7 Days in Nosara, Costa Rica

Playa Guiones Nosara Costa Rica

For more Costa Rica Itineraries also see our Ultimate 17 day Costa Rica Itinerary and our 3 Day Monteverde Costa Rica Guide.

What do you do when you are in desperate need of some beach time, relaxation, and epic surf with palm trees in view? Right—you make the trek to Nosara in Costa Rica. The lesser-known, laid-back sister of Santa Teresa is everything the latter is not. Despite the ongoing expansion of local properties, Nosara is still very much a little town with no roads, much yoga, and a pure surfer vibe (mind you, not influencer!).

Nosara is the perfect week-long getaway with plenty to do for those who can’t sit still. But the mantra here is rest and relaxation. Imagine a place where lush jungles kiss golden beaches and where the surf’s always up. How can you not love life with such gorgeous nature and the wild ocean surrounding you! Pura Vida!

A Surfers Paradise – Playa Guiones is Nosara’s crown jewel, an expansive beach with consistent waves that attract all levels of surfers from all over the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, Guiones has got you covered (though beware, it’s the Pacific. The surf can get heavy).

Yoga Haven – Yoga enthusiasts, rejoice! Nosara is also renowned for its yoga retreats and studios. With the sound of the ocean as your backdrop, you can find your zen in one of the many open-air studios offering everything from Vinyasa to restorative yoga. The Nosara Yoga Institute, one of the pioneering centers, has put this town on the global yoga map. And if Yoga is not your thing – they’ve got plenty of Pilates too.

Biodiverse Jungle Adventures – For those with a thirst for adventure, the surrounding jungle offers plenty of activities. Hike through dense mangrove overflowing with wildlife – keep your eyes peeled for howler monkeys, exotic birds, and coatis. The Nosara Biological Reserve is a must-visit, offering guided tours that teach you about the region’s unique flora and fauna.

Eco-Friendly & Authentic – Nosara is clear on its commitment to sustainability. The community-driven Blue Zone project emphasizes healthy living and environmental preservation. This isn’t just a place to visit; it’s a lifestyle to embrace. There are no paved roads in the town, giving it an authentic, untouched feel that sets it apart from more commercialized destinations.

Great places to eat – Don’t miss the local cuisine in Nosara. From fresh seafood to traditional dishes like Gallo Pinto, the culinary scene here is a feast. Local eateries and beachfront shacks offer a taste of the Nicoya Peninsula and Costa Rica’s rich culinary heritage, ensuring you’re fueled for all your adventures.

Travel Itinerary Nosara Costa Rica (Day 7-13 of our epic 17 day Costa Rica Itinerary)

  • For the full itinerary read our Ultimate 17 day Costa Rica Itinerary post!
  • Day 7: Yoga, Surfing and Playa Guiones
  • Day 8: Surf lessons with Pepe & dolce far niente
  • Day 9: Cooking class with Nosara Costa Rica Descents
  • Day 10: More surfing and Relaxation in Nosara
  • Day 11: Playa Pelada lunch and beach day
  • Day 12: Morning surf and massages in Nosara
  • Day 13: Morning in Nosara and hit the road to Punta Islita!

Day 7: Yoga and Playa Guiones

The Nomadic Nosara: breakfast & yoga included

Drink at The Nomadic Nosara Costa Rica
Drinks among Jungle Vibes at The Nomadic in Nosara

If you are looking for a small-scale, personal hotel that offers incredible breakfasts, a pool in the jungle, and complimentary yoga classes, The Nomadic is your place to stay in Nosara. We started our first morning with a leisurely breakfast on the open patio, overlooking the pool. Think Bali vibes meets Costa Rica.

Despite the morning bustle in Nosara (dusty roads..), this boutique hotel was an oasis of peace and quiet. After breakfast, we enjoyed the rejuvenating yoga session on their rooftop. The peaceful ambiance and the sounds of birds created a perfect setting for a calming practice.

Quick Guide to The Nomadic, Nosara Costa Rica

The Nomadic Nosara Hotel
  • Highlights: Pool, relaxing jungle ambiance, included healthy breakfast
  • Cost: Rooms starting at $100 per night
  • Good for couples especially
Yoga at The Nomadic Nosara
  • Class Duration: 1 hour
  • Cost: Included with Hotel stay
  • Tips: No need to sign up, just walk up the rooftop and sign in with your room number. It is also open to outsiders if there is space. Mats, bolsters, etc are all provided.
  • What to Bring: Just yourself in your yoga outfit!

