3 Crucial Tips for the Best Nosara Driving Experience

Sit Back – Relax – Enjoy The Ride.  How to make the most from the Nosara driving experience.

Potholes the size of bomb craters, navigation problems due to poor road signs, curvy roads, blind corners, car theft and flooded rivers are just a few of the reasons that may cause Nosara visitors to rethink the idea of renting a car. Furthermore, the cost of renting a car, particularly when you add on the all but mandatory insurance policy usually amounts to way more than you’d fork out in the USA or Europe.  Now that we’ve listed the disclaimers, here’s the flip side of car rental in Nosara: it can be a great opportunity to visit the many fantastic places you may otherwise miss. In order to get to some of the most under explored and picturesque locations on the local map there’s simply no substitute for a car. However, the fact remains that the roads in and Nosara can be hazardous. Accidents can, and do, happen. The debate regarding the paving of Nosara’s roads has been a hot topic for decades, with legitimate arguments for and against. Despite the ongoing rhetoric between residents and politicians the fact remains that the dusty, swerving, bumpy roads that connect the local area pose a danger for pedestrians, local residents, and drivers. With this in mind nosara.com has compiled the following advisory guidelines in order to make the driving experience of nosara visitors as safe and enjoyable as possible.

The waves aren’t going anywhere

You’ve checked the surf report and looked at the cam. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be staying in a room with a view and have seen firsthand that the surf at Playa Guiones is firing that morning. After throwing your boards on the roof rack it’s time to hit the beach. You quite literally CANNOT WAIT to enter the water. You hit the gas while savoring the mental images of the long, perfect lines about to be served up. Stop right there! Take a breath, remember you’re on vacation and ask yourself whether flooring the accelerator to get to the beach a mere two minutes earlier is really going to make that much difference to your session. Also, remember that just because its 6am doesn’t mean the roads will be clear. In addition to the many residents and locals off to begin their work day, remember that you may not be the only one who’s heading to the beach. Take a breath, remember where you are, and enjoy your morning at the kind of pace  you came on vacation to embrace.


Driving in Nosara road surrounded by natureIt’s been many years since the promotional campaign concerning this “beautiful  jungle paradise located in the remote jungles of Costa Rica” began. The marketing was effective. Nowadays the word is out and the crowds are in.  Unfortunately many visitors arrive with the idea that Nosara is still a secret, and that the roads, much like the waves,  will be clear of traffic – they’re wrong.  In  some cases the realization that the dusty roads can be slow and frustrating  gives way to stupid driving decisions – the best example being overtaking. Although the roads that connect the local area do contain sections where, if done with care, overtaking another vehicle can be done safely, the majority of the roads, particularly in and around Playa Guiones are curved, with multiple blind corners. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop some drivers from trying their luck. Sure, there’s many drivers for whom the gamble pays off. But then there’s the others, for whom the losses only become real when, and if, they  regain their post-smash senses.  Remember also, even if you have a safe opportunity to pass the slow-moving vehicle in front, if that comes at the cost of dusting a local on a motorbike then you won’t be doing yourself, or the reputation of the entire tourist community any favors.

River crossings 

There’s a good reason car rental contracts include fine print that voids the entire deal if the driver takes their vehicle through a river.  Although river crossings only present a hazard during certain parts of the year (May – November) in order to avoid a potentially perilous situation it can be vital to know what to look for. Don’t assume that just because a river offers the only directional option that it must be okay to cross. Examples in and around Nosara can be found driving both North (en route to Ostional) and South to Samara.  If you’re driving and  find yourself face to face with that a large section of water  that needs to be navigated then the first thing to do is sit and wait. If the river is crossable then sooner or later a local will come along and do just that. Chances are that person will take the shallowest, safest line – follow it. When you hit the water don’t go too fast as the resulting bow wave may flood your air intake and its game over. However, don’t go to slow either. The lack of forward momentum may bog you down after which it’s a matter of time before the electronics and engine become flooded. Lastly, once you reach the other side avoid the temptation to stop and instagram the tale of your epic river crossing. Remember your engine is probably still full of water and you need to keep moving and shake it out as soon as possible.

Ready to rent your car and drive to Nosara? If you need to stop and ask for directions, here you will find some Costa Rican phrases to help you communicate.

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