Playa Nosara, Guanacaste

Defined by its worries-by-the-wayside attitude and shorelines untainted by commercialism, Nosara is a small town famous for its yoga and surf.

Many people know it as "No shoes, no shirt, Nosara," which aptly sums things up. Located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste region, the traditional village of Nosara sits six kilometers inland, although the beaches attract the biggest draw.

No Major Developments on the Beach

For decades, Nosara has been protected by the national park system, in addition to longstanding efforts of local citizens to ensure that this unspoiled forest and beach destination remains as such.

Thanks to local restrictions that only allow small-scale developments, this skyline is dominated by gorgeous sunsets that drift ceaselessly into the ocean.

Nosara has three different beaches: Playa Guiones, Playa Nosara and Playa Pelada. It goes without saying, but sunsets are a must.

Playa Guiones

As the main beach of Nosara, Playa Guiones is a six-kilometer stretch of sparkling white sand. It runs southbound from Punta Pelada to Punta Guiones.

This shore is considered a hotspot for surfers, packed with long left and right breakers and consistent swells.

At low tide, beginners can try out their luck, but during strong swells and higher tides, this spot is best left for intermediate to experienced surfers. Between January and March, the crowds can grow pretty intense, but the length of the beach offers more isolated niches to relax and hit the waves in.

Playa Nosara

Playa Nosara is the least crowded of all Nosara's beaches.

Characterized by its peaks and shallow rock reef lefts, Playa Nosara is a great beach break where you can catch some excellent barrels during strong southwesterly and southern swells.

This long, dark beach runs from the Ostional Wildlife Refuge to Punta Nosara, all the way to the Boca Nosara rivermouth. Playa Nosara is ideal for intermediate to experienced surfers.

Playa Pelada

Located between Playa Guiones and Playa Nosara, Playa Pelada is a quiet shell-strewn beach with a rocky reef on the north side.

The waves here aren't as consistent as Nosara's two other breaks, but when the surf is good, it can get pretty crowded.

Be sure to check out the blow hole in the rocks here you can take a natural shower. Sheltered by an offshore reef, swimming is a popular option here.

As far as surfing goes, conditions at Playa Pelada offers inconsistent barrels, best during northern swells at incoming high tides. If you're looking for some serious shredding, head to either Guiones or Nosara.

Other Attractions

For a Pura Vida time, visitors rave about the ATV and horseback riding tours. Along the way, you can marvel at the roaring waterfall and try coconut water on the beach.

Try boogie boarding or family-friendly paddle boarding.

Feel the real culture and support the locals at nearby restaurants. Within the area, you can find a wide variety of restaurants, including romantic hotspots meant for couples as well as kid-friendly locales serving up sandwiches and beverages.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $779 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $2,084 per person