Nosara, Costa Rica

A tiny surf town with a hippie feel
nosara costa rica
nosara costa rica

The Nosara Vibe

Nosara, Costa Rica is a super cute seaside town that is the perfect surfer paradise.

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 on the beautiful Pacific coast beaches away from the crowds of tourists.

Now on to the rest of the Nosara Costa Rica travel guide!

Nosara Weather

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.

You can find out more about the weather by month here.

Nosara Transportation

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.

Things to Do in Nosara

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 from a surf school is a must do while here. There are several surf shops along the main road which offer lessons and rent boards if you are more experienced.

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 Ostional which is home to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. Olive Ridley turtles use this beach as a nesting ground. You can find out more about seeing the sea turtle nesting here

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

Also, if you would like a more intense experience you can sign up for one of the many yoga retreats in the area.

Go horseback riding: There are almost people walking the beach with horses offering rides for a fee. We like to take a sunset horseback ride for a really enjoyable experience.

Hotels in Nosara

High-End Hotels

The Gilded IguanaLocated 300 meters from the beach, this hotel has a pool and restaurant. The hotel has beachy modern vibe.

Hotel Boutique Lagarta LodgeThis hotel offers amazing ocean views from above. Relax in the beautiful pool or enjoy a delicious Mediterranean meal in the restaurant. 

Tierra Magnifica Boutique HotelEnjoy the beautiful gardens and view of the ocean. This hotel has an on-site spa, pool, restaurant, and more!

Mid-Range Hotels

Villa Mango:  Nice hotel that backs up to a wildlife reserve. Guests can enjoy the on-site pool, restaurant, and amazing views. 

The Sunset Shack– Located 50 meters from the beach, this hotel offers an on-site restaurant, pool, and simple (but modern) rooms.

Budget Hotels

The Nomadic HotelThis hotel has private rooms as well as a mixed dormitory. There is a private pool, yoga classes, and a complimentary breakfast every morning for guests. 

Green Sanctuary HotelHave you ever wanted to stay in a shipping container converted into a living space? You can at this hotel. There is also an outdoor pool, wellness center, and a spa on-site. 

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. 

Save $30 off your first Airbnb stay here

airbnb credit

Nosara Restaurants

Fine Dining

Luna Azul RestaurantA great place for quality seafood. The service and atmosphere are also amazing.

Restaurant ChirribocaSuch a beautiful restaurant with an amazing ocean view. All the food is delicious and fresh. 


10Pies: Really good quality food. A great lunch or dinner spot.

Burgers and Beers: Delicious burgers! Plus, they have quality beer, which is always important. 🙂

Dolce Vita: Amazing Italian food! Definitely try a pasta dish.

La Luna: Delicious fresh food and amazing atmosphere. It is always nice to have a great meal while watching the ocean.


Rosi’s Soda Tica: Great typical Costa Rican food at a good price. This place is super cozy and cute.

Go Juice: Great juice and poke bowl stand in town.


Nosara Travel Tips

-We’ve gotten some questions on Nosara versus Samara. If you are looking for a really small town with a super relaxed feel, Nosara is the best option. If you would like a bit more going on, Samara is a better choice.

Both towns are located on the Nicoya Peninsula within one hour of each other.

– Please be aware that Nosara is not the best for swimming. There are consistent waves and this area is known for rip currents. 

Custom Nosara Trip Plan

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Articles About Nosara

6 Responses

  1. Hey there!!! Im trying to put together a “per day” budget for my wife and I. We have airfare, and a house booked on Airbnb….Just trying to figure out between food and spending how to make sure we have enough for 10 days. Just not sure how to figure it all out. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Damon, It is kind of hard to figure out because it is hard to say how much you will spend on activities and food. What we like to do is make a budget (like say we are only going to spend $100 per day) and work backwards. So, on our trip if we spend a lot one day for an activity we might eat a cheaper meal that night. You can definitely save money by cooking at your Airbnb for a few nights. You can get an OK meal for about $10 per person, but if you want to eat at nicer restaurants it will be more like $20 per person.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

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