The Nicoya Peninsula is on the western, Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and it is also known as one of the world’s five blue zones. This 8-day Wellness Itinerary to the Nicoya Peninsula highlights clean eating and wellness activities that give this area its blue zone status.

Blue zones contain populations noted to have some of the longest lifespans, primarily due to diet and lifestyle. This is why the Nicoya Peninsula has become a worldwide destination for health and wellness.

Don’t miss my Clean Travel Guides to Santa Teresa & Nosara!

The quaint surfer towns filled with unique cafes, boutiques, and yoga studios are what make this place unforgettable.

It was a blast creating this 8-day Wellness Itinerary to the Nicoya Peninsula. The resorts that we stay at and recommend in this itinerary are wellness-focused and considered non-toxic based on their food philosophy, guest room products, and overall atmosphere and amenities.

We love visiting Costa Rica\’s Nicoya Peninsula to explore wellness retreats and healthy eating, and I hope you do too!

Visit my post Traveling to and Around the Nicoya Peninsula for details on directions & driving tips!

Playa Guiones in Nosara

Nicoya Peninsula weather at a glance

Costa Rica’s dry season is from mid-November to April and is considered summertime. The weather is dry, and hot, and attracts more visitors and higher prices.

The wet (green) season is from May to November. You’ll find it’s rainy, and humid, with mildly lower temperatures, lower prices, fewer visitors, and beautiful green vegetation.

During the rainy season, the weather can be unpredictable with thunderstorms, heavy rain, and sometimes flooding. However, there is a phenomenon in July known by locals as \”little summer\” because of the sunny days and lighter rain.

Every time I have visited Costa Rica, I have gone in mid-July and it has been wonderful! Lush, green, and lower tourism. The sunny days are typically accompanied by afternoon or evening showers.

8-DAY WELLNESS ITINERARY

DAY 1 – SAN JOSÉ TO PAQUERA

Arrive San José International Airport

This is Costa Rica’s largest international airport in the capital city of San José.

Drive 1.5 hours west from San José airport to the Puntarenas/Paquera Ferry.

Take the Puntarenas to Paquera Ferry

The ferry is a beautiful, comfortable 70-minute ride with indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy the views.

There are a couple of different decks to sit on and 2 concession stands on the boat for snacks – although nothing I would recommend eating.

Check into Vista Las Islas

Vita Las Islas is a beautiful Eco Boutique Hotel located 5-10 minutes from the Paquera Ferry.

This is a great place to stay if you are taking an evening ferry and don’t want to drive in the dark.

The highlight of this hotel is its complimentary organic breakfast. Their produce is sourced from their organic garden when possible, and they have a family of hens from which they gather eggs.

DAY 2 – PAQUERA TO SANTA TERESA

Take the Vista Las Islas Tortuga Island Tour

Vista Las Islas offers activities and tours – like the Tortuga Island Tour!

This tour is normally from around 9 AM to 3 PM and offers beautiful scenery, white beaches, clear blue water, a couple of snorkeling spots, lunch, a stop at Spider Monkey Island, and maybe even see a humpback whale! The lunch options include a chicken, fish, or vegetarian dish.

Drive to Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is a small surfer village on the southern Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula.

It has attracted yogis, ex-pats, tourists, and nomads from all over the world. It is ever-growing in popularity while still maintaining its quaintness and charm.

Route 621 is the paved main road from Paquera to Santa Teresa. There is a point when you get closer to Santa Teresa where there is a turn-off onto a much rougher and rocky road with potholes. This is where the 4×4 comes in handy!

As you drive along this route several exits lead you to beaches along the southern coast of the peninsula including – Playa Tambor, Montezuma, and Mal Pais!

Check into Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat

Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat is a beautiful, tranquil oasis with notes of Balinese style, tucked into a piece of the jungle right on the beaches of Santa Teresa.

This retreat is focused on wellness through the food served, the environment fostered and the treatments and activities offered.

It is just north of the main village center of Santa Teresa and Santa Teresa Beach.

*Pranamar offers complimentary breakfast and a yoga class to each guest daily.

Kavita Restaurant is the resort’s open-air restaurant and its food philosophy focuses on organic and locally sourced ingredients.

My favorite meal at Kavita was the Green Salad because of the delicious vegetable relish. The relish has broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots, and it’s to die for. Also, I can’t begin to describe how good the vegan cashew dressing is.


Green Salad with Vegan Cashew Dressing

Eat Dinner at Kavita Restaurant

Like I mention above, Kavita sources locally and organically when at all possible. Their menu is geared toward health and wellness with a Costa Rican flare!

