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Coati in Nosara

Nosara is a city in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This town has access to several great beaches and retains "Blue Flag" status as an environmentally clean area. Nosara has become increasingly popular with tourists over the years – perhaps to its detriment, depending on your point of view – as evidenced by the numerous organic smoothie bars and wellness centers dotted along its main road.

Get in[edit]

The easiest way in is via a flight to the Liberia Airport and then renting a (4 wheel drive) car, or taxi to Nosara. Eventually the roads turn to gravel on the way to the beach, and there is one point where you cross a river (minus that bridge thingy). There is also a bus that runs from the capital and Alajuela through Nicoya and on to Nosara.

Get around[edit]

Once in Nosara you really don't need a car to get around, though if you're in a hurry to get from the beachfront to Nosara town proper, a car or other transport is fastest.

If you do want to get around with a bit more freedom, a few local businesses will rent golf carts. This can be a convenient way to navigate. Other than golf carts, some people also use bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, or on horseback.



  • MissSky Canapoy tours offers a 2-hour, 8-point zip-line course.
  • Surf. Playa Guiones sports 2-6 ft waves, but getting past the rough stuff can be a lesson in humility. There are several places to rent boards. The cheapest option is to talk to the blond American at the Bar Tucan. He's given a US$10/day deal in the past for 9-ft boards to folks he likes. Also, check out Juan Surfo (he claims this is his real name) at Punto Surf Shop. Nice guy, decent prices and a local character.
  • Pacific Surf Nosara, +506 891-38000, . For good surf lessons in Playa Guiones or yoga go to Yati. The guy is really professional and has a lot of experience. They have a daily weather report on their site.
  • Swim. Playa Pelada is a much better beach for swimming than the others (no deadly rip tide, no silt from the river).
  • Take a river cruise. A few operators will take you up the rivers, show you the native plants and animals and entertain you well educating you. Bring your camera and sunscreen. See crocs, iguanas, basilisks, birds beyond description. Well worth the time and money.
  • Costa Rica Yoga Spa. Will tailor a yoga retreat to exactly what you want, including trips to the turtle hatchery and zip line trips. Their yoga studio is a huge beautiful hut overlooking a huge area of national park - a great place for sunset yoga. Owners Jill, Ben and Darin are super friendly and helpful. Rooms are beautiful, all with views and balconies.
  • Safari Surf School, Located at Olas Verdes Hotel in Playa Guiones (250 m south of Harbor Reef Hotel), +506 2682-0113, . Daily 07:00-16:00. Safari was the first surf school in Nosara and has friendly and professional ISA Certified surf instructors. Surfboard rental is available and they offer surf camp packages together with Olas Verdes Hotel. They are located just a few steps from the beach.


  • The Pot Guys will hound some members of your group to buy their pots, which are pretty, but they are, well, pots.
  • There's a small touristy street up from the Playa Guiones blue flag on the beach.
  • La Tiendita, Harmony Hotel (Nosara, Costa Rica), +506 2682-4114. Part Colette, part corner bookstore, the store supplies some crucial gear that's hard to find in Nosara, from Kiss My Face sundries you forgot to pack, to surf wax, to art supplies and of course.... books - a small but choice selection hand picked by owners John and Susan.


  • El Manglar Restaurant at Olas Verdes Hotel offers fresh cook-to-order delicious meals and beverages, featuring organic ingredients and a great atmosphere overlooking the Wildlife Refuge.
  • Olga's in Playa Pelada is a great location right on the beach and decent food. This place feels like it is straight out of a Hemingway novel. Dirt floor, chickens running loose, iguanas in the rafters and a great view.
  • La Luna is the most popular beach side restaurant in Playa Pelada. It's sometimes used for destination weddings.
  • Casa Romantica has great food.
  • Rosie's is a good option for cheap and local food, they serve arroz con pollo, casados and tortillas.
  • Robin's Ice Cream in Playa Guiones features homemade ice cream, sandwiches and a wide assortment of salads.

Harmony Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Harmony Hotel (Nosara, Costa Rica), +506 2682-4114, . The open air restaurant at the Harmony seats 40 guests in a stylish but casual atmosphere that draws upon 1970s surf culture, Brazilian Modernism, and old school tropical resorts. The kitchen uses local organic seafood, fruits, and vegetables, producing a cuisine flavored by wild ginger, taro, banana, plantains, mango, coconut, black beans and rice. In addition to the main restaurant at the Harmony, La Cafeteria provides vegetarian tapas, fresh squeezed juices and herbal teas. Like the restaurant, they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Tucked amongst the trees and wildlife between the hotel and the future spa, La Cafeteria's rancho-style pitched thatch roof and open-air structure is an ancient form of native architecture that is still popular today. Some claim that people from Bali landed here hundreds of years ago and brought this style of architecture with them. Harmony Hotel also has a juice bar, which serves snacks as well as juice.


  • Most restaurants offer drinks as well. Olga's gets loud after dark


  • Casa Romantica is a beautiful property that offers air conditioned rooms right on the beach and a great pool. The owners are warm, friendly people who can answer questions about things to do.
  • Lots of cheaper local rentals are available if you're looking for a beach house or something more informal.
  • Olas Verdes Hotel (500 m west and 350 m south from Cafe de Paris in Playa Guiones), +506 2682-0608, . Olas Verdes is an all-suite boutique hotel, offering "casual luxury". Guests can enjoy in-house surf and yoga lessons. Free breakfast, Wi-Fi, beach cruisers, laundry and parking. Contact hotel for rate specials and discounted Liberia Airport shuttles.
  • 1 [dead link] Bella Vista Mar, Playa Pelada (follow signs for Lagarta and keep going 300 m on the upper road), +506 2682 5015, . Check-in: 15:00-18:00, check-out: 11:30. Offering traditional Costa Rican style rooms with a Mediterranean flair, fabulous ocean view from all rooms, yoga, pool, retreat space, destination wedding space and a zen-like atmosphere. You can hear the roar of the ocean at night, and the howler monkeys wake you each morning. Breakfast is included with the room and is one of the best around.


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