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Nosara is often considered Costa Rica’s wellness capital. Offering activities including yoga and surfing on Playa Guiones beach, it’s a great place to recharge and reconnect – not to mention enjoy spa treatments, healthy and delicious food, stunning sunsets, and to simply immerse yourself in nature. Whether visiting alone or in company, take a look at our list of the best Nosara has to offer.
Everyone does yoga in Nosara, or at least it seems that way! There are some amazing places to practice – you can come here on a retreat or just drop in for a class or two. Between the Nosara Yoga Institute, Harmony Healing Center, Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, Nosara Wellness Center, and the Costa Rica Yoga Spa, you can do as much yoga as your heart and soul desire.
Nosara is a great place to learn how to surf – the more advanced waves break quite a way out from the beach, making the smaller waves and white water that break closer to the beach ideal for first timers and beginners. The beach is very long too, which allows plenty of space for everyone, whatever their level. There are over a dozen options for surf schools and retreats here, so you’ll be sure to find one that best suits you.
To the north of Playa Guiones are Playa Pelada and Playa Ostional, while to the south is Playa Garza. Playa Pelada is a much quieter, but quite possibly more beautiful beach than Playa Guiones, ideal for those looking to enjoy some time under the shaded beach trees to get away from it all. The only two beachfront restaurants in Nosara – La Luna and Olga’s – are located in Playa Pelada. Playa Ostional, meanwhile, is known as the world-famous Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting beach and is part of a wildlife refuge. In the south, Playa Garza is a white sand beach that is part of a small, but popular fishing town perfect for those wanting to try a fishing excursion.
Hop abroad a small eco-friendly motorboat and explore two rivers, Rio Nosara and Rio Montana, with an experienced guide, boat captain, and naturalist. This fascinating nature and boat tour is an amazing way to experience the unique and abundant flora and fauna of the area. You’ll be able to see birds such as parrots, herons, motmots, trogons, and kingfishers, as well as crocodiles, iguanas, moneys, butterflies, and crabs.
The Nosara Biological Reserve is owned and protected by the Lagarta Lodge, which boarders Rio Nosara. Visitors can walk through the 90-acre reserve on well-maintained and marked trails, and observe some of Nosara’s vast biodiversity. Howler monkeys, anteaters, coatis, iguanas, raccoons, and a number of butterfly, insect, and bird species make their home on this beautiful reserve amid the tropical dry forest and the mangrove forest.
The Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary in Nosara rescues, rehabilitates, releases, and protects sick, injured, or abandoned native animals. The team here provides emergency veterinarian care, a home and foster care for orphaned babies, such as monkeys, squirrels, raccoons, peccaries, and coatis, and works tirelessly to provide all resident animals with the care and attention that they need in order to be released back into the wild one day. This is a truly special organization that is doing wonderful things for animals in Costa Rica. If you want to tour the sanctuary, you can make a reservation to do so – all fees and any donations go directly to helping the animals.
The Nosara Spanish Institute is a great school if you are interested in learning some Spanish while you are in Costa Rica. They offer all different types of programs such as a 10-hour course, 20-hour course, and even a surf or yoga-and-Spanish course. You can sign up for a family program or cultural immersion program as well. The school also invites students to participate in a number of organized cultural and adventure activities.
If you are traveling with little ones, the Nosara Day Camp for Kids is an awesome way to give your kids the opportunity to do some really fun activities and adventures while you get to have some child-free time for spa treatments, shopping, or just for relaxation. Activities include surfing, snorkeling, Spanish, games on the beach, art classes, and community projects.
You can’t come to Costa Rica and not eat at a soda (a small restaurant that serves homemade traditional Costa Rican food). Fortunately, Rosie’s Soda Tica is in Nosara and across the street from the beach. Rosie’s is a local and visitor’s favorite and is a great place to try local food such as gallo pinto (rice and beans) and complete casado meals. Not only is this place beyond delicious, it is also very affordable and is an authentic Costa Rica dining experience.
As a whole, Nosara is a very environmentally-conscious community. If you are looking for a way to help protect the beautiful beach and ocean, and to spend some time outdoors giving something back, you can volunteer a hour or so of your time to a beach clean-up. There are regular beach clean-ups that take place starting at the Harmony Hotel – during high season, the beach clean-ups take place every third Wednesday of the month, starting at 8am.