The Nicoya Peninsula is located on the Pacific coast in northwest Costa Rica and contains parts of the Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces. It is the largest peninsula in the country. Because of world famous beaches on the northern pacific side of Costa Rica, some of the premier tourist destinations are located within the peninsula. Nicoya, a town located near the center of the peninsula, is one of the major commercial and transportation centers.
Located in Guanacaste are two of the most traveled spots in the country: Tamarindo and Playa Conchal. Tamarindo is a hip surf town with an active nightlife. People from all over the world travel to Tamarindo for its board shorts and tank top vibe, not to mention its constant waves. From sunrise at 5:30am to sunset at 6pm, surfers congregate along the beach and in the water, surfing to their hearts desire. Right on the strip in Tamarindo is a series of great restaurants, bars, and clubs where you can meet people from around the world. Playa Conchal, which translates to shell beach, is one of the world’s most elegant beaches for swimming and hanging out in the sun. Its white sand and sparkling blue waters make any lodging along the beach a gem!
A very popular destination in the Puntarenas Province is Montezuma. It is located at the very southern tip, and is known for its gorgeous, gushing waterfalls, scenic rivers, and, much like anywhere on the coast in Costa Rica, its beaches. Montezuma is frequented by backpackers and eco-tourists who seek the natural views in the area, as well as the highly regarded yoga and healing arts centers.
Traveling to the Nicoya Peninsula is surprisingly easy to people who have yet to visit Costa Rica. Sitting just atop the peninsula is the brand new Liberia airport. Flights from New York take under 6 hours, and flights from southern parts of the US can be as short as 3 hours! From there, taxis or rental cars will get you to the coast in less than an hour.
In most of the Nicoya Peninsula, there is virtually no rainfall during the months of December to April. In May to November, there is often an hour of rain in the afternoon at night, with greater chance of a few days of torrential downpours during the months of September and April. However, a few days of rain is the worst weather experienced in Costa Rica! Temperature hovers around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
In general, Costa Rica is becoming a more recognized place for expatriates. Retirees, students, families, and people of various lines of work are currently moving here to experience the Costa Rica lifestyle. So depending on your needs an interest, the Nicoya Peninsula is as good as any place in Costa Rica to vacation or relocate.