On the far west Pacific coast of Costa Rica’s Blue Zone, the Nicoya Peninsula is the oceanside paradise Nosara! This Clean Travel Guide to Nosara explores the renowned surfer yogi town and its opportunities for wellness, rejuvenation, and adventure.

Compared to some of the other smaller surf villages in the southern region of the Nicoya peninsula, Nosara is a bit larger and more developed. There are a few paved roads, and a larger variety of local restaurants, resorts, and shops.

The best part is that it’s easy to get to, but once you’re there, you feel completely off the beaten path.

I loved exploring and writing this Clean Travel Guide to Nosara. If you are into non-toxic living, clean eating, wellness activities, and Pura Vida, then this is for you!

Playa Guiones in Nosara

How to get to Nosara

To get to Nosara, you’ll fly to Liberia International Airport. If you plan to begin your journey in the southern part of the Nicoya Peninsula, you may fly into San José International Airport instead.

  • From Liberia, Rent a Car and drive south on Route 21 to 150 to 160 (mostly paved route) – about a 2.5-hour trip.
  • If you fly into San José, you can drive west over the Gulf of Nicoya to Nosara – about a 4.5-hour trip.
  • Fly into San José or Liberia, and take a domestic flight directly to Nosara! You can set up an airport transfer through your hotel or get a local taxi or tuk-tuk
  • If you arrive to either San José or Liberia, you can take a Shared Tourist Shuttle – about a 3-5 hour trip.

*Check out my post on Traveling to and around the Nicoya Peninsula for more detail!

Things to know before traveling to Nosara

  • If you take a domestic flight or Shared Shuttle to Nosara, you can rent a car, golf cart, or ATV to get around once you get there. There are also “Tuk Tuks”, which are local taxis, that are easy to find.
  • Always allow extra travel time, because road conditions and circumstances can be unpredictable and cause unexpected delays.
  • If you are planning to rent a car or drive in Costa Rica – be sure to have Google Maps or Waze installed on your phone. If you get Google Maps, you can download the country or area on your phone in order to use it while you don’t have cell service.

Where to Stay

Nosara has so many great resorts to offer. I found the ones below to be committed to the wellness of their guests and creating a non-toxic experience.

Harmony Hotel

Harmony Hotel is a beautiful wellness hotel in the center of Nosara on Downtown Guiones. The property is quiet, quaint, and a complete paradise.

Even though this hotel is right off of the dirt road, once you enter through the property gates, you are welcomed by a serene, jungle-like atmosphere that feels hidden away from the rest of the world.

Harmony Pool

The property boasts a spa, open-air yoga studio, pool, bookstore, juice & coffee bar, restaurant, a surf shack to rent boards, and a private path to Playa Guiones.

Harmony Juice Bar

Why I Love Harmony

  • Red Flower toiletries are used in each guest room. These are organic, 100% sustainable, free of dyes, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances.
  • For a less expensive stay at beautiful resort and spa, Harmony has 10 Coco guest rooms.
  • The Harmony Hotel Restaurant has an amazing complimentary sit down breakfast for guests.
  • Harmony Hotel restaurant a wide variety of dishes for lunch and dinner that are locally sourced and organic when possible.
  • A daily complimentary yoga class is offered to each guest.
  • Surf boards and tide times are available at the Harmony surf shack located along the private path to the beach.
  • There is a precious hotel bookstore stocked with classics and new releases, along with children\’s toys and activities.
Harmony Bookstore

Bodhi Tree Yoga Retreat

Bodhi Tree Yoga Retreat is one of the more luxurious and desirable resorts in Nosara. You will find it on wellness lists and the best yoga retreat in Nosara articles.

Bodhi Tree is just what it says…a Yoga Retreat. However, you can stay without participating in a retreat; and this is a great place to stay!

The atmosphere of the resort is serene and feels like you are miles away from anything. Its grounds are nestled in the jungle and has everything you need at your fingertips.

The Bodhi Village comes with a beautiful saltwater lap pool, several yoga shalas and fitness shalas, and a restaurant.

Why I Love Bodhi Tree

  • There are several dining options at Bodhi – all of which, have an emphasis on wellness, clean eating and source locally and organically when available.
  • This resort is a Green Resort – with its own water treatment plant and the use of sun panels for clean energy.
  • Guest room toiletries are Raw Botanicals – a 100% organic, non-toxic, Costa Rican brand.
  • The atmosphere of Bodhi is a great mixture of luxury and outdoor jungle.
  • Enjoy any community class, complimentary with every day of your stay!
  • The activities and tours are endless at Bodhi Tree. There is so much to do at the resort, or book a tour through the hotel to experience the many adventures of Nosara, Costa Rica.
  • Your Bodhi Tree stay includes a complimentary breakfast.
  • The spa uses organic lotions and oils. They also offer detoxification and alternative treatments like, abdominal cupping and acupuncture!

Blue Spirit Yoga Retreat

Blue Spirit Yoga Retreat is a beautiful, casual, down-to-earth yoga and wellness retreat that has become quite well known.

They sit up in the hills, just south of Downtown Nosara, overlooking the beautiful Playa Guiones. The views are incredible, the atmosphere is comfortable, and the staff is focused on the physical and mental wellness of their guests.

This retreat is widely known for its incredible yoga retreats, workshops, and teacher training. However, they do offer holistic retreats focused on meditation, detox, longevity, and general self-restoration.

Each retreat is 7 days long (beginning on Saturdays), and includes room, board, and tuition.

Why I Love Blue Spirit

  • Blue Spirit is a \”green\” resort, committed to sustainability.
  • Retreats and workshops include room, tuition, and 3 wellness-focused vegetarian meals for 7 nights.
  • All food served at Blue Spirit is vegetarian. It is also locally and organically sourced when possible.
  • There is an additional detox cleanse program available to add to any retreat.
  • Blue Spirit is an easy walk down to Playa Guiones; and is also a great section of beach for swimming.
  • In your downtime enjoy a coffee, juice, or organic wine at Blue Spirit Café.
  • The property includes a salt water infinity pool.

Boutique Hotel Lagarta Lodge

Lagarta Lodge is unique among the resorts in Nosara. It sits in the hills among its private nature reserve, overlooking two rivers and Playa Nosara.

View from Lagarta Lodge

Why I Love Lagarta Lodge

  • Lagarta offers a slew of on-resort activities and off-resort adventures.
  • Chirriboca is Lagarta’s restaurant and serves fresh cuisine, that is organic and locally sourced when possible. *They have great non-alcoholic drinks!
  • Gecko Lounge is the open-air bar above Chirriboca that offers expansive sunset views of the ocean and live music!
  • Your stay includes a complimentary breakfast & entry into the hotel\’s nature reserve, Reserva Biológica.

Where to Eat

Harmony Hotel

Harmony Hotel is mentioned as one of our “Where to Stay’s” and the restaurant is amazing!

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible.

If you just need a snack or smoothie – hit up Harmony’s Juice Bar for grab-and-go snacks and drinks.

Destiny Café

Destiny is a small cafe that has recently relocated from Living Hotel or La Negra Hotel in Nosara.

They have a great breakfast and lunch menu with lots of options for drinks.

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

The menu has some delicious, organic, and locally sourced dishes labeled for vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian.

Luv Burger

Luv Burger is a small Costa Rican chain and is 100% plant-based.

The plant-based burgers are so delicious, and their menu is made primarily with organic ingredients and always without potentially harmful ingredients.

Their gluten-free bun is to die for. They also serve great salads with organic greens and have a rotating selection of vegan, sugar-free, and paleo desserts.

We loved this place so much that we came twice!

They are also focused on sustainability – “saving the world one burger at a time”!

