Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific coast, stretching down from the sheltered Papagayo Gulf and wrapping right around to the rugged Nicoya Peninsula, is one of remarkable contrasts. Further north around Tamarindo is often the driest year-round beach destination in Costa Rica, making it the ideal base for a few days on the beach during the European summer months of July and August. Here you will find both sprawling resort towns hosting international chain hotels and also more peaceful fishing villages with smaller hotels and guest houses, offering calm beaches and a more relaxed vibe. As the land wraps south around the more exposed Nicoya Peninsula, road access becomes more limited with short flights or ferry transfers often the most convenient way to get to your beach hotel. Santa Teresa and Montezuma are regional gateways to some more developed villages (with a predominantly surfing and yoga vibe), but beyond this the beaches are more isolated. This does mean you will find some tranquil hidden gems such as Punta Islita, perfect for those looking to completely escape the crowds.
The topography of the entire region is such that you will find few of the turquoise coves often seen in typical marketing campaigns of Costa Rica (these are to be found concentrated around Manuel Antonio in the Central Pacific). There are, however, some key advantages to be had for choosing a beach stay here stay here. In addition to the chances of drier weather in the rainy season, those looking for a more characterful hotel with direct access to a swimming beach and some unforgettable sunsets will find Northern Pacific their perfect base for a few days’ relaxation.