The menu is labeled Gluten-free and Vegan and has some great variety. They will also make any menu adjustments you need to fit your preferences.

DAY 3 – EXPLORE SANTA TERESA

Explore Santa Teresa Town

Drive into town, park along the side of the main road, and walk along, exploring the different shops, cafes, and boutiques.

Walk down to Playa Santa Teresa – a large stretch of beach that draws surfers from all over the world.

Eat Lunch at Zwart Cafe

Zwart is a local open-air cafe and art gallery owned by an artist that also offers art classes.

It is a cute open-air cafe right on the main road in Santa Teresa, and they have a great breakfast & lunch menu.

The menu has smoothies, juices, and light meals and is NOT organic. Also, be sure to pay attention to the “base” of the smoothie, because they use traditional cow’s milk in some of them.

Relax at the Resort / Get a Massage

Pranamar brings in aestheticians and massage therapists for treatments given in an open-air studio that faces the ocean. It was divine getting a massage and relaxing to the sound of the ocean waves.

Dinner & Air Show (on Mondays) at Banana Beach Resort

Banana Beach Resort, on Playa Santa Teresa, is a popular place for locals and tourists to gather for live music, happy hour, and dinner. It is also a great place to hang out at the beach and watch surfers!

The menu is not organic and is pretty traditional – so be conscious of gluten, dairy, and grains! They also have a great smoothie and fresh juice option.

*On Mondays at 4 PM there is an Air show at Banana Beach that shows off surfers doing aerial surf tricks!

DAY 4 – VISIT MONTEZUMA WATERFALL

Breakfast at Horizon Hotel

The atmosphere is quaint, with casual seating options, stocked bookshelves, and a patio that boasts a beautiful view of the Pacific coast.

Horizon restaurant is 100% organic and vegetarian and sources many of its ingredients locally and from its organic garden.

There is a daily yoga class in the open-air studio above the restaurant that would be great to hit before enjoying breakfast!

Hike to Montezuma Waterfall

The drive to Montezuma is about 30 minutes from Santa Teresa, and you can find the trailhead and parking lot right by the Rio Montezuma bridge.

Don’t miss the trail map (pictured above), which will show you the different routes to the waterfalls. The lower falls trail is the least strenuous, but still a moderate hike. It’s also the most popular trail because of the jumping rock and large swimming hole.


Jumping at Montezuma Lower Falls

There are a few shallow river crossings, so be sure to wear shoes you can get wet and have good soles for hiking. We wore our Chacos and they were great!


Swimming at the Lower Falls

Lunch at Orgánico in Montezuma OR Earth Cafe in Santa Teresa

Orgánico is a 100% organic restaurant (just north of Montezuma Waterfall trailhead), serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although they have a menu with grains and dairy, they also serve vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.

*Closed on Tuesdays

Earth Cafe is a must-eat when you are in Santa Teresa! It is a small cafe on the main road in Santa Teresa, and it’s open daily for breakfast and lunch.

The menu on the wall offers breakfast plates with organic eggs, dairy-free options, and vegan dishes, and a lunch menu with bowls, smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. The Earth Bowl is vegan and so good!!

Relax at Hermosa Beach

The beach at Pranamar Villas is a private haven where you can explore the tide pools or enjoy a drink from the resort\’s beach tiki bar while you hang out in the hammocks.

A short walk of 200 meters down to Hermosa Beach, you will find the evening surfers and a more suitable area for a swim.


Beachfront at Pranamar Villas

Dinner at Koji’s

Koji’s is an immensely popular sushi restaurant – featured in blogs, articles, and travel magazines! There are organic options, grass-fed and aged beef, and a great wine list.

You’ll find Koji’s on the same road as Horizon Hotel, so you will have passed it on your right on your way up.

*Closed on Sunday & Monday, and be sure to make a reservation!


Koji’s in Santa Teresa

DAY 5 – SANTA TERESA TO NOSARA

Drive to Nosara


Nosara

Embark to paradise, Nosara! It is a little more developed than Santa Teresa, and is a renowned surfer and yogi town with plenty of opportunities for wellness, rejuvenation, and adventure!

The beautiful drive to Nosara is 3.5 – 4 hours and is mostly paved.

There are a couple of options for routes, but the most advised is to take Route 21 to 150 to 160 north into Nosara.

Lunch at Luv Burger in Nosara

After a long drive, go straight to Luv Burger, Nosara’s 100% vegan burger joint.

This plant-based menu is primarily organic and committed to avoiding the use of ingredients harmful to the body. These include GMOs, soy, fillers, and preservatives.

