Known for its impressive lush beaches, Nosara is a popular destination among surfers, yogis, families and nature lovers. It is a place of tranquility, natural beauty, consistent waves all year long, and an open multicultural community. The concern with environmental sustainability is part of daily live in Nosara too. And it is located in the Nicoya Peninsula, considered one of the 5 Blue Zones of the world, that is, where people live healthily over 100 years. The locals here can live that long because of the good quality of the air and water, lots of fresh food all year long, their active lifestyle and their deep sense of family.
Nosara is a district with many towns and beaches. Guiones is a town specialized in tourism, so you can find all the comforts that you need, but since everything is spread out among the jungle, you don’t get the sense of being in a touristy place. Guiones is the most popular since it has consistent waves for beginners to professional during the whole year, a lot of restaurants for all kinds of diets, yoga centers, stores and hotels. Pelada is a small town with both tourism and locals, and a beautiful beach perfect to swim. Garza is a small local fishing town, most boat tours depart from Garza for fishing, whale and dolphin watching, snorkeling, and more. Nosara town is not on the coast, and it’s where most locals live, you can visit the town to experience the true Costa Rican culture and food. There are other small villages all around.
Nosara’s uniquely beautiful beaches, Guiones, Pelada, Garza, Boca Nosara, are all part of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established to protect the turtles that come each month to Ostional beach for nesting their eggs. For this reason it is forbidden to build on the border of the beach, what has helped with the conservation of the flora and fauna in the refuge, and has kept Nosara the tropical paradise it is. The buildings surrounding the beaches are small scale developments, so you won’t find any big international hotels or beaches full of tourists and chairs, fast food restaurants or paved roads. And most hotels and restaurants are eco friendly and bring help to the community. Just the perfect place to reconnect with nature and find peace.
Today Nosara consists of a vast tropical forest, but it wasn’t always like this.
The first settlers of the Nicoya Peninsula were the Chorotega, the indigenous people that are still alive and nowadays live mostly in the town of Matambú (you can visit them, around one hour from Nosara). Actually, Nosara was the name of a Chorotega princess that died on its beach fighting for love. Then the Spanish came and eventually the land was used for cattle. This destroyed most of the primary forest until the sixties when the land that is now Guiones and Pelada was bought to build what is now called the “American Project”, and a golf course that fortunately never got built.
When the first foreigners came to live in the Nosara district, the small local community had no roads or even an estable electricity service. The expatriates community developed along with the local community. In 1979 the first road was built and electricity came until the 80’s. The forest began to cover the lands again to become what is now one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica, and the area was established as part of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.
Now, you can find a community that is a unique mix, multicultural, with locals and foreigners looking to enjoy this peaceful place they call home.
Some important facts you need to know during your time in Nosara.
From November to April is the high season, the weather is dry and it almost never rains, so it’s perfect to enjoy everything Nosara has to offer and prices go up. From May to August it’s low season, it rains more, especially in May. Usually, if it rains during the morning, the afternoons are sunny and vice versa. Normally it doesn’t rain everyday and during this rainy season everything gets green. In the months of September and October it tends to rain more.
One concern people have when they travel to another country is water. The water in Costa Rica is safe to drink, and it’s considered one of the reasons that Nicoya is a Blue Zone (the 5 areas in the world where people live healthily over a 100 years). However if you still don’t feel like drinking tap water, be sure to use a reusable bottle, as plastic disposable ones cause pollution in the oceans. Many places will be more than happy to refill your bottle with filtered water and you can buy reusable bottles easily. And if you definitely have to buy a plastic bottle, most hotels and restaurants participate in recycling programs so you can dispose of your plastic there. If you’re staying long term and want to recycle, Nosara Recicla has a truck that collects recyclable waste once a week.
There’s one gas station in Nosara, on the road between Nosara town and Guiones. The next closest one is on the way to Sámara. The roads are in the process of being paved, but for now you’ll find dirt roads with potholes and dust, so be careful if driving. Here’s more information if you’re interested in how to get to Nosara or how to move around once you’re here.
There are two banks, one in Guiones and one next to the gas station. The two of them have ATM machines. If you’re not Costa Rican, you need to show your passport to make transactions. The local currency is the Colón, but in the touristic places dollars are generally accepted, to change currencies you can go to the banks.
In Nosara town there’s a post office, a pharmacy, stores, supermarkets (Super Nosara is the most popular as they have a wide variety of products) and many local restaurants if you want to try local food. A small airport for internal flights is also located in Nosara town.
In Guiones and Pelada there are restaurants, clothing stores, gift shops, surf schools, yoga centers, tour agencies, a spanish school, bike rentals, book exchanges.
A private clinic, Paradise Medical, is also located in Guiones and they offer a variety of medical services. There are other smaller clinics and private doctors if you need, but the only hospital is located in Nicoya. Here you can have a look of the medical services you may need.
Pets are happy in Nosara, many people bring their animal friends as they can enjoy themselves freely with all the space available. Be sure to check all the paperwork necessary to bring pets into Costa Rica
Many families choose to bring their kids to one of the multicultural schools in Nosara. They have the same school schedule as in Europe and the USA, and have programs for families visiting for short periods of time. Check this list of activities to do with kids if you come with your children.
Nosara is not a party destination, but you can find night activities like live music and dancing nights. Especially during Fridays and Saturdays you can find more nightlife, check our Weekly Events Calendar.
There are lots of restaurants in Nosara, so you’ll never get bored when eating out. Italian, Japanese, American, Costa Rican, Peruvian, Mexican, seafood, grill, mediterranean, smoothies, vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten-free... It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, you’ll get it here. Take a look at the best restaurants of Nosara.
If you’re interested in helping the we have a list of organizations that need volunteers or donations. From helping turtles and monkeys, the environment, people in need, to development associations.
There’s a common story in Nosara: “I came for a week, and I never left”. Many families, surfers, yogis and people looking for a peaceful place to live fall in love with Nosara and decide to buy a property. If you’re interested in Real Estate services you can take a look at your options here.