pais, and Playa Tambor. When staying here, you should definitely take the time to visit a national park like Barra Honda, Palo Verde or Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

The mini eco-system of the Nicoya Peninsula and the variety of flora and fauna together with the magnificent beaches make it one of the wonders of the world. Most notably, the Nicoya Peninsula has been named one of the Blue Zones of the world, known for health, happiness and longevity. This makes Nicoya one of the best locations to experience the Pura Vida vibe Costa Rica is so famous for.

Highlights

The best beaches for families

Samara Costa Rica horsePlaya Samara and Playa Carrillo top the list as best family beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula. Playa Samara the best place for a horseback riding tour and to experience a friendly, small town atmosphere. Playa Samara can also, much like Playa Tamarindo, be the perfect beach for your first surfing lesson.

For a nice family picnic, head to Samara’s introverted neighbor Carrillo. The long, crescent shaped beach is lined with picnic tables with the palm trees providing some much-needed shade. Although quiet during the week, this beach can get pretty crowded during the weekends. The sand is firm and perfect for a long walk along the shores. If you plan on walking to the remote parts of the Samara beach, bring flip flops! The further you walk, the more rocks you will encounter.


The best beaches for surfers

Mal Pais Costa Rica beachThe beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are located at the very south of the Peninsula and are known as a remote paradise as well as a haven for the avid surfer. Amenities are not as plenty here as for example in Nosara, so this is the ideal surfing spot for the intermediate to advanced surfer.


The best beach for yogis

Yoga in NosaraPlaya Nosara is also a pretty popular surfer beach, but it is also a paradise for the yogis! Surfers can benefit from yoga classes designed specifically for them. But those just looking for peace and being more at home with themselves, they can benefit from world-class yoga hotels and retreats in a tropical rainforest setting and views of the turquoise waters.


The Natural beauty of the Nicoya Beaches

Ostional Beach TurtlesAt the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, you won’t encounter las baulas here like you will a little north at Playa Grande, but you will see hundreds of Olive Ridley Turtles making their way to the coastline to start their nesting ritual. In the mornings, you can even watch the eggs hatch and see how the baby turtles instinctively make their way to the ocean.


Off the beaten path

Cabuya Costa RicaThe beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are quite out of the way but the beaches of Cabuya and Montezuma will give you that extra bit of peace. Rather than surfing, you can head to the sea for a swim or even go snorkeling or scuba diving at Tortuga Island. The area is known for its rural towns and beautiful, serene natural surrounding When here, pay a visit to the Cabo Blanco nature reserve and explore the jungle! Spot monkeys like howler monkeys and capuchins and many birds that inhabit the dry and well as tropical rainforest.

The long Nicoya Peninsula Coast has something for everyone and is bound to offer you the trip of a lifetime!

Tips

Visit between January and May: If you visit during the dry season, you can take advantage of the best weather and avoid heavy rains during your trip.

Explore all the beaches: The beach of Nicoya have a great variety of activities to offer from nesting sea turtles to yoga, surfing and horseback riding.

Rent a car: Nosara is a little bit spread out so we suggest exploring it by car. If you are traveling south on the Peninsula, make sure to get a 4×4.

Getting there

Closest International Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)

sansa airline airportGetting to the Nicoya Peninsula can be tricky if you plan on traveling further south, but it is definitely worth it. The closest International airport is in Liberia, although it is possible to get there from San Jose as well. Once you’ve landed you can take another domestic flight to Tambor. If you chose not to fly domestically, be aware that the roads can be extremely bumpy and impossible to cross during the rainy season so it is best to drive to Puntarenas and take a ferry ride to Paquera and take a rental car, shuttle or private transfer from there. Talk to one of our expert Travel Agents to figure out the best transportation methods for you!

Dining

Gallo Pinto VegetarianThe Nicoya Beaches offer a varied sensation for the pallet! From local cuisine to international dishes, you will be able to enjoy Gallo Pinto and Casados as well as dishes for vegetarians and vegans. Makes sure to explore the seafood if you are visiting a fishing village like Mal Pais!

Where to stay

Bodhi Tree Yoga ResortThe great variety of the Nicoya Beaches offers an equally great variety of hotels. If you are looking for a great yoga retreat, check out the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort in Nosara and combine luxury with a comfortable boutique atmosphere. An enchanting beach like Samara should be visited in an equally enchanting hotel. Hotel Sol Samara’s rustic charm is bound to leave its effect on you. This hotel is suited for families, couples as well as adventure seekers! If you plan on exploring the south, your best option would be to stay at Mal Pais. Manala Hotel is a laid-back surfer hotel. There are bars, restaurants and frequent parties organized in the area.

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Nicoya Peninsula Beaches Vacation Packages

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

20
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

Extended Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

8
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

Nicoya Peninsula Adventure

7
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
In Perfect Harmony

In Perfect Harmony

7
LIR
$1000-$1500 p.p.
Volcano & Beaches of Nicoya

Volcano & Beaches of Nicoya

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Less than $1000 p.p.
Birding in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

Birding in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

11
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Romantic Getaway

Romantic Getaway

8
SJO

Beaches

Cabuya

Cabuya

Cabuya Costa Rica is a tiny beach town close to Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve that is a quaint rural beach hamlet f...

