Set up a TF Honeymoon Wishlist and we'll contribute €100 to get you started Set up a TF Honeymoon Wishlist and we'll contribute £100 to get you started
TF's Peace of Mind Policy
- find out more
Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula

Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula Holidays

Costa Rica really does have a beach for everyone, from bustling towns with fabulous restaurants and hip beach bars to laid back surf retreats and secluded coves. The Papagayo Peninsula is the darling of the Guanacaste Coast and the most developed part of this region. This area is easily accessible by road from San Jose or from Liberia airport and here you can find high-end boutique hotels, excellent golf courses and the upmarket Marina Papagayo. A little further along the coast the lively surf town of Tamarindo offers a great choice of restaurants, shops and bars alongside its long stretches of picturesque beaches.

As you travel south along the Nicoya Peninsula the terrain becomes increasing rugged and isolated with towns becoming more difficult to reach (which can be part of their appeal!). Most towns are accessed via bumpy, unpaved roads and the road along the coast is often forded by rivers which flow out the ocean. The coast stretches through the surf mecca of Nosara along to smaller beach towns like Santa Teresa and Montezuma and the sleepy fishing hamlet of Malpais. Visting these towns feels a little bit like stepping back in time (in a good way!) with sandy streets sprinkled with quirky bars and beachfront restaurants. Small but perfectly formed these relaxed hideaways boast gorgeous beaches, fabulous surf and embrace the Costa Rican spirit of Pura Vida!

Alongside the stunning beaches you will also find swaths of jungle, wildlife refuges and lots of marine life. Many of the beaches are protected and are important breeding grounds for several species of marine turtle who return here every year to lay their eggs. With a long dry season and wide choice of accommodation Guanacaste or Nicoya are the perfect place to end a Costa Rica holiday. This stunning region has been designated a 'blue zone' - an area where people live noticeably longer and healthier lives, and once you've visited it's easy to see why.


Costa Rica in Style
11 days / 10 nights
from £3,158
  • Stylish accommodation
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Scenic landscapes
  • Papagayo Peninsula

  • Toucans, Tree Tops & Beach Time
    14 days / 13 nights
    from £Please contact us
  • San Jose
  • Central Valley
  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Arenal
  • Papagayo Peninsula

  • Wellness, Wildlife & Waves
    11 days / 10 nights
    from £3,024
  • Yoga & relaxation
  • Ocean vibes
  • Deliciously fresh food

  • Costa Rica Road Trip: City to Surf
    11 days / 10 nights
    from £1,618
  • Be amazed by majestic Arenal Volcano
  • View the diverse bird and wildlife of Monteverde
  • Relax on the beautiful and rugged Pacific coast

  • Go Wild in Costa Rica
    13 days / 12 nights
    from £Please contact us
  • San Jose
  • Monteverde
  • Santa Teresa
  • Uvita
  • Corcovado National Park

  • Wellness Costa Rica
    8 days / 7 nights
    from £Please contact us
  • San Jose
  • La Fortuna
  • Vieja Volcano National Park
  • Playa Carillo


    undefined map
    Papagayo Peninsula
    The Papagayo Peninsula is the darling of the coast and here you can find high-end boutique hotels, the upmarket Marina Papagayo, exclusive beach clubs and excellent golf courses. Though more developed than the rest of this coast it is still wild and beautiful (70% of the area is protected land), so is perfect for those who want a dollop of luxury with their wildlife and adventure.

    Boasting some of Costa Rica’s most popular beach resorts, all overlooking the Pacific Ocean, there is something satisfy all tastes, from boutique bolt holes to luxurious resorts. The beaches in this area are often in sheltered coves with gentle sloping sands so these are generally suitable for swimming which can make them a goo choice for families.
    The bustling surf town of Tamarindo offers a great choice of restaurants, shops and bars alongside its picturesque beaches. These palm lined beaches stretch for miles and are excellent for surfing, a little way outside of town there are several more incredible bays which are also well worth visiting. Playa Flamingo and Playa Conchal are simply stunning stunning, whilst Playa Grande is an important nesting site for leatherback turtles.

