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  • Photos of Nicoya
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How to get there?
From San Jose, take the North Pan-American Highway on the route #1 all the way to the community of Limonal. From here take the route #18 that goes to the La Amistad de Taiwan Bridge. Keep driving on the same route until you get to a deviation before Mansion (route #21). Continue in direction to the town of Santa Ana and take the exit for Nicoya, turning left.

The city of Nicoya reflects part of the colonial history of Costa Rica. It is also a major access point to different tourism destinations. With time, more and more local and international tourists visit and this place and all the facilities it offers.

In the Recaredo Briceo Arauz Park you will find the Colonial Church of Saint Blaise of Nicoya, architectural and historical heritage of Costa Rica. It was built in 1644, where the first parish of the country was established, and rebuilt in 1831 after it was damaged by the earthquakes of 1822.

Here you can also find the Saint Blaise Religious Art Museum, which protects historical relics from Spain and Latin America (XVII and XVIII centuries) such as: religious images of Saint Francis of Assisi, a baptismal font, paintings and bronze bells used in 1768. There is also and old cane chair of the XVI century that was used for carrying the priest.

The old clock of this church is more than 118 years old, and was recently restored, but it doesnt give the exact time.

In the Park of Nicoya you can see a plate displaying an exact copy of the Act of the Annexation of the Party of Nicoya to Costa Rica. This site is also used as meeting point for the towns residents and for placing food stands of Guanacastecan Creole food.

Southeast from this park, you will see a colonial building in the corner that reflects an old Costa Rican architectural style. It is made of clay and over the years has been used as small restaurant or as different stores.

In the city of Nicoya there are other interesting sites, like the Monument of the General Antonio Maceo Grajales, who was one of the most outstanding independence leaders of Latin America (second half of the XIX century). It is known as The Bronze Titan.

In the center of Nicoya, in front of the Confraternity, there is the Yellow House, a very old structure that was used as a bar.

This zone was inhabited by native citizens of the Chorotega group under the command of the tribe chief Nicoa (or Nicoya) in the early XVI century. The geography was perfect for commerce and it allowed a great development in this area, being the largest chiefdom in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with more than 6.000 inhabitants by 1523. This is how it received the name of Nicoya, which means the path of the warriors.
Nicoya, just like the rest of the cities in the province of Guanacaste, annexed to Costa Rica in 1824. Currently this city has undergone an advanced development and offers many facilities and services, like the Hospital of the Annexation and small shopping malls.

Thanks to the construction of La Amistad de Taiwan Bridge over the Rio Tempisque, this city serves as entry point to important tourist destinations of the region like Playa Samara, Guiones, Nosara and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge.

Every year many activities take place for the celebration of the patron of Nicoya, the Virgin of Guadalupe. These festivities are a mixture of catholic religious traditions and native celebrations.

At 4:00am, some village women prepare breakfast for men while the firecrackers of La Diana announce the traditional Pica e Lea. This is celebrated on the second Saturday of November, and was inherited by native villagers for the preparation of the festivities to honor the Virgin, which are celebrated on December 11th and 12th.

Early in the morning, men part with their axes on their shoulders to cut wood and with prepared carts and oxen. In the meantime, women prepare coconut and corn-based meals and drinks like atol and chicha in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This woodcutting is made in advance in order to light the fire that will be used for cooking in these festivities.

As they come back, these boyeros (drovers) pass through the main streets of Nicoya along with folkloric dance groups, a horse parade and cimarronas (bands made up of self-taught musicians that play the trumpet, saxophone, cymbals and drums). They arrive to the Confraternity by noon.

The atolada is also part of these celebrations, which is a corn-based atol that is milled in metates (traditional native mortars) and represent the cereal god. This is an act of communion and commitment to this god, where they fulfill the tasks of the festivity (like the sacramental bread for the catholic religion).

