Costa Rica PuntarenasAt just four meters above sea level, the city or port of Puntarenas features extensive beaches for enjoying sea and sun. Historically the place for national tourism and recreation offers a variety of quality tourist services appealing to international visitors as well.

Puntarenas now boasts a cruise ship terminal at the remodeled Puntarenas Wharf, which has a series of piers and docking areas from which ferries depart for established tourist destinations such as Paquera and Cóbano (every two hours starting from 4:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.), as well as tours around the islands and mangrove swamps in the Puntarenas estuary.

As a place of relaxation and leisure, Puntarenas offers food and drink typical of the area, especially delicacies from the sea. The ceviche from the local market and available in restaurants and hotels is famous. Tourists may also visit several interesting buildings and historical sites.

Puntarenas BeachesThese beaches stretch along “Puntarenas” entire coast between the mouth of the Río Barranca and the place known as La Punta (“The Point”), where this extensive length of shoreline ends. The area between the wharf (Cruise Ship Terminal) and La Punta is the preferred place for swimmers; running parallel to this stretch is the Paseo de los Turistas (“Tourist Strip”), with its numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and other services. Besides swimming, visitors can enjoy other water sports and activities, such as boat tours.

Virgin of the SeaEach year on July 16, boats adorned with flowers and colorful streamers commemorate the long-ago day when a group of fishermen, castaways at death’s door, were rescued just after calling upon the Virgin for help. The festival features various aquatic and sporting competitions, as well as all kinds of recreational activities for kids and grownups alike.

Puntarenas CarnivalParades, seaside concerts and many other recreational activities create an ideal environment for sharing culture with the people of Puntarenas. The carnival takes place in February, during the dry season—perfect weather for enjoying the beach and all the carnival’s events.
Puntarenas Paseo de los TuristasRunning parallel to Puntarenas’ main beach, the “Tourist Strip” is highly frequented for its variety of quality tourist services. It stretches from the Parque Marino del Pacífico (the old train station) to La Punta. Next to the cruise ship terminal there are handicraft shops and stands where visitors can enjoy traditional fruit salads and crushed-ice drinks called “Churchills.” Along the strip, tourists can make use of other facilities such as fields for playing sports, green areas, showers, restrooms and all the necessities for beach enjoyment

CobanoCobano is located at 158 m. of altitude. It features a good development of services and commercial, with diverse tourist businesses that offer their packages in lodging and food and tours, among others. Is the starting point for visiting places of great tourist interest such as Montezuma, Preserve of Cabo Blanco and Malpaís.

A local hub for the many neighboring areas, Cobano is now a central town in the south of the Nicoya Peninsula with pharmacy, legal services, bank and medical assistance in the area.

At night, the best place to hang out is at a rancho bar in the center of Cobano. Here, many Ticos and tourists gather after sundown to grab a bite to eat along with a beer. If you happen to be in Cobano at night, visit this bar and try out a delicious local Costa Rican snack known as ‘boca” a have some “Guaro” a hard local alcohol.

A major attraction of this town is also its annual rodeo held for three days in either February or March, which kicks off with a horse parade. There is also a big fair held with bull riding, food stalls and plenty of dancing.


Costa Rica MontezumaMontezuma was a small remote fishing village until the 1980’s when it began to gain a repute of being an ideal budget location for the nearby areas of the Cabo Blanco National Park, the Isla Tortuga and the Curu Wildlife Reserve. Nowadays a popular hangout for young foreign travelers, who enjoy the village’s laidback lifestyle, Montezuma is a carefree place with a mellow vibe.

Though this tiny village retains most of its tranquil atmosphere, it is now a huge beach party stop teeming with younger tourists. After the sun sets, Montezuma is the place to be on the peninsula, with plenty of bars and discos found throughout the village. The entire area comes alive with music and dancing and you can find plenty of people relaxing and having a good time.

The beaches along the Montezuma coast are nice and pretty, separated by rocky outcrops and the surfing can get good. Besides surfing snorkeling along the reefs, boogie boarding and horseback ridings are a few of the popular activities here.

