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Contributed by Alex Wieteska, a travel blogger and content creator at Roam & Thrive.

With a variety of activities, natural beauty, and wonderful cuisine, visiting the town of Nosara is a must on any Costa Rica itinerary. If you’re planning your time on the Nicoya Peninsula, these are the best things to do in Nosara, Costa Rica.

I visited Nosara during a Costa Rica itinerary and couldn’t help myself staying for a whole week. I spent long days on the beach surfing, in between yoga sessions and delicious dining experiences. Nosara is a truly magical place that needs to be experienced at least once. 

In this guide find everything you need to know about visiting the small town. With all the best things to do as well as where to stay and eat for the perfect trip filled with relaxation and adventure.

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels and Things to Do in Nosara:

Hotels

  1. Sendero Hotel Nosara, for the best Nosara beach hotel
  2. Tierra Magnifica Boutique Hotel, for the best boutique hotel

Things to Do

  1. Go Surfing
  2. Go Horseback Riding on the Beach at Sunset

For more Costa Rica inspiration, don’t miss my guide to the top things to do in Costa Rica!

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica


Helpful Travel Tips

Getting to Nosara

Nosara is best reached by flying into San Jose, Liberia Airport. From there, a rental car or transfer will help you get to the town. For the best rental car rates and coverage, I recommend Discover Cars. You could also get there from other major destinations in Costa Rica like Santa Teresa.

If you’re coming from San Jose it might be worth looking into flying into Nosara Airport for a quick and easy transfer across the country.

Many dirt roads in Nosara are not paved, so it’s a good idea to rent a 4×4 if you’re renting a car. In fact, for Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Region, I’d say a 4×4 was necessary. In the rainy season, some roads may become impassable because of fast-flowing rivers that crisscross the roads. Due to the variable conditions, I recommend booking full coverage with Discover Cars.

Getting Around Nosara

Having a vehicle is important in Nosara because it is spread out. This makes it easier to travel between different areas like Nosara town, Playa Guiones, and Playa Pelada. Renting a car at Liberia Airport or in San Jose will allow you to get to Nosara and easily get around. For the best rental car rates and coverage, I recommend Discover Cars. Otherwise, you can rent ATVs or motorbikes in town.

Amount of Time Needed

2-3 days is enough time to make the most of everything the laid-back surf town offers. I’d recommend longer if you want to relax or take a surfing class.

Language, Currency, and Cash

Spanish is the official language in Costa Rica but English is widely spoken. Both Costa Rican Colones and US dollars are accepted by most businesses but you’ll get a much better rate paying in colones.

ATMs are located in Playa Guiones and Nosara but they aren’t too reliable. I’d recommend getting cash before arrival. All major credit cards are accepted in more established businesses.


Where to Stay in Nosara, Costa Rica

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide

In recent years, many swoon-worthy hotels have opened up in Nosara, making the small town one of the most sought-after destinations in Costa Rica. Here are some of my favorite design-forward options:

Sendero Hotel Nosara

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide
Kristen Ellis Photography for Sendero

Located right on Playa Guiones, Sendero Hotel Nosara has bright, modern, and well-appointed rooms. The property has a pretty pool, a nice yoga space, a juice bar, a great cafe, and a restaurant. Plus, there’s also one of Nosara’s best surf schools on site. Book the best rates here.

The Harmony Hotel

A beautiful boho-chic retreat that celebrates laid-back luxury and style. Rooms are large and bright and there’s also a large communal pool, yoga shala, and healthy cafe. The perfect all-round base for a stay for those looking for one of the best boutique hotels in town. Book the best rates here.

Other Superb Hotel Options to Consider


Where to Eat in Nosara, Costa Rica

Coyol

Coyol is one of the most unique dining experiences in Nosara that you won’t forget in a hurry. The restaurant is located in a cabin in the hills with views of the ocean and forest.The food here is a mix of Mediterranean and Barbecue with most dishes being grilled, smoked, or roasted. There’s also an unbeatable cocktail menu.

Restaurante La Luna

For high-quality fusion food right on Playa Pelada, head to La Luna. Book a table for sunset, order a cocktail, and don’t miss their fish dishes like grilled fish or fish tacos.

