Nicoya Peninsula

On the North Western shore of Costa Rica lies the largest peninsula in the shape of a crab claw, Nicoya Peninsula, sun drenched and beach lined, this piece of Costa Rica is boarded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Golfo de Nicoya to the east and the wetlands of the Rio Tempisque to the north. From the dry regions to the north and the white sandy beaches as one travels to the southern portion of the peninsula one will find the vegetation thick as it flows to waters edge. The peninsula is home to a large variety of wildlife and vegetation. The area is also home to the Sabanero, Costa Rica’s version of the American cowboy.

Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, Nicoya Costa RicaThe southern coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula is dotted with small villages and some of the best beaches and most isolated in all of Costa Rica. Palm tree lined beaches running for miles and miles on end, and other areas are interrupted with many hamlets and rock covered coves. The interior of the Nicoya Peninsula is covered with ranches and farms. With a dry season lasting from November to April drenching the area, much of the vegetation will lose its foliage and roads will become swirling masses of dust and temperatures reaching the high 90’s. Making a 180 degree turn, the rainy season provides the area with lush forest, vegetation and temperatures in the low 70’s. The rains also make many areas and roads inaccessible, unless traveled by 4 wheel drive vehicle has given this a much laid back atmosphere. If one is looking for relaxation of just lying in a hammock and watching unbelievable sunsets, or just listening to howler monkeys and other wild animals, then the Nicoya Peninsula is the place.

Beachcomber Pete Map of Nicoya PeninsulaWith most of the Nicoya Peninsula being accessible only by ferry boats out of Puntarenas for the longest time, a whole day’s trip from San Jose has kept this area off the beaten path of most tourist. With the opening of the International airport in Liberia the northern part of the Nicoya peninsula has become more accessible. Resulting in large scale all inclusive resorts with some of the best 18 hole Golf courses in Costa Rica and Central America.

Surfers have flocked to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula for years, from Playa Grande and Tamarindo in the north to MalPais in the south. Nature lovers will find the area teaming with wildlife, with the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula an abundance of monkeys and birds along the coast to giant egg laying turtles on Plays Grande and Ostional. The months of September to December will find whales playing off the shores of Playa Manznillo. Scuba divers and snorkelers find the waters filled with spectacular marine life.

The provinces of Puntarenas in the south and Guanacaste make up the majority of the peninsula in the north, Nicoya is about 50 to 60 miles wide and round 85 miles in length from north to south, one will find roads connecting the two provinces far and in between, with many roads in bad condition, traveling in the region is very slow, thus the laid back and relaxed atmosphere. A relaxed exploration of the Nicoya Peninsula might require one to spend 2 weeks in an intoxicating relaxed atmosphere making it ever harder to return to ones normal life.

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