Howler Monkeys
are a common sight in Nosara 
and much of Costa Rica.  

Sometimes they wake you up 
in the early morning, 
whooping to each other 
across the forest canopy.
About Nosara & Playas de Nosara

Located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica,
on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Province of Guanacaste:
Nosara is surrounded by lush tropical rain forest, mountains, waterfalls, and rivers.
Its beaches have been designated a wildlife refuge 
and are protected from development or deforestation by Costa Rican law.
Bahia Garza, Playas Guiones, Pelada, Nosara and Ostional form a chain of almost 12 miles of gorgeous unspoiled beaches providing us with abundant opportunity for exploration & adventure or tranquility & relaxation-usually both.
Make Air Reservations or Charter a Plane
Nosara Travel Home Page
Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
often come ashore at Playas Guiones through Ostional (Ostional is a National Refuge for the turtles' nesting) to lay their eggs.  You can spot their distinctive tracks looping up to above the high tide mark and then back to the sea again.
Mama & baby Howler Monkey
This page last updated on: May 17, 2017

Playa Guiones
Over 3 miles of light sand beach 
& part of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge: 
protected from construction 
within 200 meters of the high tide mark...
Considered to have very good to excellent 
surf (beach break) consistently, year 'round.


Playa Pelada 
More curvacious than Guiones, 
with beautiful little nooks and coves
and shaded copses 
of Plumeria and Palm trees
 perfect for a snooze or picnic.
At times, both the surf (reef break)
& snorkeling are very good.
Nosara Travel 
& Rentals
Playas de Nosara
Costa Rica
(o) 011-506-2682-0300
(f)  011-506-2682-5137

info@nosaratravel.com
www.nosaratravel.com
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

General Stuff About Coming to CR:

