Las Brisas De Nosara

The Nosara Area and Getting to Playa Guiones, Costa Rica

Welcome To Paradise - Nosara is a very special place

Playa Guiones Beach Travelers around the world are just starting discovering the tropical paradise that is Nosara, yet it still retains the unique natural feel that made it appealing to early travelers to the area years ago.  Unpaved roads add to the feeling of being in a place that hasn't been spoiled by the type of development that has destroyed areas like Jaco or Tamarindo. The maritime exclusion zone, set aside for the preservation of the natural environment means that the beaches are not overrun by development and the stewardship of the Nosara Civic Association ensures that the area retains its pristine ecological diversity. Nearly half of Nosara is set aside for the preservation of the natural habitat and its no uncommon to see Howler Monkey's, Iguana's, rare birds, and a variety of other wildlife roaming freely in the area.  The area is unique in that there are no oversized hotel developments but rather small boutique hotels with a eco-friendly vibe and a variety of private houses of varying size.  Las Brisas is a large rental house available for families, groups, and couples.

Guiones rental property"No Shirt, No Shoes, Nosara" 

Thats a saying you'll here a lot around Nosara. It captures the laid back surfer vibe you'll find here.  But don't be fooled, casual doesn't mean unsophisticated. You will find that you can surf world classwaves in the morning, get a top notch massage in the afternoon, and eat an organic and creatively prepared dinner at a world class restaurant. That's the beauty of the Nosara area - it has become the epitome of casual chic for those "in the know".  

Nosara truly captures the "Pura Vida" or pure living spirit (the Costa Rican national saying).  You'll find yourself picking up the vibe and before long, you may find yourself walking around in just a pair of board shorts, surfboard in hand, and with a sense of freedom and relaxation that is rare in today's world. Explore this lovely area from your own large rental house in the center of it all.

The Nosara Area

"Nosara" actually refers to the local Costa Rican town somewhat inland from the beaches and the tourist areas, but when foreigners refer to Nosara, they generally mean the three beautiful beaches of Playa Pelada (northernmost), Playa Guiones (further south) and Playa Garza (southernmost). Each have their own unique,  feel but all are accessible from Las Brisas and are considered part of "Nosara".  Las Brisas De Nosara, located in the J Section of Playa Guiones, in the center of everything, is perfectly situated to take advantage of everything the Nosara area has to offer. 
The Beaches of The Nosara Area

Playa Guiones Playa Guiones beachfront

Playa Guiones is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Sand stretches nearly 3 miles in a gentle crescent shape.  The beach is bordered by a lush protected 
maritime zone, which means you don't see houses, condos, or other development while standing on the beach. All you see is the Pacific, clean beaches, and lush tropical dry forest.  This offers a unique natural escape from most of the more touristy beaches in the world.  

Playa Guiones itself is gently sloping, which means that it is perfect for children, who can play in the shallow areas (of course, always watch for rip tides at 
any beach) and ride the gentle white water on boogie boards.

Playa Guiones Beachfront rentalPlaya Guiones has one of the world's best beach breaks, with both lefts and rights and long rides. There are several well known surf camps and schools that utilize Guiones, but it rarely feels crowded on the many line-up's as there is nearly 3 miles of beach to choose from. Beginners can ride long whitewater rides and advanced surfers can consistently enjoy anything from 3 foot waves to overhead high plus, depending on the swell. Consistency is the key to Playa Guiones where there is always good surf, especially in the early morning, when winds tend to be offshore. 

The highlight of any trip to the area are the beautiful Playa Guiones sunsets. Every afternoon, people congregate at the beach to watch the sunset, practice yoga,  surf, and just enjoy the natural beauty of the area. 

Playa Pelada BeachPlaya Pelada 

If you walk to the Northernmost part of Playa Guiones, a short walk over the hill on a clear trail will lead you to the beautiful beach of Playa Pelada.  This beach is smaller that Playa Guiones and is generally quieter. Pelada beach has natural rock formations and tidal pools which 
are fun to play in where  you can see small fish, crabs, and other marine life.   Small fishing skiffs still line the shore here as this is still and active fishing village.   A naturally formed blow hole at the South end of the beach will shoot water high into the air when the tide is right, offering a majestic show.   Every afternoon, people gather at Olga's bar or at La Luna's nearby to watch the sunset and enjoy the natural vistas.  More adventurous surfers and locals who know the area sometimes surf off of Olga's and alongside the southernmost rock outcropping by Olga's, where there is a good reef break when the tide is right and there is swell. There is also Pelada Proper. These breaks offer a different experience from the gentle beach breaks at Playa Guiones. 

Playa Pelada is the beach is where the local community intersects with the tourists and it offers a more local feel.  On Sundays, many local Tico's and Tica's visit Playa Pelada. 

Playa Garza

Most fishing charters in the area depart from Playa Garza, which is a beautiful protected natural bay.  The Pacific waters off of Guancaste are known for its Marlin and Sail Fishing due to the close proximity to the deep canyon only 10 miles off shore.  Closer to shore, there are plenty of snapper, white tuna, and mahi mahi to catch for dinner or ceviche. This is a very picturesque beach, with local fisherman's skiffs and larger charter boats moored just off the beach.  There is a small beachfront bar where you can grab a drink and watch the gentle waves and boats bobbing in the distance while sitting on natural wood furniture under a tropical palapa. The water in Garza is particularly clear and the beaches tend to be fairly empty. You can access Crystal Beach and Playa Rosada (Pink Beach) on Guiones Point with a short walk up the hill to the point. 

Playa Ostional Rental

Playa Ostional 

Playa Ostional is a dark sand beach that is just North of Nosara. This beach is home to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, set up in 1984 to protect one of the most important nesting sites for the Olive Ridley sea turtle.  

The Olive Ridley sea turtle synchronizes its nesting period in massive "arribadas" or  arrivals.  Turtle come ashore by the thousands and dig holes in the black volcanic sand and lay tens of eggs. Some days before the nesting, the sea turtles gather in massive flotillas off of Ostional. After several days the turtles, signaled by some unknown cue, will start to arrive in waves on the beach. Large arribada's, which can include hundreds of thousands of turtles, generally begin the week before a full moon.  Local guides will escort visitors at night to view this incredible natural wonder and a visit is not something to be missed during your visit to Nosara.  

Surfers visit Ostional for its beach and reef breaks with rights and lefts that works on higher tides and south to southwest swells.  This is not a beginner wave and when there is swell regularly barrels. 

Getting to Nosara (and the Las Brisas De Nosara Rental House)

Driving From Liberia

Driving From San Jose

Flying From San Jose Into Nosara

Recent Press About Nosara

2012 New York Times Article About Nosara Reads:

IT’S not every day that you step out from a sunset surf session straight into a jungle habitat of howler monkeys dangling in leafy guarumo trees, cicadas conducting a symphony, and a pair of white-nosed coati — raccoon-like animals with striped tails and masks — strolling across a dirt road, sending geckos darting out of their path. It was so enchanting that I even forget to swat at the mosquitoes hovering about, getting ready to divebomb my legs.

nytimestravel on Twitter

Such is the charm of Nosara, a small village in the Nicoya Peninsula, on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This hamlet’s remoteness has long kept the crowds away, but surfers in the know — like the big-wave legend Richard Schmidt — have been making the pilgrimage for years. Now aspiring wave-riders far from the world tour are heading there for the handful of surf schools that have popped up around town, and for the undeveloped jungle beauty, small hotels and yoga culture.
Surf Simply

The author at surf school.

The star attraction is Playa Guiones, a four-mile-long white sand beach that catches most swells year round, with a gradual topography that keeps waves from getting too big. The result is some of the most reliable surf in the world, typically ranging from knee-high to double-overhead, with gentle white-water waves closer to the beach that are ideal for beginners.

Guiones is at the southern end of the 10-mile-long coastal wildlife refuge that encompasses Playa Ostional, a black sand beach famous for the monthly arribada, when thousands of olive ridley turtles come ashore to lay eggs, and a beach called Playa Nosara. In the conservation zone, development is prohibited about 200 yards from the high-tide line. There is a conspicuous and blissful absence of beach bars and chain hotels; instead, the backdrop is jungle as far as the eye can see.

During a surf trip I made there in late March, locals told me that the only ugly thing about Nosara is the road in. Most people fly into the capital, San José (a five-hour drive), or Liberia (two and a half hours away), but everyone leaves the highway to brave the last 15 miles of unpaved, dust-choked track from Sámara to Nosara. In truth, the bumpy ride — often obstructed by meandering cattle and herders on horseback — helps keep paradise intact a little longer.

My taxi driver, Eduardo Araya, entertained me in Spanish during the drive from Liberia (in that two and a half hours, we got to know each other rather well). A resident of Nosara, he told me that the number of tourists hasn’t yet reached the critical mass to merit a paved road, but he believes it won’t be long before one is built. A new bridge to the Nicoya Peninsula from the Costa Rican mainland, plus a brand-new airport in Liberia, have already brought better access to the region.

Visitors can cuddle with rescued capuchins at the Sibu Monkey Sanctuary, attend a yoga retreat, or head to the Reserva Biológica Nosara, where the jungle runs right up to the beach and makes for rich bird-watching in mangrove wetlands (plus the odd boa constrictor sighting). But in truth, in a place that sees reliably good waves and weather from November to August, surfing’s the thing.

It draws people like Ru Hill, a self-described surf geek from Bristol, England, who runs Surf Simply, a resort that brings a technical, sports-coach philosophy to its weeklong surfing camps.

“I got a map of the world, put a line through the cold places and all the places where there was a war going on, and ended up here,” Mr. Hill, 34, said. He first came to Nosara in 2007, looking for an ideal setting for his surf project. He saw that the long stretch of warm, jade-green waters, rolling waves and white-sand bottom at Guiones made it the ideal place for surfers of all different levels to play together nicely.

There were a few established surf schools at the time — including the first, Corky Carroll’s, which opened in the mid-’90s — but the scene has evolved over the last five years, with more schools to meet the growing number of visitors. And locals are opening up their own surf-related businesses; a few years ago, Mr. Hill offered guidance and training to a pair of Nosara surfers, Esteban López Paniagua and Luis Montiel, to help them set up Nosara Tico Surf School (Costa Ricans call themselves “Ticos”).

For his part, Mr. Hill has gained a fan base for his approach: his goal is to get people to understand all the aspects of surfing, from tide charts to board design, and to take what he calls the mystical voodoo out of the sport.

During a week in Nosara surfing with Mr. Hill and his crew, I became a bit of a surf nerd, learning the finer points of angled takeoffs and riding the rails of my surfboard more effectively, and sat in on theory classes on meteorology and how to judge a surf contest. Thanks to twice-daily surf sessions that were followed by video feedback, I could watch myself ride a double-overhead bomb of a wave to its finish, and analyze what I had done right to make it possible. (I also saw, in painful slow motion, the spectacular wipeouts that came along with attempting such waves.)

Fodor's says the following about Nosara:

One of the last beach communities for people who want to get away from it all, Playa Nosara's attractions are the wild stretches of side-by-side beaches called Pelada and Guiones, with surfing waves and miles of sand on which to stroll, and the tropical dry forest that covers much of the hinterland. Regulations here limit development to low-rise buildings 180 meters (600 feet) from the beach, where they are, thankfully, screened by trees. 

For years, most travelers headed here for the surf, but the Nosara Yoga Institute, which offers instructor training, and daily classes for all levels, is increasingly a draw for health-conscious visitors. Saturday mornings at the Giardino Tropicale Hotel there's an organic market from 7 am to noon, selling organic produce plus fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, fresh juices, and baked goods.

Bird-watchers and other nature enthusiasts can explore the tropical dry forest on hiking trails, on horseback, or by boating up the tree-lined Nosara River." 
- Fodor's 2012

Lonely Planet says about Nosara:

The Nosara area is a magical destination as you can sometimes see parrots, toucans, armadillos and monkeys just a few meters away from the beaches. There are three distinct beaches here. North of the river is Playa Nosara, which is difficult to access and primarily used by fishermen. Further south is Playa Pelada, a small crescent-shaped beach with an impressive blowhole that sends water shooting through the air at high tide. The southernmost beach is Playa Guiones, a 7km stretch of sand that’s one of the best surf spots on the central peninsula."  
- Lonely Planet 2008

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