Nosara, Costa Rica

Recently ranked among the World’s 20 Best Surf Towns, a list compiled by National Geographic, Nosara is without a doubt a Mecca for wave riders. With several beaches to choose from for all levels of ability and experience, this destination is spread out across one of the world’s most powerful “Blue Zones,” areas known for the rare longevity and happiness of their residents.

Yogis, conservationists, vegetarians and all of the above are also magnetically drawn to this place, which boasts several world-famous yoga schools and retreat centers, a massage school, and a handful of truly special restaurants that serve dishes and treats for the less carnivorous yogic palates.

Nosara is home to Playa Guiones, one of Costa Rica’s most consistent beach breaks and a gorgeous stretch of 7 km of white sand. The smaller Playa Pelada is set before a lining of mangroves and a famous blowhole sprays water out from the rocks during high tide. Playa Garza is a quiet expanse of light-colored sand, seashells and rocks located next to the village of Garza. Playa Nosara marks the Nicoya Peninsula’s northern border and is only accessible by wading through the Nosara River. The difficult access means that few visitors make it here, but beware of the menacing waves here, they are not meant for amateurs!

Ostional Wildlife Refuge, located only 6 km north of Nosara, is the largest Olive Ridley turtle nesting site in the world, where hundreds and sometimes thousands of turtles come to lay their eggs every year between July and December. Night tours can be arranged to watch the majestic arribadas, or mass egg-laying.

Weather and Packing Checklist

Nosara enjoys some of the best weather Costa Rica has to offer, with a great deal of sunshine and heat over most of the year. During the peak of the rainy season in September and October, the area shuts down, livening up again from November to August, when the weather is generally blissful. Temperatures during the day range between the upper 80s to lower 90s, and nighttime lows hover in the upper 70s. 

Remember to pack your surf gear, yoga clothes, flip flops, shorts, t-shirts, hats, and a beach towel or sarong. Also, don’t forget to bring insect repellent, lots of sunblock and aloe vera gel to keep your skin happy.

How to Get There

From San José:

By plane:

Nosara town has a landing strip where the domestic airline Nature Air arrives daily from Tobías Bolaños International Airport in San José. Flight time is one hour and tickets cost between $120-140 USD each way.

By car:

The shortest way to get to Nosara is on Autopista del Sol to Caldera. From Caldera, drive to Puntarenas and turn left after you pass it, following the road signs to the Friendship Bridge (Puente de la Amistad in Spanish). Cross the bridge and follow the signs to Nicoya. Cut straight through this town and follow the signs to Nosara. The road from here to Nosara is mostly unpaved and can get messy during the rainy months, when a 4WD is highly recommended.

By bus:

Alfaro company ( has a daily bus service from downtown San José to Nosara. The trip is completed in about 5 hours and a half and tickets cost around ₡4,500 (about $9).

Related posts: