In Pictures: The Beaches of Costa Rica’s Rugged Nicoya Peninsula

Santa Teresa has become a haven for beach-lovers from around the world. Beach bars, hotels, and restaurants—all small operations run by Ticos or expats—line the shore. Here a local entrepreneur sells ice cold coconut water—very refreshing on a hot day. Nosara is a center for surfing, yoga, and health and wellness retreats. And its tight-knit community of retirees, young families, and business owners have done a lot to improve the community, including building a local library. You can find many residents on the beach at sunset. Next door to Santa Theresa is the more rural settlement of Malpais. And at the end of the road in Malpais you'll find a fishing cooperative run by locals with decades of history  in this area. Montezuma is a tiny fishing village turned funky beach town on the far southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Locals still head out on open boats called pangas to try their luck. And sometimes they’re joined by expats like this gentleman trying his hand at surf-fishing. Montezuma, at the far southern tip of the Nicoya, is actually on the eastern side of the peninsula. So instead of sunsets…you get thrilling sunrises like this one over the glistening Pacific. It’s worth getting up early for.
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Nosara is a center for surfing, yoga, and health and wellness retreats. And its tight-knit community of retirees, young families, and business owners have done a lot to improve the community, including building a local library. You can find many residents on the beach at sunset.

In many ways, the Nicoya Peninsula is off the radar of most tourists and expats who make their way to Costa Rica. A large landmass jutting out into the Pacific, it’s harder to get to and travel around than most areas of the country, due to lack of quality roads. Some spots are best reached by ferry from the mainland.

But those who do make the journey or set up new lives there are rewarded with pristine beaches, vast unspoiled natural areas, and laid-back village life—with a healthy mix of bohemian flavor.

There are beach communities on the Nicoya’s Pacific coast that have become home to in-the-know expats over the years. Let’s check out a few in the slideshow below…

 

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