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Nosara, Costa Rica Travel Guide (2024)



Welcome to the serene paradise of Nosara, Costa Rica, where the harmonious blend of yoga, surf, and natural beauty creates an idyllic setting for a rejuvenating getaway. Nestled along the Pacific coast, Nosara invites you to immerse yourself in its laid-back atmosphere and embrace the pura vida lifestyle. Join me as we explore the best that this enchanting town has to offer.


WHERE TO STAY IN NOSARA



Nosara offers a range of accommodation options, from eco-friendly resorts to boutique hotels, ensuring there's something for every traveler's taste and budget. However, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind while planning your accommodations.

Generally, Nosara is a relatively isolated and small town with a very rudimentary electrical and water system. Therefore, whether you're staying is the most luxurious resort or a B&B, be prepared for the possibility of electrical or water outages that indiscriminately impact various part of town. Do as the locals do, go with the flow and embrace the simplicity of life if you run into this while there. On the theme of inconveniences, bugs are unavoidable in Nosara and they'll be around (even in your hotel room) so get used to them. Nosara is sandwiched between the beach and the jungle, so there is no avoiding crawly critters.

Lastly, when selecting a hotel you'll want to consider the location in relation to the beach. If you choose a hotel in the mountains (such as Tierra Magnifica or a private rental), you have the benefit of stunning coastal views, more comfortable evening climates and a cool breeze. However you will have to take the short 5-10 minute drive down to town for most, if not all, activities (transport can be arranged via tuk tuk, ATV or a rental car with your hotel). In contrast, if you stay in Guiones Beach town (where most hotels, restaurants and activities are) you will be immersed in a more lively scene and have easy access to walk to your activities and the beach. The beach does have higher temperatures that persist day and night, with little breeze, so prepare for the heat.


  1. Harmony Hotel: Located just steps away from Playa Guiones, Harmony Hotel embodies the essence of sustainable luxury. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, this eco-chic retreat offers stylish rooms, a serene yoga pavilion, and a refreshing saltwater pool. Indulge in farm-to-table dining at the on-site restaurant, where fresh, organic ingredients are showcased in delectable dishes.

  2. Bodhi Tree Yoga Restort: the ideal escape for every yogi, surfer and wellness enthusiast looking to discover the magic of Costa Rica. Boasting an extensive yoga offerings, 5 separate yoga shalas, a renowned spa and juice bar, this is the place to go for a true escape.

  3. Silvestre Nosara: In the jungle, just steps away from the best surf break in Nosara, Costa Rica, are nine grand residences that seamlessly blend the luxury and sophistication of a hotel with the privacy, space and freedom of home. With family-friendly amenities, an unrivaled attention to detail and world-class speakers, Silvestre is not just another vacation rental, but the perfect environment to recharge, renew your spirit and become the best possible version of yourself.

  4. The Gilded Iguana: As the first hotel in Nosara, The Gilded Iguana holds a special place in the town's history. This iconic surf hotel boasts comfortable accommodations, a vibrant beachfront bar, and easy access to some of the best waves in Costa Rica. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a novic IN e looking to catch your first wave, The Gilded Iguana offers the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

  5. Tierra Magnifica: tucked away in the Huacas mountain neighborhood of Nosasra, this luxury hotel offers some of the most beautiful views of Nosara and playa guiones. Just bear in mind that you will need a ten minute 10 tuk tuk or ATV ride to reach town.


WHAT TO DO IN NOSARA




This Costa Rican gem isn't just another surf town – it's a whole vibe. Imagine waking up with the sun, hitting the waves before breakfast, and chilling with a smoothie bowl as the morning light dances on the ocean. :Life in Nosara runs on beach time. The sun rises early, sets early, and the whole town follows suit. So don't be surprised if things wind down early – restaurants, shops, you name it. Trust me, it's magic. Nosara's all about living in sync with nature and embracing the laid-back lifestyle. So, pack your bikini and leave the city hustle behind – adventure awaits!


  1. Surfing: Renowned for its consistent waves and sandy beaches, Nosara is a surfer's paradise. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, the waves at Playa Guiones cater to all skill levels. Enroll in a surf lesson with one of the local surf schools, where experienced instructors will guide you through the fundamentals and help you catch your first wave.

  2. Yoga Classes or Retreats: With its tranquil setting and serene ambiance, Nosara is the perfect destination for a yoga retreat. Numerous yoga studios and retreat centers offer daily classes and immersive retreat experiences, allowing you to deepen your practice while surrounded by nature's beauty. Practice sun salutations at sunrise, unwind with restorative sessions in the afternoon, and let go of stress as you find peace in savasana. Some of my favorite studios to practice at include: - Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort - Nalu Nosara - Nomadic Hotel - Norte Nosara - Harmony Hotel

  3. ATV and Waterfall Tour: explore the land on 4 wheels and make your way up the jungle mountains to a waterfall excursion. If you visit during wet season (May to November), expect to see some stunning falls.

  4. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Explore Nosara's scenic coastline from a different perspective with a stand-up paddleboarding excursion. Glide along the tranquil waters of the Nosara River or venture out into the open ocean for a unique vantage point of the coastline. Keep an eye out for playful dolphins and gentle sea turtles as you paddle along the pristine waters.

