Protecting the wildlife of Nosara

Nosara’s wildlife has been one of Reef Realty’s primary important projects here in the community. Working with owners looking to move and or live here in this beautiful area we have always tried to help educate through the process of acquiring property with our office. From helping to select the best property to replanting with indigenous trees and plants helping to provide food back to the local wildlife in the area.

Recently we were happy to see an article about Nosara Wildlife in the LA Times!

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Adventure to the Osa Peninsula

We recently took a adventure to the Osa Peninsula to visit one of Costa Rica’s beautiful National Parks and see some of the opportunities there in the area.  We drove about 175 Klm south of Jaco and Hermosa Beach to a river where we boarded a large panga which took us out through the river.  Here we crossed the river mouth and headed into the ocean and down the coast even further!

Passing off the coast of Drakes bay heading south we could see the amazing lush jungles reaching all the way to the rugged rock coast line. Here and there were beautiful secluded beaches tucked along the coast for adventurers to find. We arrived to our destination, a large bay with beautiful surf and a black sand beach.  Arriving to our hotel Poor Man’s Paradise we got our gear all settled in and met up.  Our tour guide informed us of some of our options in the area since we arrived on one of the largest swells to hit the coast line of Costa Rica in well over 5 Years our trip to Isla Corcovado was cancelled. Horse back riding and waterfalls it was!

This area of the Osa Peninsula is very unpopulated and difficult to get to. Most travelers arrive by boat (panga) and either camp or stay in local cabinas. Simple design with screen windows, no bars, no fans and a simple bed. You don’t spend much time in the room though since your out adventuring and seeing everything you can in this beautiful place.

When we arrived we were greeted with big red Macaws flying over head and white faced monkeys passing through the trees. What a place! The second day we headed out horse back riding to a large waterfall and beautiful stream. The third day we hiked the coast line to a amazing and beautiful bay in a large National Refuge where Rio Claro meets the sea. Here we relaxed and enjoyed the morning then headed up river in kayaks and canoes as far as we could. after reaching a narrow point in the river we tied everything together and swam all the way back.

On our day of departure my brother Kyle had to interview between a 6 foot boa and his desire to eat the local family cat of the hotel.  The cat was actually their 5 year old son’s pet and was attacked under the porch of one of our cabinas.

Truly a great adventure in a place filled with opportunities considering power only reached this location 4 months ago!

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Copa Kingston Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

The Costa Rica National Circuite visited Playa Guiones, Nosara this weekend May 25 & 26.  With head high surf and fun conditions.  This was the 6th stop on the National Circuit  with only 2 more events pending this season for the competitors. Nosara’s win was taken home by Gilberth Brown Lopez sponsored by Quicksilver.The last time the “Circuito Nacional de Costa Rica” visited Nosara was 2011.  Jair Perez took home #1.

Harbor Reef and Reef Realty have in past years have assisted the National Surf Federation with accommodations and food as well as hosting the inscriptions and award ceremony.  We enjoy this competition and the Circuit making us one of their stops each year and hopefully into the coming years.

For more information about the National Surf Circuit here in Costa Rica visit their official site at -

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The legend of Malacrianza

The legend of Malacrianza is a fantastic story of one of our famous bulls here in our local area that has carried himself to legend.  This writer truly captured the story and understanding of the local rodeo.

The Story

The sun has not risen yet over Garza, a tiny fishing village on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, but already there is movement. On one side of the town’s dirt road, the tide folds itself over the shore, and a monkey howls from behind the pink blossoms of a roble beech tree. On the eastern side, where pastureland stretches into to the mountains, two men on horseback are gathering the bulls.

“Ya! Asi!” one man urges from his horse as he chases a ghost-white Brahman bull from the pasture into a round paddock, where he will be kept with the others until it is time for the show.

Tonight — a Sunday night in March — the townspeople will empty out of the local Catholic church and congregate in a nearby field for an affair held in equal regard. They call it acorrida, which literally means, “run.” What it actually means here is rodeo — and these events largely resemble a typical American rodeo — but some people would call it a bullfight. They would not be entirely wrong.

As in Spain, Costa Rican bullfighting is sometimes a fight to the death, but there are distinct differences. There, bullfighting evolved as a sport for the elite: man slays bull in ritual sacrifice and is revered for taking dominion over nature. The bull never lives long enough to wrest the spotlight from the matador.

Costa Rican bullfighting began as a diversion for farmers who couldn’t afford to kill cattle for sport, and the spectacle is more about man’s lack of control. Montadores — bull riders, not matadors — certainly aim to subdue and conquer the beast, and they are applauded when they manage to remain on top. But the bull reigns supreme. Those most adept at tossing, goring or even killing riders are celebrated more than even the greatest montadores.

If that seems like treachery to the human race, it is. Of all the bulls in Costa Rica, the most celebrated and revered is the bull people call “Malacrianza.” Translation? “Badass.”

The name appears throughout the country on storefronts, restaurants, T-shirts and even the sides of school buses. Malacrianza also inspired a recent documentary film and several cumbia-style songs — Latin American dance favorites involving flute, drums, the accordion and claves. One of the songs turned into a music video features a saxophonist who serenades the bull and a busty cowgirl who seduces him with dance.

Ask a regular rodeo attendant what it is about Malacrianza that makes him so beloved, and you might hear about his style and grace. Ask anybody else why Malacrianza is famous, and the answer is different. “He killed people,” explained a 7-year-old Costa Rican boy.

