150-168km (93-104 miles) W of San José (not including ferry ride); 20km (12 miles) S of Paquera; 38km (24 miles) S of Naranjo

Playa Tambor was the site of Costa Rica’s first large-scale all-inclusive resort, the Barceló Playa Tambor Beach Resort. Despite big plans, the resort and surrounding area have never really taken off. Today, Tambor has a forgotten, isolated feel to it.

Part of the blame lies with the beach itself. Playa Tambor is a long, gently curving stretch of beach protected on either end by rocky headlands. These headlands give the waters ample protection from Pacific swells, making this a good beach for swimming. However, the sand is a rather unattractive, dull gray-brown color, which often receives a large amount of flotsam and jetsam brought in by the sea. Playa Tambor pales in comparison to the beaches located farther south along the Nicoya Peninsula.


However, Tambor is the site of the only major commuter airport on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, and you’ll be arriving and departing here if you choose to visit Montezuma, Malpaís, or Santa Teresa by air.