Nosara is on the Pacific coast along the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. It is a beautiful beach town set next to the jungle with a buzzing atmosphere full of great food, beautiful beaches, cute cafes, and interesting people.
Most of the fun happens around Playa Guiones. It is amongst its winding streets, jungle, and beaches, that you will spend most of your time. Exploring all the different restaurants, cafes, activities and sometimes just sitting back and enjoying the scene as the sun sets on this stunning beach town. Here is a itinerary for what to do with 2 days in Nosara.
Table of contents: ()
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Getting There
- When To Come
Of course, there are also boatloads of things to do while you are here, from surfing and fishing to yoga and birdwatching. So, two days in Nosara might not be long enough to see and do everything in this town. And, you will probably end up wanting to stay longer. I know I did.
Breakfast At El Jardin
I would start the day with one of the best breakfasts in Nosara and head on down to El Jardim. It is a beautiful street-side cafe, just 10 minutes from the beach. They serve delicious smoothies, great coffee and a range of healthy dishes. Sit outside on the deck and watch the relaxed world of beachside Costa Rica go by as you enjoy the delights of the local culture and cuisine.
Stroll Down The Beach
Once you’re done with breakfast, I’d head straight to the beach. Turn right out of Perla Negra, follow the road straight down and you will find yourself in Playa Guiones. It is a stunning black sand beach that is a stark contrast to the white beaches you might be used to.
Turn left once you arrive to find a quieter patch and if it’s low tide, you’ll also find a few rock pools to swim around in, with the chance of seeing some fish and coral if the water is clear. As such, it’s also a great spot for a little snorkeling, so don’t forget your goggles and towel.
If you want a little more action on your walk, head in the other direction as this is where the crowds tend to be.
Yoga at Nalu Studio
Once you have refreshed yourself in the sea, it is time to tune into the local yoga vibe. Something that has become synonymous with beach life in the area.
Nalu Studio in Playa Guiones is one of the best options in town, where they run both yoga and martial arts courses throughout the day. It is very reasonably priced and they provide all the equipment you need. So, you won’t have to wander around with your yoga mat looking like you belong in downtown LA! However, if you do decide to bring your own gear, no one will hold it against you.
Lunch at Rosi’s
After all that stretching and pose holding at yoga, you have earned yourself a hearty and delicious lunch, right?. Rosi’s, a tico (local) owned restaurant, is one of the only 2 locally owned businesses in the area. And we should definitely consider supporting the locals when visiting an area. At least that is my philosophy.
Drop into this laidback back cafe and enjoy some of the best local cuisine in the region. Once you have you will probably want to go back. The meals are delicious and a great value. Try a Casado, they are one of the best. As is their salsa verde! And the breakfasts are worth popping in for at least once too. From the banana pancakes to the crispy bacon. They have it all covered!
once you’re done, it is time to chill out, have a siesta and prepare for your afternoon surf lesson.
Surf Lessons with Juan Surfo’s
Juan Surfo’s is the other tico owned business in the area. So, again we are supporting the local businesses, and helping Nosara continue to have that local feel we all love when we visit a place.
Juan’s is just down the road from Rosi’s and they provide excellent surf lessons for beginners and intermediates. As such, you don’t need to worry if you don’t have any or much experience. They will be sure to take care of you from the outset.
A beginner’s lesson lasts an hour and a half and includes your board rental. Plus you can use your board for the rest of the day, so you can keep practicing after you are done with your lesson. They offer board rentals for the better surfers amongst us and intermediate lessons as well. So, even if you just need a brush-up or some pro tips, they have options for everyone.
If you plan to do a lesson, make sure to book a day in advance as this place gets busy.
Sunset At Playa Pelada or Playa Rosada
Playa Pelada is the next beach north of Guiones. It sits in a jungle cove and looks west, and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset into the ocean with either your camera or loved one nearby.
It is known as the local’s beach and is where all the local fishermen keep their boats when not out at sea. There is a local bar set just in the trees where you can grab a few takeaway drinks, then chill on the sand and watch the sun go down. You can walk to Playa Pelada through the jungle from Playa Guiones, or hop in a local tuk-tuk.
You can also just walk out to Playa Rosada from some parts of town, which I also did one not and got an amazing view as the sunset.
Just be sure to get the timing right and not miss the spectacular sunset!
