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This surfing, yoga and health haven is made up of three distinct areas, Nosara village, Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada. Nosara village is inland and inhabited mainly by Ticos, while the two beach towns have become home to hundreds of expats, mostly from North America. According to one such individual, Nosara is filled with “yogis, surfers and real estate guys,” a strange sounding combination for an area that’s known for being green, Zen and committed to conservation. It’s the community’s responsible approach to development that makes the difference.

Originally inhabited by the Chorotega tribe, most of the land has remained untouched over the years, and it’s commonplace for landowners to find tribal artifacts while building or planting. Starting with these early settlers and continuing through today’s equally appreciative residents, Nosara’s land has been fiercely protected and revered. In the 1970s, the foreign community banded together in response to the deforestation that was beginning to devastate the area, making reforestation their main concern.

Thanks to these early efforts, forest now grows again in the previously ravaged areas and Nosara is a permanent Green Zone. This Proyecto Americano, or American Project, consists of 22 plots of land equaling about 68.8 hectares (170 ac), all protected by the Nosara Civic Association. This project is why, despite all the development, there is still a feeling of isolation in Nosara. New development in the area follows this planned growth model and is strictly regulated. Nosara is also protected by the national park since it is part of the Refugio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre Ostional. As a result of these combined efforts, it is known for having some of the cleanest water in Costa Rica.

In 1994, the world-renowned Nosara Yoga Institute opened its first retreat here. This brought in floods of yogis from around the world, and it still continues to draw them in today. Many students who’ve completed their instructor training there have stayed in Nosara, ensuring there’s no shortage of yoga studios and schools in the area. This clean-living yoga influence has helped shape the vibe of the town and it’s immediately clear that this is not the typical party town that often accompanies the surfing crowd. There is a respect for the body and environment here that supersedes everything.

The famously consistent waves on Playa Guiones are a draw for surfers of all levels. Plenty of competition surfers are set up here, usually giving lessons in between their own training sessions. No matter what you’re experience level, the attitude out in the water is friendly and respectful. Surf snobbery has no place in this chill town.

The area isn’t just a draw for surfers and yogis; the more sophisticated travelers are also drawn to the pristine beaches and luxury accommodations here. As a result, Nosara tends to be a bit more expensive than most towns. Although this is probably considered an asset to the locals, the party crowd tends to be thriftier. The beaches here remain beautiful and unspoiled, and the vegetation lush. The serenity of the area makes this a wonderful place to relax and get away from it all.


Other places nearby Nosara: Sámara, Santa Cruz, Montezuma, Tamarindo, Playa Carrillo, Playa Negra, Playa Junquillal, Carrillo, Santa Teresa and Refugio Nacional De Fauna Silvestre Ostional.

By Bramble Heidt
11 Nov 2010

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