Surf, eat vegan dessert, ride an ATV, do yoga and pilates, or just sit back and enjoy the beach!
The road into Nosara, on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula, is bumpy. Well, the final stretch at least.
Sitting in whichever vehicle you have chosen to get to the Pacific Coast (from San José, Liberia, or other parts of the peninsula), you will feel like the jostling and zigzagging to avoid potholes might be the universe giving you one final test before it reveals paradise to you.
And for many, Nosara might be considered close to paradise.
A quick refresher on Costa Rican geography: it's a narrow country, situated like other Central American countries on the tropical isthmus that connects the Americas, North and South. The two coasts of Costa Rica are known as the Pacific side and the Caribbean side. Nosara sits on a peninsula on the western Pacific side known as the Nicoya Peninsula.
Nosara's natural geography consists of a series of three beautiful beaches traversable by connecting foot trails, and also navigable by vehicles that can drive up the nearby sloping hills... and come back down the hill at another beach entrance.
The roads up to the hills also contain amazing shops, residences, surf schools, yoga studios, small offices, and more... this is a town you can spend a long time in and not get bored.
But exploring Nosara by road can feel a bit like Mad Max: Fury Road — there is light traffic from a motley assortment of vehicles: tuk-tuks, golf carts, ATVs, cars, motorbikes, and bicycles zip around the winding streets, carrying locals and visitors to their next destination.
🏄🏾♀️ Here are 6 cool things you can do in Nosara, Costa Rica 🌊:
Surf Playa Guiones in the early morning
Playa Guiones is the biggest beach in Nosara — honestly, it's amazing how much pristine, not-too-crowded coastline there is to explore and enjoy. This is a surfers' paradise in an almost mathematical sense: the number of days with good breaks is pretty close to 365 per year. That's a rare selling point for surfers looking to surf somewhere where you can reliably catch some waves without always having to worry about the whims of the tides and the morning surf report.
Grab a lesson at Playa Guiones — you can come early, get in a few hours of surfing, and be ready to head up to enjoy a coffee or breakfast on the main Guiones strip by 9 AM!
Eat a veggie burger (and try the desserts) at LuvBurger
LuvBurger (also in Guiones) is a vegan restaurant with a series of cocktails, smoothies, entrees, desserts, and yes — veggie burgers.
The décor is a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, with a cool white sphere acting as the centerpiece of a very plant-iful design sensibility.
The name of this vegan joint might be "LuvBurger" — but "LuvPizza" might be just as appropriate. We had a great vegan Margherita-style pizza there that was out of this world... and if you think vegan food doesn't allow for any indulgence, think again — there are wonderful desserts too.
Rent an ATV and explore the hills and roads around town
OK — full waiver and disclosure, we don't want you to do anything dangerous, and always follow any safety precautions necessary when operating a vehicle! But if you are feeling adventurous and ready to explore, an ATV can be a fun way to see more of the surrounding neighborhoods and side roads that make up this hilly city.
There are also guided ATV tours if you don't want to have to think about your itinerary.
Walk to Garza Beach or take a day trip to Sámara
Nosara is not the only town on the Nicoya Peninsula by any means, and there are more towns nearby. At 30 kilometers away, Sámara may be a bit too far to walk (try a tuk-tuk or car — maybe a bicycle if you are a triathlete!) but Playa Garza is walkable for anyone with a modest beach-walking or hiking background.
Head out in the morning and enjoy some of the best beaches in the world, and spend some time walking through the jungle trails that connect the beaches.
Listen to the sweet lullabies of the howler monkeys
Ok, this isn't something you necessarily are going to plan to do as a daytime activity — but it is something that will likely happen to you whether you like it or not.
Just like the proverbial roosters on farms around the world, you can often find yourself waking up to the guttural roars of howler monkeys. These little guys are not likely to do anything harmful to humans, but their howls are otherworldly and a bit disconcerting to the unseasoned traveler in Costa Rica!
Enjoy learning some of the "local language" as you listen to howler monkeys call out to each other at various times during the day.
Do some yoga at Bodhi Tree or many other yoga and pilates studios
You can't mention Nosara without mentioning yoga and pilates. It's a Pacific paradise and has to be one of the biggest yoga destinations outside of India and Indonesia. Aspiring yogis come from all around the world to practice under the Nicoya sunshine.
Bodhi Tree is a large yoga studio built in the Balinese architectural style, up the hill from Guiones.
Bodhi Tree provides week-long retreats but also drop-in classes and a restaurant that is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It's worth checking out Bodhi Tree and other yoga studios like Blue Spirit to revitalize your body and soul.