Traveling to the Nicoya Peninsula by Car
From San José drive on the Interamericana to Puntarenas (120 km) where you take the ferry to Paquera or Naranjo. Or continue on the Interamericana, direction Liberia, and turn off at km 168 to the road leading over the Tempisque bridge.
From Liberia drive down the highway to Santa Cruz, which is the fastest way to get to Tamarindo. To get to the middle and southern part of the peninsula you can also drive on the Interamericana until km 168 and then take the road over the Tempisque bridge.
Back to Nature
There is only one year-round driveable road which connects the northern with the southern part of Nicoya Peninsula.
See » Along the Gulf from Naranjo to Paquera
Shorter routes from Montezuma and Santa Teresa to Samara are not negotiable during rainy season and are difficult to find.
See » Road Map from Cobano to Playa Coyote.
Rent a car:
Sixt Car-Rental in Costa Rica
San Jose and international airport
The Nicoya Peninsula is notorious for its horrendous roads. Few parts are paved and potholes abound. During rainy season giant mud holes can make tracks impassable, while in dry season you and your car will be shaken on terribly rutted and dusty roads. A four-wheel-drive is advisable for this region.
Going under in rainy season
There aren't many gas stations on the Nicoya Peninsula. On the southern peninsula there is one in Paquera, two in Cobano and one is at two kilometers from Santa Teresa. On the northern Nicoya Peninsula you should fill up on gas before driving along the coast from Nosara to Tamarindo. The closest gas station in Tamarindo is in Huacas, 12 km north of Tamarindo. In a pinch you can ask locals if someone sells gasoline from a barrel.
Patience while driving is a virtue. Car accidents are frequent due to bad road conditions and unexpected hazards. Avoid driving at night.
Attention: Never leave any valuables in your car when you leave it alone! See » Travel Safety