Known for world-class surfing, the Nicoya Peninsula is home to some of the best stretches of coastline for catching waves. But if you're not a surfer, you can still enjoy these idyllic beaches with horseback riding, relaxation, or stand-up paddleboarding. Then take your adventures inland to kayak through the mangroves, explore the jungles, and visit Costa Rica's famed Macaw Recovery Network, which is responsible for releasing over 200 of the colorful birds back into the wild.
Best of the Nicoya Peninsula
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Nicoya Peninsula Essentials
As a world leader in eco-tourism and wildlife conservation, Costa Rica is known for its abundance of wildlife. With half of the country covered in forests, an intricate network of waterways, and nearly endless coastline, wildlife spotting alone draws travelers to Costa Rica. You can spot beloved sloths, monkeys, and frogs in the rainforest, watch turtles nest on the beaches, go birding in national parks, explore the jungles by night, and visit wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Costa Rica offers adventures suitable for all ages, making it an excellent choice for a family vacation. Kids and adults alike love spotting wildlife, ziplining through cloud forests, learning how to surf, touring organic farms, and much more. The unique experiences you can enjoy in Costa Rica—a country leading the world in eco-tourism and wildlife conservation—will leave a lasting impression on the entire family for years to come.
Nicoya Peninsula Itineraries
On the northwestern edge of Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula features a spectacular beach scene attracting young expats who are spoiled for choice with year-round swells and seaside open-air yoga studios. With 10 days to explore the region by four-wheel drive, you’ll base yourself in three quintessential surf towns: Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa.
Get ready for a laid-back beach vacation to the stunning beaches of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Península. This slow-paced trip allows you to slow down and adjust to the Costa Rican lifestyle of pura vida in four quintessential surf towns: Tamarindo, Nosara, Playa Sámara and Santa Teresa.
Get ready for a laid-back beach vacation to the stunning beaches of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Península. This slow-paced trip allows you to slow down and adjust to the Costa Rican lifestyle of pura vida in three quintessential surf towns: Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa.
This 10-day vacation includes a self-drive road trip through some of Costa Rica’s most notable beaches. Take in the sites along the Nicoya Peninsula, including plenty of opportunities to snorkel, paddleboard, kayak, and swim your way through each stop. Surfers can catch breaks at several destinations on the list–Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa. Take some time to relax, stroll each beach town, and enjoy local Costa Rican fare along the way.
You'll travel to three of the best places in Costa Rica to ride the waves on this 11-day trip. Start in Jacó, one of the most renowned surf spots in Costa Rica. Then, head to Playa Santa Teresa, home to major surf competitions and some of the most consistent waves in the country. End the adventure in Playa Tamarindo for surf days that end with glorious Pacific Coast sunsets. You'll also have time to relax on the beach and explore the country's vast wildlife.
This 7-day itinerary is perfect for travelers who want a comprehensive beach holiday. You'll arrive in Liberia, the hub of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province. From the airport, head south to Playa Sámara, a coastal village on the Nicoya Peninsula. Then, make the drive back north to the popular surf town of Tamarindo, where you'll spend your days riding the waves and taking part in nature excursions—you might even get to see nesting sea turtles, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Experience the best of Costa Rica's tropical forests and its beaches on this week-long itinerary. You'll explore the rainforest via suspension bridges and zip-line tours while spotting exotic birds, playful monkeys, and other wildlife. Then, it's on to the western Nicoya Peninsula for a few days spent snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing at the beach.
This fun, five-day Costa Rica itinerary takes in many of the country's natural highlights, from wildlife reserves to beautiful beaches. Enjoy a combination of outdoor activity and relaxation, structured and free time, to ensure your quick trip to Monteverde and Samara is just what you want it to be. As this is a self-driving tour you can go at your own pace.
Experience the best of Costa Rica's rainforest, volcanoes, and Pacific beaches during this 16-day self-drive adventure. You'll explore the jungle via suspension bridges and zip-lines, and even have a free day to go whitewater rafting or relax in the charming town of La Fortuna. Then, it's time to head westward to the Nicoya Peninsula where you'll adjust to the laid-back vibes of three quintessential surf towns: Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa.