During the festivities of the Virgin of Guadalupe, hundreds of people visit the Confraternity and enjoy the meals and beverages that have been prepared. Processions also take place, as well as the baile de la yegita (dance of the mare), played by native musical instruments. These feasts of the Virgin of Guadalupe began around 1544.

Accommodations and gastronomy
This city has many restaurants, where they serve typical Costa Rican meals like the casado, a dish that has rice, beans, ripe plantain, salad and meat. They also have traditional food from the region of Guanacaste, like tamal asado (dessert made of corn), corn biscuits and perrerreques (corn with sugar). Some restaurants also prepare international dishes.

There are small hotels where you can stay that offer all the required amenities for their guests. There are also hotels with large green areas, ideal for families with children, which also have their own restaurants and bars.

Where to go?
Palo Verde National Park
In Palo Verde there are 15 different habitats where you can find: hills with plenty of calcite (...)
Las Baulas National Park
The creation of Las Baulas National Marine Park served as protection to the population of (...)
Ostional National Wildlife Refugee
It is made up of 900m of black sand between Punta India and Punta Guiones, protecting a very (...)
Ostional Beach
During July to November this beach is visited by an incredible display of natures (...)
Nosara Beach
The Rio Nosara passes through the beach with an estuary full of wildlife and vegetation (is (...)
Garza Beach
Due to the Ro Garza that runs through it, there is an estuary with its mangrove habitat (...)
Samara Beach
During rainy season, this beach is visited by some amazing (and big) foreigners, the Hunchback (...)
Carrillo Beach
There is a great amount of coconut trees along the coasts south (...)
Coco Ocotal
Playas del Coco and Playa Ocotal are part of the Bay of Ocotal, which
Hermosa - Panama Beach
Just as its name implies, Hermosa (Beautiful) is a beach of
The city of Liberia is located among the plains of the province of
The city of Nicoya reflects part of the colonial history of Costa
Nosara - Azul Beach
This coastal zone has protected areas of great biological importance,
Papagayo is a natural scenery of an amazing and unforgettable beauty,
Rincon de la Vieja
This zone is part of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.
It is a beautiful bay with golden sands, surrounded by a dry tropical
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is one of the most attractive cities in the entire region
This coastal region has amazing natural sceneries, where the sound of
Palo Verde National Park shelters wetlands of international importance
Octuber 03, 2012

Inside the park you can walk through trails, visit the view points of the hills Catalina and Guayacan, observe crocodiles, travel across the Tempisque River and a lot more. Discover this destination during your vacations in Costa Rica.
Tourism destinations operate normally after earthquake in Nicoya
September 18, 2012

If youre planning on visiting the country in the next few days, theres no problem because the National Emergency Commission declared safety in the country
Costa Rica resisted strong earthquake in Nicoya
September 07, 2012

The hotels and tourism areas of the zone werent greatly affected, except for the Hotel Riu
Costa Rica has 96 beaches with clean waters
March 30, 2012

The study is made every year to determine the level of cleanliness of the waters of 100 selected beaches
Celebrate the National Parks Day in Costa Rica
March 27, 2012

The main objective of the celebration is to project the need to preserve and use rationally part of the forests, wetlands and wildlife the country has
Costa Rica wins again the award to the best stand in Germany
March 19, 2012

The graded aspects to give the award were design, use of technology, service and the activities arranged to attract the visitors to the stand
March revives the celebration of the Battle of Santa Rosa
March 14, 2012

The events that took place on March 20th, 1856 must help us understand the present, built the future and keep defending the sovereignty of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is the fifth most ecological country in the world
March 08, 2012

One of the aspects that contributed with the choice was that the country produces very low levels of carbon dioxide, which affects in global warming
Campaign Costa Ricas Million Dollar Gift of Happiness starts its second phase
March 02, 2012

Starting on March 2012 and until February 2013, the campaign will keep the idea of selling the country as the place to share happiness
More South American tourists visit Costa Rica
February 22, 2012

Costa Rica is prepared to receive a larger number of visitors, including those coming from the South, with the new terminal at the Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Liberia