Introducing Central Peninsula
Long the political and cultural heart of Guanacaste, the inland region of the central peninsula looks and feels palpably more ‘Costa Rican’ than the beach resorts of the northern coast. Over generations, the dry tropical forest has been cut down to make way for the sabaneros’ cattle, but stands of forest remain, interspersed between fincas and coastal villages, sometimes backing stretches of wild, empty beaches. Though the areas around Sámara and Nosara are developing slowly, most foreigners who are drawn to the rugged coastline are active in its conservation. So it remains rife with secluded beaches, small villages, and endless possibilities for getting ‘off the map.’
Hwy 21 snakes through the higher elevations of the interior, from the population center of Santa Cruz down through Nicoya, where sinuous Hwy 150 branches through the forest toward Sámara.