Embark on this five-day adventure that introduces you to the natural beauty of northwestern Costa Rica. You'll get to witness native animals during rainforest and sea tours, hike through Arenal Volcano National Park and stand on the active side of the volcano, and take up various activities at Sámara Beach, from snorkeling to horseback riding and laying on the golden sand.
Costa Rica's rainforest, volcanoes, and beaches are yours to explore on this two-week self-drive tour. Take in sweeping views of Arenal Volcano as you zip-line over the treetops, then enjoy a hands-on chocolate-making class. Next, it's on to the Pacific Coast for world-class yoga studios, pristine nature reserves, and breathtaking sunsets—the Nicoya Peninsula offers something for everyone.
10 days is enough to enjoy Costa Rica's immense natural beauty and exotic wildlife. This combined luxury/adventure itinerary allows you to experience it all, first in Arenal Volcano National Park, and then by visiting the rivers and waterfalls of the Tenorio region. You'll finish on the unspoiled coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula, riding horses at sunset, kayaking through mangrove forests, and snorkeling at coral reefs.
Costa Rica offers an array of adventures, from city to cloud forest to sea. This ten-day itinerary includes hiking near an active volcano, some of the world’s best bird-watching, and snorkeling with sea turtles. Travelers will get to know the culture of local villages as well as that of San José, Costa Rica’s dynamic capital.
On this eight-day journey through the Costa Rican outdoors, you’ll discover the biodiverse native flora and fauna of Monteverde, along with the stunning beaches of Santa Teresa. From ziplining through the forest canopies to surfing at world-renowned beaches, your outdoor adventure awaits.
On this 13-day itinerary you'll get to enjoy many of the adventure sports and outdoor activities Costa Rica is famous for. This includes hiking and river rafting in the Arenal region and Tenorio National Park, plus snorkeling, paddleboarding, and horseback riding on the beach. And at the end of each day, you'll retire to the luxury hotels and eco-lodges that will serve as your accommodations during this adventure.
Travel to three of the best destinations in Costa Rica to ride the waves on this 6-day trip. Start in Playa Santa Teresa, home to major surf competitions and some of the most consistent waves in the country. End the adventure in Playa Tamarindo for surf days that end with glorious Pacific Coast sunsets. You'll also have time to relax on the beach and get acquainted with the country's vast wildlife.
Recharge your batteries with a quick six-day jaunt to the tropical paradise of Costa Rica. This luxury holiday in the north of the country covers the major highlights, like Arenal Volcano and the unspoiled beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Not only will you get to view exotic wildlife on various nature tours, but you'll also get some exercise in with rainforest hikes and kayak excursions along the coast.
This family-friendly trip allows you to experience two sides of Costa Rica. Begin in La Fortuna—home of the stunning Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall—to enjoy nature walks, hikes, and an excursion over hanging bridges. Then, it's off to the Nicoya Peninsula for a few days of fun in the sun, snorkeling, nature discovery on Tambor Beach. The trip winds down in San José to do some sightseeing.
On this active luxury tour of Costa Rica, you'll explore the nation's most distinct locations. First, it's a trip to Arenal National Park, followed by a visit Tenorio, home to the Celeste River, whose ethereal blue waters are the stuff of dreams. Finally, you'll laze on the unspoiled beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and even horseback riding on the beach.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Costa Rica on this unforgettable 16-day itinerary. Focused on the country's spectacular northwest, you'll hop between three secluded destinations—Rincón de la Vieja, Río Celeste, and Nosara. By day, embark on a series of adventurous excursions like ziplining through cloud forests, horseback riding to hidden waterfalls, and surfing on tropical beaches. In the evenings, you'll relax and unwind at luxury eco-lodges.
This tropical getaway will appeal to anyone who's ever wanted to experience Costa Rica's most famous sites as well as its exotic wildlife. Over nine days you'll travel through the north of the country and stay in luxury accommodations between embarking on active excursions. This includes such diverse activities as hiking and nocturnal nature walks to kayaking and horseback riding on the beach.
Explore Costa Rica off the beaten path on this family-friendly 8-day itinerary. Start with some rainforest adventure as you hike to waterfalls and volcanoes in Arenal and zipline through the forest canopy in Guapiles. Then shift gears and head to the pristine Nicoya Peninsula, where you'll relax on golden beaches, snorkel the coral reefs of Tortuga Island, and spot dolphins, sea turtles, macaws, and monkeys at the Curu Wildlife Reserve.