Mal Pais

Mal Pais

Visiting Mal Pais Costa Rica Mal Pais was once a small beachfront village, but now is becoming one of Costa Rica’s most so...

Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa

Visiting Santa Teresa Playa Santa Teresa Costa Rica is a tiny beach village on the Nicoya Peninsula, just north of Playa M...

Playa Samara

Playa Samara

Visiting Playa Samara Playa Samara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. At about 5...

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

Visiting Ostional Wildlife Refuge The magic of Ostional rests in the Olive Ridley Turtles that come to nest on this beach....

Tambor

Tambor

Visiting Tambor, Costa Rica The Nicoya Peninsula is full of pretty little beach towns, all with the same laid-back vibes a...

Nosara

Nosara

Visiting Nosara Visit the sunny, golden coasts of the Nicoya Peninsula for a real Costa Rica experience! Playa Nosara is h...

Montezuma, Costa Rica

Montezuma, Costa Rica

Visiting Montezuma Montezuma can be found at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Until the 1980’s Montezuma Costa Rica ...

Punta Islita Beach

Punta Islita Beach

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Carrillo Beach

Carrillo Beach

Visiting Playa Carrillo Costa Rica Guanacaste is known for its spectacular beaches and Playa Carrillo is one of those beac...

Cities

Puerto Caldera

Puerto Caldera

Visiting Puerto Caldera Puerto Caldera is port city in the Puntarenas province of Costa Rica. The old port used to be loca...

Liberia

Liberia

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Islands

Isla Tortuga

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Visiting Isla Tortuga Isla Tortuga is a top destination in Costa Rica located only an hour and a half boat ride from shore...

National Parks

Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve

Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve

Visiting Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve The Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve sits at the very tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and was ...

Nicoya Peninsula Beaches Hotels

Hotel Tambor Tropical

Hotel Tambor Tropical

3
2
From: $125 - $200
Tango Mar Resort

Tango Mar Resort

4
3
From: $200 - $300
Esencia Hotel Villas

Esencia Hotel Villas

3
From: Under $125
Florblanca Resort

Florblanca Resort

5
4
From: Over $300
Hotel Tropico Latino

Hotel Tropico Latino

3
From: Under $125
Latitude 10 Resort

Latitude 10 Resort

4
From: $200 - $300
Manala Hotel

Manala Hotel

3
From: Under $125
Pranamar Villas Yoga Retreat

Pranamar Villas Yoga Retreat

4
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Sol Samara

Hotel Sol Samara

3
From: Under $125
Hotel Villas Playa Samara

Hotel Villas Playa Samara

3
From: $125 - $200
Palo Verde Biological Station

Palo Verde Biological Station

3
From: Under $125
Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort

Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort

4
From: $125 - $200
Harmony Hotel

Harmony Hotel

3
5
From: $125 - $200
Olas Verdes Hotel

Olas Verdes Hotel

3
From: $125 - $200
Anamaya Resort

Anamaya Resort

4
From: $125 - $200
Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang

3
From: Under $125
Fiesta Resort

Fiesta Resort

3
4
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Punta Islita

Hotel Punta Islita

5
5
From: Over $300
Nammbu Beachfront Bungalows

Nammbu Beachfront Bungalows

4
From: $200 - $300
Cielo del Mar

Cielo del Mar

3
From: Under $125
Hotel The Place

Hotel The Place

3
From: Under $125
Casa Chameleon Mal País

Casa Chameleon Mal País

5
From: $200 - $300
Hotel Lagarta Lodge

Hotel Lagarta Lodge

5
From: Over $300
Isla Chiquita

Isla Chiquita

4
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Nantipa

Hotel Nantipa

4
From: Over $300
Hotel Samara Beach

Hotel Samara Beach

3
From: Under $125
Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel

Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel

4
From: $200 - $300
Hotel Santa Teresa

Hotel Santa Teresa

3
From: Under $125
Hacienda Barrigona

Hacienda Barrigona

4
From: Over $300

Nicoya Peninsula Beaches Tours

Rio Ora Kayak Tour

Rio Ora Kayak Tour

From: $75 - $100
Costa Rica Regions and Destinations Map

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Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is where you’ll find the tallest mountains, pristine cloud forest areas, and a virtually unexplored paradise. Find a large variety of birds and just an endless array of biodiversity.  


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Central Valley

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Costa Rica’s Central Valley is home to the capital of San José and the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Steeped in History & Culture, many people use the capital as the jumping off point for their vacations.


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Northern Zone

Why Visit? 

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is home to the country’s most famous Volcano and Cloud Forest Areas.

You will be amazed at the wildlife and all the biodiversity.


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Osa Peninsula

Why Visit?

The Osa Peninsula is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.


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Guanacaste

Why Visit? 

Guanacaste is home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is your destination for sun, sand, and surf.


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Nicoya Peninsula

Why Visit?

The Nicoya Peninsula is still largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Known for it’s laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts.


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Central Pacific

Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is home to some of the closest beaches from the capital of San José, which are easily accessible from the highway.


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Caribbean

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Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a rich cultural area offering a laid back tropical atmosphere. Experience what Tico Time truly is on this Afro-Caribbean influenced area. 


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Nicaragua

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Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historical parts. You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts. 


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Panama

Why Visit?

Panama is a totally different level of destination. It has so much to offer. You can experience history and modern architecture all in one in Panama City with skyscrapers and the old part of the city. 


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