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Your Quick and Easy Guide to Living in Nosara, Costa Rica

There’s a reason that Nosara is one of the most popular areas in Costa Rica for expats. This health-focused community has many of the comforts of home in a small jungle village with gorgeous beaches and plenty of wildlife.


JP Clover

The surf is consistent, diverse, and exciting, dozens of tours offer wilderness adventure, yoga classes are offered every hour, there are countless activities for families and kids, and delicious healthy restaurants are plentiful. But what kind of people really fall in love with this place?


National Geographic named Nosara one of the top 20 surf towns in the entire world. Why? It has some of the most versatile surfing in all of Costa Rica, a country known for epic surf. At the shore lie perfect lines of white water for beginners.

Further out are waves for intermediates practicing. On the outside experts can find big challenging waves that are surfable all day long at any tide level. This is great news for surf lovers as many breaks can only be surfed in the morning and afternoon.

Playa Guiones is the most popular neighborhood and surfing beach, but nearby beaches offer variety for surf enthusiasts. If Playa Guiones has too much wind, Playa Pelada, a beach walk away, has a volcanic reef point break.

Playa Ostional has heavy hollow breaks while Playa Marbella has hollow but softer waves. The most challenging break in the area is the Nosara Rivermouth in Playa Nosara which is difficult and rocky with big rewards.

Most importantly the area of Nosara has a strong surf culture. Board rentals and surf camps are plentiful. Surfers are constantly in the ocean to offer inspiration. Surf videos are often being filmed. For those who truly love surfing this is a place where it is possible to live and breathe the sport with others who love it just as much as you do.



Mihaela Vorvoreanu

One of the challenges abroad for dedicated yogis can be the lack of a yoga community. While most beach towns in Costa Rica have at least one yoga studio, the diversity in studios and options in Nosara is unrivaled in the country and likely in Central and South America as well.

In fact Nosara paved the way for much of the yoga tourism that Costa Rica is known for. The Nosara Yoga Institute in Playa Guiones put Costa Rica on the map for yoga decades ago with its reputable teacher training programs.

Today Nosara has many yoga retreat centers for yoga teacher trainings and weekly retreats for those looking to deepen their practice. The area also has several studios including the Harmony Hotel and Nosara Yoga Institute which offer drop-in classes several times a day taught by world class visiting instructors. Many special yoga events are held in Nosara and not elsewhere in the country.

Like surfing, yoga is an integral part of the culture here in Nosara. Whether you find yourself attending the drop-in classes, taking a retreat, exploring moving meditation through the unique 5 Rhythms Dance, engaging in your own practice on the beach, or discussing yogic philosophy with another enthusiast, the strong yogic focus here will inspire you to delve even deeper into your practice.

Health-Focused Individuals

The clean air, pristine ocean, and lively jungle create an excellent environment for those passionate about their health. Surfing, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, standup paddleboarding, and many other physical activities in Nosara make exercise and fitness fun and accessible. However, what makes Nosara truly unique from other parts of Costa Rica is its health food.

Playa Guiones boasts one of the only organic grocery stores in Costa Rica, and in Central America for that matter. The small grocer, Organico, sells organic fruit and vegetables, dry health foods like bee pollen and quinoa, a bulk spices and dried fruit section, and many ready-made local foods like soup, salads, and cheese.

They have a weekly farmers market as well as a Community Supported Agriculture program where you can order your organic produce and other goodies online and have your box picked up or delivered.

Many restaurants cater to health enthusiasts, particularly the raw foods cafe Naked Foods which has a large fresh pressed juice selection and raw powerfood snacks.


Many expat families have already chosen to settle in Nosara which has made it a well-established place to raise children. Kid-friendly activities like surf camps, horseback riding lessons, hikes, ballet, swim lessons, kids yoga, and more ensure that your children will have plenty to do.

The two private international schools in the area offer exceptional education with small class sizes, bilingual immersion, and a focus on creativity, introspection, and environmental interest and care. Because so many families have chosen to move here it is easy to meet and make friends with other expat families.

Wildlife Lovers

Nosara consists of five undeveloped beautiful beach towns that are an absolute dream for wildlife and wilderness lovers. The area is bordered by the Ostional Widlife Refuge which is the largest Olive Ridley turtle nesting site in the world.

Here it is possible to see these stunning creatures lay their eggs and to watch the baby turtles hatch and return to the ocean. Volunteers can come and help protect the turtles from predators and other environmental conditions.

Two of the longest rivers in Costa Rica, the Nosara and the Montana, are teeming with wildlife and offer plenty of exploration as well. Kayak and stand up paddleboard tours lead adventurers down the rivers to explore the mangroves and coastline, spotting crocodiles, many species of birds, and other wildlife and nature.

Do any of these sound like you? Perhaps Nosara is a place that you would love to at least visit, if not call home.

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