When in Montezuma, do visit the beautiful Montezuma waterfalls just outside of town. Over 50 feet high forms a refreshing natural pool surrounded by exuberant vegetation, this waterfall is a popular tourist attraction with many people jumping into the shallow pool below.


Costa Rica Playa TamborThis beach is located inside the Bahía Ballena, which at the same time has Playa Pochote in its northeastern extreme. This bay has the particularity of having two alligator-shaped points. Tambor has leafy coastal vegetation, and a wide range of touristic services.

Situated amidst lush green hills, this town is quite well developed and has its own airport, which is the only local airport in the southern region of the Nicoya Peninsula. SANSA offers one regular daily flight to Tambor, while Nature Air has two flights a day. With a flying time of just under half an hour, catching a plane to Tambor is a great option for those who want to start the fun right away.

Chosen as the location for Temptation Island 2, a hit Fox TV series, Tambor is now becoming a fast growing tourist travel destination. There are plenty of hotels and resorts found in the area including the Barceló Playa Tambor Beach Resort, Costa Rica’s first all inclusive resort and the Los Delfines Golf and Country Club, which has a 9 hole golf course on its premises.

A major attraction of this town is that every year whales migrate from the north to the warm waters of Ballena Bay to mate and give birth amid the abundant marine habitat found here. Bordered by two rocky platforms to the north and south, Tambor beach is protected from ocean swells, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

Tambor is also a great place to use as a stop over if you wish to go to Tortuga Island, or if you wish to visit the beautiful and diverse Curu National Wildlife Refuge or Cabo Blanco National Park. With lots of foliage, bird watching is quite popular out here. While for the more active and adventurous, there is plenty of hiking, horseback riding and various water sports to be enjoyed in the area. Plus with some excellent deep sea fishing opportunities and golfing, there is a lot to do out here.


Costa Rica Playa Santa TeresaPlaya Santa Teresa is a beautiful white/grey sandy beach with swells that are superb all year round. It has a wide coverage of coastal vegetation and beautiful rocky sectors such as Peñón de Arío, located in the north. Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve can be watched toward south of Santa Teresa beach.

Fast becoming a surfing hotspot especially among international surfers, Playa Santa Teresa is an ideal beach for surfers of any level. Here, swells range from moderate to strong. While surfing conditions are excellent throughout the year due to consistent off shore winds, the best time to visit Santa Teresa beach is from May to December, which is the “green season”. During this time, swells at Playa Santa Teresa are at their peak.

Besides the plenty of surfing opportunities available at the beach, there are other activities that one can enjoy as well. Horseback riding, hiking and canopy tours are also on hand. If you prefer, you can spend a leisurely day just sunbathing on the seashore. Santa Teresa also has plenty of tropical vegetation nearby, and you can also explore Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife. You can also arrange a day trip to the gorgeous Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve that is a few minutes away or you could go out to sea for a deep-sea fishing excursion.

Paquera Costa RicaThe tiny village of Paquera is perhaps most well known for being a ferry terminal from Puntarenas City. Most of the people who travel here mainly do so because they are either catching a ferry to or from Puntarenas, to get to either San José or any of the beautiful beaches on Nicoya’s southern coast. A tranquil place with a relaxed atmosphere.

A nice place to spend a quiet evening, Paquera is a great stopover if you are visiting the lovely Reserva Isla Los Negritos, which just a short boat ride away. The accommodations and restaurants here are pretty decent, and there is an internet café in the village as well as a gas station. There are also some tour operators in the village that can arrange snorkeling trips to the Isla Tortuga or a short day trip to the Curu National Refuge, 6 km south of Paquera.

Costa Rica MalpaisA small costal community some 150 km west of the capital city San Jose, around 4 km north of the Cabo Blanco National Park, this quaint beachfront village is fast becoming one of Costa Rica’s hottest tourist attractions. Extending some 6 kilometers east to west, Mal Pais is a great place to kickback, relax and surf some great waves.

A surfer’s paradise with consistent waves, good swells and a long beach break, Mal Pais is a rocky beach with sandy stretches and is covered with pretty seashells. With lush vegetation growing alongside the coast, this uncrowded area is prefect for those who want a peaceful and quiet vacation away from the crowds. Regarded as one of Costa Rica’s best Pacific Coast beaches.

