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, 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 budget travel guide!




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.

Pro Tip: If you plan on taking the bus download the free app Off The Grid Traveler for bus schedules and locations.  

We suggest renting a car for driving to Nosara because you will want a car once there.


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 where turtles swim up to lay their eggs. They 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 cheap accommodation 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.

airbnb credit


It’s hard to find cheap restaurants in Nosara, 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.


Really good quality food. It’s not the cheapest, but the quality is worth it. A great lunch or dinner spot.



3 Weeks Costa Rica Itinerary – Pacific Vibes

One of our favorite things to do in Costa Rica is to explore all the...
costa rica adventure

Costa Rica Adventure Lovers Two Week Itinerary

There is no question about it, Costa Rica is the perfect adventure lovers paradise. Costa...
turtles in costa rica

Sea Turtles in Costa Rica – The Best Times and Places to See Them

Costa Rica is a prime spot for seeing turtles. We absolutely love that you can...



Oh and don’t forget to get travel insurance. It’s the most important gear you can buy!

Let us know if you have any questions about visiting Nosara in the comment section below. We are happy to help you out!


  1. What other beach spots near Nosara do you suggest checking out? Also what other things can we check out near Nosara? We have rented a car with adobe.

    • Hi Brittany! You’re going to love Nosara! Heading down to Samara is a nice day trip option. Samara is a little busier than Nosara but has a cool hippie vibe and nice beach. You can also head north from Nosara and stop at Playa Osteonal. This is the beach which is known for being filled with turtles. Usually, this is something you will only see in the fall, but depending on which dates you will be there, you may be able to see at least a few turtles. They keep their Facebook page up to date, so definitely check that out. Also, we like to just drive the road that borders the ocean up to Tamarindo and pull off at random beaches along the way. So, what you do is instead of cutting out onto the main road to Tamarindo, enter Playa Junquillal (nice place to stop) in your GPS. Most of the little beaches are down unmarked dirt roads which just randomly end at beaches. You can just park your car at the end of these roads, but make sure you dont leave anything of value in the car. I would make your end goal Lola’s. From Junquillal just type Lola’s in your GPS and make sure it is bringing you along the beach road. Lola’s is a cool beach bar on a nice beach called Playa Avellana. You could also head to Tamarindo from there or take another day trip up to Tamarindo. If you make it its own day trip, definitely take the interior road because it’s way faster and better maintained. Hope that helps! Let us know if you have more questions.

  2. I first visited Nosara 28 years ago. I instantly fell in love with the place. I felt like I was stepping back in time. There were horses tied up outside bars and restaurants. That was the major source of transportation. The drive here took us over 8 hours. Driving through 11 rivers on a trip with no pavement on the road upon leaving Nicoya. There was only one hotel at the beach, which is still there but it is empty most of the time.
    Now, everything is brand new in Nosara, with the recent development. You now have a luxurious airport in Liberia which shaves 2 hours off of the trip.
    The drive is a drag except for all of the beautiful scence you will experience.
    Enjoy the trip and pura vita.

    • Wow thats really interesting. Ffor only 28 years this country has definitely changed a lot! Thanks for sharing! I can’t even imagine Nosara like that with horses tied up outside of bars. I’ve driven through a few of the rivers when the bridge was out and I thought that was crazy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.