Cobano, Costa Rica

Cobano is the local hub of the whole southern Nicoya Peninsula. Roads to all beaches (Santa Teresa, Mal Pais and Montezuma) pass through the small town, and when going from one beach village to the other you mostly have to backtrack via Cobano.

Cobano Nicoya Peninsula
Center crossroad of Cobano

Thirty years ago Cobano was little more than a scattering of houses and cattle farms in a remote Costa Rican area. At that time the coastal villages received their supplies by boat from Puntarenas because roads didn’t exist or were impassable with a car. When roads improved and transportation shifted from sea to land Cobano found itself at the crossroads between the beach spots and quickly developed into a little town.
As the administrative and commercial center of the Southern Peninsula de Nicoya Cobano hosts the only post office in the area, along with a clinic (Costa Rican citizens only), the municipality, electricity office (ICE), police station and schools.

Cobano Costa Rica
Cobano on a national holiday

While tourists and expats populate the beach areas, Cobano has retained its pure Tico feel. Only during the day the town fills up with people taking care of their business. After sundown Cobano returns to its sleepy roots. Buying supplies in Cobano can spare some money, as supermarkets and stores are cheaper than
in the beach villages. There are also two gas stations a kilometer out of town. Unlike other towns in Costa Rica Cobano doesn’t offer a park or other recreational area in the center of town. For eating you find some small sodas where you get simple traditional meals, and for staying overnight there are some few no frills cabinas and rooms available.

Map of Cobano

For a long time, the Banco Nacional in Cobano was the only bank to serve the entire southern Nicoya Peninsula. Now there are two more banks in Santa Teresa/Malpais and an automatic cashier in Montezuma. Keep in mind that for all bank affairs in Costa Rica you will need your passport. Traveler’s cheques are rarely used in Costa Rica and most hotels will decline them. Open hours of Banco Nacional in Cobano are from Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 3:45 pm. Outside the bank building an ATM cashier is open from 6 am to 10 pm which accepts all major credit cards.

Post Office:
The only post office of the southern Peninsula de Nicoya is open from Monday to Friday 8 am – 12 md and 1 pm – 5 pm. Btw: the postal code (zip-code) of Cobano and surroundings is 60111.

The clinic in Cobano is the only medical center of the whole southern Nicoya Peninsula. It’s very small and does not even have lab services, or X-rays. Medical services anyways are restricted to members of the Costa Rican national insurance. For foreigners there are paramedics and doctors in Santa Teresa.

Rodeo in Cobano
El Tope – the parade of horse riders

Fiestas de Cobano

A major attraction are the » Fiestas Cívicas de Cobano held for two weeks each year in February. On the party grounds, 1 km from Cobano center, is a fair with carousels, food and sales stalls.
On each day of the fiesta the main event is the rodeo in the late afternoon, where dare-devil cowboys ride on big bulls. When the rodeo is over there is dancing in the saloon with Cumbia and Ranchero music. One of the most colorful events is the tope, a parade of horse riders, which takes place on Saturday afternoon.

Driving distances from Cobano to
Santa Teresa
Playa Carmen
14 km
Mal Pais village16 km
Manzanillo17 km
Montezuma6.6 km
Cabo Blanco15 km
Tambor12 km
Paquera Ferry *39 km
Jicaral77 km
Nicoya127 km
Liberia210 km
San Jose (* via Ferry)148 km