Isla Chira, North Puntarenas

Driving close to Isla Chira
Driving close to Isla Chira

If you want the island experience while still having close access to mainland conveniences, Isla Chira is the vacation destination for you. Floating idyllic in the Gulf of Nicoya, Isla Chira rests on the Pacific like a shining gem floating against the sea. This island, which is only 30 miles in circumference, offers stunning ocean views and the friendly charm of island life.

Laid-Back Island Lifestyle

Isla Chira’s three villages boast a population of approximately 3,000 villagers involved in fishing, salt panning, and farming. It’s often said that time moves slower in the islands, but you’ll hardly notice time passing as you engage with Isla Chira’s friendly villagers and take in the sun, sand, and island food. Discover the local culture and learn why Isla Chira has a reputation as the perfect spot for relaxation.

If you’re looking for an even more isolated getaway, find your way to the peak of one of the mountains, where a secluded island sanctuary offers respite from the busy outside world. From the sanctuary peak you can see the entire island, and marvel at the breathless wonder of its natural beauty.

Stunning Biodiversity and Natural Resources

Isla Chira holds the record of the nation’s most intact section of tropical dry forest biodiversity. Set against beautiful landscapes and rolling mountains, the flora of Isla Chira can captivate any photographer or eco-tourist for hours on end. This includes Costa Rica’s mangrove swamps and Río Tempisque, the largest river in Costa Rica.

Easy Access by Boat

Located in Costa Rica’s north Puntarenas province, Isla Chira is easily accessible by boat from the city of Puntarenas. Hitch a ride on the daily boat from the fish market or charter a rented boat from Pájaros or San Pablo. In only 15 minutes you can leave the mainland behind to find yourself surrounded by crystal-clear waters and shining sand.

Convenience and Comfort

There’s no need to venture off the island for a great meal or necessities. Isla Chira offers a number of delicious restaurants with authentic Costa Rican cuisine, including a number of local specialties and delicacies. Anything else you might need can be found in the island’s convenience stores and hardware stores, ensuring you never have to travel far to stay in comfort with necessary conveniences at your fingertips.

Local History and Traditions

Since the early times of the original Chorotega Indigenous Tribe, one of the oldest indigenous populations in Costa Rica, Isla Chira has enjoyed an annual New Year’s tradition. Each year, on the cusp of the new year, every villager on the island gathers to wait for the sunrise. If you happen to visit at the end of the year, you can join them to watch the dawn of a new day and the breaking of a new year over the horizon.

The Mystery of the Unexplored

Much of Isla Chira is unexplored, and you can have the thrill of discovering it for yourself by roving the island’s mountains, forests, and beaches. With a number of fascinating ecological systems, you can explore salt pans and mangrove swamps in a single day, all within walking distance of each other. Discover hidden treasures and unearth stunning views whose memory will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Pick Up the Pace

If the pace of island life is too slow for you, there are plenty of exciting activities you can take part in. Take an invigorating bike ride along well-worn lanes, or venture off the beaten path to discover new trails among the overhanging trees. Commune with nature on a horseback ride and enjoy the adrenaline-packed rush of a gallop down the coast. Take a hike to experience the beauty of nature up close and test your limits with hills and mountainsides riddled with fascinating challenges.

Around Beautiful Costa Rica Tour
10 Days / 9 Nights
Starting at $1,071 per person
Costa Rica Cloud Forest & Arenal Volcano Tour
6 Days / 5 Nights
Starting at $878 per person

Where to Stay near Isla Chira

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Rancho Humo Estancia
Starting at $157 / night
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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Starting at $150 / night
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Hotel Belvedere
Starting at $65 / night
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Villas Playa Sámara Beach Front Resort
Starting at $251 / night - All Inclusive
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Barceló Tambor
Starting at $127 / night
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Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas
Starting at $207 / night
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Kalapiti Luxury Jungle Suites
Starting at $199 / night
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Hotel Casa del Mar
Starting at $40 / person

Things to Do near Isla Chira

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Adventure Flights Costa Rica
Starting at $150 / tour
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Del Mar Surf Camp - Nosara
Starting at $65 / person
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El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour
Starting at $75 / tour
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Efrain's Nature Tours
Starting at $55 / tour
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Vista Los Sueños Rainforest Tours
Starting at $65 / tour
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El Trapiche Tour
Starting at $33 / tour