I’d been curious about Costa Rica for a few years, always hearing about the lush jungles, eco-lodges, surfing, and yoga, so I finally decided to check it out for myself and see what this "Pura Vida" lifestyle was all about. After some research and speaking to friends I decided to take a quick trip to Nosara, a laid-back bohemian surfer town, located on the Pacific side in an area called Nicoya canton, Guanacaste province.
Upon arriving at the tiny airstrip in the middle of the jungle, you get this totally laid- back surfer vibe right off the bat. The main transportation from the airport was little 2-wheeled rickshaws – which somehow manage to survive on the bumpy roads. Driving through the quaint town, mostly lined with little shops and cafes, it looked like a mix between Byron Bay, Australia, and Mexico – two atmospheres that I love.
Our hotel, Olas Verdes, was situated on one of the main beaches called Playa Guiones. A short walk down a lush jungle path and all of a sudden, this giant coastline appears lined with surfers as far as the eye could see. I loved sitting on the beach during sunset and watching them catch wave after wave. Our hotel, a boutique eco-lodge, was adorable and also has a great surf school called Safari Surf for anyone who wants a lesson!
Nosara is known for its amazing surfing, which is for sure the main attraction here. It also boasts a pretty cool yoga scene and hotels like Bodhi Tree and Harmony have incredible yoga facilities and retreats. There’s just something about doing yoga in the middle of the jungle that makes it that much more peaceful and calming. Restaurant wise, one of my absolute favorite spots was La Luna, a bohemian café right on a beach called Playa Pelada. I had one of my favorite meals there during sunset watching the surfers. Other great food spots are Harmony Hotel (juice bar) and Tibidabo, a modern jungle café serving yummy Spanish tapas.
Days were spent driving around exploring the jungle and its wildlife – so many monkey sightings! Also just relaxing on the beach and meeting the locals who are so sweet and welcoming. The nature in this area is so well preserved as there is a lot of conservation and protection for the animals here. Another beautiful beach, Playa Ostional, is welcomed with thousands of sea turtles who come to lay their eggs – a sight I wish I could have seen! Having a car is key as it’s pretty remote and towns are spread out, so it would be difficult to try to get around in a taxi.
Nosara is a place you come to completely unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s remoteness, amazing nature, and friendly people make for a really special experience, the Pura Vida experience.