Community and Lifestyle

Atmosphere and Things to do in Cobano, Costa Rica.

Just a few decades ago Cóbano remained a small cattle raising region. Nearby Montezuma and Santa Teresa received their goods by boat from Puntarenas across the bay because poor roads made the rest of the peninsula inaccessible. As road conditions improved, tourists began flocking to the Southern Nicoya beaches. Consequently, Cóbano has become a lively, yet small, hub.

Most residents in the beach towns run errands in Cóbano as it has banks, a post office, a farmer’s market, and modern conveniences. Shopping in Cóbano is significantly less expensive than in the touristic beach towns. There are few activities in the town of Cóbano itself, and just a few locally run inexpensive restaurants serving typical food.  

One major attraction held in Cóbano each February is the two-week long Fiestas Civicas de Cóbano. This festival displays authentic Costa Rican culture with traditional food, music, and a rodeo. Just one kilometer from the center of town is a carnival with food stalls and rides. However, the main even is the rodeo where cowboys ride on bulls. A great event for kids is the parade of horse riders which takes place on Saturday afternoon. 

Attractions and Activities


The beloved beach town of Montezuma is a short drive or bus ride away. In Montezuma, you can swim or sunbathe on the gorgeous white and black sand beaches, surf at Playa Grande, and hike to the gushing waterfalls. The town has many excellent international restaurants, several yoga studios, and great shopping with handmade artisan goods from all over the world.

Cabo Blanco National Park

On the very southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula is the Cabo Blanco National Park. This park, home to many endangered species of exotic animals, was actually the first official national park in the country. In the park one can hike along trails or swim in tide pools on the coast.

Santa Teresa/Mal Pais

Cóbano is just a forty-minute drive from the world famous surf breaks in Santa Teresa and Malpais. The surf here is some of the best in the entire country, and the beaches are jungle backed and gorgeous. In addition to beaches, this area has many yoga studios, retreat centers, international restaurants, and a well established expat community.


This tiny beach community is just a 20 minute drive from Santa Teresa and remains relaxed and quiet. At low tide there is a large lagoon with a rocky reef that makes for great snorkeling. In March, people flock here for the annual sandcastle building contest.

Rio Frio

Less than an hour drive from Cóbano is the Rio Frio, which is surrounded by wetlands that when flooded become a large lake. This river has plenty of marine life including freshwater sharks, caimans, and all kinds of lizards. Safari tours take passengers along the river spotting wildlife. Some people also come here to fish for snook, guapote, and tarpons.