Welcome to Nicoya


That said, there's no reason to linger longer than you need to. Nicoya is not fabulous. Just real.

One theory has it that Nicoya was named after an indigenous Chorotega chief, Nicoa, who welcomed Spanish conquistador Gil González de Ávila in 1523 (a gesture he regretted). A second theory is that it derives from the Nahuatl words necoc iāuh, meaning 'on both sides is water(s),' describing the town's location between two rivers. Regardless, following Avila's arrival, the Chorotega were wiped out by the colonists, though many Nicoyans still proudly claim their indigenous heritage.


Top experiences in Nicoya

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Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Nicoya activities

$139 Day Trips & Excursions

Tortuga Island Tour from Jaco

Fortified with a hot breakfast you will enjoy the included snorkeling tour in the crystalline clear turquoise waters Tortuga Island is famous for. Dine in casual elegance under giant parachutes enjoying a 4- course exceptional lunch while listening to the soft sounds of the marimba - the instrument of Costa Rica - playing softly as you eat. Enjoy the Banana Boat, play volleyball or take a nap in a hammock after lunch. This is the only tour with a certified sustainable rating CST that will take you to Tortuga Island and also includes a Tour of Discovery through the islands in the afternoon as you watch the setting sun.

$125 Day Trips & Excursions

Tortuga Island Day Trip from San Jose

Find a spot on one of the giant nets or sit in a one of the two fresh water pools on deck and relax while being served a delicious cocktail and fresh tropical fruit as you cross the scenic Gulf of Nicoya. Be on the lookout for dolphins, whales and sea turtles as well as the many varieties of seabirds. Upon arrival at beautiful white sand beach of Tortuga Island, while the crew sets up Cafe Calypso  you will be taken to the included snorkel tour to a small island. After a delicious 4-course lunch it is time to ride the Banana Boat, play volley ball with other guests or take a nap in one of the provided hammocks.  In the afternoon explore more of the gulf taking a different route back to port on a Tour of Discovery, unique to Calypso, passing 7 islands to see and learn more of the history of Costa Rica as enjoy a beautiful sunset. Everything is included except alcohol.

$116 Outdoor Activities

Sky Walk, Sky Tram, and Sky Trek Zipline Combo Tour from Monteverde

First, you start with the Sky Walk, a guided tour that combines trails and suspension bridges with lengths of 984 feet and heights above the canopy of Monteverde Cloud Forest. The tour gives you the opportunity to enjoy the flora and fauna of the area, always joined by one of the specialized guides. This tour lasts between 2 and 2.5 hours.Later on, you enjoy the Sky Tram. It is a guided tour, and you can have the opportunity of an intermediate ride with short stops to observe the cloud forest biodiversity; the Arenal, Tenorio, Miravalles and Orosi Volcanoes; the Nicoya Gulf; and the Guanacaste Plain, if the weather allows it. The gondolas have been adapted for people with some disability.Last is the Sky Trek system of zip lines ranging from mountain to mountain, which together have a distance of 2.5 miles of linear cable. The tour gives you the opportunity to fly through via a cable, and have a unique experience of adventure and adrenaline at speeds up to 40 miles per hour with distances ranging up to 2500 feet and heights of 524 feet. In addition, the tour offers 5 observation towers that exceed the cloud forest treetops providing a panoramic view.

