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Playa Guiones | Playa Pelada | Playa Ostional | San Juanillo | Marbella | Nosara
Generous and welcoming with a deep respect for the land, the people of Costa Rica are affectionately called ticos—short for hermanitico or "little brother". The Nosara region is known particularly for their heritage of rearing livestock, especially cattle. In our neck of the jungle, it's common to yield to horses, cattle, chickens, children and dog traffic—the kind that leads to smiles not frowns!
Ticos consistently rank among the happiest people on earth. Volumes of research exist and the search continues for the native Costa Rican pura vida secret! Pura vida—commonly translated as "pure life"—is used as a response to "¿como esta?" "how are you doing?" and even as a greeting. Ticos take the concept of pura vida seriously which most certainly is a factor in their reported happiness. Think about this for a minute: it's culturally ingrained to say "pure life" several times a day to friends and strangers! By the time you leave, you will be saying it too!
We recommend checking out Darin's History of Nosara if you're interested in more historical background about our local community.
Las Playas de Nosara
Offering one of the most consistent waves on Earth in a beautiful broad horseshoe shaped bay, it's easy to see why surfers, yogis, naturalists--and anyone with an appreciation for beauty--flock to Playa Guiones.
A pristine and beautiful white sand beach that stretches approximately 3 miles, perfectly crescent-shaped Playa Guiones offers something for everyone. It is the best for long quiet walks or hunting for those perfect shells. The warm water and calmness of the ocean mixed with the long beach breaks make this a perfect place for swimming and surfing. One of the best beaches for surfing in all of Costa Rica--en todo del mundo--Guiones graciously offers great beach break conditions with multiple peaks, long rides and plenty of rights and lefts. It's also a great place for beginners to learn!
A beautiful and rocky beach punctuated by a dramatic rocky point adamantly holding its ground against the mighty Pacific Ocean is Playa Pelada. This beach features dazzling sunsets for the eyes and an audible show for the ears as thundering waves crash upon huge rocks.
Many tourists are magnetically drawn to the iconic landmark that dots the peak of Punta Guiones overlooking both Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada. It's a nice morning or sunset walk from Playa Pelada to Guiones and back! Pelada is accessible by car and from the north end of Playa Guiones via a path near the Hotel Nosara.
On the weekends many locals bring their families to play in the tide pools and picnic—marking this beach a tico favorite. A blowhole in one of the rock formations makes a spectacular sight at the right tide. This beach is very picturesque with several small, brightly colored fishing boats on the sand awaiting the next early morning fishing excursion and perfectly placed palms framing the boats and rocks for those perfect beach pictures that tell a story and beg for your return.
The curious will want to walk around the main bay of Pelada and continue to the river mouth to find an abundance of wildlife. Be sure to spend some time here watching the birds fishing for their food. The beauty of this beach is astounding but don't be fooled—swimmers and surfers be aware, these waves can pack a powerful punch into the rocks!
Playa Ostional, an incredible surfers' paradise , is only 3 miles (7 km) from us. However, Ostional is most famous for the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge which was created to protect one of the world’s most important nesting beaches of Olive Ridley sea turtles.
Arribadas (or the Arrival) occur throughout the year at least once a month with the largest arribadas being between June and December. The largest reported arribada was in November of 1995 where a reported 500,000 turtles came ashore to nest. So many of the turtles arrive in such a short span of time that many of the first nests are destroyed by turtles coming in after the first arrivals. Because of this, a project was initiated to bestow the right to collect and sell a percentage of the eggs from the first three days of each arribada to the locals (Ticos) . This is the only place in the world where it is legal to harvest turtle eggs. This practice is designed to prevent poaching and to help the local community and in return the villagers protect the turtles, clean the beaches from debris and patrol for poachers at night and also take on the role of guides.
Another absolutely amazing sight we love taking our guests to witness is the hatching of the baby turtles which occur 45 to 54 days after the arribada. They usually hatch at night but to avoid stepping on these little creatures in the dark, we usually leave at dawn. Along with others from the village, we offer protection from dogs and vultures as these little guys scurry to the sea, occasionally giving a little boost to one stuck under a rock or log. Being part of an arribada or watching these baby tortugas poking their heads out of the sand and making the mad dash, albeit a bit slow, (remember they are on “Tico Time”) to the big and expansive and ever so dangerous ocean is an experience you will remember for a lifetime.
Located just north of Playa Ostional and south of Marbella, San Juanillo is an undiscovered peaceful and picturesque fishing village. You will find both white and black sand beaches here and a quiet bay lined with small fishing boats. San Juanillo's reef-protected harbor makes for perfect swimming and snorkeling!
The beautiful Marbella beach, full of character and charm with its stunning white sands and clear blue waters, is a popular location for surfers. The beach here is one of the best in the area for surfing. It offers a consistent, world-class surf break due to seasonal offshore winds.
A small and quaint little town, Nosara is one of Costa Rica's oldest expat communities. The actual village of Nosara lies 6 km inland though tourists tend to call the whole area Nosara. The beaches of Nosara have developed a good tourist infrastructure, mainly focusing on surf, yoga and health services. The beach community has always strived to harmonize development with the protection of nature, so houses are spread apart and hidden among lush tropical greenery. No high-rise developments here!
Almost half of the land in the area is protected jungle where no tree may be logged, and a moratorium on hunting animals has existed for over 25 years. Between the beaches and the estuary of the Rio Nosara and the Ostional Wildlife Reserve, this area not only attracts surfers and yoga fans from all over the globe, Nosara also attracts eco-tourists. Nosara has fast become one of the top yoga and health-conscious meccas in Central America.
New York Times Best Selling author, Dan Buettner, has deemed this area to be one of the 4 Blue Zones of the world where people live the longest and are the healthiest and happiest. The lifestyle here is pretty much a No Worry, No Stress way of life, making this area and this country one of the happiest and healthiest places to live. The true meaning of "Pura Vida" is very evident here!
History of the Nosara Area
Darin McBratney took the time to publish his brief History of Nosara which is replicated here by permission.