Visiting Punta Islita, Costa Rica

Punta Islita is one of the few places left in Costa Rica where you can feel very secluded and surrounded by wildlife, but at the same time experience some of the most enjoyable luxuries that Costa Rica has to offer.

This area of Guanacaste, located in the northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica just a few miles south from Sámara, has been developed by a single hotel that has not only committed to giving visitors the feeling of luxury in an incredibly natural surrounding, but also to helping the community around it grow in a sustainable way.

The Punta Islita area consists of two small beaches, Punta Islita and Corozalito, the town of Punta Islita and the hotel.

Punta Islita is an excellent destination for those who are seeking for secluded beaches, time to relax, and just the right amount of activities to feel you’ve explored without being overwhelmed. It is a great place for honeymooners and couples that are looking for some romantic time away, or for families that want to be “off the grid” without sacrificing comfort and compromising safety.

Things to do in Punta Islita Costa Rica

The main attraction at Punta Islita is its two incredible beaches, Punta Islita and Corozalito, where you can explore as if you own them! The beaches are separated by ancient volcanic rocks, and you hardly see anybody when you are there. The two beaches have very mild swell, so they are great spots for swimming.

Punta Islita Beach is the beach to the north, and it is less than a mile long. It has two small rivers coming into the ocean that create two nice little estuaries. Corozalito Beach is a little bit longer, and it has a small mangrove habitat that makes it rich with wildlife.

The town of Punta Islita has turned into a charming little town full of color and art, making it worth visiting for a few hours. You can spot lovely murals all over town, and art pieces surrounding landmarks (such as the town’s soccer field). There is an art museum where you can admire and buy art from local artists. The small town church is worth a stop too, with its traditional colonial look and small size.

The natural forest surrounding the beaches and the hotel have been protected and prepared for visitors to enjoy by creating a series of fabulous trails where you can enjoy beautiful flora as you spot a great diversity of birds, and some mammals like howler monkeys.

If you came with a car, you could drive north to the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge where you can enjoy another fantastic and isolated beach where Olive Ridley turtles come to nest at night during the rainy season months. The beach at Camaronal has a bigger swell than Punta Islita and Corozalito, making it less appealing for swimming.

Also, if you keep on driving north, you will find the busy but exciting town of Sámara, where another calm beach awaits for swimmers, facing a town full of hotels, restaurants, shops and more.

Back in Punta Islita, you can also arrange a different kind of tours like horseback riding on the beach, kayak tours, canopy tours, visiting a nearby macaws rehabilitation and release center and even a fishing excursion with a local and experienced fisherman.

Surfing in Punta Islita Costa Rica

The beaches of Punta Islita and Corozalito are not surf spots. The waves could pick up from time to time, making it fun to ride, but it is really a better spot for other water sports like stand up paddle boarding or ocean kayaking.

Camaronal beach, to the north of Punta Islita, has better waves for surfing, especially at the river’s mouth, and lefts and rights along the beach. If you know that other parts of the Northern Pacific coast are getting good waves, it is very likely that Camaronal is also happening. With a good swell, the waves can get up to 15 feet! That been said, keep in mind that the best time to get good waves in Camaronal is between December and March.

At Sámara, north from Punta Islita and Camaronal, you can find a lot of surf shops and surf schools, but like Punta Islita, there isn’t much of a swell here. The waves are just big enough for a beginner to have those first (magical!) experiences with surfing.

Where to eat Punta Islita Costa Rica?

There are just a couple of small restaurants in the town of Punta Islita where you can get a good meal. Most of the people that visit this area are staying at the luxury hotel, where they have their meals, but the hotel does suggest people to visit the town and eat at local restaurants. The hotel has a main restaurant near the rooms and a beach club restaurant by the beach.

Weather in Punta Islita Costa Rica

The weather in Punta Islita is no different from the weather in the rest of the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Expect to have arid and hot conditions from January to April and very rainy and mild temperatures between May and November.

How to get to Punta Islita

As we mentioned, Punta Islita is a secluded part of Guanacaste, so getting there could feel like a little bit of an adventure!

If you come during the dry season (December to April), consider driving. It will take you 2 hours from the Liberia International Airport in Guanacaste, or 4.5 hours from Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José.

If you are coming from San José, drive north on the Inter American Highway, Route 1, and get off at the Tempisque river crossing towards La Amistad Bridge. Once you are in the Nicoya Península, drive across vía Hojancha towards Camaronal beach, and then drive south towards Corozalito and Punta Islita.

From the Liberia Airport, you should drive south via Santa Cruz and Nicoya, and then from Nicoya cross the Península via route 150, towards Sámara. From Sámara drive south on the coastal road crossing Carrillo and Camaronal until you reach Punta Islita.

If you want to avoid driving in Costa Rica (often recommended!), consider that many of the private shuttle services will offer the option of driving you here from any of the airports or popular destinations. Note: We can arrange transportation for all portions of your trip if you plan your trip with Costa Rica Escapes.

During the rainy season, the best options would be to fly to Punta Islita. The roads to this town are not paved, and they will get very muddy and rough due to the heavy rains.

The airport at Punta Islita Costa Rica

The luxury hotel at Punta Islita has a private landing strip that can be used by small planes coming from both Liberia and Juan Santamaría International Airports. As of June 2019, there are no regular flights by domestic Costa Rican airlines, but you we can help you arrange a private plane that would take 30 minutes from Liberia Airport and 35 minutes from Juan Santamaría Airport.

Another option is to fly to more popular destinations in the Nicoya Península, like Tambor, Nosara or Liberia (from SJO), and then driving or taking a shuttle service to Punta Islita.

Plan a Trip to Punta Islita, Costa Rica!

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