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Costa Rica: Nicoya Peninsula

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Across the Golfo de Nicoya from the dry, cattle-ranch lands of isolated Guancacaste province, the bulky Nicoya Peninsula hangs over the Pacific Ocean. Equally denuded of forest as the adjoining mainland, it is culturally and physically cut off from the rest of the country: inland, dotted with small, modest towns far removed from the beach resorts on the bay-pocked coastline. Here, the road network – mostly unpaved - is scanty at best and many visitors use the airstrips dotted along the coastline to arrive by plane. Tamarindo, where the beaches are attacked by crashing Pacific rollers, is the focal point for tourist infrastructure.

Our holidays to Nicoya Peninsula

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Costa Rica

Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach

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12 days from £3,495pp

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Self-drive Costa Rica: Coast to coast adventures

Private journey

14 days from £2,266pp

Our insider tips for Nicoya Peninsula

Sophie Barber

Sophie Barber

Turtle watching on Playa Grande beach, Tamarindo. Leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs in the sand Nov-Apr.  After a couple of months the hatchlings emerge and immediately make their perilous journey to the water’s edge.

Rafe Stone

Rafe Stone

Scuba-diving from Playas de Coco, the most accessible beaches on the Nicoya from San José, set between rocky headlands. It’s the best place in the country to observe the undersea world.
Margot

Margot Chard

Enjoying the spa or taking a yoga class at one of the intimate boutique-style hotels dotting the coast of the peninsula. They are designed to blend with the natural environment and have an eco-friendly emphasis. 

What our experts say

The weather and vegetation in the northern section of the Pacific (from Punta Islita to Golfo de Papagayo) is very different from the southern part. The dry forest in the north has what is euphemistically called a "golden season" during the months of November to May when the weather is very dry and the trees lose all their leaves. The rest of the year there is light rain but mainly falling in the afternoon (the more northerly you are, the drier it is).

Lina

Lina Fuller

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