Hidden in the secluded coves of the Nicoya Peninsula, on Costa Rica's idyllic Pacific Coast, you'll find some of the country's most stunning white-sand beaches. Luxury boutique hotels provide cosseting bolt holes for spa relaxation, while nature-lovers are duly catered for with nesting turtles and wildlife-rich cloud forests.
The popular northern beaches fan out from the region's sun-soaked capital Tamarindo towards Santa Rosa National Park and the waterfall-dotted Guanacaste lowlands – regions rich in wildlife. The coastline here is an unparalleled delight, with wide golden sands backed by verdant forest. Although it can get (relatively) busy in high season as surfers and sun-worshippers flock to the larger resorts and the azure water and rolling swells of the Pacific.
Those looking for a more intimate tropical retreat head for the privately run hotels of the peninsula's secluded southern coast. Here the small bohemian town of Montezuma offers the perfect blend of beach holiday and rainforest and, while tourists head to the beach to relax, large groups of capuchin and howler monkeys can be found chilling out by the region's spectacular waterfalls. Then, in the sands around Punta Islita, your footprints might be the only ones for miles, disturbed occasionally by the shifting tide or the region's turtle population as whole stretches of the Nicoya Peninsula are popular nesting grounds for green, leatherback, Olive Ridley and loggerhead turtles.