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!
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.
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.
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)!
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!
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.
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!
Other posts about Costa Rica:
- Leg#4: Montezuma, Santa Teresa & Mal País: Costa Rica road trip
- Leg #3 of our Costa Rican road trip: Jacó
- Leg#2: Costa Rica Ecotourism – The Rainmaker Conservation Project
- Leg#1: Manuel Antonio National Park
- Plan a road trip in Costa Rica
- Behind the scenes #1: When a T-Rex crashed my Costa Rica trip