  • "What about bugs?"  For being a semi-dry rainforest climate, this area of Costa Rica is not too bad with bugs. If you are from Southern California, it might be annoying, but for most people from other parts of the world, you are used to bugs during certain seasons. So, yes, there are bugs here. Mostly it is a problem for people during the transitions of seasons: from the wet to the dry season (November) or the dry to the wet season (April/May). Bring mosquito repellent with you if you are sensitive to bites, anytime you are coming. People also sometimes get bit by noseeums (usually around dusk/dawn around the full moons) and rarely, spiders. The noseeums do not leave welts. If you need repellent, natural or with DEET, the local markets also sell it. Be sure to check shoes if not wearing flip-flops, scorpions do like dark places and they'll bite you if you jam your foot into their hiding spot. Scorpion bites are not deadly, just painful. This is not a common occurrence here.
  • "What should I expect with Immigration & Customs?" On your international flight, you'll receive paperwork and instructions for filling out two forms: one for Immigration and one for Customs. Fill them out completely, or that will hold you up in line once you arrive. Immigration will be first: they'll stamp your passport and perhaps ask you how long you are staying in Costa Rica, where, for what purpose. The wait in line could be 5 minutes or 35 minutes, depending upon how busy they are. Customs is for after baggage claim. They will ask you to throw fruit out, if you brought some. This should be very straightforward if all you are bringing into the country is money and personal belongings for your vacation. This is fast.
  • "Is the water safe to drink?" Yes, in our opinion. We have not heard of anyone coming to Nosara (or Costa Rica) and encountering problems with drinking the water. If you prefer bottled water to the well water here, large bottles of water are available for purchase at the markets. We find that the taste of the water here is very nice.
  • "What animals do I need to know about? Are they dangerous?" Just check your shoes or shake out clothes and towels before using them. You most likely will get bit by an insect or two. Anything else is unusual. Most of the animals here are scared of people and will stay clear of you. You'll see them, but try chasing an iguana or monkey and see how close you can get! 
  • "What kind of food is Costa Rican food?" Costa Rican food is very simple and fresh. Breakfast is usually fresh eggs, tropical fruit, juice, toast or tortillas, beans and rice. Lunch and dinner is usually fresh meat or fish, rice, vegetables, cooked simply with fresh herbs. Refrescas are the yummy fruit smoothies (not quite as thick and rich as in the States) that people often have with a meal. Dessert might be cake or icecream. However, there are many international hotels/restaurants in Nosara. Italian, Swiss, German, French, & Mexican food are available throughout town.
  • "What is the culture like in Costa Rica?" Like most Latin American cultures, Costa Rican culture is very family-oriented. Family and community and good relations are very important. As a tourist you will find that most Costa Ricans will be friendly, helpful and, very patient if you use your bad Spanish to ask questions or get acquainted. In fact, the culture here is patient overall. You will not find that people will rush you in stores or restaurants. In the city areas especially, people read the papers daily and often know more about world events than your average tourist. It is difficult to describe a culture in a few sentences. We recommend spending time with people when you are here.
  • "Do people speak English or only Spanish?" Don't expect people to speak English. However, in Nosara, many of the Ticos do speak English because they work in the tourism industry. Many Europeans who also own hotels/restaurants here also speak English. If you speak any Spanish, or want to try, this is a great place to do so. People appreciate your efforts.
  • "What is the better season for visiting Costa Rica: summer or winter?" Depends. Most people seem to prefer the dry season ( or "summer" which is actually Nov.-April). Others prefer some rain and the lush green of the wet season (or "winter" which is actually May-Nov.). It is more humid and buggy in the wet season, but some people still prefer it for the rain, lush greenery around you, and the abundant wildlife teeming everywhere. Basically, all times are great in our opinion. September through October is the rainiest, and some of the hotels and restaurants close then. 
  • "Is traveling with children safe in Costa Rica?" Given that no place anywhere is 100% safe: traveling with children in Costa Rica is a great way to take a family trip. Costa Ricans love children, and there is a lot of space afforded you if you have children. Costa Rica has very sanitary conditions, safe water, great healthcare- so concerns about those issues are not present here. 
  • "What about crime in Costa Rica?" There is petty crime almost everywhere, especially in Latin America. Costa Rica is not an exception. Do not wear flashy jewelery, do not display large amounts of money, keep valuables locked up and do not leave them unattended, even in a locked car. If you do these things, your chances are greatly reduced to experience any problems with crime in Costa Rica. As for violent crime, the percentages are much lower here than in many developed countries. People pick up hitch-hikers as a matter of routine, if that gives you an idea of the concern for violent crimes.
  • "Hotel or Home rental?" Depends on your length of stay. A week or longer is necessary for renting most of the vacation homes we represent. Sometimes renting a home will be less expensive than a hotel, especially for large groups. However, we represent some of the nicest, higher-end vacation rentals available in the Nosara area. They are not for the low-budget traveler! A hotel will often provide breakfast and daily maid service. Some of our home rentals also can provide this or it is already included. However, with a home rental, you have increased privacy. Most people choose home rentals for this reason alone. Hotels can be more convenient. Most hotels here also have very good restaurants on the premises. You can take your meals there and most will assist you with tourist information and tour bookings etc.... However, if you want any of that, and rent a home, Nosara Travel & Rentals  info@nosaratravel.com can assist you with activity or tourist information and book tours or activities for you.
  • "If I get a home rental, should we be near the beach or is better to be more secluded?" This depends upon your preferences. If you are not right on the beach, you need to consider if you planned on renting a vehicle. Renting a home with a pool and a view of the beach, and having a vehicle to drive to the beaches and shops and restaurants (5-10 minutes away) is a wonderful way to enjoy Nosara and have privacy and solitude. Renting a home on the beach is fun and provides easy access to most of Nosara. It just depends on your tastes. We find that once people rent one of our view homes, they become converts to the home with a view. If you have small children, either a pool or a walk to the beach is really nice to have. Most of our rentals, due to how carefully much of Nosara is laid out, are quite private wherever they are. Click here to look at some of the nicest vacation homes available in Nosara: www.nosaratravelrentals.com or here on this website: www.nosaratravel.com/VacationRentals.html 
  • "What is unique about Costa Rica, how is it different from other Central American countries?"Costa Ricans enjoy the benefits of being a republic with democratic elections; socialized healthcare; and the many other advantages of socialized programs. These programs are funded largely through high import taxes. However, this also promote the purchase of Costa Rican products. Costa Rica was the last Central American country to ratify CAFTA. The experience or quality of life according to worldwide measures such as infant mortality rates, literacy rates, expressed satisfaction of life, all show that Costa Ricans enjoy a quality of life equal to or greater than many, if not most, developed countries. Costa Rica is the only "developing" (versus underdeveloped) country in Central America, perhaps South America (don't quote us on that one, but we think we are correct). Not surprisingly, Costa Rica is also the most expensive of all Central American, as well as most of, or perhaps all of, the South American countries, to live in or visit. 
  • "What is 'Pura Vida!' & what does it mean?" It means "pure life"; "good life"; "all is well"; "all should be well, life here is so good"; "of course life is good; "Good bye from Costa Rica"; "Hello/Hi!".... lots of meanings. You'll hear it as an answer to questions like: "How are you?", "how's life?", "how's work?" .... Costa Ricans are very proud of their country and the blend of being a developing country yet keeping much of the environment from urbanization or overdevelopment. Life here is considered to be a very good life. This is uniquely a Costa Rican expression for the most part. ....Pura Vida!

