Costa Rica’s west coast, including the Nicoya and Papagayo Peninsulas, has the lion’s share of luxury beach resorts, jungle action, and water sports.

Whether you go for thrills or chills, Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula delivers in spades. Watch the surfers negotiate the barrel waves or indulge in a decadent spa scene where you’re forgiven if you do as little as possible. But with the promise of sloths, turtles, or the streak of a scarlet macaw across the sky to search for, there’s plenty to tempt you deeper into Costa Rica’s famous wilderness.

Then you’ve got the Papagayo Peninsula – a smaller peninsula north of Nicoya – where there’s a bounty of luxury hotels to return to after days of ziplining and river rafting, with a camera full of shots of the jungle and its exotic residents, including iguanas, monkeys, and hummingbirds.

Speak to our travel experts about Costa Rica and finding the perfect hotel as a base for your adventures.

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Nicoya & Papagayo Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Nicoya & Papagayo

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

A chic family-friendly resort overlooking Culebra Bay

Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection

Cut into the hillside on the Nicoya Peninsula, this eco-friendly hideaway comes with a host of fr...

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

Family-friendly adventures and glossy grown-up retreat on a private peninsula fringed by two stun...

Nantipa Hotel

Nantipa is a beautiful bolthole that’s hidden in the palms on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.


In the small surf town of Santa Teresa, Florblanca is a cool vibe escape of coconut sorbets, styl...

Get to know Nicoya & Papagayo and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT -6 hours


Costa Rican Colón


11 hours


Christianity (majority Roman Catholic)


Spanish; five indigenous languages are also spoken

Where are Nicoya & Papagayo?
The Nicoya Peninsula is an 80-mile hook of land on the west coast of Costa Rica, lapped by Pacific waters and the Gulf of Nicoya. The Papagayo Peninsula lies a little north and is much smaller, with Culebra Bay to the east and the Gulf of Papagayo to the west.

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Nicoya & Papagayo beaches
Long curves of rainforest-fringed beaches stand ready for less active pursuits —you can easily find a pristine patch to sit back and enjoy the view. Take a stroll at Golden Hour to marvel at the incredible sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.

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Nicoya & Papagayo activities
Whether you want to try water sports, go on an incredible rainforest hike, kayak slowly through atmospheric mangroves, or feel the exhilaration of ziplining through the tree canopy, the Nicoya and Papagayo Peninsulas are adventurers’ playgrounds.

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Wellness in Nicoya & Papagayo
World-class spas offer many treatments rooted in ancient practices or draw on local ingredients. Alongside facials and massages, expect to find healing and wellbeing treatments designed to be utterly restorative.

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Blue Zone
The Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s five Blue Zones, where people lead healthier lives and have longer life expectancies, accredited to a positive outlook among elders and a focus on family.

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Spot colourful birdlife, from delicate hummingbirds and quetzals to incredibly bright macaws. Then there are the mammals and reptiles, from slow-moving sloths and stealthy jaguars to incredible iguanas.

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