Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is home to some of the country's most stunning beaches!

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Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Separated from the mainland by the Tempisque estuary and the Gulf of Nicoya, Nicoya is home to some of the most immaculate and spectacular beaches in Costa Rica including Santa Teresa, Malpais and Montezuma. Water sports are huge in the Nicoya Peninsula and many surfers consider it the best place to surf in the world. Eco-tourism is also popular here. Tourists and locals alike flock to the Nicoya Peninsula to explore caves, spot wild birds and visit the Cabo Blanco Reserve.

Those who choose to visit the Nicoya Peninsula will find jaw-dropping, untouched beaches, pristine forests and a small town surfing culture that is great for those looking to get away. The Nicoya Peninsula is also famous for being one the world’s five Blue Zones because of the longer life expectancy there! Get ready for a relaxing, unforgettable Costa Rica vacation in Nicoya.

Top Destinations

Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa BeachNamed by Forbes Magazine as one of the best beaches in the world, Playa Santa Teresa was made for surfers, yogis and nature lovers. Surfing is popular year-round thanks to the consistent breaks. You’ll also find a seemingly unlimited amount of yoga classes and studios throughout Santa Teresa.  The best part of Santa Teresa, however, is the picturesque views. Santa Teresa beach is one you will never forget.

Playa Montezuma

Montezuma Costa RicaPlaya Montezuma is nothing if not the essence of ‘pura vida.’ Here you’ll find incredible surfing, hiking and swimming. The many beach front hotels and bungalows are great for both romantic and family vacations. After you enjoy the beach you can also find many exciting tours and activities nearby including waterfalls, kayaking and zip lining.

Malpais

Playa Malpais SurfLocated on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Malpais has perfect weather year-round, attracting surfers from all over the world. Despite its popularity, Malpais is almost never crowded, making it easy to find a secluded spot for sunbathing. You can also find various bars and restaurants, luxury hotels and tours for the whole family.

Playa Samara

Samara Costa Rica horseVisit the ‘hippie commune’ of Playa Samara and combine stunning beaches with a hike through the tropical dry forests surrounding this area. Samara is more family friendly than the others and even good for the beginner surfer with its smaller waves compared to other beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Playa Nosara

Yoga in NosaraPlaya Nosara’s natural heritage and tranquil environment are made for those looking to take a detour from the fast track and learn to be at home with themselves. You can take your pick of different yoga disciplines. Perhaps you can even unleash the pura vida spirit within yourself! Nosara is also one of Costa Rica’s best surf spots for those who want to move beyond those first surfing lessons at Tamarindo.

Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve

Cabo Blanco Nature ReserveThe Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve was the first protected natural reserve established in Costa Rica and you can’t miss it. Take a hike through the park and see all kinds of animals including Howler Monkeys, Coatis, Coyotes and many different kinds of birds.

 

 

Barra Honda and Palo Verde National Parks

Barra Honda National Park CavesBarra Honda National Park and Palo Verde National Park are part of the Tempisque Conservation Area. Barra Honda offers a real adventure for those wanting to discover the underground palaces in the mountains. Palo Verde, on the other hand, is ‘the’ park for the passionate birder. Home to 279 different species of birds, you can spot tanagers, orioles, black-bellied whistling duck,… and many more! Take boating tours to see crocodile and visit the famous nesting colony of Isla de los Parajos!

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

Sea turtlesThe Guanacaste province and Peninsula de Nicoya have some other natural wonders you can visit. In Ostional WIldlife Refuge, you can see giant sea turtles visiting the shores to nest. In the mornings, you can see the eggs hatch and watch the baby turtles make their way to the ocean! If you want, you can even help some of the little turtles on their perilous journey and protect them from vultures and dogs.

Facts

Nicoya Peninsula Tours

Montezuma WaterfallsBetween beaches, waterfalls and nature reserves, you’re sure to find adventure in the Nicoya Peninsula. Take advantage of various tours including kayak tours, ATV and hiking tours to the Montezuma waterfalls or surfing lessons on the Santa Teresa Beach. 

Nicoya Peninsula Weather

Malpais beachThe Nicoya Peninsula is one of the few areas that has gorgeous weather all year round. The dry season is from December-April and considered high season for tourists. The rainy season is from May-November and is a great time for nature lovers and eco-tourists who want to see the vegetation blossom. You will also find less tourists and lower hotel rates during the rainy season. During the rainy season it usually only rains during the evening or at night so you can still enjoy the Costa Rican sunshine for most of the day. 

Nicoya Peninsula Nature

Nicoya Peninsula ViewsOn the west and south of the Nicoya Peninsula is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The southern and central areas of the Peninsula are found in various mountain ranges while the base is in the Guanacaste lowlands. The province is a transition zone between a tropical rain forest and dry forest, which you will see represented in the flora and fauna. In the southern part of the peninsula you can find wildlife reserves which are home to an abundance of plants and animals. 

Nicoya Peninsula Culture

Santa Teresa SurfingThe Nicoya Peninsula is famous for its relaxed, laid-back vibe and is considered one of the world’s five Blue Zones. Blue Zones are established based on the life expectancy of the people. The residents of Nicoya have a strong family focus and you’ll often find them laughing with their neighbors, working hard and taking in the sunshine. There is also a strong surfing culture thanks to the amazing breaks in Santa Teresa. 

Getting There

Closest International Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)

sansa airline airportGetting to the Nicoya Peninsula can be tricky, 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! 

Map of Costa Rica’s Nicoya PeninsulaMap of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula

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Nicoya Peninsula 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

SJO
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

Punta Islita Costa Rica, Hidden Paradise Punta Islita located in the province of Guanacaste Costa Rica on the Pacific Coas...

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

Visiting Liberia, Capital of Guanacaste The city of Liberia, the charming capital of Guanacaste is often used as the jumpi...

Islands

Isla Tortuga

Isla Tortuga

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 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 Tours

Rio Ora Kayak Tour

Rio Ora Kayak Tour

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

Southern Zone

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.  


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Central Valley

Why Visit?

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.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

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.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

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.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

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.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

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.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

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.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Caribbean

Why Visit?

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. 


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Nicaragua

Why Visit?

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. 


Top Destinations

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. 


Top Destinations

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