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Nosara is a city in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This town has access to several great beaches and retains "Blue Flag" status as an environmentally clean area.


Get in[edit]

The easiest way in is via a flight to the Liberia Airport and then renting a (4 wheel drive) car, or taxi to Nosara. Eventually the roads turn to gravel on the way to the beach, and there is one point where you cross a river (minus that bridge thingy). There is also a bus that runs from the capital and Alajuela through Nicoya and on to Nosara.

Get around[edit]

Once in Nosara you really don't need a car to get around, though if you're in a hurry to get from the beachfront to Nosara town proper, a car or other transport is fastest.

If you do want to get around with a bit more freedom, a few local businesses will rent golf carts. This can be a convienent way to navigate. Other than golf carts, some people also use motorcycles, ATVs, or on horseback.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Playa Guiones. A 3 mile stretch of sand and surf. You won't find boozy bars, beach chairs and people selling over-priced trinkets. Just a beautiful roaring ocean beach with great surf, all bordered by jungle. (9.940456,-85.667825) edit
  • Ostional, [1]. About 10km north of Nosara, the Ostional Wildlife Refuge is home to thousands of nesting turtles. (9.962,-85.712) edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • MissSky Canapoy tours offers a two hour, 8 point zip-line course. Eventually the course is supposed to terminate in a bar in 'downtown' Nosara. As of April 2008 the course was still under construction.
  • Surf. Playa Guiones sports 2-6 ft waves, but getting past the rough stuff can be a lesson in humility. There are several places to rent boards. The cheapest option is to talk to the blond American at the Bar Tucan. He's given a $10/day deal in the past for 9 ft boards to folks he likes. Also, checkout Juan Surfo (he claims this is his real name) at Punto Surf Shop. Nice guy, decent prices and a local character.
  • Pacific Surf Nosara, (506) 891-38000 (), [2]. For good surf lessons in Playa Guiones or yoga go to Yati. The guy is really professional and has a lot of experience. They even have daily weather report on their site.  edit
  • Swim. Playa Pelada is a much better beach for swimming than the others (no deadly rip tide, no silt from the river).
  • Take a river cruise. A few operators will take you up the rivers, show you the native plants and animals and entertain you well educating you. Bring your camera and sunscreen. See crocs, iguanas, basilisks, birds beyond description. Well worth the time and money.
  • Costa Rica Yoga Spa, [3]. Will tailor a yoga retreat to exactly what you want, including trips to the turtle hatchery and zip line trips. Their yoga studio is a huge beautiful hut overlooking a huge area of national park - a great place for sunset yoga. Owners Jill, Ben and Darin are super friendly and helpful. Rooms are beautiful, all with views and balconies.  edit
  • Nosara Retreat, 506-2682-0209, [4]. Attend a yoga class, meditation, Sweat Lodge or healing ceremony at this unique, authentic bed and breakfast retreat center. Located just five minutes from Playa Pelada, you can do it all at Nosara Retreat. Monthly performances, workshops and other classes are also available. Visit for upcoming events  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • The Pot Guys will hound some members of your group to buy their pots, which are pretty, but they are, well, pots.
  • There's a small touristy street up from the Playa Guiones blue flag on the beach.
  • La Tiendita, Harmony Hotel (Nosara, Costa Rica), 506-2682-4114, [5]. Part Colette, part corner bookstore, the store supplies some crucial gear that's hard to find in Nosara, from Kiss My Face sundries you forgot to pack, to surf wax, to art supplies and of course.... books - a small but choice selection hand picked by owners John and Susan.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Gilded Iguana is the cheapest place near the hotels for a bite to eat and a beer, and it's a landmark in the area.
  • Olga's in Playa Pelada is a great location right on the beach and decent food. This place feels like it is straight out of a Hemingway novel. Dirt floor, chickens running loose, Iguanas in the rafters and a view that will make you gasp. Cold drinks on a hot day at Olga's is what Costa Rica is all about.
  • Casa Tucan and Casa Romantica have great food.
  • Rosie's is a good option for cheap and local food, they serve Arroz con Pollo, Casados and Tortillas