Huacas

Located inside the Tierra Magnifica Hotel, Huacas is one of the best upscale restaurants in town. The menu is a welcoming take on modern Costa Rican fare and Caribbean cuisine and they do mixology like no one else in town.

Pacifico Azul

Pacifico Azul is the place to go for seafood in Nosara. This family-owned restaurant uses locally sourced seafood and serves it up in true Costa Rican style.

Rosi’s Soda Tica

For the best soda in town, make your way to Rosi’s. There are two locations, one in Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones. Come here for inexpensive local fare like gallo pinto and casado.


Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica

Go Surfing

As one of Costa Rica’s most popular surf towns, it’s no surprise that surfing is one of the best things to do in Nosara, Costa Rica. Beaches in Nosara, particularly Playa Guiones, are known for their long and sandy shores which get consistent breaks all year round for both beginners and seasoned surfers.

There’s no shortage of surf schools either. Nosara Surf Academy and Cacho’s Surf School are two of the best surf schools in town, where you can receive private or group classes and rent boards. This private surf lesson with Tierra Costa is a good option as well.

If you’re staying at Sendero Nosara you can also book surf tuition directly with them.

If surfing has been on your bucket list for a while or you’ve been looking for an excuse to get back in the water, the breaks in Nosara, Costa Rica are the perfect reason to get your hair wet.

Savor a Sunset

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide

Nosara and the Guanacaste Coast are famous for their sunsets. It’s the time of day when everyone seems to end their workday and head to the beach to catch the sun setting over the ocean.

One of the best things to do in Nosara, Costa Rica is to join the rather community-centered ritual, at least once, during your stay. The most beautiful beaches to watch the sunset are Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada.

I prefer Playa Pelada for sunset where you can also make a reservation at La Luna to enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Enjoy Nosara’s Beaches

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide

Nosara’s beaches are at the heart of the town’s culture and ethos and it’s difficult to miss them.

The long and wide palm-fringed beaches with golden sand and clear water are perfect for a stroll or a day of relaxation. Here are some of Nosara’s most popular beaches and what you can expect from them

  • Playa Guiones, the town’s most popular beach best for surfing, relaxing, and walking.
  • Playa Pelada, is a brilliant alternative, but not so great for surfing. It’s perfect for swimming, watching the sunset and relaxing.
  • Playa Garza, located 15 minutes down the coast, this is a lovely hidden gem that’s a quieter alternative to Nosara’s beaches.
  • Playa Nosara, Nosara town’s main beach is long, wide, and beautiful. This is where you’ll find many of the locals.

Attend a Yoga Retreat or a Yoga Class

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide

Nosara is one of the best places in Costa Rica for yogis. Renowned for its top-notch yoga retreats that easily blend relaxation, spirituality, and nature, rolling out your mat is a must at least once during your stay in Nosara.

Many of Nosara’s best hotels offer daily yoga classes where you can flow before starting your day. If you’re looking for something a little more comprehensive then yoga retreats are also possible.

Some of the best places to attend a yoga retreat in Nosara are Bodhi Tree Yoga Retreat and Blue Spirit Retreat Center just south of Nosara.

Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica: Travel Guide

Horseback Riding is another popular experience in Nosara not to be missed. It’s a unique way to explore the region’s lush landscapes as you ride through the serene jungles, and rolling hills and along the region’s beaches.

Many local horseback riding tours happen just before sunset where you’ll be able to stroll along the beach and experience the natural beauty of Nosara at its most magical time. This private horseback riding tour to watch the sunset in Nosara is a great option.

Release Turtles into the Sea at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

For those wanting to learn more about the region’s wildlife, taking some time to visit the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is a must. Located just up the coast from Nosara, the refuge was originally set up to protect the natural habitat of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.

During the rainy season, you might be able to see hundreds of turtles coming to shore to nest or even see baby turtles making their way down to the ocean later in the year.

Ostional Beach is one of the only places in the world where Olive Ridley turtles come to nest on a huge scale so it’s well worth seeking out this unique experience.


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The Best Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica (Travel Guide)

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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