12 Best Things To Do In Nosara: An Guide To Paradise

If you are looking for the best things to do in Nosara, below you will find all the info you need to maximize your time in this piece of heaven.

Nosara truly is a peaceful utopia and it has to be the next place you go for a relaxing vacation! If you want to find a zen bliss then Nosara should be one of the first places on your list in the entire world.

Howler monkeys in Nosara

While Nosara isn’t a massive hotspot for activities like Manuel Antonio or La Fortuna, it is a great place for someone looking for a quiet and peaceful beach vacation away from the busy places like Tamarando, Jaco, Cabo, Cancun etc.

Nestled on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Nosara is a stunning hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, culinary delights and great place to just find peace.

best restaurant in Nosara coyol 2

Renowned for its two pristine beaches, lush jungles, and relaxed community, Nosara beckons travelers seeking an authentic and unforgettable experience that is hard to find in the world these days.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, yogi, surfer, a foodie, or simply someone in search of relaxation, Nosara has something to offer for everyone.

If you haven’t been to Costa Rica you definitely need to visit Manuel Antonio or La Fortuna if you love adventure. See best things to do in Manuel Antonio here and best things in La Fortuna here.

Bodhi tree yoga best yoga

While I love Nosara, I will say the only negative is that it is extremely expensive! We are talking basically USA prices and double most Latin American places like Mexico, Colombia or Peru etc.

With that said, if you want something cheaper but equally as chill & beautiful I really love Sayulita in Mexico and can read all about the best things to do in Sayulita here.

Best views in Nosara

While Nosara is pricey, you can of course still go and make it cheap whether that is staying in hostels, eating local, buying groceries etc.

However, just don’t expect cheap real estate or a fancy dinner out like you might in other Latin American spots.

With that said, definitely try to get to Nosara asap and here’s a guide to the best things to do in this slice of paradise!

monkeys in Nosara 2

When you are looking for where to stay you are met with the first big question…

Which Beach Is Better To Stay At, Playa Guiones or Playa Pelada?

Many of you may be confused which beach is best to stay near when in Nosara as there are two main beach options with Playa Pelada & Playa Guiones.

sunsets in Nosara play guiones

If you are wondering, which is best… the short answer is Guiones. Guiones is where you will find most of the restaurants, resorts, bars, yoga studios, stores etc.

Guiones beach is also 5x the size of Pelada and is the best place for surfing far and away.

Now, definitely visit Pelada or you can even stay there as it only takes 5-10 minutes to walk from one beach to the other. 

You can get from the main street in Pelada to the main street in Guiones via a 20-30 lovely walk on the beach as well.

Furthermore, if you rent a car/ATV/golf cart then it only takes 5 or so minutes to get from one to the other depending on where you are staying.

Thus, if you find a much cheaper place in Pelada then definitely stay there as it is easy enough to get to Guiones. There are also tuk tuks that will take you for $5-10 pending what you negotiate.

Playa Pelada is actually home to 3 of my favorite places to eat and while the beach isn’t as nice, it is much less busy and still a great place to hangout.

Swing & Eat At Coyol at one of the best restaurant ambiances on earth

Coyol is one of the most beautiful restaurants on earth and this is not hyperbole.

Coyol best view Nosara

I was struggling to think of a more stunning ambiance and view that I have ever been to and this easily is top 3 if not #1.

The view, picnic table seating, the lighting, the rustic main building, sunset, the swing… everything is out of a story book. 

coyol best restaurant Nosara 5

Whoever came up with this idea to place a restaurant 25+ minutes out of the main town, down a dusty road took some courage and is an absolute genius.

You will need to make a reservation most likely a week or more in advance if you wish to get in at peak time before sunset at 5/6pm.

Coyol best place to eat in Nosara

I will say the food is not life changing, it is pretty good but I am saying the ambiance and all else is the best I have ever seen, not the food but it is still good :).

Sunset & Sip

I have to write this even though it is such a basic thing to write but wow…

The sunsets here are some of the best on earth and with the costs of drinks and food in Nosara this is the perfect option to have an affordable drink with a view.

sunsets in Nosara play guiones

As you will see the entire town will have the same idea and the beach absolutely comes alive at sunset with tons of people stretched down the enormous beach.

