Separating Nicoya Peninsula from mainland Costa Rica, Nicoya Gulf is a stunning marine habitat. A geological fault caused the land to submerge, leaving only the tops of low hills exposed as numerous islands.
At its upper end, the gulf is shallow and muddy as the Tempisque River washes soil and organic material into the estuary, and mangroves thrive on the shores, where birds nest and the mud and root systems shelter mussels, crabs and shrimps. Algae flourish in the nutrient rich water, feeding fish and molluscs.
However, the lower reaches the gulf are very different: there are few mangroves and the area is even more sparsely populated, with densely forested hills and promontories reaching down to the sea and closing off secret bays. The water here is saltier, clearer and in addition to brown pelican, Guayabo is also home to boobies, frigatebirds and falcons at certain times of year. This is not an area regularly visited by tourists – a distinct advantage for anyone with a keen interest in wildlife!
View suggested itinerary