Southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica

Here are some helpful descriptions of the surrounding towns and areas.

The white route on the map shows the common route of travel from the Paquera ferry and Tambor airport to Shaka Beach Retreat.

Cabo Blanco- Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was the first National Park to be established in Costa Rica . In 1963, thanks to the dedication of a Swedish couple Karen Morgensen , and Olof Wessberg land that had previously been farmed was left to return to its natural state for this pioneer project. Now 1250 hectares of forest and many kilometers of dramatic coastline are home to hundreds of animal and plant species (including the whitefaced and howler monkeys and the long-tailed coati) and Cabo Banco Reserve is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Cabuya-This small village is the gateway to Cabo Blanco Reserve. Offshore you’ll see cemetery island, and local fisherman in pangas. On Sundays the River Lajas resembles a swimming pool as people enjoy the cool crystal clear water. There are also a few good reef breaks for surfing.

Cobano-Situated in the heart of the peninsula is the town of Cobano. This community has developed into a bustling town with all of the conveniences. You’ll find high speed internet, a police station, government offices, a bank, doctors, lawyers, grocery stores, and boutiques to name a few. All roads going out of Cobano lead to a beach town.

Mal Pais-This tranquil and modest seaside village is best known for its rocky coastline and unspoiled nature. Here you’ll find tide pools, a fishing port, restaurants, and the canopy tour. Recent years have brought development to Santa Teresa, while Mal Pais has retained a quiet and tranquil atmosphere.

Manzanillo-Here you will find some of the quietest and calmest beaches. Beautiful sunsets can be enjoyed at the local beach bar. Fishing boats return to the beach at sunset just in time to deliver fresh seafood to the local restaurants.

Montezuma-Montezuma has been a favorite destination for years due to the bohemian flavor and picturesque location. The center of town is alive with shops, bars and restaurants, internet cafes, and a bookstore. Beautiful beaches, tide pools, and secluded coves provide a perfect place to explore. Many people enjoy hiking to the scenic waterfalls and natural pools for swimming. Several local tour operators can set up activities such as speed boat ride to Jaco, diving, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Paquera-This tiny town is the commercial center serving the farming communities and nearby beach villages. It is where the ferry from Puntarenas loads and unloads passengers and vehicles several times each day.

Playa Hermosa-Playa Hermosa is home to Shaka Beach Retreat. It is regarded as the best learn to surf beach on the peninsula. It is mainly a quiet upscale residential community, and home to the only bilingual private school in the area.

Santa Teresa-This popular beach town has become well known for its world class surf, delicious food, and amazing sunsets. You’ll find an interesting mix of funky stores, surf shops, cafes, abundant night life, tico restaurants, and international cuisine. The accommodations will suit any budget from luxury beach front to backpacker hostel.

Tambor-Known for its large sweeping dark sand bay, this town boasts a marina for fishing tours and scenic boat rides, a golf course, and world class hotels. Tambor is home to the only airport in the area, bringing visitors to the peninsula several times a day. The valley is surrounded by lush hills of green forest that are part of the biological corridor of Costa Rica, with the Curu Wildlife Reserve to the north, and the Islas Tortugas just offshore.