Not much beats grabbing a six-pack or a bottle of your favorite spirit/wine, maybe some carry-out and then having your meal on the beach, watching the surfers & dogs as the sun goes down.

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

One of the most amazing experiences in all of Costa Rica is watching turtle nesting if you have the chance. 

Ostional is known as one of the most important locations in the world for turtle conservation and major location where thousands of turtles lay their eggs.

Ostional wildlife refuge turtle nesting 3

Turtles nest here year-round but peak times are August through December. Sunrise and sunset are the best most active times for your tours as well.

Ostional is 10km and about 30-45 minutes from Nosara so an easy half-day trip!

Ostional wildlife refuge turtle nesting 3

To reach out to the refuge and use official guides, see this Facebook page where you can email or whatsapp them here.

They will let you know everything you need to know including how it is looking with regards to amount of turtles incoming etc.

Horseback Ride On The Beach

Like most of us who have watched any romantic movie, most people have always wanted to horseback ride on the beach during sunset.

horseback riding on the beach

There are multiple companies you can do horseback rides with that will take you on the beach, around town and more.

It can be hard to beach horseback ride options so definitely take advantage here while you can.

Be a Foodie & Drinkie in Nosara

Nosara has no shortage of incredible restaurants and I ended up writing an entire article on places to eat and drink that you can find here.

best restaurant in Nosara

There are some of the best places to eat I have ever seen in Nosara. You will find mountaintop restaurants, beach bars, speakeasies, beach bars, incredible food & so much more!

Read my article here for best restaurants and bars in Nosara.

Yoga And Wellness

This is a no-brainer because as you will quickly find out… Nosara is synonymous with yoga, health, wellness and peace.

best thing to do in Nosara Bodhi tree

Even if, like myself you aren’t huge into yoga, you have to go to Bodhi Tree and do yoga once at their Oceana Shala with one of the best views for a yoga class on earth.

Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort offers 10-15+ classes a day in their multiple rooms. Here you can do a ton of different versions of yoga, spin class, sound healing classes and more!

I am not sponsored at all by Bodhi but you have to go… here is their class schedule.

best thing to do in Nosara Bodhi tree

Aside from Bodhi Tree there are countless other yoga, pilates and active wellness options. With new places opening non-stop a quick google search can show you a ton of options for you with times all throughout the day!

NCA Trails For Monkey & Animal Searching

While you can be most anywhere in Nosara and see monkeys, parrots, coatis and a variety of wildlife, there are some amazing trails that run throughout the heart of Nosara.

Monkeys in Nosara costa rica

You can either walk the trails or even rent a mountain bike to go through them.

The trails are well groomed, have bridges over the waterways and is such peaceful safe jungle oasis that runs all in and around Nosara and its beaches.

NCA maps for mountain biking Nosara

You can’t get lost as it is well mapped and there are maps before you even enter into the paths themselves to give you extra comfort.

Unless you are my friend Blake, you should be able to spot a monkey. They are typically not out midday when it is hot but will be in the morning and before sunset.

Learn To Salsa At Selina 

Selina’s locations are infamous for a party and while Nosara is one of the lesser party places, Selina has their infamous Salsa Wednesday nights you definitely should stop by.

Selina party nosara

It ends at midnight so be sure to get there by 9/10 to get your fill!

Selina of course has parties of all sorts on the weekend as well, just be sure to check on times and don’t assume it is an until wee hours of the morning thing.

Selina party nosara

Stroll The Tuesday Farmers Market

Every Tuesday there is an organic market where you can find incredible fresh fruits, vegetables and of course lots of art, baked goods, handcrafts and more.

Nosara farmers market

It is a great way to eat fresh and support local. Grab your basket and dive into some of the best fruit you might ever have. 

There is also a market Saturday you can check out as well. Shout out to Tina for the pics.

Nosara Farmers market 2

Attend A Beach & Jungle Rave

Don’t worry, the term “rave” is used a little loose here, as it is just an organized party with a DJ going late into the night.

Beach Rava Samara

Talking with locals it appears the beach and jungle rave organizers in Nosara don’t do it as much as they used to like you can find in Samara just 45 minutes down the road.

However, by asking around or keeping an eye out for fliers on the light poles, you can definitely find out where the party will be each weekend.

Perozah playa garza

Attending a beach or jungle rave is an absolute bucket list thing to do if you like nightlife as it is straight out of a movie.

The vibes are immaculate and just something you have to see for yourself once while visiting!

Walk between the beaches, to the Costa Rica flag and the cliffs between Pelada & Nosara

Many people who visit have no idea there is a 2 minute flat path between both Pelada & Guiones. 

Nosara hiking to cliffs

As mentioned above if you are staying near either beach, it is just a lovely walk down the beach and through a quick path to see the other.

Not only that, you can find another path between the two that takes you to the Costa Rican flag you will see on the cliffs and you can continue past that further as well.

Hiking in Nosara 2

There are some great views of both beaches from here and it is worth 30 minutes out of your day to meander out that way. It is also another great unique spot for sunset.

Get A Drink At A Secret Underground Bar & Surf Fin Shop

An absolute hidden gem you must visit for an amazing cocktail is Alt Fin & Co.

Alt Fin Nosara speakeasy

Nosara’s underground surf lounge is one of the coolest places in the country to get a drink and most people visiting have no idea it exists!

Here they have live music, DJs, surf screenings and some of the best craft cocktails in town. 

For more of the best bars in Nosara see our article here.

This has to be one of the coolest speakeasies you will ever come across taking the moody underground vibe and combining it with a trendy surf shop.

Alt Fin Nosara speakeasy

Surf shop by day and bar by night… heaven!

Day trip to Playa Garza

Playa Garza is a small more local fishing village is just a 10 minute drive away south of Guiones.

Here you can find some local sodas to eat at for a cheap delicious local meal and of course the stunning Perozah.


If you want a romantic place for sunset or drinks, there are a ton in Nosara, however Garza also has Perozah, which is worth stopping by if you have seen it all in Nosara.

Perozah also often hosts beach raves so keep an eye out for those.

Eat One of the best breakfasts I have ever had 

This breakfast was so good I had to put it on the list.

While I love Destiny’s… Sunrise Coffee has the best breakfast burrito I have ever had and their Eggcellent toast is spectacular as well.

Sunrise Cafe Playa pelada best breakfast

It is a cute little coffee shop in Playa Pelada  with brunch, smoothies, bowls and all the coffees you could want.

Golf Cart Hop Around Town

Of course everyone loves getting around by golf cart so try to rent one for 1-2 days and hop around to beaches, restaurants and all over the town.

Golf cart in samara

They typically cost $40-50 per day and online during busy season they can sell out. Often though down the main street you will see a few cart places that should have some out there for you.

Mountain Bike 

As mentioned there are trails throughout town that go through the jungle and you can also go down the kilometers of dirt roads and paths that stretch up and down the beach.

mountain biking in Nosara

Nosara MTB is a large legit mountain bike shop that rent mountain bikes and also some epic mountain bike tours!

They rent high-end bikes so if you are a mountain bike enthusiast this is definitely a must stop.

Surfing… duh

I hate even writing this as obviously Nosara has surfing.

However, if you did not know, Nosara has some of the best surfing and most consistent waves you will find in the Americas. 

surfing in Nosara

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the waves here have something for anyone and is notorious worldwide for epic surf!

Day Trip To Rio Celeste

This is a really long trip as it is 3.5 hours away… however if you want an adventure day then this is something to check out.

best thing to do near La Fortuna Rio Celeste

It is one of the most stunning waterfalls you will see and has so much to offer. You can see more about it in our article here on the best waterfalls in the area.

Again, it is only really worth it if you have maybe another stop or two on the way there or back to check out vs. sitting in a car for 7 hours of a day.

best thing to do near La Fortuna Rio Celeste

Had to include it though as if you have never been there or La Fortuna this must be on your list, see best things to do in La Fortuna here.

Mala Noche Waterfall 

A much closer and seasonal waterfall is Mala Noche waterfall. 

There are tours that take you there as it is a bit of a local secret. There is way to get there yourself but it requires some bushwacking and the road to the “trail” is hard to find as well.

I would suggest maybe taking a tour as I don’t want to be responsible for you getting lost.

Eat Local At Rosi’s Soda Tica

As many don’t know the term “soda” refers to a local little restaurant in Costa Rica.

Here you will typically find abuela in the kitchen cooking up food that has been cooked in savorable sauces and juices all day just waiting for you.

