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Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

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Around Punta Islita, Costa Rica Pacific

From San Miguel to Punta Islita and on to Carrillo and Samara

The 33 km stretch of » road between San Miguel and Carrillo /Samara is sparsely settled and largely undeveloped. It's the ideal vacation spot for those who wish to get away from it all and find the real untouristy deal.

Rio Bejuco
Pelicans begging for fish in Puerto Bejuco

This isolated area is steeped in tranquility with honest and friendly locals scattered in tiny hamlets. You find beautiful beaches where your footprints in the sand might be the only ones for miles. Instead you might come across the tracks of a sea turtle as the whole coastline hosts important nesting habitats for 4 different species of sea turtles.

At the estuary of the Rio Bejuco a lagoon has formed which provides safe anchorage for boats. From the fishermen here you can buy fresh fish, or just watch the crowds of pelicans, wood storks and other waterfowl. The 3.5 km long beach of Bejuco is surrounded by estuaries with large stands of mangroves.

Playa Bejuco
The tide pools of Playa Bejuco

In the village of Bejuco another road leads to the beach with the Pilas de Bejuco. Around low tide long sandy tide pools form at the edge of the ocean and you can swim or just wallow in the warm waters with the surf pounding behind the rocks.
There are no houses on the beach and for most of the time you meet no other people.
 

Islita
Jungle touching the ocean

In Corozalito is the landing strip of Punta Islita which serves flights to San José. One kilometer further a road goes down to a lovely beach with camping tables and benches. Despite its small size Playa Corozalito receives large numbers of nesting sea turtles.

Continuing north the road steepens and winds uphill in hairpin bends through lush jungle where small rivers tumble down. The top of the hill affords breathtaking views of the entire coast until Mal Pais and Cabo Blanco.

Punta Islita Costa Rica
The halfmoon bay of Islita

Looking north you see a perfect horseshoe bay which is tipped by the rocky cliff of Punta Islita. The protected bay of Islita offers good swimming and is home to the remote luxury resort of Hotel Punta Islita.
The small village surrounding the hotel features houses and murals with cheerfull naive paintings and mosaics, and there is a souvenir shop with locally produced artwork.

From Punta Islita it is another 15 kms on the bumpy road uphill and down dale until you reach the paved road between Hojancha and Samara.

Playa Camaronal
Playa Camaronal with turtle hatching station

A small track leads down to the pristine beach of Camaronal. The 4.6 km stretch of beach which runs into the estuary of the Rio Ora is a protected wildlife reserve where leatherback, olive ridley, caret, and black sea turtles dig their eggs into the sand. There is a ranger station and rancho serving simple meals and beverages, as well as a camping site.

Among surfers Camaronal is also known for a good beach break. Surf trips are offered from nearby Samara and Carrillo.