We love exploring new places on our new adventure here in Costa Rica. We just came back from several days in Nosara with some good friends and wanted to share some of the highlights.

Nosara is a fairly well-known are among celebrities, evidently, given a large number of health, beauty and yoga retreats. You wouldn’t know it though. And no, we didn’t see any famous people 🙂 It is another great surfing area that is about 2 hours south of where we are in Playa Flamingo. Nosara is one of three towns that are all clustered together. Our friends stayed in Playa Guiones and we stayed in Playa Pelada.


Welcome to Nosara

We took the road to Nosara that follows the coast rather than travelling inland. It was beautiful in many places, especially when you could see the ocean. Mostly though, the roads were dirt and covered in potholes. It would have actually made a pretty good driving video game, but you really need the pounding shock action to help create some challenge in steering. Of course, what’s a road trip without our buds, the cows?

photo 2

Cows Always Have the Right of Way

The area is much more “jungly” than where we live. It was lush and beautiful. It was far more green and there was a lot more wildlife in and around town and the house we stayed in. This means that the bug population (“bichos”) was significantly higher as well – and we all felt it. It was more humid in the Nosara area and at times got to a “sauna” level. The Ticos call it “bochorno”.

The three towns themselves have a common, but very different feel compared to where we live up north. Deb liked the “vibe” a lot there.

Among the wildlife we saw was a family of howler monkeys. They get their name from their sounds, of course. Although, it is less of a “howl” and more of a very guttural “hoo”. The males are the ones who like to chat, and chat they did. I had quite a rousing conversation with one of the males one evening. I guess he enjoyed it so much that he came back early the next morning around 4am to have another one. I guess I didn’t mention that they were nocturnal.


Meet the Howlers

Howlers live in Guanacaste trees (the name also given to the state we live in in Costa Rica). We have the monkeys and the trees in our area up north, but not as close to where we live.

We saw a range of insects in Nosara as well. Many were different from Playa Flamingo. In some cases, that was great. For example, we saw this incredible red dragonfly. We see many as Deb seems to have a magical connection with them. We’ve never seen a red one though anywhere.

red dragonfly

A Red Dragonfly

Nosara has cicadas more the size that we expect from Chicago and Kansas. Strangely, in our tropical climate up north, our “micro” cicadas are about a third the size. Nosara is also home to a large number of biting, stinging, and otherwise onerous set of insects. One bit or stung me on the finger while I was sleeping and it is still red and swollen. Thankfully, the people of the Nosara area are far nicer!


A Cicada

It rained heavily for a little bit each day, but that is pretty typical for this time of year. We did get a torrential downpour on our way back to our house one night. It was a bit of white-knuckle driving on the dirt (well, now, mud) roads in the middle of the jungle in pouring rain. It was almost like the beginning of one of those horror movies where you get lost and find something evil. Fortunately, with GPS and Deb spotting in the shotgun seat, we made it!

There were many fun food places we tried while down there. We actually found a craft brewing company called Beer and Burgers in Playa Guiones which had wonderful, dark stouts and other brews. I wish I had grabbed a photo to compare to the ones I had in Seattle.

We had a great breakfast at the Beach Dog Café, also in Playa Guiones. Deb’s had these amazing tacos with panko fried avocado, with passion fruit-sriracha sauce. It was very close to the beach and had a memorable sign!


The Beach Dog Cafe

Another big hit was Robin’s. The ice cream was absolutely amazing. We had heard it was great, but sadly didn’t make it there until our last day. You have to try the “Wake the Dead Up Coffee” gelato.

Overall, the food was pretty consistently good wherever we went. Sometimes we paid tourist prices but mostly we didn’t have to.

Awhile back I described some things that were particular to Costa Rica, if not unique. One of them was this large tube you see on many SUVs. I had thought they might be portable “snorkels” for cars in the rainy season driving through ponds. It turns out that these are portable showers for after-surfing rinse down. I couldn’t find one before when I was trying to get pictures for the blog, but I spotted one in Nosara.


Portable Surfer Showers

The way back was less of a driving simulator; we took mostly main roads up through large towns like Nicoya and Santa Cruz. And when we arrived home, we had a beautiful sunset waiting for us.


Another Sunset at Casa Mariposa Amarilla

Pura Vida!