On this 12-day adventure, you'll enjoy the most famous activities in Costa Rica. You'll do it all, from river rafting and jungle hikes to wildlife tours, snorkeling, horseback riding, and even stand-up paddleboarding. The journey combines luxury accommodations with outdoor excursions as you travel from Arenal Volcano to the waterfalls of Tenorio National Park and finally to the beaches of Guanacaste Province.
You can experience the highlights of Costa Rica without racing around the entire country. On this 15-day luxury adventure, you'll travel around the north, first visiting the famous Arenal Volcano before heading into Guanacaste Province for waterfall hikes, rafting safaris, and nocturnal nature walks. You'll finish the journey on the coast, where you'll enjoy activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Escape to northern Costa Rica for a luxury vacation you'll never forget. You'll pack a lot of adventure into just seven days, and these active excursions include waterfall hikes, nocturnal nature walks, and river safaris. Throughout the trip, you'll travel between the inland rainforests to the sun-kissed beaches of Guanacaste Province—and each night you'll relax in the finest luxury accommodations in the country.
If you thirst for adventure yet also enjoy luxurious creature comforts, then the north of Costa Rica is the destination for you. Beginning in the Arenal Volcano region, you'll travel to Tenorio National Park and hike along the neon-blue Celeste River. Then it's off to the Nicoya Peninsula, where you'll enjoy every tropical beach activity under the sun, from snorkeling and kayaking to paddleboarding and even riding horses at sunset.
The secret to a perfect tropical vacation involves the right balance of luxury and adventure. On this 11-day tour of Costa Rica's north, you'll visit rainforests, rivers, and waterfalls by day, and relax in the hot springs of luxury hotels by night. Then you'll head west to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy adventures like snorkeling around coral reefs and horseback riding on beaches at sunset.
In just over a week you can enjoy the best activities in Costa Rica and visit its most exotic locales. First, you'll travel to Arenal and Tenorio National Park, where you'll embark on nocturnal nature walks, soak in natural hot springs, and hike along sky-blue rivers to tropical waterfalls. Then it's off to the coast, where you'll enjoy more wildlife-spotting excursions as well and active adventures like kayaking along the coast.
As one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world, Costa Rica makes an effort to protect its natural resources and biodiversity. Travelers on this trip will be able to enjoy the many facets of this beautiful country. You will hike up the Arenal volcano, relax in natural hot springs, zip-line through the forest, and snorkel the pacific. You will also do a behind-the-scenes tasting tour of a coffee and chocolate farm, which will stimulate all your senses.
On this nine-day getaway, explore three of Costa Rica’s most prized beaches, parks, and nature reserves—along with plenty of downtime. First, venture to Dominical, home of a biodiverse national park and a great base for watersports, like sea kayaking and tubing. Then, head to Jacó Beach to take a jungle river cruise and zipline over the rainforest. Next is Santa Teresa Beach to see a nature reserve and a massive waterfall. The trip winds down with some sightseeing in the capital city of San José.
Enjoy a few of the best outdoor highlights of Costa Rica on this nine-day adventure. Do some sightseeing in the capital city, then conquer the rapids on a rafting trip down the Pacuare River. Next, go canyoning, head out on a nature walk, and soak in the hot springs around Arenal Volcano. Then, explore the cloud forest of Monteverde on horseback and go ziplining through the canopy. The trip concludes with some surfing, snorkeling, and relaxation on Samara Beach, before returning to San José.
This two-week itinerary is perfect for eco-minded travelers thirsting for a comprehensive Costa Rican adventure. Kick off the journey in metropolitan San José before braving the whitewater rapids of jungle rivers, hiking the base of Costa Rica's most famous volcano, exploring rare cloud-forest eco-systems, and learning to surf (or polish your skills) and Pacific beaches. Enjoy spotting many of Costa Rica's wildlife species along the way.
This self-guided road trip is ideal for those who love nature. You will visit the highlights of the country, from the infamous Arenal volcano to the misty cloud forest, to the beautiful beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula. Along the way, you will zip through trees on zip lines, swim in waterfalls, and also have a chance to spot the wildlife (from monkeys to the resplendent quetzel) on naturalist lead walks.
