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Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – Where should I go…?

Written By: Gary on April 2, 2008 One Comment

NicoyatipwhereSo far I’ve only explored the southmost point of the Nicoya Peninsula and stayed in Montezuma. I want to explore more of the Pacific coast next trip (later this month).

I’m looking for tips on where to travel and places to stay. As requirements for places to stay go: walking to beach distance, hot showers and air conditioning (not fancy, cheap is better). There was a pullout section of the TicoTimes a few weeks ago but it only seemed like it covered the ultra fancy hotels and resorts.

I just want to wander around the towns and the ocean and find some waterfalls and stuff like that.


Any thoughts or suggestions on what not to miss? restaurants to eat at? or hotels to stay at?

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One Response to “Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – Where should I go…?”

  1. Erica says on: 8 April 2008 at 9:46 pm

    We just spent half of our trip (about 3 days) in Manuel Antonio. I believe you can fly Sansa or NatureAir into Quepos there from both Liberia and San Jose.

    Be prepared for the heat, rain, and humidity. Maybe it’ll cool off a bit in the green season. It was extremely hot and humid during the first week of April.

    Manuel Antonio is pretty tourist oriented. Both MA and Quepos are extremely backpacker friendly. In MA There’s a main strip with a bunch of tour operators, guides, t-shirt sales, restaurants, etc. We stayed at the Hotel del Mar. With tax it was about $100/night for a room with air conditioning, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. Front desk staff was *really* friendly and helpful. 200m walk to the beach, 300m to the main strip, 400m to the national park. The Hotel Coco Beach Inn (or something like that) was a little closer to town and had a pool if you care about that sort of thing.

    I was really unimpressed with the national park and I’d say it’s not worth it to hire a guide. The beaches in there are much nicer and mostly deserted so take your towel with you.

    We really liked the $10/day beach chair/umbrella rental. There’s also a couple stalls near one end of the beach where they fire up a big grill and you can get a pretty good meal for about $5-$7.

    We loved the ultralight flight from the Quepos airport. The pilot guy is super nice.

    The “main strip” in Quepos is basically a bunch of hotels, restaurants, and hostels in a row. The Hotel Mono Azul in Quepos looked pretty cool and had a lot of services. Not sure about the cost. All their gift shop proceeds go to rainforest preservation. They have internet access.

    We spent the earlier part of our trip in Atenas, closer to San Jose. We hired a driver to take us everywhere (which was fine). We did the Waterfalls Canopy Tour near Jaco. There are a ton of canopy tours, but I was told that there’s no safety regulation and this was one of relatively few well-run operations. The roads out of Quepos/Manuel Antonio are so bad it was much easier/faster to drive to Jaco from Atenas, even though it doesn’t look like that would be the case from looking at a map. I was told Jaco is pretty much a party town and a great place to learn how to surf.

    Hope that helps!

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