Preparation to Travel:
  • "What do I do about money, credit cards, exchange rate?" You can check the exchange rate before coming (including at the airport where you can change money from dollars or Euros to colones - you may choose to do this before arriving to CR- as it's hectic when you arrive). Dollars are accepted in Nosara, but in the cities of San Jose or others in CR, they probably will not be widely accepted. As of May 2017, the exchange rate is $1 to 555 colones. Many places do not accept credit cards, especially in Nosara. Do not plan on financing your vacation expenses with credit cards except for a vehicle rental or if you know you are staying at a hotel which accepts them (most of the hotels here do accept credit cards). Most restaurants, stores, and gas stations do NOT.
  • "What kind of weather should I pack for?" Pack for the summer. Flip-flops, bathing suits, sunglasses, sunscreen are all essentials. Dress is very informal here. In the cities, make sure to have a pair of pants, light jacket, perhaps one nicer outfit as dress is more formal there. In the wet season, bring an umbrella. Also, a flashlight is a good idea to bring if you are walking around at night, as there are no streetlights!
  • "What do I definitely need to bring?" You can purchase almost anything you need if you forget an item, here in CR. If you have a special sunscreen or bug repellent, anything for allergies or medication- it's good to not assume you can find the exact same brand here. We do have pharmacies here and a doctor, but that's good for something unforeseen, not to rely upon.
  • "What don't I need to bring?" For women: hair dryer, make-up, high heels- not necessary! Don't overpack! it's very casual here and you're mostly in a bathing suit or shorts/shirt. A computer. If you want to check your email, there are several internet cafes here. But the type & quality of electricity in many homes and hotels, along with outages due to weather, your computer is not SAFE here even with a standard surge protector. The surge protectors we use here weigh about 10 lbs. So we do NOT advise you to bring your lap top. If you do, please have it backed up and have insurance on it.
  • "Is there a bank where I can get money if I need to?" Yes, depending where you are, there is bank access. It is not pleasant, there is often a long wait. It is better to bring what you need with you than counting on a bank or ATM machine. In Nosara, the bank is open daily: Banco Popular in the Guiones Mini-Mall and a newer one on the main road at the new gas station: Banco Costa Rica or BCR which also has an atm.
  • "Are traveler's checks accepted in Costa Rica?" Yes, but inquire ahead if you plan on financing your hotel stay, for example, with Traveler's checks. Each locale is a little different. Often, the 2% bank fee charged, is passed on to you.
  • "What credit cards are accepted in Costa Rica?" Generally, VISA and Mastercard, sometimes American Express, Diner's Club and Discover cards as well. Each place is different, and outside of the cities, many places do not accept credit cards. Bring cash as well.
  • "Is there access to the internet in Nosara?" Yes, most hotels and restaurants have free Wifi and most vacation rentals hae it as well. Be mindful you are in a rural area and outages do occur and are not within our control.
  • International Calls- how can I call home from Nosara? You can buy inexpensive calling cards and use the public phones,or set up a skype account or facetime/whatsapp from your cell phone over wifi.

