Coastal Eats: Food in the Nicoya Peninsula

Coastal Eats: Food in the Nicoya Peninsula

November 02, 2018

fresh. local. made with love.

There's nothing like the sound of howler monkeys as you sip your morning coffee.

When travelling abroad, I get a ritualistic pang of nervousness when it comes to food. Delhi belly, Montezuma's Revenge, whatever you like to call it - its a general fear of stomach cramping (and more) caused by contamination by non-purified water sources. Were the vegetables washed in tap water? Is the ice in this drink made from purified water? As a result, I often avoid raw foods, leaving me me feeling a little veggie deprived.

One of my favourite parts about travelling to Costa Rica is that the tap water is drinkableand safe for non-natives to drink (in most parts) - making this lush green agrarian society is a haven for delicious, raw eats. Plus, it is recognized by author Dan Buettner as a "blue zone" region, where where a large number of people are living to be at least 100. He theorizes that this pattern has a lot to do with the immense supply of vitamin D from the sun, as well as a vitamin-rich local diet consisting of fresh, locally prepared whole foods.

Local foodie tips:

  • Take a visit to Nena. Drive down the main road and turn in at a hand made sign saying "coco oil" and you'll get a chance to meet one of the peninsula's most notable jam and coconut oil makers in Cabuya. See how she produces it in her home, and take some home to savour. 
  • There is a local restaurant called Fusion Mar y Tierra (Sea and Land Fusion) located just before the entrance to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. The owner use to be a chef at a Japanese restaurant in San Jose, so the menu offers everything from typical Costa Rican fare ("typico") to Japenese Food. We highly recommend the Cabo Blanco Roll (avocado, shrimp tempura, topped with sweet plantain).
  • Grab a fresh coconut at the entrance to the Montezuma waterfalls. We recommend grabbing one on your way out, as you might need your hands to stabilize yourself on the tricky hiking points on the way in.
  • There is an abandoned mango orchard in Cabuya village, stop by and pick a fresh mango. Depending on the season, they can be as lush as butter.
  • Try the iced cappuccino at the Cabuya Bakery and Cafe - its so good there must be ice cream in it.
  • Try the passionfruit Mojito at Banana Beach Bar in Santa Teresa - it is our favourite. We might even dub it the official #originlife drink.

Origin Travels visits this region on their Surf + Yoga + Explore Costa Rica and Costa Rica + Guatemala Explorer trips. Meals on this trip will be packed with fresh, locally sourced vegetables and with fresh, fruit-rich smoothies to accompany each meal. Vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated. Can you say, Pura vida? Even better, they will be prepared by the hand of the sincere, kind, and hilarious chef Randy - he will be one of the highlights of your trip (we promise). We'd even eat the food reserved for the animals on the on-site wildlife rescue centre.



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