PLAYA TAMBOR COSTA RICA
With so much commercialization, it can be difficult to get an authentic experience in the south, and especially in the ever popular Costa Rica. Even well preserved natural reserves are traversed by thousands of tourists every month, and sleepy fishing villages are often overrun by visitors. But travelling to Playa Tambor is different. While the main resort area can be busy with tourists, the surrounding areas are relatively quiet and often completely untouched. One of the closest things you can have to an authentic experience, Playa Tambor is laid out as a three day destination of discovery.
Because of its location hours away from international airports, Playa Tambor is not ideal for day trips from San Jose or other major destinations. Instead, you should consider spending a few days here or centring your entire Costa Rican vacation at this destination. Whichever option you choose, you will have to find some local accommodations, which range from large expansive all-inclusive resorts, to more intimate hotels and vacation rentals. Due to its relatively small size, advanced bookings are highly recommended to secure the best rooms at the best prices.
Playa Tambor is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in a calm bay away from the big waves of the Pacific. Due to its inland yet watery border, Playa Tambor is hot hot hot! The climate is consistently humid and usually a couple of degrees warmer than destinations located right on the Ocean. As with most of the country, travel during the winter months for the most days of sun and avoid the heavy rains from May to October.
Three days in Potrero should allow most travellers to see what this destination has to offer, but of course you can spend an entire week or even a month in Playa Tambor enjoying everything that the Nicoya Peninsula has to offer.
Spend your first day in Playa Tambor exploring the unique beaches of the peninsula. One of your first new experiences will be the grey coloured sand around Tambor. Due to the volcanic make up of the peninsula, the white pristine sandy beaches of the south are replaced. But don’t worry, just because the sand a different colour does not mean that the beach is any less beautiful.
In fact, due to its position away from the waves of the Pacific, the beaches around Playa Tambor are the best for swimming in the entire country. Even timid bathers will feel completely at ease in the large shallows that go in and out with the tide. Snorkellers will revel in the calm waters, getting the chance to view unique marine life up close in some of the most diverse ecological expanses in Costa Rica. End your first day by taking a stroll along the beaches at sunset, catching the last moments of the sun as it disappears until your next day.
For your second day in Playa Tambor, venture a little further away from your accommodations to experience some of the other attractions. Start your morning exploring the small village of Tambor. Don’t expect a bustling market town or a commercialized tourist destination. This village has a relaxed pace and locals are welcoming. So be prepared to spend some time just chilling, soaking up the pleasant vibes of this intriguing village.
Spend the second half of your day venturing a little further away. You have the option of choosing your own path and heading either south or north. For a relatively easy hike and beautiful scenery, loop around the south tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. A short 4km hike will bring you to the Cocalitos Beach and El Chorro waterfall. For those seeking a bit of a farther excursion, head north up the beach to the village of Porchote. Rarely visited by tourists, this piece of unspoiled nature gives you a view of the real Costa Rica, swaying between the water and swamps. Rent a kayak to explore the area by water, or just stroll along the beach.
When the sun comes up on your third day, get ready for an excursion. There are a few different options, depending on what you want to see. One of the most unique excursion opportunities in Playa Tambor is bird watching. Because of the lack of extreme commercialization of the Nicoya Peninsula, many of the local bird species are in great supply. Whether you want to view birds from the comfort of a vehicle or on foot, there are a number of local guides to show you the best of the birds of Costa Rica.
If birds don’t catch your fancy, consider a guided horsebacking tour of the Tambor Hills. with spectacular views and unique swimming pools, horseback riding can take you further than you thought possible. Or, if you want the best combination of all worlds, take a guided tour to the Tortuga Islands. If you find yourself missing the white sandy beaches of the south, you can rediscover them on these islands that are also filled with local fauna, both above and under water.
For the best travelling experience in Playa Tambor, plan to spend at least three days in this location so you can soak up all that it has to offer. However, as you can see, even after a week long trip, you still won’t see everything on your authentic Costa Rican holiday.