After a year in Costa Rica, if you ask us what’s our favorite place in this beautiful country, our answer is Nosara. This town really has our hearts. It’s where we spent most of our time in Costa Rica, and it feels like home.
Nosara is a lovely beach town in the Nicoya Peninsula. It is located in between Samara and Tamarindo. It’s a perfect place for surfing, yoga, beach days, healthy and organic foods. In this ultimate guide for Nosara Costa Rica, we share all our top things to do, our favorite places to eat, and everything you need to know when visiting Nosara.
What you need to know about Nosara
The actual town of Nosara is about 10 min drive from the beach, and it is not the actual place that people are referring to when they talk about Nosara.
The beach area of Nosara, where most restaurants and hotels are, is called Playa Guiones; that’s where the surf is. It’s a huge beach with a consistent surf break all year round. No wonder it’s a surfers paradise.
There is a second beach that is part of Nosara that is called Playa Pelada, which is not for surfing because of the many rocks in the water. But it’s the perfect beach to relax, and enjoy the sunset. Usually there are more families on this beach.
Top things to do in Nosara Costa Rica
Surfing at Playa Guiones
Nosara is a little surf town and the place to be for advanced surfers and beginners. There are many surfboard rentals in town, and most of them offer surfing classes too. The surf is at Playa Guiones, just a few minutes walk from town.
The cost for a 90 minutes surf lesson varies from 60 to 90 USD depending if you want to take a group or a private class. Surfboard rental costs around 20 USD per day or 120 USD per week.
Read more surf tips in The Ultimate Guide for surfing Costa Rica
Enjoy the Sunset at Playa Pelada
Playa Pelada is our favorite place to enjoy the sunset in Nosara. Many people go to Playa Guiones at sunset to watch the surfer or surf themselves, which is great too, but if you look for a relaxing and dreamy sunset atmosphere, you have to go to Playa Pelada.
There is one beach restaurant which is called La Luna. It’s the place to be at this beach and usually, you have to make a reservation online in advance if you want to eat here. Once you have enjoyed a sunset from their terrace with a good glass of wine or drink you will know why. It’s such a dreamy place and the ultimate sunset spot. They have delicious hummus and falafel platters to share.
Explore the hidden gems from a Sailboat
One of our favorite things to do in Nosara is sailing with Kaya Nosara. The sailing trip starts at Playa Garza; you can take a tuk-tuk from Playa Guiones, it’s a 15 min ride.
The sailing trip with Kaya Nosara includes delicious food and drinks, snorkeling and paddleboarding, and most importantly, good music and vibes. We enjoyed watching the sunset from the boat in good company so much. There is a chance of seeing dolphins, and you are visiting a deserted pink sanded Island.
Go to the Organic Market on Tuesday
Tuesday’s are our favorite days in Nosara because it’s when the weekly organic market occurs.
There is an Organic food market where you can get the most delicious and fresh veggies and fruits from a local organic family farm. People can pre-order on their website organicnosara.com what they like and then just pick it up at their location.
Besides, a crafts market sells lovely handmade pieces from delicious baked goods, to jewelry and pottery as well as beauty products made from the Moringa tree and much more. It’s a lovely place to chat with people and support the local communities.
Go on a magical Sound Journey
For Daniel and Fernanda, music is their biggest passion, and they play many different instruments, many of which come from the Indigenous people. One of our favorite things we ever did in Nosara was booking a sound journey with Sonidos de Amor; they either come to your accommodation, or you can go to their rancho to experience Sound healing. It is an unforgettable and very soulful experience that we highly recommend.
Shop Local and sustainable in Nosara
What we love about Nosara is that there are many stores with local and sustainable products and brands. Lobo Nosara, Jen Stones, Soli Surf, Bloom, and Yasmin are the shops we love most for clothing, swimwear, jewelry, etc.
See the Turtles hatching at Playa Ostional
For a truly unforgettable experience, head to Ostional beach at sunrise to see the baby turtles hatching, or, depending on the season you are in, the mama turtles laying their eggs.
Ostional is a 30 min drive from Nosara Costa Rica. To visit the beach you have to go with a local guide. These local people take care of the turtles and protect them from predators. We paid 25 USD per person and went with Carlos (Whats App +506 6268 4190). He only speaks Spanish, so it’s a great way to practice. But there are English speaking guides as well if you want.
You have to meet your guide at 5 am to be at the beach at sunrise. The sunrise at Ostional beach itself was magical but to see the turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean was such a heartwarming experience, and to be honest, it made us cry a tear of happiness. Mother nature never fails to impress, especially with how incredible it is that these little turtles have to go on such a big adventure just after birth.
Make a Daytrip to San Juanillo
San Juanillo is so small we can not even call it a town. There are only two restaurants and one little supermarket. But it’s where you find our favorite beach, which is probably the most beautiful beach in the area. It is located about 45 min from Nosara Costa Rica and can be combined with visiting Playa Ostional.
This white sanded beaches of San Juanillo offer lots of trees for shade to hang out, and it is perfect for swimming. Bring lots of water and snacks because there is no beach restaurant at this gem. It’s an all-natural and beautiful beach where we could spend days relaxing and reading a book.
Best places to eat in Nosara Costa Rica
There are fantastic Restaurants in Nosara town and a great choice for Vegan food, which is one of the reasons why we love Nosara Costa Rica so much.
A mainly plant-based restaurant in Playa Guiones is Naked Foods. They are open for Breakfast and Lunch and offer local and healthy dishes and the best juices. They have very fair prices, and the food is super delicious.
Our favorite Restaurant in Nosara is LUV Burger. They have an entirely vegan menu containing local dishes and delicious salad bowls, vegan burgers, and pizza. Don’t miss their coconut-based ice cream and selection of incredible vegan cakes. The staff is so lovely, and the garden is beautiful. We often spent hours working or relaxing in their garden.
Destiny has a big and nice garden seating area, and they offer the best breakfast and lunch menu. They have many smoothie bowls to choose from and super delicious Avocado Toast or Arepas. Many vegan choices because some dishes can be made vegan too. Also, most of the dishes are Gluten-Free. We love the vibes here and the super friendly staff.
Beach Dog Cafe
Great choice of dishes for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. They also offer a great selection of Vegan / Vegetarian dishes, and it’s a great place to hang out with friends, close to Guiones Beach. We love the breakfast bowl with fruits, cashew yogurt, or avocado toast here.
If you want to go out for a beautiful dinner with the most incredible Ocean view, this is the place to go. The restaurant is located in a hotel, the staff is amazing, and the food is very delicious. We die for their vegan Risotto and highly recommend having a special dinner with sunset drinks here.
Another super special location for an unforgettable dining experience is Coyol Restaurant. It is located outside of town and up on a hill which means it can only be reached by car, the drive is about 20 min from Guiones, but the view’s up there are well worth the drive. The food and staff are exceptional, the location is very beautiful, and they even have a fun swing with incredible jungle and ocean views. Make sure to come for the sunset and enjoy the view with a drink before dinner. Our favorite dish is the smoked aubergine! It is to die for. Portions are big here, so it’s a great place to share dishes.
El Jardin is a cute cafe in a bus, and they offer good coffee and a delicious breakfast. Vegan Options for breakfast are available.
This cute juice box is the place to go for smoothie bowls in Nosara Costa Rica. If you are like us and love smoothie bowls, fresh juices & smoothies, you can’t miss Go Juice. Besides, they offer super refreshing fruit juices and smoothies.
Where to stay in Nosara Costa Rica
There are many amazing places to stay in Nosara. We usually find our accomodation on Airbnb.
Besides most fantastic places to stay in Nosara town are The Nomadic Hotel. and the Nosara Beach Hotel, where we got married this year. Other cool places to stay are Yaxa Hotel and Selina Nosara. For those who love Yoga there is Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, that offers beautiful accomodation too.
How to get around
A very popular and entertaining way to get around in Nosara is by renting an ATV. The costs are about 60 USD for a full-day rental.
Besides, there is an Alamo Car Rental in Nosara where you can rent a car. We highly recommend taking a 4×4 because the streets in this area are sometimes quite adventurous. We rented our car using the platform Discover Cars and highly recommend it for better prices.
Tuk Tuks are available in Nosara town, which is a great option if you don’t want to drive yourself.
There is only one ATM in Nosara town which only takes Visa Cards. The best place to get cash is the gas station outside town. That’s the location. Be aware that there is often a long line to wait because it’s the only place to get cash for most people.
How to get to Nosara
Nosara is in the Nicoya Peninsula, which means it’s a 5-6 hours drive from the capital San Jose where the international airport is located. You can either rent a car, book a tourist shuttle to get to Nosara or take a flight with Sansa Airlines, which is the quickest and most comfortable way to get there. National airplanes in Costa Rica are tiny, with only about 12 passenger seats. A flight to Nosara takes 45 min, the views are incredible, and the cost is 120 USD per person.
The best place for grocery shopping in Playa Guiones is Organico, which has a great choice of fresh and organic vegetables and everything you need. They have a small deli with take-away food as well.
Our absolute favorite shop in Nosara is at the Servicentro, next to the Gas Station. It’s called Yvy Hovy and is a Zero Waste shop run by our friend Romina. You can’t miss stopping by because she makes the most delicious vegan cheese, homemade vegan Ice Cream, and Tempeh.
If you are looking for a more giant supermarket, we recommend driving out of town to Super Nosara to have a more extensive choice of products and lower prices.
There is no better place for fresh greens than Organico Geovanni’s, which is near Super Nosara. You get all kinds of greens, from salads to herbs and some veggies, directly from the field.