It is the second city of the county of Guanacaste, but its history dates back many years. It is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, 198 Km from San José via the Puente de la Amistad; you can also get to here via Puntarenas, Naranjo-Nicoya Beach or via San José-Liberia-Nicoya: the six districts are: Mansión, San Antonio, Quebrada Honda, Sámara and Nosara, it has extension of 1.333.68 Km2. Its altitude is from zero to 500 meters above sea level. Nicoya has three important areas of tourist attraction such as the beaches of Sámara and Nosara, as well as the Mata Redonda Lake and the Corral de piedra lagoon; it has the Barra Honda National Park, with a beautiful landscape, vegetation and fauna, and above all its caves, some of which have been unexplored.  One of the oldest cities in Costa Rica, Nicoya was founded during the middle of the XVI century as a market and a religious center for the surrounding villages, which was then made up of Indian Chorotega slaves. The pillar of local culture during the colonial period was the San Blas church, the oldest magnificent temple in our country. San Blas is still the most impressive in the city, and at present, houses an archeological museum with modest treasures from the Pre-Columbian period. The largest celebration in the city takes place on the 12th of December, the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe. And like many other festivals in Guanacaste, there is music, local dances, rodeos and cattle exhibitions and large displays of local food. Nicoya is situated on the bank of the Río Grande de Térraba, half an hour by car to the south of Santa Cruz and three hours to the north of Naranjo Beach and the terminal for the Ferry that crosses the Nicoya Gulf. This area is used is a good base from where you can go on excursions to Barra Honda National Park, as well as the beaches to the north of the Peninsula de Nicoya, including  Nosara Beach, some 70 km away, and Playa Sámara, some 36 kms away. 


Banco Nacional Ph (506) 2685-5742/ 2685-5366/ 2685-4631, Ph/fax (506) 2685-5743.  Located to diagonal to the Tribunals of Justice. Monday to Friday of 8:30 a.m to 3:45 p. There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travel Ckecks. 

Banco de Costa Rica Ph (506) 2685-5110, fax (506) 2686-6533. Located is side west of the Central Park. Monday to Friday of 9:00 a.m a.m to 4:00 p.m. There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travel Ckecks.

Banco Popular Ph (506) 2686-6484/ 2685-5167. Located is a South 75 meter of the Tribunals of Justice. Monday to Friday of 9:00 a.m a.m to 4:00 and Saturday of 8:15 a.m to 11:30 a.m.  .There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travels Ckecks.


The Hospital la Anexión Ph (506) 2685-5066, in the western part of the village. Clínica Médica Nicoyana Tel (506) 2685-5138 can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Área de Conservación de Tempisque Ph (506) 2685-5267, Tel/fax (506) 2685-5667, information about local wildlife and making accommodation reservations, camping and excursion to the Barra Honda National Park, open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, costs 6 US$. The Gas Stations Servicentro Nicoya Ph (506) 2686-5033, Ph/fax (506) 2685-5431.With service of fuel, change of oil, repair of tires. They accept credit cards.

How to arrive

By Car

Nicoya is located 20 km to the south of Santa Cruz, 28 km to the west of Puente de la Amistad above the Rió Tempisque and 72 km to the northeast of Playa Naranjo.

By Bus

The bus terminal is in the south of 5th Street. This is where the first bus began the route from San José to Nicoya on the 11th of December 1958. Empresa Alfaro Ph (506) 2685-5032 in Nicoya, Ph (506) 2222-2266 in San José, offering eight daily services to Nicoya, a journey of six hours, at a price of  6 US$, on 14th Street, between 3rd and 5th Avenue in San José. Almost all pass through Liberia, Filadelfia and Santa Cruz, the majority crossover the Puente Del Rió Tempisque. Everyday from 4:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m, leaving from Nicoya between 8 and 10 vehicles traveling to San José. Those that go to Naranjo Beach leave at 5:15 a.m and 1:00 p.m, with transportation on the Puntarenas Ferry. Departures to Nosara Beach 1:00 p.m, to Sámara beach there are four services and to Quebrada Honda they depart at 10:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m. The service to  Liberia 2 US$, that passes by Santa Cruz and Filadelfia, offering 24 departures a day, from 4:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m, from the Transportes La Pampa terminal Ph (506) 2685-5313, located on 1st Avenue, on the corner with 5th Street. Taxis Unidos de Nicoya Ph (506) 2686-6857 offers a 24 hour service.