The Gilded Iguana

The Gilded Iguana is a modern resort near the beaches of Nosara. You will find it just down the road from Luv Burger and Nosara CR Surf School.

This place is beautiful. It is modern and thus sticks out a little, but the grounds and open-air restaurant are so nice.

Guilded Iguana is a great place to grab lunch for fresh ceviche, great salads, and a selection of yummy non-alcoholic drinks!

The menu is labeled for gluten-free and vegetarian items.

La Luna

La Luna is one of the most popular landmarks in Nosara. It’s written about, blogged about, and talked about whenever Nosara is mentioned. And, rightfully so.

Right on the shores of Playa Pelada, sits one of Nosara’s beachside restaurants, La Luna.

Since La Luna is Mediterranean, there are plenty of grains are on the menu. However, they also have great entrees with fresh fish and other proteins.

The food was good (and the pizza looked amazing), but I truly believe people come here for the view and atmosphere.

Inside, there is a precious boutique that sells local jewelry, handbags, and organic Costa Rican essential oils. It\’s all pretty pricey, but there were some great finds in there!

While you are waiting on your appetizers or meal, take a walk down to the beach to admire the evening tide pools and take some sunset photos. It’s stunning.

Sunset at La Luna

Chirriboca

Chirriboca is the restaurant at Lagarta Lodge (read above). Here is another place to come for the views…but also the great food!

This open-air restaurant gives you a perfect view of the Pacific Coast sunset.

The menu is labeled for gluten-free and vegetarian options, has great salads, a few organic options, and plenty of fresh fish. They always try and source locally and organically.

There are also some great non-alcoholic drink options!

Gecko Lounge the open-air bar is right above Chirriboca and is a great place to enjoy drinks before or after dinner and often has live music.

Be sure and make a reservation – I suggest a little before sunset hour.

Activities in Nosara

Zip Line with Miss Sky Canopy Tour

Miss Sky Canopy Tour is not only the most popular zip line in Nosara, but it is one of the most well-known in Costa Rica.

Their canopy tour is the longest zip-line canopy tour in the world!

They run a morning, afternoon, and night tour. Check their website for details for each of the tours because they do go to different sites.

We chose the morning tour because it includes a small hike to a waterfall in the jungle, where you can swim a relax for a few minutes in between zip-lines!

Take a Surf Lesson

Nosara is an iconic place to surf, even if you are a beginner! There are countless surf shops, and most resorts set up their lessons through a local surf company.

This is one of my favorite things to do when I am in Costa Rica. I always get a private lesson. The one-on-one is worth the extra money!

Go to a Yoga Class

Meditate, ground, and restore with a yoga class at Harmony Hotel or Bodhi Tree! Harmony takes reservations and Bodhi takes drop-ins.

Classes typically run about $15 per drop-in. Because Nosara is a popular long-term destination, many resorts will offer a class pack.

Take a Day Trip to Playa San Juanillo

San Juanillo Beach in the Guanacaste region has become notable because of its unique beach formation and the beautiful turquoise water, perfect for snorkeling.

From Nosara, San Juanillo is about a 45-minute drive north on 160, and there will be signs directing you.

The road to the beach is unpaved, and it is best to have a 4×4.

Because of the sand and rock formations that jut out into the ocean, San Juanillo has two beaches. You\’ll find locals, fishermen, and local snorkel tour guides here enjoying this hidden gem.

Visit Ostional Beach Wildlife Refuge to see the nesting turtles.

Ostional Beach is a national refuge in Costa Rica and one of the most important turtle nesting sites in the country.

The peak for turtle arrivals (arribadas) happens in the nighttime and during in rainy season. Although turtle nesting can happen throughout the year, the rainy season is the peak season, and when you will be able to turtles any time of day.

To visit this site responsibly, abiding by tourist and national refuge guidelines – book a tour with a reputable company. Many hotels and resorts offer tours to Ostional because it is a true wonder to see.

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