Barra Honda Andpalo Verde National Parks
Barra 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!
The Southern Nicoya Peninsula
The southern Nicoya Peninsula had long been one of Costa Ricas most secluded gems. From the hilly interior, the mountains sweep down to the Pacific Ocean, creating some of the most pristine and remote beaches in Costa Rica.This tropical paradise had long been off the beaten path. It was cut off from the Costa Rican mainland through the Gulf of Nicoya. and roads on the peninsula were barely driveable. Since the most popular entryway to the southern Peninsula de Nicoya is by ferry from Puntarenas, the region belongs to the province of Puntarenas and not to Guanacaste.Since the turn of the millenium roads, ferry services, and public transportation improved significantly and development of the beach villages took off.
Most notably Santa Teresa has transformed from a sleepy beach hamlet into a booming surf town. Real estate is in high demand and the number of permanent expat residents and visiting tourists grows rapidly. Other popular tourist destinations are the off-beat enclave of Montezuma with its vivid street life and scenic waterfalls. Tambor, located in a vast horseshoe bay, hosts the only large holiday resort of the southern peninsula. And the tiny fishing hamlet of Malpais attracts nature lovers to its rocky, though scenic coastline.Lodging options range from cabinas and hostels for surfers to luxurious vacation rentals and top notch hotels. Fortunately, as of now, package tourism and chain hotels are not common to the area.
Top 5 Beach Towns In Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
Considered one of the top international destinations to travel to in 2021, Costa Rica has seen an influx of travelers in the past four months. The Nicoya Peninsula, located in Costa Ricas North Pacific just a few hours away from both Liberia International Airport and Juan Santamaria International Airport, is home to some of the countrys most beautiful beach towns, unique national parks, largest waves and trendiest wellness scenes. Here are the 5 best beach towns to explore in Costa Ricas Nicoya Peninsula.
Remember, travelers can use Costa Ricas carbon footprint calculator dubbed the Pura Vida Pledge, to calculate the total emissions of their travel and offset them, through a donation, which goes towards the countrys reforestation efforts.
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Cost Of Living In The Nicoya Peninsula
Living in paradise does come with a cost. Rental prices can become quite higher especially as the area continues to blossom with expats. Even everyday food costs are higher in this region with it being in an isolated part of the country.
The prices can seem high to some but in the end, you are paying for conveniences and comfort. You are living in one of the healthiest and most beautiful places in the world remember!
Montezuma Bohemian Surf Town
Often referred to as the Puerto Viejo of the Pacific Coast, Montezuma is a bohemian surf town perfect for tourists who think Jaco and Tamarindo are too developed.
A small nightlife district in front of a pristine beach is the main draw of Montezuma, and this is where a few hostels, beach cottages, and budget hotels can be found.
Backpackers and surfers are more likely to enjoy Montezuma than families, but this beach town is a more affordable alternative to nearby Santa Teresa.
Many visual artists will tell you that Montezuma is their favorite place to stay in Costa Rica, and this is made evident when you visit the small town center, which is nicely decorated by local artisans.
A few art galleries, studios, and workshops have opened here over the last few years, and this has also attracted international chefs to Montezuma.
Interestingly, the similarities to Puerto Viejo extend to residential architecture styles because many properties feature Caribbean design.
If you stay here, be sure to visit the Romelia Wildlife Reserve and the local waterfall, which attracts many couples on their honeymoon visits. During the two weeks before Easter Sunday, Montezuma gets overrun by local tourists and party-seekers be sure to keep this in mind when you book your stay.
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Puerto Viejo Where To Stay In Costa Rica For A Bohemian Vibe And Laid Back Nightlife
There are two vacation destinations named Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. one is a rural tourism enclave located in the province of Heredia, and the other is a Caribbean beach town located in Limon.
We will discuss the latter Puerto Viejo, which is considered to be one of the most bohemian towns of Costa Rica, but you should also try to arrange a visit to the former if you have the time.
Puerto Viejo is very close to the aforementioned Cahuita, but it is a party town with a more laid-back atmosphere. If your plans to stay in Costa Rica include crossing the border into Panama, this is an ideal spot because you will be right along the border.
Puerto Viejo is the kind of place where North American and European expats intermingle with indigenous people of Talamanca and Rastafarian bars. The local beach is small, but it connects with others such as Playa Cocles and Punta Uva.
Snorkeling, surfing, and visits to nature preserves as well as indigenous villages are among the various daytime amenities of Puerto Viejo at night, numerous beach bars come alive with live music, predominantly reggae, calypso, and Caribbean-infused rock.
You should not let the bohemian vibe of Puerto Viejo dissuade you from traveling here with your family.
As can be expected, beach hostels cost a bit more than what you would pay elsewhere, but the rest of the accommodations tend to be reasonably priced.
