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North America > Central America > Costa Rica > Central Pacific (Costa Rica) > Nicoya Peninsula

Nicoya Peninsula

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Nicoya Peninsula (Spanish: Península de Nicoya) is a region in Costa Rica.

Cities[edit]

Map of Nicoya Peninsula
  • 1 Montezuma. Montezuma is located 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 Mal País. 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.
  • Samara. 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.
  • Santa Teresa. Santa Teresa is not much different from Mal Pais. It offers great surfing and affordable hostels and hotels. Santa Teresa also has the best sunsets in the Nicoya Peninsula.

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

  • The best way to get around is ATV. From Santa Teresa, Montezuma, or Mal Pais the next town is only a trail away. The average price is US$60 but you can generally talk them to $40.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • Funky Monkey Lodge, Santa Teresa - the best banana pancakes for ₡2,500.
  • Pizza & Pasta a Go-Go, Hotel Giada, Samara - amazing pizza made with fresh ingredients in a brick oven.
  • El Sano Banano, Montezuma - El Sano Banano offers nightly movies for free with the purchase of a meal over US$5. They also have great sushi offerings and good service.

Drink[edit]

In Montezuma the only place to go is Chicos Bar.

Stay safe[edit]

  • 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.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Hotel Aurora, Montezuma - Offers hot water, air conditioning, television, and refrigerators in some rooms. Also features a shared kitchen. Rooms start at US$30 a person during high season.

Splurge[edit]

Anamaya Resort is up the hill from Montezuma near the famous waterfalls. Offers yoga classes, great food and the most amazing view. Best place for retreats and romantic getaways.

The Red Palm Villas [1] [dead link] in Santa Teresa is an ideal honeymoon location and one of the few luxury locations on the Nicoya Peninsula that allows children on the resort. They are right on the beach.

Go next[edit]

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.


This region travel guide to Nicoya Peninsula is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!