  5. Nature Walks and Wildlife Viewing: Nosara is home to diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife, making it a nature lover's paradise. Embark on guided nature walks through lush rainforests and mangrove swamps, where you'll have the opportunity to spot howler monkeys, exotic birds, and other indigenous species. For a truly unforgettable experience, visit the Ostional Wildlife Refuge during olive ridley sea turtle nesting season, when thousands of turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.


WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN NOSARA


As you explore this vibrant surf town, prepare your taste buds for a journey through Costa Rican cuisine like never before. With its abundance of fresh seafood straight from the ocean, Nosara offers a tantalizing array of dining options, from beachside cafes to hidden gems tucked away in the lush jungle. Here, the focus is on simplicity and quality, with dishes that celebrate the vibrant flavors of locally sourced ingredients. Whether you're craving traditional gallo pinto for breakfast, ceviche bursting with zesty citrus, or indulging in a sunset dinner overlooking the ocean, Nosara's dining scene has something to satisfy every palate. Just remember, in a town where the sun rises early and sets just as swiftly, it's essential to plan ahead. Be sure to make dinner reservations for around sunset time, but don't forget to check the sunset schedule for the dates of your visit to make the most of your dining experience in this culinary haven.


  1. Destiny Cafe: Kickstart your day with a delightful breakfast or lunch at Destine Cafe. This cozy cafe offers a welcoming atmosphere and a menu filled with delicious options to fuel your adventures in Nosara. From hearty breakfast burritos to fresh salads and sandwiches, Destine Cafe has something for everyone. Pair your meal with a freshly brewed cup of Costa Rican coffee or a refreshing smoothie made with local fruits.

  2. Howler's: For a satisfying lunch in between surf sessions or sightseeing excursions, head to Howlers. This laid-back restaurant and bar serves up a variety of casual fare, including mouthwatering seafood carpaccio, tacos, and passionfruit lemonade. Relax on the outdoor patio with a cold beer or tropical cocktail as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere and friendly vibes of Howlers

  3. La Luna Restaurant: Set amidst a tropical garden overlooking the ocean, La Luna Restaurant offers a romantic setting for a memorable dining experience. Feast on delicious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood, handcrafted pastas, and decadent desserts. Don't miss the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunset while sipping cocktails on the restaurant's outdoor terrace.

  4. Coyol: Another excellent choice for a sunset dinner is Coyol, a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Nosara mountains. This intimate restaurant specializes in contemporary Costa Rican cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and bold flavors. Savor the chef's innovative creations as you dine al fresco under the stars, surrounded by the tranquil sounds of nature. Don't miss the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunset at this mountaintop location.

  5. Organico: Stock up on healthy groceries and enjoy fast-casual organic fare at Organico, a popular spot among health-conscious locals and visitors alike. Browse the shelves stocked with fresh produce, organic pantry staples, and artisanal goods, or grab a quick bite to eat from the cafe's menu of wholesome salads, wraps, and smoothies. Whether you're in need of provisions for your vacation rental or simply craving a nutritious meal on the go, Organico has you covered.

  6. La Ventanita: Start your morning on a sweet note with coffee and pastries from La Ventanita, a charming cafe located in the heart of Nosara. Indulge in freshly baked croissants, muffins, and pastries paired with a rich espresso or creamy latte made with locally roasted beans. With its cozy atmosphere and friendly service, La Ventanita is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or mid-morning pick-me-up before heading out to explore Nosara's attractions.

  7. Gilded Iguana Restaurant: After a day of surfing or exploring, refuel with a meal at the Gilded Iguana Restaurant. Known for its laid-back vibe and flavorful dishes, this beachfront eatery serves up a diverse menu of international and Costa Rican cuisine. Enjoy live music performances by local artists as you dine under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of the ocean.

  8. Cafe de Paris: Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Cafe de Paris, a charming French bakery located in the heart of Nosara. Treat yourself to freshly baked pastries, savory crepes, and aromatic espresso drinks made with locally roasted coffee beans. With its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, Cafe de Paris is the perfect spot to fuel up before a day of adventure.



WHERE TO SHOP IN NOSARA



  1. Nosara Farmers' Market: Experience the vibrant flavors and colors of Costa Rica at the Nosara Farmers' Market. Held every Tuesday weekly in downtown Nosara, this bustling market showcases a diverse array of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal products. Browse stalls overflowing with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, or pick up unique souvenirs such as handcrafted jewelry, textiles, and pottery.

  2. Nosara Artisans Market: Discover one-of-a-kind treasures at the Nosara Artisans Market, where local artisans showcase their handmade goods and artwork. From intricately woven textiles to hand-carved wooden sculptures, the market offers a diverse selection of unique souvenirs and gifts. Chat with the artisans as they demonstrate their craftmanship and learn about the cultural significance of their creations.

  3. Nosara Shops: Sprinkled throughout town, you will find a variety of boutiques featuring local and foreign designers. Some of my favorite shops in town include:


  • Alberka - Cool fashion pieces

  • La Galeria Nosara - Locally sourced home decor and furnishings

  • Lobo Nosara - cool surf shop with home, beauty and fashion

  • Bazzar Nosara - bohemian style and jewelry

  • Love Nosara - locally dyed textiles


Nosara, Costa Rica, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and laid-back charm that captivates travelers from around the world. Whether you're seeking adrenaline-pumping surf sessions, tranquil yoga retreats, or simply a peaceful escape surrounded by nature, Nosara has something to offer every type of traveler. Embrace the pura vida lifestyle as you immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this enchanting coastal town. Happy travels!

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