Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

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


Cabuya, Costa Rica

Map of Cabuya:

Map of Cabuya Montezuma Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve Hotels in Cabuya

Hotel Guide with Rates and Descriptions » Hotels in Cabuya

From Montezuma heading south, you'll find a scenic road along the beach to Cabuya and on to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.

Cabuya Montezuma
River bathing near Montezuma

The road first passes by a steep-sided jungle with huge boulders, covered in the roots of strangler figs and vines. Small rivers tumble down the slopes and on to the beach forming natural pools, some of them large enough for bathing and swimming.
After two kilometers you arrive at Playa Las Manchas, a pretty white-sand beach with clear turquoise water where you can snorkel and swim.

Playa Los Cedros
Playa Los Cedros on the way to Cabuya

A little bit further comes Playa Los Cedros, the best surf spot around Montezuma. A picturesque coastal landscape, framed by palms and old trees, extends until Cabuya. There are usually very few people on this stretch of coastline. Instead you see crowds of pelicans diving for fish and frigate birds soaring overhead.

Cabuya Strangler Fig
The big strangler fig of Cabuya

A bridge leads over the Rio Lajas where » egrets, herons and kingfishers are frequently seen. You can watch the wildlife while taking a bath in the lagoon at the estuary or in one of the rocky pools of the shallow riverbed. An upriver hike of 3 kilometers would bring you to a small cascade.

Back on the road, shortly after the Rio Lajas bridge, you spot an impressive natural monument: the Higuerón de Cabuya, a huge strangler fig. With a diameter of around 22 m and an altitude of almost 40 m it is the largest of its kind in Costa Rica.
7 km after Montezuma you arrive in the quaint little village of Cabuya.

Cabuya Island
Entrance to the cemetery of the Cabuya Island

Another rare attraction of Cabuya is the small cemetery island (Isla de Cabuya), located a hundred meters off the coast. In pre-Columbian times the Indians used the island as a burial ground and until today funerals are held here.

View across Cabuya with Cemetery Island

At low tide a causeway over the rocks makes it possible to walk to the island to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere with views of the » Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. The reef on the extreme tip of the Cabuya Island is a great spot for snorkeling. Even without snorkel equipment, you can see colorful fish in the rocky tide pools.

A small public bus connects 4 times per day to Montezuma and to the entrance of the Cabo Blanco Reserve, 2 km from the village of Cabuya. In dry season there is also a shortcut to Mal Pais on a rough 7 km dirt road over the hills. See: » From Malpais to Cabo Blanco