Quick catch up on the Nicoya, Costa Rica

I’ve spent the last week riding incredible dirt roads around the very edge of Costa Rica’s fabled Nicoya Peninsula.

I’ll be catching up with a full blog post soon. Both the good – a near endless string of gorgeous, often empty beaches. And the bad – a serious dust problem thanks to a plague of inconsiderate, speeding SUVs. This is a quick post to give you a taster of what this beautiful place is about.

Also in the pipeline are thoughts on my new steed, the Surly Troll, now it’s had its first real taste of hard riding – some 500kms along rough, corrugated, boneshaking trails.

Lastly, the ‘lil SPOT is back up and running, over here

I’m now heading over to the mountains to the Costa Rican caribbean, en route to Boca de Toro in Panama. A thirty kilometre climb awaits me tomorrow…

While the Nicoya peninsula is heavily touristed in parts and scarred with mega resorts, there's still plenty of deserted beaches like this... A sublime spot for a sunrise after a night under the stars.

Where, at low tide, you can ride for as long as ten kilometres at a time, fording estuaries that are chest high in places.

You can even spot the odd newly born turtle, clumsily struggling down what must seem an interminable distance to the ocean. My footprint gives a sense of scale - it will grow up to be the size of a dining room table.

At this time of year, the Nocoya Peninsula is bone dry. There are occasionally storm clouds overhead, but barely ever a drop of rain.

With a little research, you can escape the main dusty gravel thoroughfares and unearth beautiful back roads like this...

I'd have liked to have pitched my tent under this tree, out near the point of the peninsula at Cabuya, reached by following a roller coasting dirt road.

Beach cruisers and surf boards, Nicoya staples. Some bikes were adapted to carry boards, which was especially cool, given all the speeding SUVs kicking up dust on the peninsula.

Nelson, who I chatted to on the way out to Playa Camaronal, has got the right idea.

The supremely chilled Hostel Rio Carmen, where I camped in Malpais.

It's mango season! In Pochote, I picked up four enormous (and non-stringy) specimens for a dollar.

Surfer's paradise. Catching that very last wave in. I liken it to riding trails on a summer's evening until you finally run out of light...

Another sunset, another beach. Playa Junquillal.

More gentle, beachside trails to Playa Caletas.

Shell and driftwood mobile, at my hippy hangout in Montezuma.

Funky chicken murals in Punta Islita. More on how the Surly Troll fared soon...

5 thoughts on “Quick catch up on the Nicoya, Costa Rica

  1. gyatsola

    Those beaches look amazing. I’m glad you have a new SPOT, I’m looking forward to tracking where you’ve been – those photos of yours have pushed Costa Rica right up on my ‘must cycle’ countries, I’d love to do a circuit on beach trails like that.

  2. Liv

    Panama next… where are you thinking of heading to? Don’t forget – the best ice cream in the world is to be found in Panama City, so make that a priority! xx

  3. otbiking Post author

    Thank you for the reminder. Can’t wait for ice cream, even though it means near instant tooth ache. It will be worth it.

    Bocas de Toro. Then over them mountains to the city.

    How is cherub? Lovely pictures btw!


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