6 unmissable experiences on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica

The southern most tip of the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica is one of the most difficult places to reach in the country but the journey is well worth the effort. It is also becoming one of the most popular spots in the country too as it has a combination of several incredible surf spots, deliciously world class restaurants and a handful of truly luxurious places to stay. Make sure to tick these experiences off your list when you are there. Enjoy!

1. Ride with cowboys

Take a horse riding tour through a 5000 acre private beachfront farm with a cowboy and a guide with Ario Tours in Manzanillo. The two hour tour takes you to places that no cars or vehicles get to and you ride with the cattle, feeling like you are being transported back in time. It is utterly peaceful and you see stunning vistas up the coastline finished off with a gallop along the empty beach and an ice cold beer. Heavenly.

Horseriding

2. Eat world class sushi

Taste anything off the menu at Koji’s sushi restaurant Playa Hermosa De Santa Teresa and you will not be disappointed. The artist that is Koji makes exceptional Japanese dishes, served by the delightful staff and cocktails that are equally divine in a magical night time setting. The only issue is that they are often fully booked, so get in early.

3. Immerse yourself in nature

Kayak to a deserted beach at Curu national park, Paquera with Olingo Tours. Start the day at 6am where you are met by Jepo, owner and passionate sustainable guide extraordinare! Once at Curu, you are taken on a hike to see monkeys, anteaters, crocodiles and masses of birds and butterflies. Then comes the really fun part, when you pile into kayaks and head for the deserted beach where Jepo makes a delicious lunch for you all. It is an amazing day out surrounded by the beauties of the natural world.

Curu

4. SUP paddle at sunset

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is an amazing way to get into surfing and also have an awesome upper body work out. Andy at Freedom Riding, Mal Pais is an expert and all round nice guy and runs the company with his wife. They have several tours for beginners and advanced riders and you will be in awe of the views out back behind the waves.

SUP paddle

5. Treat yourselves to a couples massage

Florblanca Hotel, Santa Teresa has an incredible spa, called Bamboo that has often been featured in Conde Nast’s best global spas lists. The design of the space alone makes you feel like you have been transported to another world of serenity. The couples experience is unique starting with the coffee or coconut scrub, followed by a full body massage, bath and topped off with a glass of Champagne what is there not to love.

Bamboo spa

6. Catch the sunset

Catch the sunset at Rocamar Beach Lounge, Santa Teresa on Sundays for their Beach Family Gatherings with puraSonica. This is THE place to be on Sundays where locals mix with tourists, there are live puraSonica DJ’s playing beach sunshine music, fire dancing hoopers, aerial acrobatic performers, Argentine BBQ, capoeira dancing and one of the best surf spots at Suck rock too. Head there anytime after 3pm… cocktails, ceviche and beers also flow till after sunset.

Rocamar

Dahlia Nahome is the General Manager of Rancho Cielo.

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Comments (4)

  1. Ian Ford says:

    What is the best month for a nature visit? Are there times when one is more likely to see the wildlife?

    Is there any season to avoid? I gather in can be pretty wet there in late summer.

  2. Dahlia says:

    Hello Ian. There are two distinct seasons here. The dry one and the wet one…both are about the same in temperature.

    The rains start in May and the really heavy ones come sometime during late oct and early november and then we go into summer time from Mid November till the following April / May.

    I love the rainy season and actually prefer it to the dry months.

    Hope to see you down here!

  3. Ian Ford says:

    Hello Dahlia

    Thanks for responding.

    A bit of rain sounds good. Might skip the really heavy stuff though.

  4. Zene says:

    Ian, if you want to see wildlife the best time of year to come is during the rainy season months of July thru September. Everything is in bloom, there is plenty of food for the birds and monkeys, butterflies and hummingbirds are everywhere and the temperatures are moderate. During the dry season you really don’t see as much as so much of the wildlife is laying low, avoiding the heat and especially in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula area of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais, the development and tourism. If you want to go off the beaten path and enjoy barefoot luxury, check out Playa San Miguel/Coyote area…more wildlife there than hotels and tourists!

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