    Tamarindo is probably this busiest town on the Guanacaste Coast so it's not for everyone, but it is perfect for those who want a bit more going on. Though the town is growing it still retains a low key vibe and there are several charming properties here which we love.
    The sleepy region of Nosara has a relaxed ambience with a focus on health and wellness, and of course surfing! The town of Nosara is fairly unremarkable but the star attractions are the idyllic Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada. These gorgeous stretches of beach are backed by jungle and have some of the most reliable surf breaks in Costa Rica.

    The town of Playa Guiones has some fabulous boutique hotels and offers a few laid back bars and eateries, eco tourism is king here and you will find an abundance of yoga classes, wellness retreats and health food cafes to nourish both the body and soul. Ostionel Wildlife Refuge is located nearby and is an important nesting ground for thousands of marine turtles, in nesting season this beach is well worth a visit.
    Southern Nicoya Peninsula
    As you travel along the coast you will find isolated beaches, stunning rugged mountain landscapes and untouched bays away from the crowds. Samara offers a huge expanse of beach with calm waters and Punta Islita has some lovely protected bays. Further south the small towns of Santa Teresa or Montezuma are a delightful place to stop for a few nights, striking an elegant balance between simplicity and style with jungle-backed beaches and relaxed eateries serving super fresh seafood and craft beers.

    Only a few miles away, a visit to the sleepy fishing village of Malpais is like stepping back in time and is perfect for those who truly want to get away from it all - but without going too far! From these towns you can visit the Montezuma Waterfalls and several nature reserves.


    Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
    Papagayo Peninsula
  • 2 secluded sandy beaches
  • 4 pools
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa
  • 3 restaurants & a bar
  • Kids’ club

  • Capitan Suizo

    Cala Luna Boutique Hotel
  • Small beach
  • Pool
  • Spa & yoga
  • Restaurant & bar

  • Harmony Hotel

    Tango Mar
    Southern Nicoya Peninsula

    Nantipa Hotel
    Southern Nicoya Peninsula


    Surf Lesson on the Guanacaste Coast
    Approx 2 hours
    from £77

    Trailfinders is Trustpilot’s No.1 rated travel company
    Our latest south & central america holiday reviews

    Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula Fast Facts

    Time Zone


    Flight Time to Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula


    Visa Required?

    £20 Off your visa service charge if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

    Recommended Immunisations

    Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio booster
    Hepititis A (vaccine recommended)
    Yellow Fever

    20% Discount off immunisations at our London Travel Clinic if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

    Trailfinders Travel Insurance

    Enjoy comprehensive cover in Guanacaste Coast & Nicoya Peninsula from just £73 for 7 days with our superb value Single Trip Travel Insurance.

    Visa information given is given for British citizens holding a valid UK passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. Immunisation guidelines assume routine UK childhood immunisation has been given and will not apply to all situations. Medical advice should be sought. Your Trailfinders consultant will advise you of the specific visa and immunisation requirements for your trip.


    Our free Viewtrail App stores your essential travel information in one secure place, ensuring we are with you from start to finish.
    • View your travel plans on or offline, wherever and whenever you wish
    • Live flight notifications - real time information as you travel
    • Online check-in links and pre-tour notifications
    • Luggage allowance
    • Mapped places of interest - restaurants, shops, stations...plus route guidance back to your hotel
    • View e-vouchers and export them to your Apple wallet
    • Secure access to booking history, profile and insurance contact information
    • One touch emergency contact 365/24/7
    • Add to calendar function
    • Countdown to travel
    • Local time, weather, translator and exchange rate calculator
    Don't Miss Out

    Sign up for our Email and be the first to hear about our Red Hot Offers and Travel Inspiration.

    Order a Brochure

    Our full range of 2020 brochures and the latest edition of the Trailfinder magazine are out now - get ahead of the rest and start planning your next escape.

    Get In Touch
    Submit An Enquiry

    If you can provide a few more details we can look at the best available options before we call you.