Rosi's Soda Tica

While Rosi’s is now a bit of a chain, which you can find many in Nosara, it still is a great step into the local cuisine and vibe.

There are more less known soda’s nearby in Nosara town and Playa Garza if you want to get even more local and away from the tourists.

Rosi's soda tica

Be sure to try all of the sauces as the food is amazing.

Open Mic / Karaoke Night at Beach Dog Cafe

While there isn’t a ton of nightlife in Nosara, there are always a couple places to go after sunset for some drinks and entertainment.

Open Mic night at beach dog nosara

Beach Dog Cafe has Open Mic night on Tuesday nights where you can get up and sign your heart out with help from the band. If you have an instrument you can always bring that along as well.

Would just come here for drinks and such as the food is pretty expensive compared to what you get. 

Visit Samara if you have time

Just 45 minutes south is the lovely small town of Nosara. If you plan on coming to Costa Rica for more than a week and just want beach days then would split time between Samara and Nosara.

Fire on the beach in Samara

There is a bit more going on in Nosara so if you want a touch busier, better surf & yoga options then definitely spend more time in Nosara.

If you want fires on the beach (not allowed in Nosara), large beach & jungle raves, some great beach bars and a smaller quieter town then visit Samara.

Samara Hiking

Samara is an amazing little town and definitely suggest spending 4-5 days here if you are in Costa Rica for 10+ days.

Guided Adventure Trips

Of course on top of all of this there are the typical adventure tours with guides whether  you want to ziplining, ATV tours and all those sorts of options.

ATV tours in Nosara

Grab a Fresh Coconut… maybe make it a Coco Loco

No trip to a tropical destination is complete without drinking out of a coconut. 

Fresh Coconuts in Nosara

Where in Hawaii you might pay $20 for a drink out of a coconut, here you can get one on the side of the road for $2 and feel free to purchase a bottle of rum to spice it up yourself.

Where To Stay In Nosara

As covered a little above, the ideal place to stay is Playa Guiones. 

Now, if you want to save money then staying at Playa Pelada or in the hills near Tierra Magnifica where a lot of new builds are going in, is a great option as well.

Samara sunset

If you are staying in the hills mentioned, they are not walking distance you will need to rent some mode of transportation to get there.

Be sure to have that acquired before you book as golf carts and ATVs can sell out in Nosara during busy seasons. Lots of places don’t have websites as well so can just walk up to the main street and see golf carts to rent.

Nosara places to stay

Nosara Tips

Credit Cards & Cash

Most everywhere takes credit card so you won’t need tons of cash except for street vendor type stuff and tipping.

There is an ATM in town and a bank near the gas station on the way to Nosara town but would definitely come with $200-500 if you can since not tons of options for ATMs.

La Luna Playa Pelada best restaurant

Do You Tip In Costa Rica

Most places in Nosara automatically include 10% gratuity. Of course an extra 5% is good if you choose and then 10% is great, however it is not required or requested.

How to Get to Nosara 

Nosara is 2 hours and 45 minutes from Liberia and 5-6 hours from San Jose.

There are shuttles like Tropical Tour Shuttles with very competitive rates who can take you both ways.

There are also smaller airplanes that will take you for quite cheap from Liberia or San Jose to Nosara such as Sansa Air & Nature Air.

Overall if coming from Liberia a shuttle is probably the most economic way to go and maybe the quickest since by the time you wait for the small plane’s takeoff time, check-in etc…

If coming from San Jose, then definitely would check out flying.

How To Get Around Nosara

As mentioned above if you are staying near the beach then you can get by without a vehicle as you can walk most everywhere.

If you don’t want to walk then there are car rentals, golf carts, ATVs and honestly mountain bikes might be the best way to get around since the streets can be busy.

There are also tuk tuks everywhere so if you are mostly walking around, you can hire one of them for $5-10 when your feet need a break.

Is Nosara, Costa Rica Safe?

Costa Rica is consistently ranked one of the safest, if not the safest, countries in Latin America.

Nosara is extremely safe but of course be mindful but as you will see there are tons of solo travelers of all genders roaming throughout the day and night with not a care in the world.


Go to Nosara, now, before it gets overrun like Tamarindo.


Hola! I’m Fraser & this site is a guide to help you reach your goals, travel the world and create amazing food in between. Get inspiration for travel, recipes & to follow your dreams.

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