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Playa Ostional


Located at the seaside village of Ostional, is the heart of the Nosara-Ostional Wildlife Refuge which protects its coast. This 162 hectare of land and 587 hectares of ocean have been set aside to specifically protect one of the largest nesting sites for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. Hundreds (and sometimes hundred of thousands) arrive in large groups every three to four weeks and last for about a week on the darkest nights following a new moon.

What triggers this mass nesting is still a mystery, but the importance of this spot has been recognized by all major global environmental organizations. The peak season is from May to November during the new moon. However, on any given night throughout the year you can still see turtles in small groups.

The turtle will dig a hole large enough to lay 70 - 150 "ping-pong ball" sized eggs. The whole process for each turtle -from the water and back- takes approximately an hour and a half. After six weeks, a little miniature turtle struggle out of the sand and it is usual for them to have their head pop up next to you while you're sitting on the beach. After surfacing, the race to the ocean is on. Scientists believe the species produce an over abundance of eggs to promote their survival. The more there are, allows a greater survival rate. Nevertheless, most of the eggs don't hatch, and most of the hatchlings never reach maturity.

Through a managed conservation plan, the residents of Ostional are allowed to harvest the eggs from early stages of the nesting. Most turtles return to the beach several times and the earlier eggs tend to be damaged by other turtles as the nesting progresses.

The giant leatherback turtles, as well as the rare and endangered green turtle also nests here, but in much smaller numbers. Ostional is decidedly a special place in the planet and deserving of the most dedicated conservation efforts.


If the surf is good at Guiones it can be better at Ostional. However, beware of the strong currents and hidden rock forms. Moreover, because of the turtle nesting, there are many underwater predators abound i.e. sharks. Add this to the strong rip currents and the hot black sand beaches and you're left with "user-unfriendly" swimming and surfing conditions.




Playa Nosara


A true "tico" (Costa Rican) experience is by the river. Finding this beach is not so easy but well worth your effort. It is the most remote beach with vehicle accessibility or simply walking on a rough road to the river. This vigorous walk is a perfect workout for those adventurous enough, and will be well rewarded. It's highly recommended and the only place to observe the local fishermen, using ancient fishing techniques. Fishing is at its best on the incoming tide, when fish like snook and sea basses wait for river shrimp and other estuary life to feed on.

Large oval fishing nets are thrown at the mouth of the river to trap the shrimp. A small weight attacked to a fishing line wrapped around a wooden board is also an effective fishing technique and often produces enough fish to feed the fisherman and his family.


At low tide you can wade across the river to Playa Nosara. Crossing at high tide is advised only if you enjoy getting wet. Watch your step; the shallow water can be deceiving with its slippery rocks. This is a great place for river canoeing and the best opportunity to see a variety of birds and other wildlife. Like the rest of Nosara beaches, the waves here can get good and it's always worthwhile checking out.





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Photo Gallery

Playa Pelada


A short cut through the north point of Playa Guiones brings you to the shady trees and tidal pools of Playa Pelada. This beach has a very -family oriented- feeling. A blowhole occurring on one of its rock formations provides a spectacular sight, especially during the transition of the tides. The sound of the sea and its enormous power is an experience to remember.


Surfers beware! Although Playa Pelada is quite gentle most of the year, the waves can get big and carry a mean punch. When it breaks it breaks, mainly over a jagged rock reef.


Just beyond the rocky reef you will find a beautiful walk toward the river mouth. Herrings, gulls, and pelicans will surround you. Take some time out on the sand and watch the pelicans search and swoop for their fish.








Playa Guiones


White sand stretching approximately 3 miles in an almost perfect crescent shape may sound to good to be true, but in Nosara it is. This beautiful beach is surrounded with lush vegetation and lined with a few ranchitos (thatch roof huts) to shade you from the sun. Warm water and gentle waves mixing with long beach breaks; make this a perfect place for swimming, surfing, or just frolicking in the waves.


The naturally occurring tropical dry forest (one of the earth's rarest ecosystems) keeps wildlife in their natural environment year round.


The point to the south offers one a rare opportunity to walk to one of the world's few pink sand beaches. Here you will find tide pools perfect for snorkeling. These are protected by a small offshore barrier reef. Good shelling conditions exist throughout the year from here all the way to the point to the north.


Quality and consistency makes this beach THE spot for surfing in Costa Rica. Great beach break conditions, with multiple peaks both left and right. The place has become popular among traveling "Longboarders". Great surf can occur at any time during the year, however November through May will offer you the best chance of finding excellent conditions. As in California, the best time for surfing is early morning.





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Photo Gallery

Playa Garza


A fisherman's paradise. This small bay with its rocky coves, and long sandy beaches, creates the perfect natural harbor. You feel transcended back in time to a small fishing village that has had little change over the last decade. Colorful pangas (skiffs) line the shore with a few sport-fishing boats moored in the bay.


The world class offshore fishing found in Garza did not happen by chance. Garza is protected from the winds that normally blow from December through April. The fish population tends to move north to this area from the central area during this time. You only need motor 10 to 30 miles off shore to be in the middle of the deepest part of a submarine canyon that runs from the North America's west coast through Central and South America. If offshore fishing is not in your budget, you can enjoy a similar experience by hiring out a local skiff and going 1/2 mile offshore where you will find great tuna, snapper and mahi-mahi.

The thrill of reeling in a prize Marlin or Sailfish is a daily occurrence. You always have an added "treat" of watching a few turtles swim by or having a giant school of dolphin that can spread over the range of a mile.

When you think about Garza, much more than fishing comes to mind. Garza's naturally formed bay with its two distinct small barrier reefs creates beautiful, tranquil beaches. Crystal Beach, where you can see clear and semi-transparent smooth rocks covering its shores instead of shells. And, Playa Rosada (pink beach) one of the longest pink sand beaches on Guiones point. You will need to take a short walk up the hill to the point to access this beach. Both are so secluded you will probably not see another person.