Nosara, Costa Rica - Surf Travel Guide

The beach village of Playa Guinoes in Nosara, Costa Rica is a surfer's paradise; featuring beauty, relaxation and really fun waves. Playa Guinoes, Nosara features a wide variety of lodging and restaurant options, as well as modern amenities and services to suite every budget. Playa Guinoes, Nosara is a great option for a stress-free, fun and wave-filled vacation.

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How to Get to Nosara, Costa Rica - Travel Tips & Driving Directions

The best way to get into Nosara, Costa Rica is to fly directly into the Nosara Airport. You can find flights directly into Nosara from San Jose on Nature Air. These flights usually run about $150 - $175 round trip and are well worth it. There are plenty of taxi options to take you from the Nosara Airport to Playa Guinoes.

By car, Nosara is a solid 5 hours from the San Jose airport, most of the way is paved. However, during the rainy season, the dirt roads leading into the village of Nosara can be soft, muddy and difficult to access. 4-wheel drive is highly recommended during the rainy season, which runs from May - October. I don't recommend driving from San Jose, it does NOT save much money and is a lot bigger hassel. If you are planning on staying in Nosara for the entire duration of your trip, I would definitely fly into the local Nosara Airport.

Costa Rica has a surprisingly good and reliable public transportation system. The buses are pretty modern with air conditioning, and now connect to even the furthest reaches of the country. The bus ride to Nosara from San Jose is relatively cheap and takes about 6 hours.


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Nosara, Costa Rica Car Rental

If you are driving from San Jose, then you definitely need a good rental car. I recommend 4-wheel drive suv or truck. You can rent these across the street from the airport; all major car rental companies are located across from the airport: Dollar, Budget Alamo & Avis. I recommend booking ahead.

If flying into Nosara, you can also, wait to rent a car in Playa Guinoes. There is a Toyota car rental right on the main road to Playa Guinoes. They have a nice selection of reliable Toyota suv's with 4-wheel drive, perfect for exploring local beaches and the cloud forest.

There are 2 gas stations (bombas) in Nosara - both stations only take cash. Also, gas is more expensive in Costa Rica than in the US, so be prepared to pay a few dollars more per gallon.

Nosara Surf Spots

There are 2 main surfing beaches in Nosara, Costa Rica; Playa Guinoes and Playa Pelada.

Surfing Playa Guinoes

Playa Guinoes is a unique beach break in Costa Rica. The surf at Playa Guinoes is very consistent year- round, and offers something for everyone. Its basically a thick mushy wave, which makes for a unique surfing experience. The wave has enough power for high-performance surfing, yet will not drill you down during the paddle out. Playa Guinoes is best surfed up to

Playa Pelada Surfing

Playa Pelada is very different experience from the beach break at Playa Guinoes. Playa Pelada breaks best during the dry season in Costa Rica, November thru March, it needs a west or north west swell to start breaking. Playa Pelada has 3 main surf spots: Olgas, the barrier reef outside of Olgas and Pelada Proper.

Nosara Photos

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Nosara Surf Lessons:

  • Iguana Expeditions
  • Corky Carroll's Surf School
  • Innocent Surf School
  • Richard Schmidt Surf School
  • Coconut Harry's Surf Shop & Surfing Lessons
  • Nosara Surf Shop & Surf School

Nosara Surfboard Rentals

Nosara Surf Shop - full service surf shop that offers surf lessons in Nosara and surfboard rentals. They offer a full selection of surfboard rentals: longboards, funshapes and shortboards. They have a good selection of all board types

They are found on the main road heading down to Playa Guinoes.

Coconut Harry's Surf Shop - they are found on the main road through Nosara, where the Playa Guinoes roads dead end's when heading away from the beach. They offer lessons and surfboard rentals. However, there selection of surfboard rentals is better suited to beginner surfers.

Nosara Hotels, Cabinas, Bungalows and Rentals

Playa Guinoes, Nosara Hotels & Rentals

  • Nosara Paradise Rentals - Highly Recommended. Great Location & Price, Beautiful Property & Pool, Modern Rooms
  • Harbour Reef
  • The Guilded Iguana - Great option for those wanting to learn to surf, packages are included
  • Casa Tucan
  • Nosara Beach Hotel - Located in-between Playa Guinoes & Playa Pelada. Beautiful views of both beaches, great sunset spot.
  • Casa Romantica
  • Harmony Hotel

Playa Pelada Hotels & Rentals

  • Ponchos Resort - Great Rooms & Price. Nice pool. Restaurant & grocery store on- site.
  • Refugio del Sol

Nosara Restaurants & Bars

Local Style:

  • Rosas Soda Tica - excellent breakfast and lunch. Try the banana pancakes! On the main road through Nosara, next to Coconut Harry's Surf Shop
  • Casa Tucan - on the road down to Playa Guinoes. Great Bar &
  • Cafe de Paris - Good restaurant with an incredible bakery, as well as Internet cafe. Cafe de Paris is the first building as your turn down the main road, heading towards Playa Guinoes.
  • La Luna - Great food and atmosphere. Great spot to watch the sunset and grab a drink. Located in- between Playa Guinoes & Playa Pelada.
  • Ponchos Resort & Restaurant - Good local food and drinks at a good price. Located in Playa Pelada
  • Olgas - bar overlooking playa pelada. Great place to watch the sunset. Located in Playa Pelada

Other Activities

Sport fishing in Nosara is huge. Most charters go out of Playa Garza, 5 minute drive south - contact: Fishing Nosara

Yoga enthusiast will fall in love with the Nosara Yoga Institute - it's definitely one of the most unique yoga studios in the world. Nosara Yoga

Nosara is home to the longest zip line in the world, the Miss Sky Canopy Tour - Miss Sky Canopy Tour

Watch hundreds of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles nesting at nearby Playa Ostional. This is an incredible experience and just a short drive from Playa Guinoes.

Nosara Jungle Tours... the Nosara River winds through the vast Nosara Biological Reserve. Kayak and boat tours are very popular with eco-enthusiasts.

Here's a video of some surfers catching waves in Nosara:

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