Nosara: idyllic pit stop on our Costa Rican road trip

Nosara, Playa Pelada

After our self-indulging and somewhat insightful stay in Mal Pais, it was time to move on to other horizons, or as the hardcore road tripper would say: “It was time to river-cross our way to the next destination!” Jokes aside, we still had a lot to see of this gorgeous country, so after 2 nights in Mal Pais, we left that wonderfully laid back piece of earth, not without a hint of nostalgia, and headed to our next dream destination: the beautiful and idyllic village of Nosara: Bring on Leg#5 of our road trip around Costa Rica.

Wild at heart and wild on the road

Just a little aside here: If you took my advice on the rental cars from the previous Plan a road trip in Costa Rica post and you are now looking for some serious fun with your 4WD, then don’t be afraid to do some experimental dirt road driving and leave the comfortable boredom of the main highways behind you!

Dirt roads through the rainforest
Those are the dirt roads through the rain forest on our way to Nosara

I guarantee you, that you’ll have some boisterous but fun moments, some of which will come with the occasional fright. All in all: adrenaline will be your best friend, especially during river crossings!

Handy advice on how to best river cross

What you should do before crossing a river and not just brainlessly driving your car into it!

  • Get out and check the water level first. No good comes from drowning your car engine!
  • Try to figure out where to follow the submerged path, if there is one
  • Alternatively, you can also wait on one side of the riverbank until another car of the same size or smaller than yours shows up. Yield to the car and if it reaches the riverbank without any major incident you are good to go. … I mean, why getting your hands dirty if there’s an easier solution?!

Nosara (on the map)

Nosara is a village on the pacific coast in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. Although Nosara is one of the oldest expat communities, its particularity is that it lacks any development directly on the beaches. Those wild beaches are very renowned among surfers and sea turtles alike, obviously for different reasons.

Villa Mango Bed & Breakfast

Nosara has quite a collection of hotels to offer, from small resorts, B&B’s, eco-lodges to Homestay possibilities; it all depends on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. As for us, we stayed at Villa Mango Bed and Breakfast, a small gem, hidden away in the hillside with a magnificent view of the bays. This place was a true heart-throb… I literally had a crush on this place, the owners and the feel good vibe of that fantastic location.

The rooms

7 bedrooms, each one named individually after an animal and each one with an absolutely amazing view, that will make your stay unique! The half open-air private bathrooms are just surreal; you can literally take a shower with a view.

The common grounds

Those are just a terracotta/wooden dream. A viewing platform with a Mediterranean flair and a gorgeous saltwater pool will make a relaxing day at Villa Mango just perfect.

Villa Mango Bed & Breakfast
The saltwater pool at Villa Mango Bed & Breakfast
View at Villa Mango
… and the beautiful viewing point from the pool!

The owners

Agnes and John, a very friendly French couple. They are always happy to share some helpful advice or even an amiable drink.


Breakfast is served at a large table, where you settle in with all the other guests. It’s a perfect moment to exchange travel stories and experiences with other globetrotters from all over the world. Breakfast is also the moment when Mama Racoon comes to get her share of the cake (or the morning bread)!

Mama Raccoon
Mama Raccon who wants her share of the breakfast


There's no doubt, we had a perfect stay at Villa Mango B&B! Click To Tweet

That being said, at our arrival we were handed out a very unusual, not really true to scale and a rather confusing map of Nosara. With all those winding dirt roads, the twist and turns at every corner and no distinct town centre it was quite hard to arrive at destination (whether it was the very nearby beach or the easy to find restaurants we were looking for). But hey, I guess that’s just part of the adventure!

The Beaches

There are various beaches surrounding Nosara. Playa Guiones is the most popular of them with some proximity to restaurants and bars. Next to Playa Guiones, and closest to the aforementioned Villa Mango Bed & Breakfast, lays Playa Pelada. This picturesque beach is considered as the most beautiful and authentic one of the coastlines. Playa Pelada means miles of unspoiled white sand, surrounded by lush tropical hills.

Playa Pelada, Nosara
The beautiful Playa Pelada surrounded by lush hills
Playa Pelada
A truly idyllic spot… especially when you have it all to yourself


Tip: Keep in mind that the idyllic postcard like beach (Playa Pelada) is hidden away from shops and all kinds of eateries. Think ahead and bring a picnic or a snack!

Other beaches around Nosara are Playa Garza, Playa Nosara and Playa Ostional. The latter one is the famous breeding ground of the sea turtles, with its Ostional Wildlife Refuge.

Eating & Drinking

There are definitely some restaurants and bars in Nosara; the only difficulty will be to find them. Since there is no distinct town centre next to the beaches, the eateries are a bit scattered along the coastlines and it can be difficult to find your way around. Ask the locals and you’ll be directed to the most delicious places. One thing is for sure; the best pizzas in town are served at Il Peperoni next to Playa Pelada. So, if you fancy a good traditional Italian dish, head to this place and be assured that the very friendly staff will make you giggle throughout the evening!

Adventures and activities

In Nosara as in other places all around Costa Rica you will be spoiled for choice with outdoor activities. Here is a non-exhaustive list for the hyperactive ones among you: hiking, horseback riding, climbing, wildlife watching, fishing, yoga, zip lining, paddle boarding, surfing, etc.

Anyway, if you are travelling to Costa Rica make sure you make a pit stop in Nosara and enjoy the slow life at one of its beautifully wild beaches!

Pura Vida

Other posts about Costa Rica:


  1. Villa Mango looks like the perfect spot to just chill out and get away from it all! Really good tip about bringing your own snacks along the remote walks, would not have thought to do that! Thanks for the awesome post

    • Hahaha, yes river crossing is a fun adventure I absolutely recommend and the shower with a view was also what sold me for the room 🙂

  2. I loved the blue beaches with a blue sky on top.They look absolutely neat and clean. It will be fun driving through the rain forest and on those dirt roads. And so many activities to rush your adrenaline. Wow! For sure sounds like a package. We are going to love this place in Costa Rica. Bookmarking for future reference.

  3. Costa Rica! High on my travel bucket list. I love how the rooms are named after different animals and views are also a must for us! Do they have a balcony? PS love mama racoon!

  4. I haven’t been to Costa Rica yet Ariane and your road trip seems a great adventure.
    Great place with nice beaches.
    Las time I crossed a river my phone and camera got water and I lost both 🙁 but I was swimming though…haha.
    Cheers and safe travels 😉

  5. Your road trip sounds so adventurous! I really liked your tips for crossing the river. Your pictures are splendid and speak for itself how beautiful this destination is!

  6. For a moment I was wondering was Mama Racoon some elderly woman at the Villa, til I saw the pic 🙂 Sounds like a great place and I love the idea of swapping tales at breakfast!

    • Hahaha, yeah I thought it might be better to include a pic of mama raccoon… just to make sure what I’m talking of 😉

    • Hi Anna. Wow, that are two great prospects! Never been to South Africa, but I will keep posting a few more tips on destinations around Costa Rica 😉

    • Yeah, it was an overall perfect package… I don’t think you can dislike Costa Rica, just a perfect aventure and holiday destination!

  7. Costa Rica is a beautiful dream for us which sure will come true soon for us! I like the fact that you guys didn’t play it oh we are so cool rather took the challenging path and didn’t mind offroading on those dirt roads! Of course with great caution. I also particularly loved the idea of naming the rooms of that gorgeous Villa Mango after the animals! So cute!

    • I cross fingers that your beautiful Costa Rica dream will come true quite soon. It really is a gorgeous destination. Can’t wait to go back sometime soon as well 😉


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