Activities in Nosara:  www.nosaratravel.com/Activities.html
  • "Should I schedule tours and activities ahead of time or wait?" We recommend scheduling fishing charters (half or full day ) ahead of time, so if this is an important activity for your trip, you do not miss out. Anything else can be scheduled when you are here. However, if you are coming around the winter holidays or spring break or Easter week, just to avoid the hassle of squeezing things in among other visitors coming the same time- you may want to schedule some other activities if they are important too: boat tours, horse-back riding, renting quads, surf lessons. Email us and we can advise you whether to wait to schedule or to schedule ahead of time.
  • "What do people do in Nosara, do I need to bring entertainment?" If you like to play games or read, bring those items. Most people surf, swim, lounge, read, chat, enjoy the outdoors and activities available here. TV and video games might be the only thing hard to find. Most people do not miss them. If you do, we have some very nice vacation rentals with Direct TV. There are also nice restaurants in town which have live music, kareoke, pool tables, the usual things like that.
  • "Can you help me schedule activities outside of the Nosara area?" Yes, we have access to canopy tours, volcano tours, and at the least, can provide you with information. We often can book your tours as well.
  • "Can I learn how to surf?" Absolutely, this is a great area for learning how to surf. The waves are consistent, the beach break varies enough for different skill levels, and there are many individuals and several places which offer surf lessons. Coconut Harry's and Nosara Surf Shop (to name just a couple) offer board rentals and lessons from experienced surf instructors.
  • "Can I really see monkeys in the trees there?" Yes, pretty much year round, if you try hard (and mostly even if you don't) you can see them moving through the trees in troops (monkey tribes). You'll see the Congo or mantled Howler monkeys, the males are loud!
  • "How likely is it that we could see an arrivada in Ostional?" The Olive Ridley Turtle arrivadas (arrivals) usually happen April -November, and it is more likely if you are here about 10 days past a full moon. Otherwise, less likely. Sometimes you see individual turtles, but an arrivada is a large group of nesting turtles.
  • "What is the better season for visiting Costa Rica: summer or winter?" Depends. In Nosara: Most people seem to prefer the dry season ( or "summer" which is actually Nov.-April). Others prefer some rain and the lush green of the wet season (or "winter" which is actually May-Nov.). It is more humid and buggy in the wet season, but some people still prefer it for the rain, lush greenery around you, and the abundant wildlife teeming everywhere. Basically, all times are great in our opinion. September through October is the rainiest, and some of the hotels and restaurants close then. 
  • "What is the night life like in Nosara?" There are restaurants, bars, clubs, dancing, live music, pool, kareoke, all available depending upon your taste and interests. It is not a bustling city, but there is a night life here if you like that. It is perhaps just a little bit more mellow than you might be used to.
  • "Are there volunteer opportunities if we want to do something like that?" If you are staying a long time, yes, look at our community activities page. If you are staying for a short time, just picking up trash, patronizing both the shops and restaurants in the American Project as well as within the pueblo of Nosara, are activities that are easy and enjoyable to do to contribute to the community. If you would like to do more, consider making a donation to any of the charitable programs which directly affect the people and life in Nosara- see our community page: www.nosaratravel/CommunityOrganizations.html

Transportation:

 www.nosaratravel.com/AirTravel.html
www.nosaratravel.com/LandTravel.html
www.nosaratravel.com/RentalCars.html 
www.nosaratravel.com/CarRentalRequest.html 
We use Alamo exclusively for car rentals and both local and national Van/driver/private airport shuttles

  • "Why should we rent a car or not?" See the previous question/answer. Depends upon how much you plan to get around town or go for any day trips. There are taxi services and you can to get many places by foot or on a bike. If you rent up in the hill, with a view, or are at one of hotels in the hills with a view, we recommend renting a vehicle.
  • "What documents do I need to rent a car?" You need to have with you, your driver's license (Costa Rica honors any current driver's license if also a photo ID) and your passport. There are NO exceptions to needing these documents in person. Also, an actual credit card (vs. debit card with Visa logo) is needed for the security deposit. If you have an American Express or Visa Platinumn card, you may get a reduced rate on the mandatory insurance.
  • "Can you help us with transportation or accommodations outside of the Nosara area?" Yes, we can assist you with transportation anywhere in CR, and with accommodations in the San Jose area. For anywhere else outside of Nosara, we can provide referral information.
  • "How long is the drive from San Jose or Liberia to Nosara?" The drive from Liberia to Nosara is 2 1/2 -3 hours, or longer, if you encounter something unusual. The drive to/from San Jose to/from Nosara is about 5 hours, given no unusual incidents, such as road work...
  • "What are the advantages to driving or flying from the international airports to Nosara? The advantages for driving are that you can leave immediately, take more luggage and surfboards, and it is often less expensive. If you are renting a car anyway, this may be the way to go. The advantage to flying is it can be faster if you time your international and national flights to coincide well. The national flights can be less expensive if you are not renting a car later, and you don't have to navigate 5 hrs. of driving, depending upon the number in your party. The flight is 45 minutes more or less and is gorgeous-it's a nice bonus as an air tour. You also may choose to hire a driver, which is less work for you, less costly than flying if you have a large party, and allows for you to take a lot of gear easily. If you arrive at night and don't want to stay near the airport until daylight, we recommend a driver. They know the roads well. Lastly, you can go a more expensive, but very convenient route: charter a flight for exactly when you want it. You'll have plenty of room for extra luggage, and the hassle and time issues are all dealt with. 

