Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
The Travel Guide to the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

Tambor, Costa Rica

Tambor Beach

Bahia Ballena, the large bay of Tambor

Tambor is set in the valley of a large and calm horseshoe bay: the Bahia Ballena which in English means whale bay. During dry season these giants of the seas used to come into the bay. Nowadays with the increased coastal activity whales no longer frequent the bay of Tambor.

Playa Tambor

Swimming is safe in Tambor


The beach of Tambor is easily accessed with a car and you find shade under almond and palm trees. The volcanic history of the sand serves up a grey-colored beach which gently slopes into the bay. Low tide produces a broad expanse of fine sand where you can play beach volley ball and soccer. The shallow waters are exceedingly calm and offer good swimming for even the most timid of bathers.
A local breeding program for scarlet macaws successfully re-introduced the species in the area around Tambor and sometimes you see flocks of these gregarious, large parrots foraging the almond trees on the Tambor beach.

Playing Soccer on Tambor Beach

Women playing soccer on Playa Tambor

The valley of Tambor is cradled by lush forested hills which are part of the Biological corridor of the Nicoya Peninsula. The northern side of the bay borders the » Curu Wildlife Reserve which protects various ecological habitats and a wealth of wildlife. It is fronted by the Islas Tortugas, a tropical island paradise which can be visited on a boat tour from Tambor. See: »  Tours and Activities in Tambor

The village of Tambor is very small and has preserved a somnolent, laid-back atmosphere. A striking feature are the vast areas of barren, abandoned lots - Tambor has long been a play ground for avid real estate developers whose ambitious plans didn't work out.

North of the village center the majestic Rio Panica creates a scenic river landscape. Hotels in Tambor offer birding tours along the jungle river to see a sampling of » Costa Rica's bird life.

Still further to the north, 6 km from Tambor village, is the sealed-off vacation world of Barcelo's Hotel Playa Tambor with its 402 hotel rooms. Hotel Playa Tambor was Costa Rica's first all-inclusive tourist resort. Nearby is a golf course where visitors can purchase a day ticket for the 9-hole golf course.

At the southern end of the bay of Tambor is a small fishermen community and a landing pier for boats. The bay of Tambor offers one of the rare safe anchor places on the pacific side of Costa Rica.

Tambor also boasts the only airport on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. » Flights to Tambor are available several times per day on a 20-min flight to San Jose and other destinations in Costa Rica.