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Officially, Nosara is about 5 miles inland but gives its name to a cluster of beach towns that run along the Nicoya Peninsula, on the Pacific side of Costa Rica: Playa Garza, Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada, and Playa Ostional.
For most, Playa Guiones is considered part of Nosara; Guiones is a beautiful little beach town with a strong multicultural focus. There’s plenty of wildlife in the surrounding jungle, and Nosara, Costa Rica, is best known for two things: yoga and surfing.
Nosara is difficult to get to with its natural, untamed coastline; the road can be tricky to navigate by car, and there may even be a river or two to cross. A four-wheel drive isn’t necessarily required (especially during dry season) but it is highly recommended. From San José it can take up to 4 and a half hours by road and if you are arriving in Liberia it can take up to 3 hours to drive.
During the green season, the road is essentially impassable, and the detour up through Santa Cruz adds a bit of time to the trip.
The most recommended way to travel to Nosara is by helicopter or plane either from San Jose with a flight time of 45 minutes or from Liberia with a flight time of 30 minutes. From there you can rent an SUV or take a taxi or an Uber to get where you want to go in the area.
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The Gilded Iguana has a relaxed atmosphere with 28 rooms of laid-back luxury, a jacuzzi, and pool bar. The original beach hotel in Nosara, the hotel’s restaurant serves a mix of Mediterranean and Costa Rican flavors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tuesday nights, the bar hosts live music. If you want to learn to surf or fine-tune your skills, their on-site surf school–just steps from Playa Guiones–will do nicely.
At Olas Verdes Boutique Hotel, the focus is on sustainable luxury. With poolside and luxury suites, as well as 2 beach apartment levels, Olas Verdes has an outdoor saltwater pool, garden, and yoga deck. El Manglar, the hotel’s restaurant, is one of the town’s best.
The Bodhi Tree typifies the area’s focus on yoga and wellness in luxurious comfort. Accommodation ranges from villas to bungalows to rooms. There are several yoga decks and an on-site surf school. Other services include a gym, Pilates center, spa, wellness services, and even a free shuttle service.
In Nosara there is a great variety of private villas and vacation rental houses to choose from. Great for groups of family or friends, there are rental properties for every budget.
In a vacation rental, you have plenty of options for luxurious relaxation with private chefs, housekeeping services, and more.
We recommend renting a vacation home for longer stays. One of our experts can help you find the perfect house or the ideal hotel, depending on what you need.
From fresh seafood to creative vegetarian dishes, there are many places to drink and dine in Nosara. Try family-style barbeque at La Brasa Guiones, where you can also enjoy the Argentinian-style grill. Burgers and Beer serves up delicious Angus or portobello burgers and a selection of craft beers.
Il Basilico mixes in a bit of Costa Rican flavor for delicious food in a tropical jungle setting in a family-friendly Italian restaurant. Steps away from the Nosara Yoga Institute, Il Basilico is Costa Rican owned and staffed.
Serving breakfast and lunch, Café de Paris has the best pastries and meals made with passion. It’s also well-known for its fresh bread. The café has a swimming pool, basketball court, playground, and Jungle Mini Golf.
A long-standing local and tourist favorite, the Beach Dog Café serves a fresh, creative menu just steps from the beach. The tacos are amazing, and the assortment of quesadillas—decadent. Open all-day, Saturdays feature Tracks & Snacks, with local music and good eats.
Playa Guiones is a world-famous surfing destination, with some of the most consistent waves year-round. Agua Tibia and Chorotegas surf schools offer private and group lessons and surf trips to the area’s hotspots. You’ll find the best waves from March to October or November, but really, if you’re hardcore, any time of the year is the right time to paddle out at Nosara.
Just off-shore, the Pacific Ocean teems with blue, black, and striped marlin and sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and more. Fishing charters range from an hour to a full day. Captain Vibert, Secret Spot Ocean Experience, gets high marks from satisfied clients. They also do a sunset cruise, and they’ll take you spearfishing or whale and dolphin watching.
For snorkeling, the reef off San Juanillo’s secluded, the pink-sand beach is one of the best. Isla Rosada, also with pink-sand beaches, is another snorkeling hotspot, but only at low tide.
If you’ve ever longed to dive a shipwreck, try Buceo Gailana at Playa Garza, 20 minutes from Playa Guiones. While diving, you’re likely to see whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and dolphins. If diving isn’t for you, they also rent quads and will arrange horseback riding, trips to Arenal, and ziplining for you.
Ostional National Wildlife Refuge extends from Playa Ostional to the north to Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada in the south. Every year, Olive Ridley sea turtles arrive in this area in vast arribadas to lay their eggs. Hatchlings start scampering to the surf about 50 days later. There are several nighttime tour operators.
If you want salsa lessons, head for El Bar; they have Latin music lessons every Wednesday night or Selina’s every Monday night. There’s salsa every Monday afternoon at the Bodhi Tree.
A yoga mecca, Nosara, Costa Rica, has many yoga retreats, centers, and classes. Harmony Hotel and Bodhi Tree offer fitness and yoga lessons.
To find the perfect hotel or vacation rental, plan your adventures and get there quickly by chartered flight, reach out to our adventure experts today.