We have gone back and forth several times to Play Guiones and Playa Pelada. These are two parts of Nosara, which was really confusing at first because you expect for Nosara to have one town center and the roads to the different Playas to lead off from there but that is not the case
. There are wooden signs posted to trees and poles and opposite of what I have read concerning directional signs in Costa Rica, they have been really accurate and helpful. We have to cross two low rivers to get to Nosara everyday and weave along the insanely bumpy gravel roads that cut through forest, grassland strewn with horses and cows and more tiny homes. Playa Guiones seems to be the more recently developed of the two with a true center strip with small streets running from or just past this main road. There are plenty of wi-fi spots, Robin’s ice cream was definitely a favorite. Café de Paris has fantastic meals as well as great pastries in their bakery. Inside the bakery is also a cooler to stock up on beer if you are so inclined. Marlin Bill’s had wi-fi but we could not get it to work, although the food was impressive and the fact that it sits on the second floor of a building provided a nice breeze. You can rent snorkeling gear for $8 for 24 hours (or go Saturday afternoon and he won’t make you bring it back until Monday.) I would like to give the business name but have forgotten what it is. Just look for Nosara Dreams and it is next to that shop. Just north of the main street, 2 streets north actually if you turn west on the road you will find your way to the Super Mini which is a pretty decent little shopping mart. There is a yoga institute nestled far back on some property that is covered in local bright landscaping. Guiones is where you need to be if you enjoy yoga, surfing or even organic foods
. There is a nice organic food mart in the center. You can get all your surfing gear as well as lessons as Coconut Harry’s. I am very aware that I am not in the type of shape it requires to surf so I tell you this only as a reference if you plan on visiting. The beach does not have a ton of shells but the ones you find are so diverse including hot pink shells I assume are the reasons one of the playas here supposedly has pink sand. There are also sand dollars every few feet. We were at the beach around 9am and the shoreline was so far back, there had to be somewhere close to 100 feet of wet sand before you reached the actual water line. The waves were speckled with surfers, and crazy dogs leaping over the waves. They are community dogs, everyone’s pets and no ones property.
Playa Pelada is a little more spread out, not much a true center, but the town to me is a little more endearing, still retaining the charm of the old buildings, but with all the amenities the spoiled such as myself crave after awhile. Pancho’s is a Mexican restaurant that also has a market with a nice selection of groceries. The beach is actually 3 scallops of beaches. The sand is a nice salt & pepper and there are shells as well as huge cliffs at the points of the scallops. We found a trail that cut through the center of one of the scallops that lead to the next beach. I wish I had had my camera as there were weaves of tree branches serving as a canopy that were covered in a red hibiscus flower
. The restaurant La Luna is also in Pelada as well as the Nosara b&b which is an architecturally bizarre building looming over the top of the trees. La Luna has fantastic food and although I had read the service was spotty, our server was very attentive. If you go in the evening you cannot see the beach but the waves crash very close to the candle lit tables, it is a nice experience.
So I decided to get a pic of Jose crossing one of the rivers so I hopped out, terrified a crocogators, ok, I can’t remember which there are in Costa Rica so that’s what I’ll call them. Anyway, I run on the other side as Jose has put the suv partially in the water waiting for me to lift the camera. And then the camera battery died. "Are you serious?" I hear Jose shout at which point he tries to cross to pick me up, and guess what… We are stuck. No picture & now he’s spinning the wheels that are digging him further into the river rock bed. I don’t know how, but he did finally get out and we decided that was enough of that.
There are more and more small hotels and b&bs as we get closer to Nosara which has become a hub for ex-pats of all areas to set up shop. And don't forget the surfers. Costa Rica is busting at the seams with them along the Nosara playas. There are not too many beaches where the water is extremely docile which is why snorkeling is not a popular past time here. We did try one day but realized we had came at the wrong time of day because the waves had started crashing into the tide pools we were hoping to snorkel in. So make sure to inquire when is the best time to snorkel in the tide pools before trekking out there with your equipment. Oh well, lesson learned.