Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   Nicoya, what would you do? (

rpowell Jun 17th, 2011 01:25 PM

Nicoya, what would you do?
Six of us (ages 30+ and 60+) are planning a March trip. Having been to Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero and La Fortuna, we are considering a week on the Nicoya Peninsula. If you were planning this trip (from SJO) how would you plan your time? Where would you stay and what would you do for transportation? In the past we have used the shuttles but would consider a rental car. The 30-somethings seem to think that Tamarindo is the place to go. I have my reservations about that based on Fodor's guidebook. I found an amazing rental (VRBO) in Langosta, but am leery about that being too touristy also. We don't need a lot of nightlife, just good beaches, hiking, animals, fishing, etc. Help!

qwovadis Jun 18th, 2011 03:00 AM best for me usually

My top 3 all your options

Have fun

costaricaguide Jun 18th, 2011 04:14 PM

Tamarindo is bars, shops, hotels, restaurants and mini-resorts with decent surf in front, condo towers in the middle and backed by a mix of semi-successful and totally failed housing developments. It's the largest most developed beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula and the main reason I recommend it to people is because they are seeking nightlife.

If you're not there for the shopping, restaurants and nightlife then Tamarindo might not be ideal. There are lot's of other choices but I'll toss out Montezuma or a rental house along the coast towards Cabuya. Close to Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature reserve and Curu wildlife refuge.

If you do end up in Tamarindo transfers are probably an okay way to go. If you head south into the remoter parts of the Nicoya you'll probably be happier if you rent an SUV so you can explore.

HappierWithLess Jun 19th, 2011 07:45 AM

Tamarindo is a fun town but very touristy. I think a better idea is to stay in Flamingo/Potrero area and then you can visit Tamarindo (it is a fun place to be). You can get the best of both worlds.

What I love most about Costa Rica is the ability to stay in places that are more remote. I love Hotel Sugar Beach for that reason. It's great to be the only one on a beach with monkeys jumping in the trees. It helps to clear your head and unwind, the reason why you are going on vacation in the first place.

Plenty of activities in this area as well. just opened and they rent lots of equipment (kayaks, snorkel, mountain bikes, paddle boards). Perfect stuff to do when you are not doing a canopy tour.

Have fun. Costa Rica is the one of the best places in the world.

hipvirgochick Jun 19th, 2011 06:32 PM

I've avoided Tamarindo, like you, based on years of reading and hearing what it's about and it just doesn't appeal to me. Agree with suggestions above to consider Montezuma and depending on how much time you have spend some time in Mal Pais. I really think a 6 passenger rental would work best for you based on where you want to go and size of group.

rpowell Jun 20th, 2011 11:40 AM

This is exactly what I wanted to know. We don't need the nightlife, shopping, resorts, etc. The 30-somethings have been hearing reports from friends who have loved Tamarindo, but I think they loved the resort vacation more than a Costa Rican vacation. We'll focus more on the southern tip. Would the ferry be the wisest transportation choice?
Thanks for all the great advice.

PlayaCoyote Jun 20th, 2011 02:34 PM

Now that you've decided on the south, I'm going to recommend the middle, specifically, Nosara (Playa Guiones). A bit of a town for those who want it but also a beautiful beach and surrounded by lots of nature. Turtles close by in Ostional and plenty of monkeys, etc around. Many nice rental homes in the area. I've rented some nice ones from Harbor Reef but there are many from VRBO as well.

rpowell Jun 20th, 2011 06:30 PM

Thank you for your input. I will look into that area as well. How did you get there from SJO? I love those monkeys!!!!!

cmazza Jun 21st, 2011 03:11 AM

I spent a week in Montezuma and loved it, It has many activities and great places to eat. The town is a fun funky town shops and bars for the couple who want to go out. I thought it was the perfect combo area. We rented a house.

PlayaCoyote Jun 21st, 2011 07:10 AM

SJO to Nosara. My favorite route is: new highway to Puntarenas, ferry to Playa Naranjo, drive to Nicoya and then on to Nosara. Alternate is to skip the ferry and drive to the Amistad Bridge and then on to Nicoya and Nosara. No need for an alam clock when you have a troop of monkeys in the trees surrounding the house.

Enchanting_girl Jun 22nd, 2011 10:51 AM

You can also head Mal País-Montezuma-Santa Teresa area, beaches are very beautiful and you can find several things to do, the places are very secluded.
You can head Puntarenas by Route 27, then take the ferry to Paquera and depending on your location drive around one hour and half.
Hope this helps! Check out this website with general info:

rpowell Jun 24th, 2011 05:29 PM

Thanks for the web site. It answered many questions especially about the ferry system. Would you recommend having a car in either Montezuma or Nosara? Since there are 6 of us, we thought having a driver drop us off would be more cost effective than getting a large car, paying for gas and insurance, and having to worry about driving issues.

Enchanting_girl Jun 27th, 2011 06:52 AM

You´re correct with that, its advisable to rent a car, especially with 6 people, you can save some $$$$.

cmazza Jun 27th, 2011 01:24 PM

we went to montezuma 3 couples and did not have a car. we took a taxi from the airport and back and rented atv to explore one day we also took transportation to cabo blanco. You do not need a car around town

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:38 AM.