Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Café del Sol Lounge and Rooftop Bar

    Open sunset to midnight for tapas and cocktails, wine, and beer, this open-air lounge on the third floor has tasty drinks, fun music, dancing, guest DJs from New York, and a clubby feel you may not be expecting to find in the middle of the jungle. 

    Corner of Hwy. 911, Potrero, Guanacaste, 50304, Costa Rica
  • 2. Cafe Restaurant Organico

    There's live music almost every night and open-mic night on Monday at this Italian-owned hot spot. The fun gets started around 7:30 and goes late into the night if enough performers show up. Cool down with a bowl of excellent, chili-spiced, chocolate Italian gelato while you watch the show.

    Across from Cocolores, on beach road, Montezuma, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • 3. Chico's Bar

    Music blasts from the dark, uninviting entrance, but farther back is a brighter, spacious deck with pool tables and dancing. Directly behind is an open-air beach bar with a more laid-back atmosphere and a breezy ocean view. You're likely to see fire dancers in the street out front.

    On beach road, where main street through Montezuma ends, Montezuma, Puntarenas, 60111, Costa Rica
  • 4. Coconutz

    Local expats meet up at this popular sports bar and grill, which has an all-day happy hour from 9 to 7, TVs for Monday Night Football, a full range of bar food, craft beer, and live music most nights. Tuesday features karaoke at 7:30. There's also free Wi-Fi, but don't expect to be able to focus on work over the noise.

    Main road, across from El Coco Casino, Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 5. Crazy Monkey Bar

    Popular with the surfing crowd, Crazy Monkey Bar features live salsa music, a fire show, and DJs that attract locals who really know how to move—and a crowd of appreciative onlookers. Friday night is ladies' night.

    Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
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  • 6. El Vaquero Bar

    After a sunset surf session, pull up a bar stool in the sand and enjoy a craft beer made at the neighboring Volcano Brewing Company. Happy hour is from 5 to 7, and there’s live music on weekends. If you’ve worked up an appetite, try the chicken wings, jalapeño poppers, hamburgers, and nachos. This is the best place to watch the surfers over a cold one.

    In front of Economy Rental Car, next to Witch's Rock Surf Camp, Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 7. Father Rooster

    The best place to enjoy a quiet sunset margarita—or make that a “rooster-rita”—is at this laid-back bar and restaurant on the beach. You can relax on the wooden deck, or at the tables right on the sand, and enjoy a romantic dinner featuring fresh fish and Tex-Mex favorites. Portions here are huge, and there's free Wi-Fi, a pool table, a big-screen TV, and occasional live music to keep you entertained. It's open 11 to 10, though it does close for private parties so you may want to call ahead. Guests from the Four Seasons often anchor here for a drink before sailing back to Peninsula Papagayo.

    Ocotal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 8. Hotel El Velero

    This lively beachfront hotel has live music select nights, and Taco Tuesday (half-off tacos). The crowd is thirtyish and up.

    Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, 50503, Costa Rica
  • 9. La Luna

    Sip an exotic tropical cocktail or munch on hummus and pita bread while watching the sun set at this lovely Mediterranean restaurant and bar, which has settees and rattan chairs set out on the sand, as well as seats in the chic new indoor lounge. You'll most likely need a reservation for sunset.

    Beachfront, Playa Pelada, Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 10. Mariner Inn Bar

    This formerly boisterous bar has gotten an upgrade in service and a new, friendlier feel.

    Bottom of hill, entering Flamingo, Flamingo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 11. Micro Bar

    This tiny boîte of a bar is the coolest place in town, with an Escher-inspired tile floor and hip lighting. Bellying up to the bar is a pleasure; in fact, practically the entire space is given over to a handsome bar with an old-fashioned bar rail to lean on. A cool soundtrack accompanies your beer tasting. You can try a sample of any of the 16 Costa Rican craft microbrews on tap. Once you find your favorite, a 12-ounce cold brew costs around $5. A few high tables spill out onto the street, surrounded by groups of happy beer drinkers. Happy Hour runs 2–6, boasting two drinks for $9. 

    Beach road, across from Sámara Tree House Inn, Sámara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 12. Olga's

    Sunsets, with occasional live music, are the main events in the evening on Playa Pelada, and both locals and tourists gather to watch it here at this beach shack and bar with the best view. Olga's also serves an excellent fried whole red snapper.

    End of the road to Playa Pelada, Nosara, Guanacaste, 50206, Costa Rica
  • 13. Perlas

    Expats come for the microbrews, the satellite TV tuned to football, a game of Ping-Pong or pool, and the live music. Although the bar brings the people in, it’s the food that keeps them there—braised oxtail, pork ribs, tuna poke, and burgers seem to justify another round. If you stay long enough, you’ll find that the sweet homemade cheesecake goes surprising well with a bitter IPA.

    C. Principal, Avda. 3, Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 14. Playa Langosta Beach Club

    Sink into a comfortable chair at this chic poolside lounge on Playa Langosta to watch the sunset over the Pacific and listen to jazz under the stars (Tuesday 7 to 9 pm), or treat your ears to some Brazilian music on Friday.

    Tamarindo–Playa Langosta Rd., Playa Langosta, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 15. Potrero Brewing Co.

    In a land of Imperial, it's nice to find good beer. The friendly staff at this independent brewery serve up a tasty variety of stouts, IPAs, sours, lagers, and even root beer. They're conveniently located next to a beer garden of sorts, an outdoor food court with lots of options from burgers to pizza. Take a load off and sip a cold flight.

    Ruta 911, Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 16. Ranchos Itauna

    This beachfront restaurant-lounge in Santa Teresa is a fixture on the nightlife scene, with "SoundLab" Tuesday and Saturday, featuring international live and DJ music, from 4 to 11 pm. Salsa lessons, bonfires, and torch-fire shows add to the excitement. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists.

    100 meters (328 feet) north of Super Costa, Santa Teresa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • 17. Sharky's

    This is the biggest, most popular sports bar in town, with huge TV screens showing up to six games at once. After the game, both floors play extremely loud music for dancing. There's live music on Monday, karaoke on Tuesday, and ladies' night Saturday. If sports aren't your thing, the bar food is amazingly good. The action starts at 11:30 am and goes to 2:30 am.

    Avda. Ctl., Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • 18. The Gilded Iguana

    Live acoustic music on Saturday night draws a big crowd.

    Playa Guiones, Nosara, Guanacaste, 50206, Costa Rica
  • 19. Tropicana Discobar

    The popular Tropicana is where the Latin dance action is on Friday and Saturday nights, from 9:30 pm to 2:30 am, for locals who love to dance and visitors who want to salsa, too.

    Downtown Nosara, beside the soccer field, Nosara, Guanacaste, 50206, Costa Rica
  • 20. Villa del Sueño

    In high season, Villa del Sueño hosts live music on Friday and Sunday nights, as well as occasional concerts featuring top national bands and performers.

    1st entrance to Playa Hermosa, 500 meters (1,640 feet) west of main hwy., Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, 50503, Costa Rica

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