It used to be a sleepy little village in the middle of nowhere, but all roads to the many enticing beaches of Southern Nicoya pass through Cóbano and the recent rapid growth of the beach villages has transformed Cóbano into the busy local hub for the entire southern Nicoya Peninsula.
It's a bustling crossroads during the daytime, providing the necessary infrastructure for all of the smaller towns and villages. Early each business day, the town fills up with Ticos, travelers, and resident expatriates from surrounding villages and beaches, to take care of business at the bank, health clinics, Post Office, the offices of the Municipalidad and other services. By sundown, however, Cóbano quickly returns to its sleepy roots and only a few foreigners are left on the streets.
As part of Cobano's progress, the big, circular rancho bar and restaurant, which used to be a traditional meeting point, has disappeared. It was taken down in 2007 to make way for a commercial center.
The Banco Nacional has long been the only bank on the whole southern Nicoya Peninsula. Waiting times used to be notorious, but are much improved since the introduction of ATM machines, open 24/7. Also, in 2007, another small bank was opened in Santa Teresa. Remember that for all banking in Costa Rica, your passport, not a copy, is mandatory.
Banco Nacional hours are from Monday to Friday 8:30 - 15:45.
There is one post office for the area, which is next door to the police station. Hours are from Monday to Friday 8:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 17:30. There is also the bus station, a pharmacy, several dentists, two Internet centers, a small hospital and a private ambulance service. Serious clinic cases are transferred to Puntarenas or San José.