Explore the highlights of Costa Rica, from volcanos and jungles to beach and surfing in one self-drive vacation. Arrive in Liberia and head to Tenorio National Park, where you'll hike along the electric blue waters of the Río Celeste. Next up is Arenal Volcano National Park, a hotbed of adventure activities. After a waterfall trek and whitewater rafting excursion, drive to Monteverde for a zip-line tour of the cloud forest canopy and a guided wildlife night hike. Finally, it's off to the beaches of Sámara and Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula for surfing and relaxation.
Time to hit the open road and enjoy the wonders of Costa Rica on this 11-day self-drive tour. Your adventure begins on the Pacific beaches of Tamarindo and Nosara, both gems of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province. On top of exploring and surfing these beaches, you'll make pit stops in coastal villages and glean insight into the local culture. Continue your journey eastward to the towering Arenal Volcano. Here you will soak in natural hot springs and brave whitewater rapids on a rafting trip.
This fantastic 11-day itinerary includes many of Costa Rica's greatest hits. You will venture into some of the country's most beautiful national parks to enjoy hikes, relax in hot springs, go on beach excursions, spot wildlife, and more. In this trip, you won't just be looking outwards, but also inwards, with wellness activities and yoga lessons. Waking up to the sound of waves and trying new poses with the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop will help you be even more mindful during this unique experience.
This 11-day itinerary allows you to enjoy a comprehensive Costa Rican experience that will take you from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast and everything in between. Beyond the virgin rainforest and exotic wildlife, however, you'll also get to experience Costa Rica through its delicious flavors, be it local cuisine or the famed coffee grown in its volcanic soil.
Combine a beach holiday and jungle adventure in one self-drive vacation. Arrive in Liberia and head to Tenorio National Park, where you'll hike along the electric blue waters of the Río Celeste. Next up is Arenal Volcano National Park, a hotbed of adventure activities. After a waterfall trek and whitewater rafting excursion, drive to Monteverde for a zip-line tour of the cloud forest canopy and a guided wildlife night hike. Finally, it's off to the beaches of Sámara and Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula for surfing and relaxation.
On this unique 12-day Costa Rican adventure, you'll travel overland from one coast to the other by mountain bike, river raft, and kayak. It beings with cycling along the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, past the Tilarán Mountains, and traveling down the Río Pacuare to the Caribbean coast. You'll even have time for adventure sports in the Arenal region like waterfall hikes.
This Costa Rican escape packs a year's worth of adventure into a mere 13 days. It begins on the Pacific coast with mountain-biking around the beach followed by cycling to the interior highlands, waterfall hikes, visits to volcanoes, and whitewater rafting. The trip culminates on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, where you can relax in paradise before heading home.
Why pick only a couple Costa Rican adventures when you can enjoy many? On this two-week packed itinerary, you'll cycle around coastal mountains, hike to exotic waterfalls, soak in natural hot springs, brave the rapids of tropical rivers, and more. In the end, after all the activity and exertion, you'll spend the last days relaxing on Costa Rica's famous Caribbean coast.
If you want to truly experience Costa Rica then you need to travel overland, on your own power. This 15-day adventure offers exactly that, as you'll experience the highlights of Costa Rica by mountain bike, river raft, and even kayak. You'll travel to the highlight locales, from the Pacific coast to towering Arenal Volcano before ending the journey on sun-kissed Caribbean beaches.
Costa Rica is known for its tropical waterfalls and golden beaches, but equally impressive are its towering mountains and wild rivers. The best way to experience all of it is on two feet, two wheels, and a raft. This 16-day adventure takes you from the Pacific and Caribbean coasts to inland mountains and volcanoes for some of the most exciting cycling, rafting, and kayaking in the world.
Costa Rica offers a number of exotic adventure activities, be it cycling near tropical beaches, traveling around active volcanoes, or braving the whitewater on a rafting trip. On this nine-day active tour of Costa Rica, you'll do all of this plus hike through rainforests on suspension bridges and trek to exotic waterfalls. You can even soak your weary muscles in natural hot springs.
Costa Rica is a small nation yet it boasts an immense amount of natural wonders such as active volcanoes, rainforests, and raging rivers. Over 11-days you'll experience it all on a combined mountain-biking/rafting adventure. You'll cycle along the Pacific coast, soak in natural hot springs, and brave the rapids of the Pacuare River before capping the tour with some unforgettable sunsets on the Caribbean coast.