Stroll along Playa Guiones & Dinner at Bluezone Brewery

Playa Guiones Nosara Horse Riding
Horseriding at Playa Guiones

Post-yoga, we walked through the mangrove jungle to Playa Guiones Costa Rica.When we finally reached the beach, the sight of crystal-clear water was incredibly inviting. Just a heads up, though: it doesn’t exactly cool you down, but it’s refreshing all the same!

We spent the rest of the day wandering through the little town, soaking in the local vibe despite the heat. In the process, we walked past Nosara CR Surf School and decided to book a semi-private surf lesson for the next day. This spot had a super chill, friendly atmosphere, and the sheer number of surfboards available was impressive. Plus, we always like to take a lesson when surfing new spots—it’s a great way to learn something new and get clued in on local etiquette and particulars of a new surf spot (like watching out for stingrays in this case).

If you’re wandering around town and find yourself melting in the Nosara heat, make a pit stop at Go Juice, right next to the surf shop. They whip up amazing Acai bowls that are perfect for a refreshing treat. It’s not exactly cheap, but trust me, you’ll want to go back for more—like we did!

We wrapped up our day with dinner at Bluezone Brewery, and wow, what a treat! The tacos were absolutely to die for—definitely the best we had in Nosara, and possibly all of Costa Rica. They were on par with the best tacos we’ve eaten in Mexico. The laid-back atmosphere of the brewery made it the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring.

Quick Guide to Surf Lessons & Eating in Nosara

  • Nosara CR Surf School: book in advance during high season for sure
  • Go Juice: great Acai bowls, cost about $10. Limited seating, so be prepared to take them on the go (for example to the beach!). 
  • Bluezone Brewery: around $8 per plate of taco’s. No need to reserve, Nosara is a pretty chill walk in place in general.

Day 8: Surfing Playa Guiones

Surf Lessons in Nosara by Nosara CR Surf School

Surfing Nosara
Original Lightning Bolt Surfboard in Nosara

Our 8th day on the Nicoya Peninsula started with an exciting surf lesson with Pepe from Nosara CR Surf School. Pepe took the time to check we mastered all the basics and gave us thorough instruction on intermediate skills. Playa Guiones, where the lesson took place, can cater to surfers of all levels—from beginners to advanced. 

The week we were there, the conditions were messy, but it gave us the perfect opportunity to hone our skills. I rode an 8.4ft Mosquito hard top by a local shaper, and it was one of the best boards I’ve ever used. It was so good, I hired it every day we went out for a surf the rest of the week in Nosara!

Surfing in Nosara: Local Tips
Starting the week with a lesson was a smart move, not only because we hadn’t surfed in a while, but also because each spot has its own particularities. In Nosara’s case, it’s the stingrays. To avoid getting stung, shuffle your feet in the sand while walking out until knee-deep water. Don’t worry, I only saw one stingray the entire time, but it’s a precaution worth taking to avoid being stung.

Post-surf Lunch Tip Nosara
After our 2 hours in the very hot water, we were more than ready for a big lunch. We stopped at Destiny Cafe & Restaurant, where we refueled with a hearty plate of Greek brunch. It hit the spot perfectly after an active morning.

Lounging at The Nomadic Hotel
We spent the rest of the afternoon adhering to our rest and relaxation agenda, lounging by the pool of our hotel, The Nomadic. With a good book in hand and occasional dips in the pool, we soaked up the jungle vibe tranquility that Nosara is so famous for. This peaceful atmosphere is truly good for the soul.

If you are looking for a relatively cheap and low key dinner in Nosara (which can be a challenge), try Gabi’s Play, a small foodcourt with some local artisan shops as well. They have a delicious Banh Mi that doesn’t break the bank.