Nosara in Specific: http://www.nosaracivicassociation.com (Nosara Civic Association)
  • "Tell me more about the lay-out of the beaches, what are they called and how are they different?" From as far south as Bahia Garza to the beaches of Esperanza, Guiones, Pelada, the Rio Nosara, and beaches of Nosara and Ostional at the very north- there are miles (or kilometers) of beautiful beaches and scenery for most peoples' tastes. If you like fishing & snorkeling, the bay, coves of Pelada or the river might be best. If you like to surf, Guiones & Ostional are well known for having very good to excellent surf- consistently. Long walks, boat trips, swimming, boogie-boarding, surfing, fishing: it's a playground that is set aside almost entirely as a nature reserve (Guiones through Ostional).
  • "What kind of people come to Nosara for vacations?" (ie.," is this my kind of place?") People who come to Nosara are usually people who enjoy the beach, surfing, and ecotourism (such as the turtle arrivadas of Ostional). People come as couples, families and groups of single people. More and more we see several families vacationing together. Most people who do not like the built-up touristy aspect of places like Jaco or Tamarindo will find Nosara refreshing and enjoyable. 
  • "Why should I come to Nosara versus another beach destination in Costa Rica?" Hah! See the previous question/answer. If you like being outdoors and in nature, but don't like huge crowds, nor want to hang out where it either seems like a loud endless party or you could almost be anywhere hot in the world (ie, you would see lots of stores, chain restaurants like a McDonalds, before you'd even catch a glimpse the actual beach...), than this is a good choice for you! You won't encounter those things. And, you will have an opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world as well as with the local Costa Ricans. Nosara is a beautiful blend of amenities most vacationers enjoy (but not too many!!!) without supplanting the culture and ambience of Costa Rica itself. Visit here AND visit other parts of Costa Rica. But definitely come here if we're singing your tune...
  • "How much are you inside the jungle in Nosara?" I like to say that the jungle element is mild here, "but it is STILL the jungle". If you research Costa Rica, you'll see that the Caribean side or Osa Peninsula has much more jungle life and jungle issues to contend with- which is wonderful if that is what you want. Here, sometimes you forget you are in Central America in semi-dry rainforest- it can seem so mild and tranquil. But it is still the jungle, there are bugs and wild animals, and we are in a subtropical climate zone.
  • "What is unique about Nosara, I heard it is different from a lot of beach towns in Costa Rica?"See question/answer a couple back. We've noticed that the blend of nature and tourism and both the Costa Rican culture and other countries' cultures (as there is a high expatriate factor here) is just right. That's not very easy to do. It is the result of many persons' efforts to enjoy the community, build on the tourism industry, contribute to the existing community, and live with the changes in harmony. 
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Playa Guiones, Nosara Costa Rica
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Things to Do and Activities in Nosara Costa Rica: Surfing, Yoga, Kayaking, Horseback Riding, Nature Hiking, Birdwatching, Canopy Tours, Boat Tours, Quad Tours, Sport Fishing, Paddle Boarding,
Sport Fishing, Deep Sea Fishing & Ocean sightseeing in Nosara Costa Rica
Rent A Car in Nosara with Alamo, National & Adobe
Costa Rica Regional Flight Information and Schedules Nature Air and Sansa Air
Places to Stay in Nosara, Beach Home Rental Beach Villa Rental
Nosara Travel Property Management
Nosara Travel Family & Group Vacation Packages
Detailed Map of Nosara Costa Rica - How to Get to Nosara
Information About Nosara Travel and Rentals
Information on the Surf and Yoga Community of Nosara Costa Rica
Find Places to Stay in Nosara Costa Rica
Nosara Surf Forecast and Tide Chart