$45 Outdoor Activities

ATV Tour in Jaco

ATV Single 1-hour tour option:We will begin at our shop in the center of Jaco.The guide will take you in direction of the rice fields behind Jaco where depending on the level, you can cross the river in various spots or ride along the river side if you don’t like to get wet.Meanwhile you will be surrounded by butterfly trees and depending on the season and hours of the day you can admire the variety of wild birds such as scarlet macaws, toucans, hawks and falcons.Then you will head to the nearest ocean view where you can enjoy another perspective of the city of Jaco. Very ideal for a sunset tour.ATV Single 2-hour tour option:We will begin at our shop in the center of Jaco.The guide takes you in direction of the rainforest where you start to have chances of seeing nature and wild life. You will come to a small waterfall where you can make your first stop to take some nice photos. Depending on your driving skills, you will begin to drive up the mountain in the direction of the peek.Once you are there you will have a second stop where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Playa Jaco, Peninsula Nicoya, Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island and Manuel Antonio.Then you head to the Rancho of Doña Marta where you can use the restroom, buy a drink or eat some of here delicious empanadas cooked on a wood burning stove. Enjoying an amazing panoramic view of ocean and mountains.After enjoying great views and trails we proceed back to the shop.ATV Single 3-hour tour option:We will begin at our shop in the center of Jaco.The guide takes you in direction of the rainforest where you have chances of seeing wild life.Then you will come to a small waterfall where you can make your first stop to take some nice photos. Depending on your driving skills, you will begin to drive up the mountain in the direction of the peek.Here is our second stop where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Playa Jaco, Peninsula Nicoya, Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island and Manuel Antonio.Your guide will then take you to a big waterfall that is approximately 30 feet tall. You can take a swim or take pictures and relax for a few minutes enjoying the river and the mist from the waterfall.After enjoying greats views waterfall and an amazing tour we proceed back to the shop.ATV Single 4-hour tour option:We will begin at our shop in the center of Jaco.First and second part of the tour are the same as 3-hour option.After swimming or simply enjoying some relaxing time, your guide will take you to the Rancho of Doña Marta where you can admire the amazing panoramic views of the ocean and mountains while you can buy a drink, a typical Costa Rican lunch “Casado” or try her delicious home made empanadas, all of which is cooked on a wood stove.After enjoying the waterfall, amazing views, food, and the trails we proceed back to the shop.

$85 Outdoor Activities

Jaco 4X4 Buggy Tour 1- 2- or 3-Hour Options

1 Hour: Rainforest ExpressYou begin at our shop in the center of Jaco; the guide takes you in direction of the rice fields behind Jaco where depending on the level, you can cross the river in various spots or ride along the river side if you don’t like to get wet meanwhile your surrounded by butterfly trees and depending on the season and hours of the day you can admire the variety of wild birds. Such as, scarlet macaws, toucans, hawks, and falcons. Then you will head to the nearest ocean view where you can enjoy another perspective of the city of Jaco. Very ideal for a sunset tour.2 Hour: Extreme VistaYou begin at our shop in the center of Jaco; the guide takes you in direction of the rainforest where you start to have chances of seeing nature and wild life. You will come to a small waterfall where you can make your first stop to take some nice photos, after that depending your driving skills, you will begin to drive up the mountain in the direction of the peek. Once you are there you will have a second stop where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Playa Jaco, Peninsula Nicoya, Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island, and Manuel Antonio. Then you head to the Rancho of Doña Marta where you can use the restroom, buy a drink, or eat some of here delicious empanadas cooked on a wood burning stove, enjoying an amazing panoramic view of ocean and mountains. After enjoying great views and trails we proceed back to the shop.3 Hour: Waterfall Jumper & 4 Hour: Extreme RainforestYou begin at our shop in the center of Jaco; the guide takes you in direction of the rainforest where you have chances of seeing wild life. Such as, Parrots, Toucans, White-nosed Coati, Tayras, various types of Lizards and occasionally white face monkeys. Then you will come to a small waterfall where you can make your first stop to take some nice photos, after that depending on your driving skills, you will begin to drive up the mountain in the direction of the peek. Once you are there you will have a second stop where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Playa Jaco, Peninsula Nicoya, Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island, and Manuel Antonio. Your guide will then take you to a big waterfall that is approximately 30 feet tall; you can take a swim, or take pictures and relax for a few minutes enjoying the river and the mist from the waterfall. After enjoying greats views, waterfall and an amazing tour we proceed back to the shop. Options to choose different routes to different waterfalls.

$120 Day Trips & Excursions

Tortuga Island one day tour from Puntarenas

After pickup at your Puntarenas at 8:00 a.m. a private dock and full breakfast. Board Calypso’s luxury yacht catamaran Manta Raya for the 90 minute ride across the Gulf of Nicoya. Enjoy local fruit onboard along the way. Upon arrival at Tortuga Island, snorkel in the turquoise water and take a banana boat ride as part of your 5-hour stay on Tortuga Island. Savor a 4 course gourmet lunch served on tables set with white linen under the shade of umbrellas and enjoy live music and unlimited soft drinks and fruit juice (alcoholic drinks can be purchased at the bar). Beach chairs, hammocks, a volleyball court, and a slack line are also available.  In the afternoon, board the Manta Raya for a Tour of Discovery of some of the protected islands in the Gulf of Nicoya, including Cedros Island, Jesusita Island, the bird sanctuary of Guayabo Island, Sugarloaf Island, Gypsy Island and San Lucas Island which used to be a maximum security prison, before returning to the dock, then re-board the bus to return to your hotel in San José.