Quick Guide to Surflessons in Nosara

  • Instructor: Pepe from Nosara CR Surf School
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $60 per person for a semi private lesson (which is just a 2 person private lesson)
  • Tips:
    • Great for all skill levels, but especially intermediate.
    • Conditions can vary, so ask about them on the day
    • Do not leave anything on the beach
  • What to Bring: Surf proof swimsuit, towel, reef safe sunscreen, and LOTS of water.
  • Post Surf LunchDestiny Cafe & Restaurant, about ~$15 per plate. Located in La Negra Surf Hotel
  • Dinner: Pulpo Guiones Nosara at Gabi’s Play 

Day 9: Things to do on a Rainy Day in Nosara

Cooking class with Costa Rica Descents Nosara

Cooking Class Nosara
Home made Empanadas, Ceviche & Plaintain Chips

Our ninth day in Nosara started with heavy tropical rain, so we had to look for something to do indoors in this outdoor paradise. After some delicious tostadas for breakfast at the hotel and a much-needed Vinyasa Yoga flow on the rooftop to start the day, we discovered that Costa Rica Descents had just started a local initiative to host cooking classes on a nearby farm. The initiative had only been running for a couple of weeks, so we were eager to try it out.

Despite the rain, we had a fantastic time at the cooking class with Nosara Costa Rica Descents. Cooking outdoors under a tin roof in true Costa Rican style, we were surrounded by the sounds of howler monkeys and the sight of big vultures. We made absolutely delicious ceviche and cooked chicken empanadas, which turned out really nice. Our guide was a real character, adding to the fun, and it made for a good three hours of entertainment in the afternoon. We’d highly recommend this as an activity on a rainy day.

Make sure you come really hungry and if you do this class in the afternoon it will likely be your lunch and dinner in one!

Quick Guide to Cooking Class in Nosara

  • Book with: Nosara Costa Rica Descents
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: $50 per person
  • Tips:
    • Come hungry; this class will likely be your lunch and dinner.
    • Bring mosquito spray – you are on farmland surrounded by dense jungle

Day 10-12: 4 Days of Surfing, Eating and Relaxing in Nosara

Beach holiday in Costa Rica: Pure Relaxation

Playa Pelada Nosara
Walking around Playa Pelada in Nosara

The next four days in Nosara were a perfect blend of surfing, eating, and relaxing. We ventured out for a morning surf session almost every day. Despite the messy conditions—or maybe because of them—catching waves at Playa Guiones was incredibly rewarding. If you’re lucky, you might even find some nice reformer waves on the inside!

When the surf wasn’t up, or when we had worked hard enough in the morning, there were plenty of other relaxing activities around Nosara. We happily spent our afternoons reading by the pool or doing an afternoon yoga session on the roof of The Nomadic. 

Walk to Playa Pelada
For those looking to venture a bit out of their relaxation bubble, Playa Pelada is a pleasant walk just to the next beach over. You can cut across the mangrove jungle path like we did, though it might be completely flooded. 

Alternatively, braving the relentless heat and walking along the beach is also a good option. Playa Pelada also has a nice shack, Olga’s Beach Bar, that serves good fish casado for lunch—a typical Costa Rican dish with a little bit of everything. For a more upscale experience, try La Luna next door.

Lunch in town at Rosie’s Soda
If you’d rather stay around town and are looking for a relatively affordable place to eat in Nosara, try Rosie’s Soda. They have  great casados and a variety of Agua Naturales—the best refreshing fruit juice in this tropical climate if you ask me. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a family of Howler Monkeys transporting themselves along the power lines around town. If not, you’ll certainly hear their howling once the sun starts setting!

Getting a Massage in Nosara
After spending days ripping it on the waves, a good massage was just what we needed. We tried Los Sueños Spa, which did wonders for our sore muscles. Even if all you’ve done is lie in your hammock, a massage in Nosara is always a great idea for a little extra relaxation.

Quick Guide to Surfing, Eating and Relaxing in Nosara

  • Surfing: Go in the early morning, don’t forget your reefsafe sunscreen and give the locals priority. This is their spot! The north end of the beach towards Playa Pelada has less crowded peaks. Rent boards at Nosara CR Surf School (you can just rock up)
  • Walk to Playa Pelada: 30-45 mins from The Nomadic. Be prepared for either a jungle path (mosquito spray) or a hot beach walk (sunscreen)
  • Best Local Food: Rosi’s Soda Tica 2 in town. Gets busy for good reason and true Costa Rica style is not always open when Google says it is. 
  • Massage at Los Sueños Spa: expect to pay ~$60 for an hour. 

Other Things to Do in Nosara

Ziplining Nosara
Zipline in Nosara on the Costa Rica Descents Farm

Nosara offers a huge amount of activities beyond surfing and yoga, catering to many different interests and adventure levels. 

