Nosara is quite unique in Costa Rica, mainly because it is what could be best described as a compilation of beaches! Located in sunny hot Guanacaste on the northern Pacific coast, the town of Nosara is actually very Tico! The beaches however are 100% international, with people from Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the US and more who have made it their home. It has an excellent choice of hotels and restaurants, but somehow, they have managed to blend in the scenery!
Playa Guiones is without a doubt the main beach of Nosara, and the most popular. This 6 kilometres stretch of white sand, perfect in shape, is a surfer’s paradise; its surf breaks attract people from all over the world, yet, thanks to the people who have made it their primary residence, it has not and probably never will become another Tamarindo. Nosara is, most and foremost, a residential area. The sense of community is really very strong and people are helping each other and working on making it a better place to live. Within the last 10 years, they have built schools and clinics, and have fought to keep their community as intact as possible. The abundant flora and fauna of Nosara is outstanding; you will see howler monkeys, spider monkeys, toucans, Iguanas. The beaches are beautiful and clean, the atmosphere is friendly and easy going, no wonder so many who come to visit never want to leave!
Guiones is probably one of the best places on earth to watch a sunset. For best result, bring your drink on the beach, wait, and enjoy the show. Although the surfing is popular it is also an excellent beach for swimming.
Finally, Guiones has another attraction: The yoga institute has been giving retreats and classes for over a decade now and is growing in popularity. What a wonderful place to practice your Asanas and meditate!
Just north of Guiones is the little rocky beach of Playa Pelada. Local fishermen still use it, and it gives it an authentic air. The sea there is calm; it is excellent for swimming and snorkelling between the rocks. Some people find this little beach to be the most beautiful, indeed, it can only be described as charming.
If you keep going north you have Playa Nosara. Possibly the least attractive yet it gives you a good glimpse at the real Costa Rica. Many locals bring their family there on Sundays.
Further north is Playa Ostional. The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was created to protect one of the world's most important nesting beaches of the marine turtle Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) called the Lora turtle by the locals. These turtles are known for the enormous egg laying sessions. In fact they are so huge that the eggs of the first turtles are often getting destroyed by the later ones! For this reason, the first eggs are allowed to be collected and sold. This is to prevent poaching and also to preserve a long standing practice while still preserving the turtles. The laying of the eggs is called an Arribada. It is best to visit the nesting grounds before and during these Arribadas. The biggest ones take place between July and December; however one can pretty much see them all year around.
South of Playa Guiones is Playa Garza. This beach is very similar in size and shape to Guiones, a perfect long opened bay, however, this is not a surfing beach, neither is it touristy! An offshore reef protects it from the waves and current, and with its white sand and clear water, it has a very sleepy, idealistic air, and it is ideal for snorkelling, or swimming lazily.
Garza is also the place to be if you like sports fishing; fishing enthusiasts will find what they seek in Garza, and there are many tour operators to choose from, however you would need to gather information in Guiones or Nosara. There are no hotels in Playa Garza.
Nosara is really a first choice as far as sun and beach is concerned, together with an incredible variety of wild life, great surf, tranquility and relaxation.