  • Harmony Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Harmony Hotel (Nosara, Costa Rica), 011-2682-4114 [email protected], [6]. The open air restaurant at the Harmony seats 40 guests in a stylish but casual atmosphere that draws upon 70's surf culture, Brazilian Modernism, and old school tropical resorts. Taking its cue from a harmonious way of living, the kitchen cooks up local organic seafood, fruits, and vegetables. This means a menu of options flavored by the exotic likes of wild ginger, taro, banana, plantains, mango, coconut and of course, black beans and rice. In addition to the main restaurant at the Harmony, La Cafeteria provides vegetarian tapas, fresh squeezed juices and herbal teas. Like the restaurant, they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Tucked amongst the trees and wildlife between the hotel and the future spa, La Cafeteria's rancho-style pitched thatch roof and open-air structure is an ancient form of native architecture that is still popular today. It's said that people from Bali landed here hundreds of years ago and brought this style of architecture with them.  edit
  • Beach Dog Cafe, (100 meters from the south beach entrance of Playa Guiones), [7]. Typical western beach food - burgers, wraps and shakes - but with some healthy options too. Closest food and drink to the beach in Guiones.  edit
  • Al Chile (at the Sunset Shack), (250 meters from the south entrance to Playa Guiones), [8]. New addition having opened in August 2014 offering fresh and filling tacos and burritos. Limited menu, but everything on it is exceptional. Great margaritas too. (9.942758,-85.666244) edit
  • El Manglar (at Olas Verdes Hotel), (200 meters South from Harbor Reef Hotel in Playa Guiones), [9]. 7am to 9pm, daily. Offers fresh and delicious meals and smoothies, mostly made from local organic ingredients. (9.942758,-85.666244) edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Most restaurants offer drinks as well. Olga's get's loud after dark
  • The Harmony Hotel Juice Bar, Harmony Hotel (Nosara, Costa Rica), 506-2682-4114 [email protected], [10]. The Harmony Juice Bar is an environmentally conscious, casual eatery that serves up fresh juice and tasty, health foods. The menu is filled with rejuvenating foods such as fruit smoothies, vegetable juice elixirs, organic salads, sandwiches, raw food creations, and healthy desserts. One of the best features of the Harmony Juice Bar is its emphasis on providing nourishing meals and snacks for travelers and beach goers. Stop by on your way to the beach and be pleasantly surprised by the juice bar’s fabulous selection of healthy snacks.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Casa Romantica offers air conditioned rooms right on the beach and a great pool. The owners are warm friendly people who can answer any questions about things to do in Nosara. This is a beautiful property steps from the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica.
  • Harmony Hotel, Guiones Beach, 506-2682-4114 (), [11]. Situated on the Guiones beach, the Harmony Hotel has a wellness-focused spa and yoga center, as well as a health-conscious restaurant and juice bar sourcing locally grown ingredients. The Harmony hotel has ten "Cocos" rooms (standard rooms) located along both sides of the swimming pool and central garden. They have a private deck towards the back with an outdoor shower, hammocks and rocking chairs. Spread throughout the property’s gardens there are 14 Bungalows, some with private decks and outdoor showers. All 24 accommodations reside on a path that meanders through a tropical garden overflowing with native vegetation. Sustainable features of the hotel include solar panels to heat hot water, onsite composting and food production, a chlorine-free pool system and much more.  edit
  • Olas Verdes Hotel, Guiones Beach, Nosara (500 meters West and 350 meters South of Cafe de Paris), 506-2682-0608 (), [12]. Sustainable boutique hotel located steps from the beach, across Nosara's Wildlife Refuge, has an in-house surfing school and yoga lessons; as well as El Manglar Restaurant which features fresh and delicious meals with local organic ingredients. Olas Verdes is an all-suite hotel surrounded by luscious endemic gardens.  edit
  • Lots of cheaper local rentals are available if you're looking for a beach house or something more informal.

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

  • Buses run along route 160 every couple of hours to Nicoya. There's a marked stop at the top of the main street into Guiones, though the bus will pick up anywhere on 160. Tickets ~c900 and trip the takes 75 - 90 mins.
  • Most hotels will also gladly sell a shuttle to almost anywhere. Expect to pay ~ 10x the local bus price.