For example, you can visit the Nosara Biological Reserve, where you can explore 90 acres of lush jungle, home to diverse wildlife including monkeys, coatis, and over 270 bird species. The Hotel Lagarta manages the reserve and functions as an entrance to the Nosara Biological Reserve

A self guided tour will take you about two hours and you’ll get a trail map when you pay the $6 entrance fee. If you prefer to go with a guide (which would help you see more of the wildlife than on your own) they can be arranged on the spot. There are also boat tours through the Mangrove estuary.

You could also consider Turtle watching at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge near Nosara. The turtle nesting happens all year, but especially between June and December very special Arribadas happen where they all at once come to shore to nest. Usually this happens just before or just after a new moon. It is compulsory to go with a guide, to make sure the turtles do not get overly disturbed, so make sure to check on the 

For those craving adventure, you can zip-line with Miss Sky Canopy Tour, one of the longest zip-line tours in the world. It offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the dense canopy below. Horseback riding along Playa Pelada or through the jungle trails provides a different perspective of Nosara’s stunning landscapes.

If you’re a fan of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), the nearby Rio Nosara offers calm waters perfect for paddling through mangroves and spotting wildlife. Kayaking tours are also an option.

If shopping is more your jam, visit the nearby town of Guiones, where you can find local boutiques, art galleries, and markets. It’s the perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs and enjoy some more local culture.

Where to eat in Nosara

Best places to eat in Nosara Bluezone Brewery
Best Taco's in Nosara at Bluezone Brewery

Beyond the places we already mentioned (with another especial shout out to the incredible taco’s at Bluezone Breweries – we went back 3 times despite preferring to try new places, it was that good), Nosara has an incredible amount of good eateries and take-aways.

  • El Chivo: a fun Tex-Mex joint, good for margs and nachos with friends
  • Il Basilico: sit down joint for great wood fired pizza’s, bring a full wallet though, we found it a bit on the expensive side (they also have a location in Tulum)
  • 10Pies: for their breakfast burrito and cinnamon rolls
  • Beach Dog Cafe: for organic acai bowls, fish tacos and a surfer vibe
  • Rosi’s Tico Soda 2: for good, affordable Tico food like their casados. Don’t forget to order an agua naturales!
  • Olga’s Beach Bar: for beach side plates after walking to Playa Pelada. Expect to spend some time.
  • Destiny Cafe & Restaurant: for a good sized brunch post surf
  • Go Juice: for a filling Acai bowl
  • Bluezone Brewery: our absolute favourite for craft beers, amazing Taco’s and best place to watch sports in Nosara

What to pack for 7 Days in Nosara

Playa Guiones Nosara Costa Rica
Prepare for the scorching Nosara heat at Playa Guiones!
  • Cash: Do not forget to bring cash. Out of all the places we went in Costa Rica, Nosara was the most challenging when it came to getting cash out or paying with cards. While many places do accept cards, quite a few don’t. Plus, you can often negotiate better rates for surf lessons and other activities if you offer to pay in cash.
  • Lightweight, Breathable Clothing: Nosara is hot and humid, so pack plenty of light, breathable clothes. Think linen or loose cotton.
  • Swimwear: Bring multiple swimsuits, especially if you plan on surfing or hitting the beach daily. Bring a rash guard or warm water surf suit to prevent sunburn and board rash.
  • Yoga Gear: If you’re into yoga, pack your favorite yoga outfits for hot weather. The yoga culture here is strong, and many hotels and studios offer classes.
  • Sandals with Heel Straps: Avoid flip-flops and opt for sandals that attach to your heels. Nosara does not have proper roads and turns into a mud splash bath when it rains. You will get covered.
  • Mosquito Spray: This is the only place we got absolutely bitten to pieces on our whole trip. Pack a high-quality mosquito repellent to keep those pesky bugs at bay. It’s hard to find there.
  • Sunscreen: An absolute must around the equator. Make sure it’s reef-safe, especially when surfing or swimming.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: A must! You will get dehydrated from surfing in warm water. Staying hydrated is key in the heat, so bring a sturdy, reusable water bottle.
  • Travel Adapter: Costa Rica uses the same plug types as the US.

Stay Tuned for More Adventures!

We’re still polishing up this blog post, but we were so excited to share our journey with you that we couldn’t wait to put it online. Check back soon for more updates and stories!
For the rest of our Costa Rica intinerary see our Ultimate 17 day Costa Rica Itinerary or our 3 Day Monteverde Costa Rica Guide.