The Barcelo Tambor hotel in Tambor, Puntarenas, is a beautiful property ideal for eco-tourists and is located directly on Ballena Bay. After an overnight in San Jose, you will take a ferry to Playa Tambor and then transfer to the hotel (approx 4.5 hours)
- Round trip airfare to San Jose
- 1 night San Jose at Barcelo San Jose including breakfast
- 6 nights all-inclusive at 4-star Barcelo Tambor
- Ferry transfer from San Jose to Playa Tambor
- Airport transfers
January 18: $1459 + $351 tax
Jan 29-Mar 11: $1499-$1599 + $351 tax
Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton from $300 more
Playa Tambor, on the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula in Ballena Bay, is one of many beautiful spots that make this country such an exceptional and unique destination, with an endless range of exotic fauna and flora species to discover.
The volcanic sands and the gentle swell of the sea, constantly reflecting the splendid blue of the sky, make this the perfect place for sunbathing, outdoor activities or simply strolling barefoot along the six kilometer-long beach.
Playa Tambor is located inside the Bahia Ballena, which at the same time has Playa Pochote in its northeastern extreme. The volcanic history of the sand makes for a gray-colored beach which slopes gently into the bay.
You shouldn’t miss a tour to the Tortuga Islands. With its immaculate white sand beaches and tall arching coconut palms they look like all you have ever expected of a tropical island. The Tortuga Islands provide the best diving and snorkeling of the whole southern Nicoya Peninsula. Plunge into the turquoise clear water and admire swarms of colorful fish and the underwater fauna. You can also hike to a sightseeing point or just loll on the beach and drink fresh coconut.
The temperature ranges between 18° C and 26° C. The rainy season is from April to late November. Relative humidity tends to range between 60% and 90%.
Activities & Sports
One of the best ways to explore more rural areas is on horseback. There are many excursions to choose from. Hiking and mountain biking trails are also plentiful in the many forest, parks and reserves. Rafting and kayaking trips can also be arranged through excursion companies.
Golfers can enjoy some of the best golf courses in Central America. Close to Tambor are two 9-hole golf courses: one is north of the village at the Los Delfines Resort, the other one south of Tambor at the Tango Mar Resort.
Looking for a calming activity? Then you should head to the Orosi Hot Springs. The two pools of beneficial water are know to relieving muscular pain and reduce stress.
The Guayabo National Monument, located on the flank of Turrialba volcano, is the largest archaeological site in the country. An architectural marvel, the area contains ancient bridges, aqueducts, roads, and retaining walls. Much of the site has yet to be uncovered. There are many petroglyphs to be admired as well. The site is believed to date back 3,000 years, with the oldest artefacts being dated at around 1000 B.C.
The Orosi Church and the Church of the Ruinas de Ujarras, both found in the province of Cartago, are the only two colonial buildings remaining in the country. The Orosi Church is particularly know for its altarpieces, sacred images and other historical elements.
Attractions & Sights
Not many attractions can be found in Playa Tambor except for lush greenery and national parks. But there are a few lovely nearby spots and vlilages to explore:
Montezuma is located on the Nicoyan Peninsula’s southeastern end, at the end of an unpaved road that winds down forested hillsides. The shoreline itself is largely sandy beach, as fine as any on the peninsula, interspersed with rocky outcroppings. Many come to see the popular Montezuma water falls, about a 20 minute walk from downtown. A commercial area, little more than a hundred meters of shops, hotels and restaurants, has sprung up to cater to visitors. As Montezuma can be reached from San Jose in a matter of 4-5 hours, weekends often see crowded conditions. Montezuma has a reputation as somewhat of a hippie venue, with all that implies.
Mal Pais. A long stretch of beach near the southeast end of the Nicoyan Peninsula that is quite popular with surfers. A string of low-budget hotels and restaurants can be found along the beach road going north to Santa Teresa, which has grown alot recently, now more food and lodging options than Montezuma.
Samara. One of the few beach towns that has paved roads all the way to San Jose. It’s a bit nicer and more expensive than many other beach towns, but smaller and less touristy than Tamarindo.
Nightlife here remains a little quiet except on Thursdays. Tambor’s biggest night of dancing happens on the beach of Bahia Ballena at the large warehouse structure called, Bailar. Some resorts have discos or traveling to nearby towns can prove fruitful.
Head to San Jose, the city is brimming with historical sites and attractions. The most visited places are the Post Office, the Avenida Central, the Atlantic Railway Station, the Catedral Metropolitana, the Metal Building, the Centro Nacional de Arte y Cultura, the National Theater, and the Melico Salazar Theater. Animal lovers will enjoy the Spirogyra Butterfly Garden, the Simon Bolivar National Zoo, and the Zoo Ave in Garita de Alajuela.
The list of museums to explore is very long: the National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, the Children’s Museum, the Museum of Costa Rican Art, the Gold Museum, the Popular Culture Museum, the Juan Santamaria Museum, the Orosi Museum, the University of Costa Rica’s Insect Museum, the La Salle Natural Science Museum, and the Jade Museum, to name a few.
The number of green parks is quite remarkable as well. These include the Morazan Park, the National Park, the La Sabana Metropolitan Park, the Central Park, and the Plaza de la Cultura.
Coffee is the country’s second biggest export, and enjoys a world renowned reputation. It is no surprise that Cafe Britt, a leading coffee producer, offers a coffee tour at a plantation in Heredia, just 20 minutes outside San Jose. The tour covers the characteristics of the Arabica coffee plant, the steps in its procession, how to tell if a cup of coffee is genuine, and the history of coffee. Of course a tasting session is included.