The little town of Nosara, Costa Rica is a super cute seaside town. We are a bit obsessed with this surfer paradise. I predict this town is going to blow up in popularity in the next few years due to its surfer/ hipster vibe. There isn’t a whole lot to do in Nosara unless you are a surfer or interested in yoga, but there are plenty of cool day trips nearby.
We personally love it here for just relaxing away from the crowds of tourists.
Now on to the rest of the Nosara Costa Rica travel guide!
The most popular time to visit Nosara Costa Rica is between the end of December through early May. This is dry season in Nosara. You can expect extremely hot weather and no rain.
We like to visit this area between May through mid-August. At that time of year, you will likely have a daily afternoon thunderstorm, but there are fewer tourists,
From mid-August through mid-December you can expect the temperature to cool off a bit and more rain.
A lot of hotels close between August and December because there just isn’t enough demand.
Getting to Nosara
Nosara is not the easiest to access. It will take you about three hours to drive there from Liberia and almost five hours from San Jose. Both routes start out nice, but you will end your drive on narrow roads. In some places, it can be almost impassable after heavy rains.
If you plan on making this drive, definitely rent something with 4 wheel drive and good clearance.
We suggest using Adobe because they are the most trustworthy rental car company in this country and we have a 10% discount for you. You can read more about renting a car here.
There is a public bus from Liberia that runs every 30 minutes to Nicoya. The ride takes about two hours. From Nicoya, there is a bus that runs about every 1.5 hours to Nosara and takes two hours.
From San Jose there is one bus a day which leaves at 5:30 am and takes six hours.
We suggest renting a car for driving to Nosara because you will want a car once there.
Getting Around in Nosara
The downtown area of Nosara is small and easy to get around by foot. There are also little tuk tuk’s that you can get a ride on to get around.
We like to have a car because, besides surfing and eating, there’s not a whole lot to do in Nosara. Having a car gives us the flexibility to explore all the nice nearby beaches (and there are a lot of them).
We always rent with Adobe because they are the only rental car company in Costa Rica which we fully trust. Unfortunately, Adobe does not have an office in Nosara so it is not possible to take the public bus and then rent a car once there.
We have a 10% rental car discount for you! You can read more about it here.
Walk the beach: The beach in Nosara is super long. You could walk for hours and hours while watching all the surfers in the water.
Take a surfing lesson: Nosara is a surfers paradise and taking a surfing lesson is a must do while here. There are several shops along the main road which offer lessons and rent boards.
Pro tip: Rent a board from the shops closest to the beach so you don’t have to lug the board as far.
See sea turtles: Near Nosara, there is a beach called Playa Osteonal which is home to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. Turtles swim up to lay their eggs here. The turtles tend to come pretty sporadically between July/ August and then again between December/ January. If you are lucky enough to be there during that time, definitely go and see if you can check them out. It’s an absolutely amazing experience.
Take a yoga class: There are several yoga studios in the Nosara area which offer drop in classes. We personally like Bodhi Tree because it is seriously beautiful. Plus they have areal yoga. You can check out their schedule here.
There are unfortunately not a lot of budget friendly hotel options in Nosara. Definitely, check out Airbnb before booking something here. You can usually get a better deal at a nice place that way. Here are a few hotels we like, but they are not necessarily budget-friendly options.
Villa Mango: You can expect to pay about $70 a night for a double room with breakfast included. There is also a nice pool with an amazing view on site.
Bella Vista Mar: For about $60 a night you can get a triple room with breakfast included. The view here is ridiculous and there is a nice pool on site for guests.
Living Hotel: For about $50 a night you can stay in a nice double room near the beach. Breakfast is not included, but there is a really nice pool.
We definitely suggest checking out Airbnb as well. Sometimes you can get some really great accommodation deals at beautiful places on Airbnb. We like Airbnb because often you can get a place with a private kitchen. This definitely helps us to save some money so we are not constantly eating at restaurants. Also, often staying at an Airbnb will give you a more local experience.
Save $30 off your first Airbnb stay here
It’s hard to find budget friendly restaurants in Nosara Costa Rica, which is why we suggest getting a place to stay where you can cook. Here are our fave spots (but they are not necessarily cheap).
Burgers and Beers: Definitely not the cheapest (a burger will run you around $16) but really tasty. Plus they have quality beer, which is always important. 🙂
Rosi’s Soda Tica: Great typical Costa Rican food at a good price. This place is super cozy and cute.
10Pies: Really good quality food. It’s not the cheapest, but the quality is worth it. A great lunch or dinner spot
– We have gotten a lot of questions asking if Nosara or Samara is better to visit (since they are so close and have a somewhat similar vibe). If you are looking for a really small town (more like a village), head to Nosara. If you want a bit more going on, but still cute, go to Samara.