green hills meet the Pacific Ocean here at the Nicoya
area, in northwestern Costa Rica.
This combination makes for scenic beaches, and the Nicoya
Peninsula has miles of them. The Gulf of Nicoya is in
the protected area of the peninsula. These slow moving
waters are is dotted with small islands and is a haven
for a variety of marine life.
The pace here is slow and relaxed, and unlike Tamarindo,
which is also on the Pacific coast, not as many visitors
make it here. So this is a great place to truly escape
it all, even in Costa Rica. The part of the Gulf of Nicoya
that meets the land turns into the Tempisque River. Slow
moving currents make this area shallow and muddy, perfect
habitat for nesting birds and an ideal environment for
the mussels, crabs and shrimps that nestle in the roots
of these federally protected mangroves. These smaller
animals thrive on the abundant algae, which grows in the
water in Nicoya.
The thick woods that cover the hills at the lower part
of the Gulf of Nicoya hide secret bays, which are hidden
from view. Deeper, saltier water and even less civilization
make this a distinctly different experience from the upper
part of the gulf. There is a lot of marine life but it
is in the form of larger fishes. Different types of monkeys,
armadillos, anteaters, jaguars, mountain lions, and giant
turtles make this marine sanctuary part of their habitat.
Tortuga Island Nicoya Gulf is a small island of 112 hectares
that is leased from the government by the 12-member Cubero
family. They allow eco-friendly tourism activity such
as small cruise ships and tours to be conducted here.
The environment here is a dry tropical forest, so it is
often dry and has an extended summer season. Tortuga Island
Nicoya Gulf gives you a distinct tropical island feel
that is different from the rest of Nicoya. Immaculate
white sand beaches, turquoise water and coral reefs make
this spot an irresistible lure.
The town of Nicoya, further to the north, is the first
Spanish settlement in Costa Rica and is a center for activity
and a great place to explore the different companies offering Costa Rica fishing and other types of excursions to the Nicoya Peninsula.
A trip to this area takes extra planning and effort, as
it is off the beaten path. But when you stand on an unspoiled
beach with the cries of exotic animals filling the air
as you gaze into the deep blue horizon, you will be so
glad you came here, to the Nicoya Penisula Costa Rica.