When I first visited the wonderful town of Nosara, Costa Rica, I fell in love with everything it had to offer. From my first interaction with the people in the airport when I landed, to the incredible foods that flooded my taste buds, to the amazingly beautiful sights I saw. I knew I had found a home away from home. Since being there for the first time when I was 15, I have only once returned but plan to go back and possibly make Nosara my home at a later point in my life.
This vacation is an under the radar gold mine! There are so many things to do and sights to see at a very low cost. So when you're contemplating where your next spring break destination vacation should be, keep these experiences in mind because I can't speak highly enough about them.
1. Exotic Wildlife Encounters
I have seen so many amazing creatures when I've been out and about as well as just hanging out in the house I was staying at. You're more than likely to see monkeys, butterflies, other assorted insects (that aren't too creepy nor crawly), dogs, fish, and different types of reptiles. The most amazing, in my opinion, would have to be the massive iguanas.
They blend right in with the greenery on the jungle floor and they give you a bit of a scare when you first spot them. They are more than likely to entertain your eyes with the unique way in which their bodies move. After seeing these iguanas, I have definitely considered getting a reptile of my own even though I know nothing can compare to these amazing creatures.
2. Downtown Nosara
Downtown Nosara is filled with friendly faces, delicious restaurants, tourist attractions, and many shopping opportunities. Seeing the locals zoom around on dirt bikes, hear their stories, and see what they have to offer is always a great way to spend a day. There are many shops that support local goods, environmental issues, and welcome any and all visitors. Whatever shop you decide to venture into, you're guaranteed to be impressed.
3. Beautiful Nature Scenery
As someone traveling from the bland and cold weather in Wisconsin, any type of greenery is bound to dazzle me. But the beautiful trees, plants, and bodies of water just blew me away. All the colors you see are so vibrant that it's hard not to stare in complete awe. The oceans are the bluest of blues, the palm trees are the greenest of greens, and the flowers are the most exotic of colors.
Not to mention, everywhere you go, it smells fresh. As odd of an adjective to use for that smell, I can't think of a better word to use. Things smell fresh, healthy, and full of life and it's a very refreshing thing for one's nose to smell if it's only been surrounded by snow and ice for several months.
4. La Luna
La Luna was one of the best restaurants you can eat at while staying in Nosara. Everything from the amazing customer service, delicious food, and mind-blowing view from any table you can sit at makes me give this place a 5-star rating!
As you enjoy a great meal, you get to watch the action on the beach consisting of surfers, kids building sandcastles, and families enjoying their time in the sun. But if you're lucky enough to eat in the evening hours, you get to experience a sunset like no other. If you are going to eat anywhere while on your vacation, La Luna has to be it.
5. Playa de Pelada
The Playa de Pelada is one of Nosara's many beautiful beaches. This one is unique due to its rocky shore. As you take a long walk on the beach, you're able to venture onto the rocks and get unique photo opportunities such as the picture shown above. I had tons of fun climbing rocks with my siblings, dipping my toes in the salty water, and taking many photos to commemorate such a glorious sight.
6. Agua Tibia Surf School
Nosara is known as a surf town with a 365 day a year of great surfing conditions. With that much of an opportunity, you have to learn how locals spend their free time! If you are wanting to learn how to surf or already know and are looking for board rentals, hit up Agua Tibia Surf School! I have gone to this place every time I have wanted to surf and have never had a bad experience.
You can tell that the employees are a tight-knit bunch and want every person that passes through to have the most positive experience. Surfing lessons include easy to understand instructions on how to catch the perfect wave while also keeping your balance on the board so you can ride it out. This is a great experience to have under your belt and also counts as a great way to get an awesome workout while having fun in the sun.
7. Fresh Food
This was easily one of the best cultural differences I experienced while in Nosara. Every single thing that is made in every single dish you can order at any café or restaurant has fresh ingredients. The sushi pictured above is a roll containing fish that was caught earlier that morning. The veggies included on the inside as well as on the side are freshly grown at the chef's garden. This is a cultural norm throughout all of Costa Rica.
I didn't have a single processed food item while I was visiting and could easily eat the healthiest I could eat at a very reasonable cost. Because of the garden-to-plate style that these places live by, the flavors are out of this world. I have never had a piece of fruit, fish, vegetables, bread, or any other type of food that has tasted as good as it did in Nosara. When you visit, feel free to eat as much as you want because it will not be detrimental to your health.
8. Miss Sky Canopy Tours
If you're a thrill seeker like my family is, you'll definitely want to check out the Miss Sky Canopy Tours. You get to zip-line through the canopies of the jungle while accompanied by experienced workers whose first priority is to keep you safe. You're taught how to properly coast along the zip-line, how to keep your hands from getting caught in any of the equipment, and how to have fun on the longest zip-lining experience you could have in all of Costa Rica. You get to check out the amazing greenery as well as the oceans that surround this beautiful country all while you're flying through the sky. This is 100% a must-do activity.
It's awesome to enter this country and see how much they really care about their environment. As of right now, there's a huge movement to keep the roads unpaved so that the jungle can be kept as natural as possible. They also are very big on conserving energy as well as conserving water. You will come to find that the bathroom regimen we have in America is very different than the one you will have when visiting Nosara.
Instead of flushing your waste as well as toilet paper, you will dispose of your toilet paper in a specific trash can and flush your waste by itself. This is meant to use less water and energy in all the buildings and homes so that pollution risks are at an all-time low.
You will also find that many people ride bikes around neighborhoods or will walk to their destinations if it isn't completely necessary to use a vehicle or motored device. If we have enough people bringing home like-minded ideas from this eco-friendly country, maybe we could improve our carbon footprint back in the states!
10. The Energy
My lasting impression on Nosara is obviously anything but positive. The people, activities, sights, and weather has the ability to leave a lasting impression on anyone that steps foot onto the city streets. This place will always have a special place in my heart and I will always be even more excited to go back than I was the time before.
The relaxed lifestyle that is able to be lived is something I strive to have in the end of it all. So when contemplating your next big adventure, please keep this little surf town in mind because as the locals say, "If you're lucky to live in Nosara, you're lucky enough."