The Northern Nicoya Peninsula
The northern part of the Nicoya Peninsula belongs to the province of Guanacaste, whose Pacific coast is made up of countless stretches of sun-swathed beaches, divided by rocky bluffs and river estuaries. Some of Costa Ricas most famous surf and vacation spots are found in this region.
The surf capital and touristic center of Guanacaste is the bustling beach town of Tamarindo. It is Costa Ricas most developed beach area and boasts a large variety of hotels and services. Surfing is a predominant activity in Tamarindo, same as on the surrounding beaches. North of Tamarindo surfers frolic on Playa Grande while to the south a series of surf spots include Playa Langosta, Avellanas and Playa Negra.
Many beaches and river estuaries are protected wildlife reserves. On Playa Grande the rare leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs into the sand, and Ostional is one of the worlds most important nesting sites for olive ridley sea turtles.For those who want to spend a beach vacation in Costa Rica the relaxed village of Samara offers perfect swimming and bathing in its protected half moon bay. Nearby, the yoga and surf community of Nosara is ensconced in a jungle by the beach and offers many services for health and spirit. Inland the pleasant town of Nicoya is the cultural center of the Nicoya Peninsula and boasts Costa Ricas oldest colonial church.
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Best Things To Do On The Nicoya Peninsula
The Nicoya Peninsula is the perfect off the beaten path escape. Explore Blue Zone living & detox from daily stresses at this international wellness destination. The peninsula is habitually overlooked by many travelers, but those willing to stray from the beaten path will be met with stunning natural landscapes and seclusion. The rugged, mountainous landscape and laid-back lifestyle are ideal for any traveler in need of a little rest and relaxation. Heralded for its magnificent beaches and long dry season with beaming sunshine, the Nicoya Peninsula is 80 miles long averaging about 31 miles wide. Water sports and wellness define much of the character of the area. Separated from the Guanacaste plains in the north by the Gulf of Nicoya, the Nicoya Peninsula is an isolated paradise and water wonderland of eco-epic proportions. The dramatically-sculpted Pacific shoreline is dotted with small bays, inlets, villages, and hidden beaches where nature, the sea, local Ticos, and travelers blend amicably in a lazy, lovely lifestyle.
Santa Teresa & Malpais
Malpais and Santa Teresa are two little beach towns. Although, Malpais refers to a string of beaches on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula: Malpais, Carmen Beach, Santa Teresa, Hermosa Beach, and Manzanillo Beach. Hermosa Beach and Manzanillo Beach are even more less-frequented. This up-and-coming wellness region is well-known for its incredible surf and laid-back beach vibes.
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Where To Stay In Costa Rica: Best Areas
We are going to cover some of the best places you can choose to stay in Costa Rica, and we will also discuss your lodging options as well as the kind of activities you can enjoy.
Each of the destinations described below offers certain unique charms to a great extent, this diversity is what makes this Central American nation such a great vacation spot.
One more thing we should mention before going into detail about your future stay in Costa Rica: The high tourist season starts in November and continues through early May, which happens to coincide with the North American winter.
What this means for you when planning your trip is that higher prices can be expected in terms of accommodation, transportation, and other travel expenses at the same time, booking may be a little tight, but you will enjoy the benefit of postcard weather with virtually no rain.
During the rest of the year, lodging is far more affordable, and you will not have to worry about dealing with crowds at major attractions moreover, strong rains will mostly last a few hours during the afternoon unless a tropical storm system blows in from the Caribbean.
Hot Hot And Did I Mention It Is Hot
With the long sunny days comes the heat, and it stays hot for half the year.
There is very minimal rain and if it does rain its a very rare occurrence during the dry season. With the lack of rainfall, everything can become very dry and dusty.
The humidity and heat can feel sticky and hot, with temperatures year-round averaging from 75 F to 95F typically leaning towards the higher end.
Be prepared to toss out a lot of your clothing that you are used to and be ready to sweat. The one good thing is its a great daily detox sweating everything out!
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Nosara Paradisiacal Beach Area Great For Yoga And Learn Surf
Here is another paradisiacal hidden beach in the Nicoya Peninsula if you look at the map, it appears to be close to Santa Teresa, but traversing between the two would require horseback riding or even a helicopter.
You can fly into a local airport from San Jose on a sightseeing aircraft operated by Nature Air or Sansa, and this would make your stay in Costa Rica more memorable.
Nosara is a large beach town, but it is fairly spread out. The ideal vacations here are resort-intensive you have specialty hotels that offer yoga, spa, and detoxification packages. There are only a few budget accommodations.
This place is excellent for anyone who wants to learn surfing or stand-up paddle boarding, and it is also ideal for family adventures.
Cahuita Where To Stay In Costa Rica For True Caribbean Flavor
Costa Rica is blessed with two coastlines: One faces the Pacific Ocean and the other is located along the Caribbean Sea. Cahuita is part of the latter, and it exudes true Caribbean flavor.
