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 Tambor. 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 (making this a good beach for swimming). However, the sand is an unattractive, dull gray-brown color, and often receives large amounts of flotsam and jetsam from the sea. Playa Tambor pales in comparison to the beaches located farther south along the Nicoya Peninsula.

That said, 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.