If you want to truly experience the magic of Costa Rica, its rich biodiversity and friendly people, Nosara is the perfect choice.
Here in Nosara there are no chain hotels or high rise projects blocking your view of the sea. Nosara offers wilderness with jungle and water birds, exotic animals and tropical plants that stretch from the shoreline to the mountains in the distance. Pounding surf and tide pools along with tranquil salt water marshes and ancient mangroves teem with wildlife and birds.
Nosara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste and is considered part of the dry forest region. The beautiful tropical dry forest, with its highly seasonal rainfall and diversely vegetated landscape is disappearing even more rapidly than the rain forest.
Beginning at the high tide line there is a 200 meter exclusion zone that is set aside for the preservation of the natural habitat. The enforcement of this one preservation feature has been instrumental in maintaining the pristine beaches and shoreline. Due in large part to the efforts of the Nosara Civic Association, the area remains as one of the most pristine and ecologically sound developments in all of Costa Rica.
Nosara is one of the oldest ex-pat communities in Costa Rica, and is one of the last locations with large areas of unpaved roads in the country.
Locals (Gringos and Ticos alike) are known by first names and identifying traits, i.e.: Encyclopedia Jim, Cute Jim, Gimpy Jim and the Other Jim are all immediately ‘known’ by residents, and the local phone book is alphabetical by first names (though not descriptions!). Memories are long here and change comes grudgingly or not at all. People remember the first occupants of houses, businesses and roads that no longer exist which makes it nearly impossible for newcomers to get directions or find their way. Quirky – for sure. Dull? Never!
Beaches of Nosara
If you travel to Nosara by car or bus you will first arrive to the beaches of Nosara. The beaches of Nosara form part of the Ostional Wildlife Reserve,which is located north of Nosara. The three different beaches each have their own character and invite the visitor to experience each in turn.
The largest and most well known beach in the area is Playa Guiones. It is a 6 km expanse of immaculate white sand and ranks among the best surfing beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula. The beach offers easy access and the surf is consistent with long beach breaks, both left and right. At the southern most tip of Guiones you will find Playa Rosada, a tranquil pink sand beach.
North of Playa Guiones, up and over the point where Hotel Nosara is located, you will find Playa Pelada. As you walk along the beach in front of La Luna Restaurant, watch for the blow hole that shoots up through the rocks. The blow hole is at its best as the tides are changing.
The beach of Playa Pelada is protected by an off shore barrier reef and you will find many of the locals on Sunday afternoon swimming in the area near Olga’s. You may also find brave locals surfing at this beach, however, due to the rock outcroppings it is best to surf at Guiones.
If you follow the shore to the most northern part of the beach you will find tide pools and rocky caves. If you are brave enough – wade out during low tide and visit the bat cave!
At low tide you are able to wade past the rocky cliff to the estuary of the Rio Nosara. This is a magical spot where the water turns brackish as the waters of the Pacific meld with the fresh water river. This is also the start of the black sand beach and the ancient twisting mangroves. River tours from this spot are highly recommended.
Wading through the river brings you to Playa Nosara. This is the most remote of all the beaches in the area and a secret surfing spot for the most experienced of surfers. Follow the beach far enough and you will arrive at the turtle beach of Ostional.
Village of Nosara
The Village of Nosara is located about 6 km inland alongside the Rio Nosara (most of the hotels are on the beaches). The Nosara airstrip brings people twice per day from San Jose and Liberia and is the starting point for many visitors.
This is a traditional Tico town centered around a soccer field, featuring a school, post office, pharmacy and grocery store. There are several excellent Tico restaurants in the village area as well as two hardware stores, many little shops and sodas and a gas station located near the river arm.
On weekends the town jumps to sounds from the Tropicana discothèque. The action starts around 10PM and is a fun way to experience the blending of local and tourist dance styles.
When traveling to Nosara we suggest renting a car. This will allow you maximum flexibility in traveling to surrounding beaches, activities and restaurants.
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We are happy to talk to you about buying property and living in Costa Rica. We have many contacts to share.
For fun and interesting reading you may also wish to read New Life Adventures a blog by a woman who gave it all up and moved to the Caribbean side. Enjoy!