Located in the province of Limon, Cahuita is home to a pristine coral reef park and nature preserve where you can appreciate everything from sloths to monkeys and from reef sharks to stingrays.
Cahuita is a premier destination for cruise ship passengers who disembark at the port terminal in nearby Limon.
The distinct and relaxed Caribbean atmosphere makes this coastal town irresistible the friendly locals speak Spanish and English along with the regional Mekatelyu variant of creole English.
This is a place where you can enjoy delicious Afro-Caribbean cuisine, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and nature.
Aside from the large national park, Cahuita counts with Playa Negra as one of its main attractions. This idyllic black-sand beach is perfect to visit during the dry season months, which unfold opposite to the green season elsewhere in the country.
Some tourists take advantage of their visit to schedule a trip to Bocas del Toro, a Caribbean island right across the border in Panama, where there are even more beaches and nature preserves to explore.
When you choose Cahuita as your main spot to stay in Costa Rica, you will be able to visit the Tree of Life wildlife rehabilitation center and botanical gardens. Dont miss the butterfly sanctuary or the guided tours into the tropical forest.
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When To Visit The Nicoya Peninsula
The most popular time to visit the Nicoya Peninsula is during the dry season . Though it will be more crowded, there is plenty of beach for everyone.
Visiting during the rainy season means smaller crowds but more difficult travel. Remember, driving through parts of the Nicoya Peninsula can become virtually impossible throughout these months.
is a popular option, as its the beginning of the dry season and you can often still find sea turtles nesting at Ostional Beach.
Final Thoughts On Living In The Nicoya Peninsula
Blue zone living is a way of life. The Nicoya Peninsula is one of the countrys hidden jewels that is evolving into one of the most desired places in Costa Rica and around the world.
When thinking of establishing yourself here in the breathtaking yet isolated region you will want to test the waters first. Rent or at least stay for a while and get your feet on the regions soil, seeing if the chill vibes are for you.
With the popularity comes the people but that being said, it can be a good thing. Like-minded people come together in search of a stress-free, slower pace, natural life seeking health and wellness and a better sense of living.
There is plenty of room for everyone and all are welcome, it is the pura vida way!
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Summary: Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
Tourism to the Nicoya Peninsula continues to grow, and for good reason. The combination of nature and culture makes it quintessential Costa Rica.
You can surf excellent waves at dawn, eat delicious local fruit and coffee for breakfast, and clear your mind with a meditation session in the rainforest all before lunch.
Your body will thank you for the sun and relaxation. While your Nicoya Peninsula experience wont necessarily extend your life expectancy, it will almost certainly add joy to your days.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Costa Rica’s borders are open! Follow our article on Coronavirus in Costa Ricafor more information. Planning a trip? Please to discuss how we can help.
Costa Rica Escapes is a boutique Costa Rica vacation planner who, since 2006, uses extensive knowledge and local relationships to create one-of-a-kind Costa Rica vacations for travelers looking for a unique experience. .
Playa Conchal Where To Stay In Costa Rica For Scuba Diving
Be sure to pack thick-soled beach sandals and a bucket if Playa Conchal is where you choose to stay in Cista Rica. In a country filled with amazing beaches, Conchal takes the cake because it is blessed with a long stretch of sand completely covered with seashells.
Marine biologists often come here to study the gentle ocean current that has been depositing seashells here over millions of years, and one explanation is that the waters that surround this small bay are teeming with life.
If you are into scuba diving, Conchal is where you should stay in Costa Rica.
Conchal is very remote, but it is strategically located in the Gulf of Nicoya and not far from the Liberia airport.
The only lodging options in Conchal are a couple of luxury all-inclusive beach resorts, and they are worth every penny because they provide the kind of pampering we should all be able to experience at least once in our lives.
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La Fortuna Nice Place To Stay In Costa Rica For Families And Adventure Seekers
Quite a few travelers who arrive at SJO are whisked away by ground transportation to La Fortuna de San Carlos, an emblematic tourism destination in the Americas.
Even if your stay in Costa Rica will only last a few days, you will not go wrong with choosing La Fortuna, a resort town that lies at the foot of the active Arenal volcano, which looks like a miniature version of Mount Fuji in Japan, but which often comes alive at night with an impressive display of small incandescent eruptions.
La Fortuna is extremely family-friendly this is the kind of destination where all-inclusive resorts and luxurious international hotel chains abound, but you can also find country lodges, bed and breakfast inns, hostels, and mountain cabins.
The hospitality standards are pretty high in this part of Costa Rica, and the cuisine is of the highest quality. When you stay in La Fortuna, you simply must relax in the natural warm springs, and some of the most upscale hotels have them within their properties.