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An update from Evaneos

Nicoya (Costa Rica)

Practical information about Nicoya

  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Extreme Sports
  • Water Sports
  • Sustainable Tourism
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
4 hours by car from San José
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
3 to 5 days

Reviews of Nicoya

Alicia Munoz Travel writer
87 travel articles

Nicoya is a large peninsula in the north west of Costa Rica that is famous for its surf beaches. It's one of the most touristy parts of the country.

My suggestion:
I avoid Tamarindo and even Nosara, which are too touristy, and prefer more authentic places like Ocotal and Samara.

As it's a real crossroads for everyone who is visiting the beaches and National Parks of Guanacaste and Puntarenas it's not really authentic but there's no denying the beauty of the beaches.

I loved: Ocotal and its neighbour Pan de Azucar (often called Sugar Beach), then a bit further south Guiones, Garza, Carrillo and Santa Teresa. They are all wild and lined with dense tropical forest. Nonetheless, the tourist industry is obviously making the region's rich biodiversity suffer.

Nowadays, Nicoya is a paradise for relaxing, doing yoga, surfing and diving. But you can still watch the turtles laying their eggs on some of the beaches and look at the monkeys.

In short, it's an area which has lost some of its charm but still seems to be an essential part of a trip to Costa Rica.

Surf beach on the Nicoya peninsula.
Laure Alvarez Travel writer
44 travel articles

Nicoya is the largest city on the peninsula that shares its name. It does not have a great deal to offer tourists but is well located for visiting various parks and beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula.

My suggestion:
Explore Barra Honda National Park and its impressive caves located not far from Nicoya.

The city of Nicoya does not have many tourist attractions to offer but does serve as the perfect place from which to visit the superb beaches and parks of Guanacaste (the province in which the city is located), particularly the impressive Barra Honda Park just a few kilometers away. This national park is an ideal place to go to if you enjoy getting off the beaten track to explore and experience new things. It is possible to go caving in the park as it contains a number of impressive caves dating from approximately 70 million years ago. The park also offers opportunities to go on very beautiful walks through jungle inhabited by howler monkeys!

Nicoya is the main city on the peninsula that shares its name and is considered the cultural center of the province. Due to the fact it was once the main colonial city, Nicoya contains the oldest church in Costa Rica.

Barra Honda National Park
Caves at Barra Honda National Park