Península de Nicoya (Nicoya Peninsula)

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The Nicoya Peninsula is a remote area in the wets of Costa Rica. It is difficult to traverse because if the lack of paved roads, but it includes some of the country's best and most deserted beaches. There are several wildlife reserves and national parks on the peninsula, but because of the area's inaccessibility they are rarely visited.

The Parque Nacional Marino las Baulas de Guanacaste, just north of Tamarindo is a good example of such a wildlife refuge. It includes Playa Grande, where baula (leatherback turtle) come to lay their eggs. These turtles are the largest in the world and can weigh more than 500 kg (1105 lb).

The Refugio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre Ostional, halfway between Sámara and Paraíso teems with wildlife, such as iguanas, howler monkeys, coatimundis and countless bird species. The park's most interesting feature is the annual nesting of the olive ridley sea turtle.

Some of the best beaches around the peninsula include Playa del Coco, near the village of El Coco, Playa Tamarindo, which offers excellent surfing and windsurfing possibilities, Playa Sámara and Montezuma, near the peninsula's southern tip. The last two beaches are among Costa Rica's prettiest and safest.

If you like caving, you should go to the Parque Nacional Barra Honda, northeast of Nicoya, which includes some of Costa Rica's most interesting caves.

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