South Guanacaste

South Guanacaste corresponds to the southeastern coast of the Peninsula of Nicoya. Its northern limit is the “Punta Cerritos” and its southern limit is the Bongo River, stretching a length of approximately 130 kilometers of coastal front. Nicoya is its main tourist center, followed by the town of Sámara. “Santa Cruz”, “Carmona”, “Hojancha” and “Nandayure” are other important towns located in this region.

The main attraction of South Guanacaste is its beaches. On the beaches of Ostional and Camaronal nest several species of tortoises that are in danger of extinction; the Lora and in smaller quantities, the Baula. The Lora, the smallest and most abundant one of all the sea turtles of the world, is protected in the Refuge of wildlife Ostional, while in the Refuge of Mixed wildlife Camaronal protects the Baula, which is the largest sea turtle on the planet.

The tropical mangrove swamps of the zone are still well conserved mainly in the beaches of Islita, bejuco, San Miguel, Coyote and Guiones; ideal places for bird watching and other types of fauna just like the practice of smooth water sports like kayaking.

Corals are not abundant in this sector, because of its geographical characteristics, but there are some colonies used for diving. This is especially possible in “Playa Carillo” and the exterior rocks that protect the Bay of Sámara.

The Bridge over the river Tempisque facilitates fast access to all the regions of the center and south of the Peninsula. Besides traveling by plane to nearby airports in Tamarindo, Carillo and Islita, any other route will surely guarantee a long trip to visit this destination.

The most important beaches of the region are:

Playa Ostional
Ostional is a long beach with enormous waves, located near Nosara. It is internationally known as a place of gathering of the green tortoise, whose arrivals occur between July and November. This beach forms part of the Refuge of wildlife Ostional. Consequently, this beach and the entire coast toward the south of Punta Guiones form part of the National Refuge of Wild Fauna Ostional.

Playa Nosara
A beach that harbors a beautiful estuary and an extensive mangrove swamp (Nosara River), this beach can be traveled through in rowboats and in kayaks to observe their flora and fauna, and especially their abundance of exotic birds. In the town of Nosara and in the proximity there are some basic services and amenities for tourists and some activities to include horseback riding tours and kayaking.

Playa Guiones
“Playa Guiones” is an extensive and ample beach adequate for indulging in long walks and horseback riding tours and great for sunbathing and surfing. It offers all kind of touristic services and amenities close by.

Playa Garza
It occupies a beautiful moderate swell bay and begins in the south with an estuary where the “Garza” River ends as a mangrove swamp. Toward the north and on the other side of the “Punta Garza”, a rocky beach is found called “Playa Rosada”, due to the color of its sands. It is a small fisherman town that offers great suntans, and sportfishing.

Playa Sámara
Sámara is one of the largest beaches of Guanacaste, with almost 4 kilometers of coastal extension. It has a moderate swell and tons of vegetation: mangrove swamps, diverse plants and coconut groves. Nearby we can find the “Chora” Island. “Sámara” is a perfect destination for kayakers, to walk along the beach, to horseback ride, to bike, to sunbathe and to enjoy the clear waters. On this beach tourists have access to an extensive range of services. It too has Ecological Blue Flag declaration.

Playa Carrillo
This beach is located 5km from Sámara and 43 kilometers from Nicoya continuing the route Nicoya-Curime-Caimital-Belén-Terciopelo-Marenco-Sámara-Carrillo; its location and closeness to hotels and business make it a perfect strategic point for investors. It extends almost 3 kilometers, and its coastal line is covered with beautiful palm trees perfect for long walks. It’s docile and calm waters make it a perfect place to swim in the ocean, suntan and exercise. It too has Ecological Blue Flag declaration.

Playa Marbella (Frijolar)
Marbella beach strecthes 1.5 km and is located 14 km from Nosara and 19 km from Tamarindo. It has great conditions for surfing, and its location next to a river and an area of environmental conservation makes it a favorable place to swim and fish.

Playa Islita
Islita is a bay with a stream of tranquil water and two estuaries, aspects that add greater beauty to the landscape. The bay offers marvelous views of rocks and is a place where a tourist can walk, suntan, horseback ride, bike ride, and practice sport fishing and diving.

Playa Coyote
This beach is perfect for taking photographs of impressive landscapes that reveal the generosity of the nature. Its calm swells are ideal for browbeating and the coast of both beaches extends almost 8 kilometers. This place is ideal for horseback riding, walking and relaxing.