With waves that are ideal for the beginner as well as the expert surfer, this beach also offers plenty of water sports such as fishing tours, sport fishing, and scuba diving, kite surfing and snorkeling. For those who prefer some land-based activities there is horseback riding, canopy tours, mountain biking, quad biking and some great hiking trails to explore

If you are an avid bird watcher, Mal Pais is home to a huge number of coastal and migratory birds that are a treat to see. The nightlife here is also plenty of fun, with a number of bars and parties held on a frequent basis. However, there are plenty of quiet places along the beach’s secluded coves, reefs and tide pools to have a romantic evening.

Great weather all year round makes Mal Pais, among Costa Rica’s trendiest vacation destinations. Usually uncrowded most of the time enjoys the area’s natural beauty with plenty of luxury and affordable accommodations, bars and restaurants dotting the coast. A major pastime here is just relaxing on the beach or sunbathing.

Costa Rica Organos BeachThis beach is located four kilometers from Paquera. It presents a length of little less than two kilometers and has an estuary (Organos) and a mangrove swamp located in the north sector. The beach is very popular among the residents of the nearby towns. It possesses great scenic and natural beauty, Tortugas and Negritos Island can be seen from it coast.
Curu Beach Costa RicaIt is located inside the Curu National Wildlife Refuge and is a beautiful little inlet, with smooth swelling. It has coastal vegetation and a mangrove swamp, congos and carablanca’s monkeys as well as raccoons, iguanas and many other animals can be found on its different types of forests. It possesses a very pleasant coastal landscape from where you can see the Tortuga Islands, two kilometers away. Is an ideal place for bathing, flora and fauna observation and resting in full contact with this beautiful refuge.
Carmen Beach Costa RicaThis beach is located in an intermediate point between Santa Teresa and Malpaís, exactly in the sector where the access road to this coastal sector forks: north to Santa Teresa and south to Malpaís. Besides enjoying the sun and the beach, this seaboard is great for hiking and horseback riding, as well as mountain biking and admiring the varied and rich coastal vegetation. Also very visited by the surfers.
Cabuya Beach Costa RicaIt is located seven kilometers south of Montezuma and two kilometers north of the Absolute Nature Preserve of Cabo Blanco. Also communicates with Malpaís through a convenient, very picturesque road for double-tractioned cars. Is an open-sea and rocky beach. Have plenty coastal vegetation and strong swelling. It possesses a beautiful coastal landscape, where Cabuya Island, which has the particularity to be a pre-Colombian native cemetery stands out. During the low tide you can get there by foot, since there’s a rocky platform that unites it with the coast. It is an ideal beach to carry out walks and to observe the nature, especially in Cabo Blanco.
  • Protected Areas

Curu National Wildlife RefugeCurú is a private property declared National Wildlife Refuge. It is constituted by beaches, mangrove swamps and beautiful forested hills. The Refuge is flanked by sedimentary rock’s hills, which form cliffs and inlets.

Some animals that one may observe in the refuge are: garrobos, iguanas, deer, congo and carablanca monkeys, raccoons, coyotes, pizotes, tepezcuintles and other. Likewise, more than 100 species of birds have been identified there. Mollusks and crustaceans can be found in its ponds and rocky areas.


Cabo Blanco Nature ReserveLocated 10 kilometers from Montezuma on the south end of the Nicoya Peninsula, this preserve protects 1,272 hectares of land and 1,700 hectares of marine territory. Its primary and secondary (in natural regeneration) forests contain around 140 tree species, both evergreen and deciduous. Wildlife includes deer, Congo and white-faced monkeys, coyotes and squirrels. In terms of seabirds, there are brown pelicans, brown boobies, frigate birds and more.

Cabo Blanco is a lovely area with untouched beaches that can be reached via the existing trails. One of the beaches is called Balsitas, less than two kilometers offshore of which lies Isla de Cabo Blanco, a rocky, white island that is home to a great number of frigate birds and brown boobies.


Receive BD News
on your e-mail

Enter your e-mail address: