The Tall Small Travel Guide to Nosara, Costa Rica
If you're looking to vacation in a little slice of paradise Nosara, Costa Rica is it.
The tiny surf village nestled in the southern part of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula is best known for its near-daily perfect waves, as a mecca for global expats and as the premier destination for yogis in Costa Rica.
The Pacific beaches along Playa Guiones are perfect for beach lovers to lounge on for hours on end. And just a 20-minute drive north of Nosara sits the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, which is a nesting site for olive ridley turtles.
Tall Small Travels was lucky enough to spend a little time in the picture-perfect town in November 2016. Not only did we get to experience the town's welcoming people, we were also lucky enough to experience the yearly turtle hatch (and helped to protect a few little guys from predators so they could make it to the sea!).
Check out a few of our favorite places to eat, sleep and have a little fun in Nosara, Costa Rica below.
Where To Stay
La Negra Surf Hotel & Soda
This high-style establishment is the brainchild of a former Los Angeles lawyer turned full-time beach bum.
When you enter La Negra Surf Hotel you're immediately greeted with glossy concrete floors matte black walls and bright white linens all around.
In the hotel's yard visitors can lounge next to the pool or belly up to the bar where friendly bartenders will happily pour you the cocktail of your choosing, no matter the time of day. The hotel also offers up select meals made from local produce.
The Sunset Shack
For something a bit more low-key book your Nosara stay at The Sunset Shack, which is located in the center of town and is just a short walk to the beach.
The Sunset Shack's friendly staff will direct you to all the area happenings and even spill a few local secrets so you can enjoy all the best parts of Nosara. Make sure to stay and enjoy the complimentary breakfast as well.
Where To Eat
Beach Dog Cafe
The Beach Dog Cafe is the ultimate Nosara bar. Located just off the beach, the tiny restaurant is nearly entirely outside, allowing you to eat and take in the scenes all at once. Live music will usually accompany your meal. Make sure to get the fajitas for dinner, or take a break mid-surf for a fresh fruit smoothie.
Go Juice is another American expats vision come to life and we couldn't be happier they made it happen. The tiny shack located in town offers up incredible (and we mean incredible) smoothies, coffees and acai bowls served in actual coconuts. While a bit pricier than other places in Nosara it's well worth the few extra dollars to feel like a million bucks after eating something so healthy.
We recommend stopping in at 10 Pies for a bite to eat for a few reasons: One, the food is fantastic and two, the owners couldn't be nicer.
When we arrived at this outdoor taco spot we quickly realized we didn't have enough cash on hand. However, the owners were more than happy to serve us anyway and trust that we'd return the next day to pay for our meal (don't worry, we did).
For an upscale evening in Nosara there is no better restaurant than La Luna.
The restaurant, located a bit off the beaten path, serves upscale local cuisine paired with higher-end wines. Thanks to its hilltop location La Luna is also the perfect spot to sip a glass of wine and watch the sunset over the entire town.
El Chivo Cantina
Located just a few minutes outside of the main down El Chivo Cantina is a true locals destination, but don't worry they welcome tourists, too. Head to El Chivo for an over-the-top and delicious Mexican-inspired breakfast to start your day, or stick around to watch a soccer match on the restaurant's big screens.
What To Do
Playa Guiones is hands down the best beach either of us have ever surfed in Costa Rica. The sandy bottom and gentle waves made it the perfect location to surf for hours. Along the beach are small thatched-roof huts in case you need a break from the Central American sun (note- while Nosara is incredibly safe we still don't recommend leaving any valuables alone on the beach).
Save Some Turtles
National Wildlife Refuge Ostional allows visitors to come and check out the beach year-round, though the best time to visit is during the "arrivals," when thousands of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Or, as one site explains, "in the rainy season, the week before a new moon, hundreds - and sometimes hundreds of thousand sea turtles come to one specific mile of beach at Ostional to dig their eggs into the black, volcanic sand." August through October is the high season for nesting, with turtles hatching about 45 to 54 days later.
Without a doubt, Nosara is known best for its diverse yoga scene. The tranquil and relaxing natural environment makes it the perfect place to do a downward dog or two and find a little inner peace. Check out classes at the Harmony Healing Center, Nosara Wellness Center, Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort and La Negra Surf Hotel.