Dinner at La Luna
Just a short walk down Playa Pelada is La Luna. This is one of the most picturesque restaurants in Nosara. It is set in an old colonial house where you dine by the beach surrounded by trees and under the stars. The food is top-notch, as are the cocktails. So be sure to sample both while you are here.
Start your evening with a passion fruit margarita and follow it up with a delicious kebab, steak or whole grilled snapper. After all, you are right at the ocean, so fresh fish is something you should make the most of.
La Luna is very popular and you will have to book in advance. Also, be sure to have a ride home booked ahead. Unless you want to venture down the jungle path in the night. In which case, make sure you have a flashlight or your phone is charged!
A Morning’s Yoga, Surf Or Stroll
After day one, you’ve probably got a sense of the place. I’d suggest waking up and heading to the beach for a walk, swim or a surf. You can grab a board from Juan Surfo’s or ask to keep the one you used the day before. If you fancy some yoga, I’d recommend trying out a new studio and going to Buena Vibra Collective.
Either option is a calm and tranquil way to start the day and will leave you hungry for breakfast which is always great.
Cafe de Paris For Breakfast
Feeling refreshed from your morning, it’s time for a delicious breakfast and relaxing time in the sun. And one of the best places to do this is Cafe de Paris.
They have one of the best breakfast menus in town, including excellent coffee, fresh-baked bread and pastries, and a beautiful poolside setting. So, after you’ve eaten, you can chill by the pool and take in some rays, read a book and just enjoy being there.
A Horse Ride On The Beach
Right, that is enough relaxing and it is time to saddle up for a horse ride on Playa Guiones. Horse rides can be booked through Boca Nosara Tours and they will take you down the beaches and through the jungles on a fun adventure you will remember for years to come!
It is a lovely way to explore the surrounding nature that isn’t as easy to get to on foot. You’ll see all kinds of crabs on the beach, as well as a huge variety of local birds, and the disturbing call of the howler monkey. The first time I heard a howler, I thought it was some huge monster in the jungle. But once you see them up close, you will realize you have nothing to fear but a small black monkey!
Lunch at Naked Foods
After a busy morning horse riding, now it’s time to head on over to Naked Foods for lunch. This is a lovely little vegan restaurant and they have really got the vegan recipe just right. I am by no means a vegan but, even to me, the food is incredible. Try one of the many burgers on the menu and you will not be disappointed, even if you are a meat lover!
Afternoon Kayak On The Nosara River
The Nosara river is just up from Playa Pelada and it is a great way to see local wildlife, especially at sunrise or sunset. The tours are operated by Experience Nosara and they will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation after your tour.
You will kayak upriver past crocodiles, great blue herons, anhingas and roseate spoonbills and then weave through mangrove tunnels just as wide as your boat, enjoying the exquisite sounds of the jungle. Even if you have not kayaked before, it is a great way to get out on the water and experience the local flora and fauna from a new perspective.
Sunset and Dinner at Lagarta Lodge
Lagarta Lodge is quite an upmarket hotel that sits on the hill above Playa Pelada. It is your last night so why not treat yourself. The views from the lodge are second to none and it is by far the best place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down while in Nosara.
The food and atmosphere are also excellent, which adds to the dining experience. Eat under the stars eating exquisite food and sipping on delicious drinks. What more could you want?
You will have to organize transport to and from Lagarta unless you have rented a car. By now you might have met a good tuk-tuk driver, so I am sure this won’t be a problem.
The easiest way to get to Nosara is to fly into Nosara airport from San Jose. Once you have landed it is just a 10-minute drive to Playa Guiones. You can also fly into Liberia International Airport and get on a shuttle, which takes about 2 hours.
Driving is possible, as I have done it on a longer trip to Costa Rica. However, it is very time consuming if you are only coming here and not visiting other places along the way. Keep in mind that the roads are also not always the best. (see also 9 Things to Know About Driving in Costa Rica.)
Where To Stay
In terms of where to stay, there are a lot of places to choose from for everyone’s budget. There’s a big range of Airbnbs available but if you are looking for a hotel, on a mid-range budget, Nomadic Hotel is a great choice. It is in the heart of Guiones and is beautifully laid out with some stunning architecture.
If you are going for a high-end option, Largarta Lodge is a boutique hotel offering luxury overlooking the sunset and the sea.
When To Come
The best time of year to visit Costa Rica, in general, is the dry season. This runs from December to April, so gives you four great months of options for your visit. Just keep in mind that this also means it is the busiest time of year