Explore scenic rivers and country roads on an ATV excursion. For a change of pace, investigate the hills and valleys of Pilas Blancas, a nearby mountain town. Be sure to stick to the main streets and dirt paths, as it is illegal to take ATV's on the beach. Guided tours are highly recommended.
Bird & Wildlife Watching
Observe local wildlife on a boat tour of the Nosara River. Completely silent, the pontoon glides along the river, without disturbing resident species. Commonly seen birds include white-fronted parakeets, roseate spoonbills, tiger herons, green kingfishers, social flycatchers, black-headed trogons and mangrove warblers. Travelers should also look for American crocodiles, green iguanas, howler monkeys and Jesus Christ lizards.
Nosara’s exhilirating canopy tour takes about a half-day to complete from start to finish. Adventurers zoom at high speeds several hundred feet above ground, through 21 runs stretching from 1,640 feet to 1,970 feet in length. Located on a 2,500-acre reserve, the lines are just four miles from the Pacific Ocean. Zip past the beautiful Nosara River, through untouched forests inhabited by howler monkeys.
Come to Nosara to heal and harmonize with luxurious day spa treatments that use only natural, locally grown ingredients. Skin and body treatments like Banana Bliss, Papaya Delight, Chocolate Seduction and Tropical Purifying Facial replenish and soothe skin using mixtures that may include jasmine, banana, coconut oil, papaya seeds, hibiscus, honey, aloe, cacao and coffee beans.
Dolphin & Whale Watching
The waters off Nosara are rich in marine life, but some of the most exciting animals to spot are leaping dolphins and breeching whales. Dolphin and whale watching tours usually depart from Samara (some offer transportation to/from Nosara), and seek out spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, and spotted dolphins.
The 90-acre Nosara Biological Reserve is home to over 270 species of birds, with hiking trails that weave through wetlands and tropical dry forest along the Nosara River. The two-hour hike is best done early in the morning or at dusk, when wildlife watching is best.
Explore Nosara's beaches and jungle trails on horseback. Tour operators have well-tended horses that suit riders of all ages and abilities. Guides will explain the variety of plant and animal life that riders will encounter on the way. Tours are given in English, Spanish, or German, and usually last between two and three hours.
Peaceful kayak tours along the Nosara and Montana Rivers provide hands-on escapes into nature. Bird and wildlife sightings are certain, and guides know the best places to explore. Maneuver along the intricate shores lined with mangroves, some of which are over 200 years old.
Playa Rosada, the stretch of pink sand at the very south of Playa Guiones, along with Playa Pelada’s offshore reefs and tide pools, offer clear waters for snorkeling. Bring a mask, snorkel and flippers at low tide to take advantage of prime underwater opportunities.
Anglers can try their luck inshore or offshore fishing on well-equipped 20 to 32-foot boats. Common catches include yellow and black-fin tuna, red snapper, grouper, striped and black marlin, snook, and mahi mahi. Trips can last from two hours to an entire day.
Stand-up Paddle Surfing
Nosara stand-up paddle surfing (SUP) lessons take three forms: river, ocean, and remote paddle. River SUP, which takes place along the gentle Montana and Nosara Rivers, is ideal for beginners, while ocean SUP off Playa Guiones is better for adrenaline-seekers and adventurous beginners. Experienced paddle surfers will love the challenge of bigger waves and remote beaches, far from the crowds of Nosara and Playa Guiones. Seasoned SUP'ers can also rent paddleboards for solo explorations.
Nosara is legendary as one of Costa Rica's first surfing hot spots. Local surf schools often videotape students’ lessons to teach form and style – the tapes also serve as an impressive souvenir. Surf packages may include local airport pickup, shuttle taxis, choice of lodging, meals, massages, yoga, and multiple activities.
Consistent waves and long, sandy beaches create a variety of opportunities to partake in this popular pastime. The area features a variety of waves for surfers of all levels:
- Playa Los Guiones: The 3.5-mile long beach provides plenty of space for surfers to enjoy some of the most impressive waves in the country. Left and right beach breaks tend to be hollow at lower tides. Surfing at Playa Guiones is wonderful early in the morning and at high tide.
- Playa Pelada: The reef break in front of Olga's Bar and Restaurant provides ample swells around mid to high tide.
- Playa Nosara: Backed by mangroves, Nosara serves up enormous waves, suitable for only the most experienced surfers. This is not a swimming beach, as the waters are rough.
Turtle tours at nearby Playa Ostional, just five miles north of Nosara, provide an unforgettable experience. During the last moon cycles, particularly July through December, female Olive Ridley sea turtles visit these shores in droves of thousands to lay eggs. This phenomenon is called an arribada, and usually continues uninterrupted for 3-10 days. During other times of year, up to five turtles can normally be found nesting nightly. Flash photography is prohibited, and only red-light flashlights are permitted at night.
Ultra Light Flight
Soar through the air on an impossibly small autogiro, piloted by experienced aviators. Flights typically depart 45 minutes from Nosara at the Carrillo airstrip, and can last up to four hours between fuel-ups. Capable of flying 40-120 miles per hour and up to 5,000 feet in altitude, the aircraft can fly from Nicaragua to Panama in a matter of hours. Trips trek past winding rivers, cow pastures, dramatic bays and lush countryside. Adventurers are sure to gain an entirely new understanding of the phrase ‘birds-eye view’ on one of these spectacular planes.
Relax the body and mind with Nosara’s enlightening yoga classes. A renowned teacher-training center offers month-long courses, along with shorter seminars and retreats for those who already have certification. Yoga Alliance approved training modules vary in price, but normal yoga classes (for the non-certified) run $10-15 for a one and a half hour session.