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.
The best beaches for families
Playa 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
The 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
Playa 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
At 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
The 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!
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.
Closest International Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)
Getting 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!
The 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
The 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.