The tip of the Nicoya Peninsula is one of the hardest places to reach in Costa Rica. I believe that is one of the ingredients for making it so special. I live here and am constantly amazed by its beauty and dramatic coastlines.
I happened upon the southern most tip of the Peninsula three years ago when travelling with my husband and two young children….There is something very powerful and healing about the area and there is a thriving and growing community of young families who have also made the area their home. It is also becoming one of Costa Rica’s fastest growing tourist destinations.
Visiting the outer reaches of Costa Rica begins with the adventurous journey to get here, each stage taking you further and further away from ‘urban life’. You catch the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera, crossing the gulf, passing Tortuga Island, followed by an hours drive to Cobano. It is at the point, you really feel the change onto the bumpy & dusty road that brings you to the shore of the Pacific at ‘El Cruze’ at Mal Pais and Santa Teresa…a place inhabited by a few cattle and horse farming families up until about 25 years ago. Electricity was only introduced 15 years ago with some areas still not hooked up with land telephone lines.
There is now a dynamic tourist industry here with ATV tours, horse riding on the beaches, deep sea fishing trips, nature tours and zip lining to keep you active whilst in the area. There are over 70 restaurants in Santa Teresa, some incredible secret surf breaks along the Pacific coast, an organic weekly fruit and veg market on Saturday mornings in Montezuma. The area is also blessed with some worldclass yoga teachers practising daily and offering tranquil yoga retreats. There are belly dancing and salsa classes and even a local Santa Teresa hula hooping class.
Every February we have the infamous local Rodeo where cowboys proudly ride their loyal steeds through Cobano and we get a flavour of life on the Nicoya Peninsula as it has been for generations. March / April sees the community sand castle competition too with some well crafted creations. We entered one year, building a sofa out of sand to watch the sunset. It took us 6 hours and I thought we would win for sure, but we were pipped to the post by a giant crocodile!
Across the Peninsula in Montezuma we have the Chunches Del Mar international arts festival every January as well as the growing film festival in November.
The area has attracted eclectic musicians from all over the world who, like me, fell in love with the Nicoya Peninsula and we now also have a growing number of live music events taking place from Montezuma to Mal Pais for those looking for new sounds and local flavours.
It is my intention to write about all of these in detail for Inside Costa Rica’s readers over the coming weeks and months.
Here are the ‘must see’ music events for the up and coming summer season in the Santa Teresa area of the Nicoya Peninsula:
The Common People live at Al Chili Viola restaurant every Monday night, north Santa Teresa. The Common People are a local band from Santa Teresa. They play great acoustic covers as well as their own material and have recently played at some summer festivals in the US and UK. Check them out on Facebook and come and see them play live at the delicious Italian restaurant, Al Chili Viola.
The energetic Kika boys rock band live every Thursday night at Kika Restaurant. The band is made up of the restaurants owners and staff and the live set usually starts around 9pm but get their early as it gets packed. http://www.facebook.com/kika.santateresa. You must try their signature dish ‘Grandma’s pork’, a secret family recipe that cannot be missed.
Sunday’s Beach Family Gathering with live DJ sets and kids activities at Rocamar Beach lounge, Santa Teresa. An all afternoon event with Balearic vibes, a sunset bonfire, hula hooping, beach rugby and even an outdoor cinema playing a children’s film so the grown ups can enjoy the sunset. See Pura Sonica Facebook page for more information.
Dahlia Nahome is a wife and mother of two who left the rat race of the London advertising world for the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula .
As well as running her rental business, www.costaricanvacation.com & www.purasonica.com (a web radio station playing chilled music 24hrs a day & whats on Santa Teresa guide with her husband) she also enjoys writing about and raising the profile of the Nicoya Peninsula & Costa Rica and has work published on various travel blogs.
You may reach her at dahlia at costaricanvacation dot com.