80° BY THE SEA
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Soft white sand and casually leaning palms fringe this island of tropical dry forest off the southern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. Sounds heavenly? It would be if there weren't quite so many people. Tours from Jacó, Herradura, San José, Puntarenas, and Montezuma take boatfuls of visitors to drink from coconuts and snorkel around a large rock. On the boat ride from Playa Tambor or Montezuma you
might spot passing dolphins. Though state owned, the island is leased and inhabited by a Costa Rican family. It makes for an easy day trip out to sea, costing $20 to $109, depending on the duration and departure point.
The large windswept bay at the very top of Costa Rica's Pacific coast is the second-windiest area in the country, after Lake Arenal, making...