Nosara is our favourite beach area in Costa Rica. Its combination of superb beaches, laid back atmosphere is hard to beat and its unique offering of world class surf, yoga, food, coffee and craft beer is the cream on the cake. It is more laid back and family friendly than Santa Teresa and more independent and less built up than Tamarindo.
Although commonly referred to as Nosara, from a traveller's perspective, we are actually referring to the beach settlements of Playa Guiones (the surf beach) and Playa Pelada (the swimming and sunset restaurant beach). Nosara itself is a small town a couple of miles inland. Playa Guiones is the ideal location for beginner and intermediate surfers, with miles of golden sands lapped by a consistent clean 3-5ft waves. Surf hire and lessons are easy to arrange.
If you don't fancy surfing, then you can have fun just renting a body-board and messing around in the white water. Nosara has miles of mountain biking trails and is also recognised as Costa Rica's premiere yoga location. The Bodhi Tree is renowned for its yoga classes which are available daily and open to anyone to sign up to.
It is well worth hiring a car in Nosara to be able to get around easily and explore some of the other beaches and waterfalls in the area. Just 20 minutes drive up the Coast from Nosara lies one of Costa Rica's premiere sites to observe turtles. In rainy season around every new moon, hundreds of thousands of turtles return to the black sands of Ostional Beach to nest. The best months are September and October, but good sightings are possible from May through to August as well.
Eating out is fantastic fun in Nosara with half a dozen good restaurants, each with a buzzing atmosphere. We recommend 10 Pies (pizzas and swing chairs), Burgers & Beer (craft beer and burgers), El Chivo Cantina (tex mex & live music), La Luna (beachfront fine dining & sunsets) and Beach Dog Cafe (live music, tacos and cocktails).
There is an excellent range of accommodation of a very good standard. Our favourite is the recently renovated Gilded Iguana, with a bright and airy design, lovely pool area and an incredibly well stocked in-house surf school and mountain bike centre. For those with less of an interest in surf, we can recommend Lagarta Lodge, which is set high in a private reserve with stunning Pacific Ocean views and the best sunsets in town.
The Nosara area does have fairly warm temperatures year-round, with March usually the warmest month of the year. The rainy season lasts from May to November. Although afternoon rain is frequent in July and August, the mornings are mostly hot an sunny and the afternoon rain tends to pass quickly. September that tends to be the wettest - and therefore the quietest - month.