Nosara, Costa Rica
Welcome to Nosara, Costa Rica.
This is a website that I have been working on that brings together all of the various information about a special place we call Nosara. This site will be commercial free and as unbiased as a human being can make it. If you would like to contribute, please feel free to send material to:
I will try and work it in should it be relevant to furthering the Nosara experience.Slow down for the pot holes!
Dave Caywood/ March 2015
When one drives into Nosara one quickly notices that there is no one focal point of reference for the area. The community of Nosara is made up little pockets of human habitat, small businesses and the occasional restaurant/bar all tucked away in corners of the jungle.
When you arrive from Nicoya on the main road, you first come to one of the Guiones beach turn offs to the left, followed by several other left hand turns, all heading in the direction of the Pacific Ocean just 400 meters down from the main road. Each of these turn offs is a separate community, unconnected to the others, that can only be accessed by going back up to the main road. These sections are best described as South Guiones Beach, North Guiones Beach and Pelada Beach. These three sections make up the “Gringo” section of Nosara.
The actual town of Nosara is 5 km on down the main road from the beaches and has more of the Tico atmosphere you would expect in rural Costa Rica. The Gringo section is as close to the beach as you can legally get. There is a 200 meter exclusion zone from the high tide line that is set aside for the preservation of the natural habitat. This one preservation feature has had as much of an influence on the character of Nosara as perhaps all of the other covenants and restrictions combined. Developers can apply for a concession with the exclusion zone and this is how so many of the other beach communities, such as Jaco and Tamarindo have been ruined with the soaring condos and the number of people they hold. Because of the Nosara exclusion zone being free of concession, Nosara has been spared the commercial development that has devastated Jaco and Tamarindo.
Commercial development has largely been kept in check by the Nosara Civic Association, an association of expatriate foreigners with one goal in mind, the preservation of peace and tranquility. Over half of the area of Nosara is set aside for wildlife and preservation. The result is an abundance of monkeys and other wildlife and most of the animals pay little attention to the humans residents as both have learned to live together in Nosara. There are several aerial sky bridges for the monkeys to help them cross the road or the electrical wires and most businesses have a collection jar at the register where you can donate money for these bridges as well as other products to protect the animals.
There are three beaches (Playas) in Nosara, Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada, and Playa Nosara. Guiones is over a mile long and is perfect for surfers of all ages and levels of experience. There can be a stronger than average under tow but a little knowledge and experience and it is easily dealt with. While Guiones is by far the most popular of the three, the beach is so big that people are very well spread out with some sections practically abandoned.
Playa Pelada is the best kept secret in Nosara. Most people who visit stay in the Guiones section,go to the Guiones beach and as a result never know that Pelada is just over the ridge to the north. Because Pelada and Guiones are separated by this ridge, the only way to get from one to the other by auto is to go back up to the main road and travel further north to the “Five Corners” intersection and turn left. There is also a path over the rock ridge and this is a major route for the people going to work in the morning and afternoon. At the southern end of Pelada you will find Laluna restaurant and Olga’s bar. These two establishments are located inside the exclusion zone and are somewhat controversial.
Playa Pelada is also known as the locals beach. Not that they live any closer to it, in fact they don’t, but for the reason that they know how to get to it. Few people even know that there is an entrance to Pelada other than Olga’s and Laluna. For this reason the northern section of Pelada is deserted most of the time. Playa Pelada is not known for surfing but the locals surf it all the time. Because the beach is half sand and the other half solid rock outcroppings, surfers need to be careful and while the locals have already figured it out, the gringos give it a pass. One of the beauties of this beach is the marine life left behind in the pools carved out of the rocks when the tide is out. Pelada is defiantly for the swimmers and kids.
The next beach north is Playa Nosara. This is a serious surfer beach and the local kids are about the only ones wading the river to get to it. The surf at high tide is big, fast and unforgiving. If you want to see a collection of talent make it look easy, cross the river to Playa Nosara, you will not be disappointed.