Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
The Travel Guide to the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

Nosara Costa Rica

The beaches of Nosara host one of Costa Rica's oldest expat communities. While the traditional village of Nosara is 6 km inland, the majority of expats and hotels in Nosara are found on the beaches of Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada where much of the tourism is oriented towards surf, yoga and health.

Nosara Costa Rica

A center main road in Nosara

The community of Nosara has always strived to harmonize development with nature conservation. Houses and hotels in Nosara are spread apart and tucked into lush tropical greenery. A maze of streets and pathways weaves through the forest and even in the center of Nosara you feel ensconced in a jungle with tall trees arching over the roads.

Nosara Biological Reserve

The estuary and Nosara Biological Reserve

A large portion of the land in Nosara is protected forest and a moratorium on hunting animals stretches back for almost 30 years.
The beaches and estuary of the Rio Nosara form part of the Ostional Wildlife Reserve located a few kilometers north of Nosara. Therefore, apart from surfers and yoga fans, Nosara also attracts eco-tourists.

See » Nature Tours and Activities in Nosara

The Beaches of Nosara:

Nosara has three different beaches, each with its own distinctive charm and attractions.

Playa Guiones Nosara

Nosara: Playa Guiones

The main beach of Nosara is Playa Guiones, a 6 km expanse of immaculate white sand running in a straight line from Punta Pelada to Punta Guiones in the south.

Playa Guiones is one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. The beach offers easy access and the surf is consistent with long beach breaks, both lefts and rights.

Playa Pelada in Nosara

Nosara: Playa Pelada

North of Playa Guiones, past a rocky outcrop, is the shell-strewn beach of Playa Pelada.
Look out for the blow hole in the rocks where you can take a natural shower. The spray is at its best during the transition of the tides.
The beach of Playa Pelada is protected by an offshore reef which makes it well suited for swimming.
Towards the northern part of the bay are tidal pools, and rocks with caves.

At low tide you can continue north from Playa Pelada past the rocky cliff to the estuary of the Rio Nosara. Wading through the river brings you to Playa Nosara, the most remote of the Nosara beaches. The black-sand beach is backed by mangroves and runs into the turtle beach of Ostional.
The waves in front of Playa Nosara are among the tallest in Costa Rica. The surf is for experienced surfers and swimming is not advisable.

Playa Garza: see    » From Samara to Nosara


The Village of Nosara

The actual Tico village of Nosara is 6 kms inland, alongside the Rio Nosara. The pueblo is still small and traditional but you find some inexpensive cabinas, various supermarkets, typical restaurants, a discotheque, and medical services. Right in the middle of Nosara is the landing strip for daily flights to San José, and half way to the beaches is a gas station and ATM cashier. See » Map of Nosara


The History of Nosara and the Nosara Civic Association:

The beaches of Nosara host one of the oldest expat communities in Costa Rica. In 1962 a US citizen bought the entire expanse of land along the coastline of Nosara. He initiated "The Nosara Project", a development slated for 500 residential lots interspersed with commercial sites, green zones, and a golf course. He built roads, water systems, and installed electricity. After some years however the project came to a halt for financial reasons.
Individual investors then acquired portions of the land, and property owners organized themselves into the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) which continued to manage the project.

The NCA and its members are working hard to balance development in Nosara with protection of the environment. Their association is unique in Costa Rica and they fought many battles to keep Nosara free from large-scale developments and pollution.