The south-central Nicoya Peninsula coast is a vibrant nexus of eco-tourism with a dizzying array of options–both guided and unguided–that leaves a to-do list for La Reserva Camaronal homeowners and guests beyond the scope of this brief summary of highlights.
The Camaronal Beach is widely recognized as a world-class beach break. Though it is a fabled destination for sophisticated surfers from both far and near, there is little local infrastructure like hotels to support aficionados. As a result this remarkable surf spot is under-utilized and never crowded. Even if it were the break geometry is vast, enough to support dozens of surfers at the same time with no cutting in or muscling into the line-up.
The Camaronal Beach is also a nature preserve dedicated to the protection and preservation of the four sea turtle species that nest on its beach year round. Patrolled by the Park Service, the maritime zone immediately next door to Sectors Norte and Sur has a MINAE office and housing, a volunteer housing, a small museum and reception area, and is staffed by young volunteers from around the world that patrol the beaches nightly and operate two hatcheries to maximize survival rates of the tens off.
Beach and Swimming
The Camaronal Beach has currents and undertow that make it dangerous for swimming. We recommend that for a great day at the beach LRC visitors pop over to Playa Carrillo just 8 km away. Playa Carrillo is often rated as Costa Rica’s most gorgeous beach and stakes a claim in fact to being the world’s 27th nicest beach. About 2 miles long, the picturesque bay is great for body surfing and sunbathing and is a magnet for Costa Rican beach migration during weekends and holidays, particularly during Holy Week.
Camaronal did not come by its name by accident. The waters just off the Refuge are brimming with shrimp populations, which in turn draw predators and convert the nearby waters into prolific fishing grounds. Unlike other protected areas, it is legal to fish in the waters off Camaronal. But beyond Camaronal itself, the blue water off Pacific Costa Rica is world famous for sailfish, black and white marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and mahi mahi, its inshore waters teeming with roosterfish, snapper, jack, snook, grouper, pompano, and many many others.
Whale and Dolphin Watching are abundant year round, but the region gets two yearly migrations of humpback whales from polar zones to birth and raise calves. Expect the Northern Pacific humpback population in February and March and the Southern Pacific population in August and September.
Porpoises are abundant year round, but the region gets two yearly migrations of humpback whales from polar zones to birth and raise calves. Expect the Northern Pacific humpback population in February and March and the Southern Pacific population in August and September.
Wilderness and Wildlife Tours
With scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, coatimundis, white-tailed deer and many other species frequent visitors to the LRC grounds itself, you don’t even have to leave the house to see animals. But for those that want to get more remote, the Nicoya Peninsula has an extensive wilderness in its interior and a number of parks and nature reserves that you can drive to and visit.
Diving and snorkeling
Plenty of options in nearby Samara and Nosara.
Zip Lines, whitewater rafting, hot springs, volcanoes, historical sites are all available within a few hours drive of La Reserva Camaronal.