Check into Harmony Hotel

Harmony Hotel is a beautiful wellness hotel in the center of Nosara on Downtown Guiones. Even though it\’s right off the dirt road, when you enter the gates, you are welcomed by a serene, jungle-like atmosphere that feels hidden away from the rest of the world.

Harmony is committed to health and wellness from their food to the toiletry products in each guest room. They also have a spa, open-air yoga studio, pool, juice bar, restaurant, a surf shack to rent boards, and a private path to Playa Guiones.

*Harmony offers complimentary breakfast and yoga classes for each guest daily.


Harmony Hotel Juice Bar

Dinner at Costa Nosara

Walk to Costa Nosara, and you’ll find a trendy open-air restaurant with locally sourced and organic ingredients.

DAY 6 – GO SURFING IN NOSARA

Catch a Surf Lesson with Nosara CR Surf School!


Surfing in Nosara – Playa Guiones

Support local businesses and grab a surf lesson at Nosara Cr Surf School! You can book independently, or through Harmoney Hotel.

Their service and communication were great and I had an awesome and very knowledgeable instructor.

My 90-minute private lesson was USD 80.

Lunch at The Gilded Iguana

The Gilded Iguana is a modern, trendy hotel in the middle of Nosara; and it\’s almost right across from Nosara Cr Surf School!

The menu has a few ceviches, good salads, and plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Relax at Harmony Pool or on Playa Guiones


Harmony Hotel Pool

Take some time to relax by the beautiful pool, and recover from your surf lesson. We saw more wildlife lying by the pool at Harmony Hotel than the entire trip!

Dinner at La Luna

La Luna at Playa Pelada is one of the most well-known restaurants in Nosara. You will find it mentioned on blogs and in travel magazines, and now I understand why!

This place is a little house that sits right on the beach and gives its guests amazing sunset views for dinner. All of the seating is cozy, outdoors, and shaded by a mass of palm trees.


Dinner at La Luna

The menu here is Mediterranean, which means plenty of grains are on the menu, but they have some great seafood and protein options. Even though the food was good, I believe people come here for the view and atmosphere.

While you wait for your meal, take a walk on the beach to admire the evening tide pools and sunset.


Sunset at La Luna (Playa Pelada)

DAY 7 – ZIP LINE THE CANOPIES OF NOSARA

Zip Line Nosara with Miss Sky Canopy Tour

Miss Sky is the most popular zipline company in Nosara with the longest canopy tour in the world!

They are located at Nosara Beach Hotel (very close to La Luna) and offer morning, afternoon, and night tours.

The trip cost is USD 75 per adult.

We also chose the morning tour because this was the only one that included a hike to a waterfall (and swim) amid the jungle canopy.

Lunch at Destiny Café at La Negra Hotel

This open-air cafe is set in the common area of La Negra Hotel, and is a must-visit while visiting Nosara!

Their smoothie and coffee options are quite impressive and exciting – including a cloud coffee, charcoal latte, and bulletproof coffee for our keto friends!

There is also a full menu that has some delicious, organic, and locally sourced dishes labeled vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian.

*Destiny Café was recently relocated from Living Hotel to La Negra Hotel & is Closed on Mondays

Practice your surfing or Relax at Playa Nosara

Try out your new or refined surfing skills or just relax and enjoy the beach!

Dinner & Drinks at Chirriboca & Gecko Lounge at Lagarta Lodge

Chirriboca Restaurant & Gecko Lounge at Lagarta Lodge has a large balcony that overlooks Playa Nosara and Nosara\’s Biological Reserve. This place has perfect sunset views.

The menu has great salads, a few organic options, plenty of fresh fish, and is labeled for gluten-free and vegetarian options. They also have great non-alcoholic drinks!

*Be sure to make a reservation – I suggest around sunset.


Views from Lagarta Lodge

DAY 8 – MORNING YOGA & TRAVEL HOME

Try a Yoga Class at Harmony Hotel or Bodhi Tree Yoga Retreat

Try a complimentary yoga class at Harmony or head over to one of Nosara’s most well-known yoga retreats – Bodhi Tree!

Since classes at Bodhi Tree are drop-in, there is no reservation needed. Classes are USD 15!

Do some last minute shopping at the boutiques in Nosara

Nosara has plenty of local boutiques to explore for clothes, local artisan crafts, jewelry, handbags, and more!

Drive to Liberia International Airport

The drive to Liberia International Airport from Nosara is about 2.5 hours and is mostly paved.

Say Goodbye to Costa Rica for now!


Playa Pelada

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