Nicoya Peninsula (Spanish: Península de Nicoya) is a region in Costa Rica. It has spectacular coastlines and jungle landscapes, yet is sparsely populated and often ignored by foreign tourists, making it an ideal destination for travelers who value seclusion and natural experiences.
- 1 Montezuma — Montezuma is on the Nicoyan Peninsula's southeastern end, at the end of an unpaved road that winds down forested hillsides. The shoreline is largely sandy beach, as fine as any on the peninsula, interspersed with rocky outcroppings. Many come to see the popular Montezuma waterfalls, about a 20-minute walk from downtown. A commercial area, little more than a hundred meters of shops, hotels and restaurants, has sprung up to cater to visitors. As Montezuma can be reached from San José in a matter of 4-5 hours, weekends often see crowded conditions. Montezuma has a reputation as somewhat of a "hippie" venue, with all that implies.
- 2 Malpaís — A long stretch of beach near the southeast end of the Nicoyan Peninsula that is quite popular with surfers. A string of low-budget hotels and restaurants can be found along the beach road going north to Santa Teresa, which has grown a lot, now more food and lodging options than Montezuma.
- 3 Pochote — An isolated village that offers excellent sport fishing.
- 4 Sámara — One of the few beach towns that has paved roads all the way to San Jose. It's a bit nicer and more expensive than many other beach towns, but smaller and less touristy than Tamarindo.
- 5 Santa Teresa — Santa Teresa is not much different from Malpaís. It offers great surfing and affordable hostels and hotels. Santa Teresa also has the best sunsets in the Nicoya Peninsula.
There is a ferry running from Punteranes to the Nicoya Peninsula daily. From the ferry station you can take a bus easily to Mal Pais, Montezuma, Cobono, or Santa Teresa.
- The best way to get around is ATV. From Santa Teresa, Montezuma, or Malpaís the next town is only a trail away. The average price is US$60 but you can generally talk them to $40.
- Be alert - you might always being watched.
- Never, really never, leave valuables unattended in your vehicle.
A break-in is almost guaranteed at Rio Tarcoles while you watch the crocodiles.
- Keep your hotel room's doors and windows locked and store valuables in a safe box.
- In a restaurant or bar keep contact with your bag.
- Also take care that nobody has the opportunity to put something into your drink.
- In crowds, buses, or on lively streets wear your backpack on the chest, not on the back.
- Always be suspect if anyone pushes against you.
- On buses most thefts happen inside the bus. Never put your bags in the overhead bins.
- Women in particular should not walk alone on the street or beach at night.
- With a rental car be alert if you have a flat tire and people show up to help you. They might have put a nail under your tire and will rob you while "fixing" the car.
If you're going back to San Jose take the Direct Bus back, other buses to the Ferry Station at Paquera are available.
Some charter boats can get you to Jaco or Manuel Antonio starting at 50$ a person.