Back in Garza, the sun has crept over the Pacific, and all of the bulls competing in the evening’s festival have been rounded up but one. Far over the hill, at the edge of the horizon, cowboys come into focus, and then something appears in tow. Malacrianza has been lassoed. His silhouette — horns, body and hump — is only just visible. Yet even at that distance, his mere outline seems somehow sacred.

His 1,700-pound body struts closer, revealing intricate patterns of black and white speckles sweeping under his neck, over his colossal hump and around his haunches, from which a hefty pair of black testicles droops to his knees. His stunning coat and physique, along with his elegant stride and girthy, skyward horns, make him seem otherworldly, oversized, iconic. It’s no wonder that his image is used to sell its own brand of craft beer, a smoky Scottish ale that pairs well with steak. He’s so much more than a bull, and even the cows — about a dozen of which have come running down the street to watch him corralled — seem to know it.

In the slant of the morning light, Malacrianza appears even more majestic than usual. Perhaps it’s because tonight’s run may be his last.

Inside the home of Malacriaza’s owner, Ubaldo Rodríguez, two enlarged, framed photographs of Malacrianza hang opposite one of the Pope. On an afternoon in March, Ubaldo, a blue-eyed, 63-year-old Costa Rican man in a pressed plaid shirt and jeans, is seated cross-legged on the living room sofa across from his giddy, curly-haired wife, Amelia Goméz, who reclines in an armchair and does most of the talking.

“Ooh, he loves mangos,” she says of Malacrianza. “He’ll come right up to you and eat them out of your hand.” Unlike any other bull on the farm, she says, Malacrianza responds to his own name. And because he is the favorite, he is often kept in his favorite pasture — basically the penthouse suite of grazing ranges — that features plenty of shade, an ocean view and a hill tall enough to look over not only the farm, but all of Garza. Right now, though, because of a renal infection, the aging bull is in isolation.

If you ask Amelia, the gentle old bull should have been retired last year. “But Ubaldo just can’t say no,” she says. “He isn’t ready to give it up yet.”

Of all things Ubaldo owns — a well-kept country home, two vehicles, 40 bulls and nearly 2,000 acres of land — Malacrianza is perhaps the most valued and loved.

Back in the 1950s, Ubaldo’s father Esaú Rodriguez saved money working as a ranch hand and bought most of the area’s pastureland. He then united his parcels of land into one farm called Hacienda Nueva Esperanza, or, the Farm of New Hope. After Esaú’s death nine years ago, his four children inherited the farm, splitting the profits from its rice growing and cattle operations, as well as the hacienda’s well-known contingent of rodeo bulls.

Ubaldo continued his father’s tradition of buying, raising and breeding bulls. Although the farm had always produced quality bulls, and several had gained renown in bull riding circles around Guanacaste province, the family never imagined a Malacrianza would come along.

“Everyone always talks about how spoiled Malacrianza is by the farm, by the whole town,” says Ubaldo’s sister Jeannette Rodríguez. “What people don’t realize is … Malacrianza came to the farm just like any other bull.”

Back in December 2003, Ubaldo received Malacrianza as part of a bulk purchase of livestock. The bull and his companions had proven too aggressive for farm work at the Urbina family farm, El Palmar, just down the road from Hacienda Nueva Esperanza. For the Urbinas, aggressive bulls caused problems in the pasture and injured the other animals. For Ubaldo, though, an aggressive bull meant a better rodeo performance.

These days, news stories often reference Malacrianza’s grandfather, a rodeo champion famous for violently decapitating a horse after its rider tried to lasso him. But the story is a myth. Ubaldo has no idea where it came from.

It is only one tale of many that adoring fans have spun about the bull, securing his place in the culture and elevating him into a kind of deity.

Actually, Ubaldo recalls nothing remarkable in the history of the legendary bull that Costa Rican children now hear tales about from the time they’re old enough to ride a horse. “Honestly, you just can’t tell when they’re young,” he says. “I suppose he seemed aggressive with the other bulls, but you never know until they run for the first time.”

Ubaldo waited until August of 2004 to debut the bull at a corrida, taking him to Los Angeles de Nicoya in Guanacaste, a popular festival. The then-anonymous bull entered the ring on one of the earlier days of the festival, putting on a graceful and belligerent show worthy of an encore later in the week. “Normally bulls don’t get to go twice in the same festival, especially their first one,” Ubaldo said.

Soon, Malacrianza’s distinctive style began to earn him accolades and nicknames, for instance, “El Corazón de Garza” (the Heart of Garza) and “Su Majestad” (His Majesty). The most popular name, though, was as yet unearned: “El Toro Asesino.” The Bull Assassin.

To read the full article go to


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Fiestas for Road work Nosara Costa Rica

The local fiesta held in Arenales, Nosara just as we were heading into Semana Santa were a success! A one day event to help raise funds for the much needed road work in the community to prepare the roads for paving.  Here below is the article in the Voice of Nosara. The local community raised almost $6,000 USD to be put toward the roads in the local community area!


Los Arenales Fiestas Raised Almost $6K for Asphalt
The Fiestas held in Nosara last Saturday March 23 to help raise money for Los Arenales asphalt preparations work collected almost $6000 out of the $28000 that the community need.Member of Los Arenales Committee, Eduardo Cespedes, report that money collected from the horse parade was 1.690.000 colones ($3380), from the entertainment activities 1.150.000 colones ($2300) and from the donations a 115.000 ($230) plus goods donated to give away at the activities, making a total of 2 955 000 colones ($5910)

Yet, in order to build curbs and gutters for channeling rain water along  the 2.7 kilometers that will be asphalt by the government, they need $28.000.

Cespedes confirmed that they are hoping to organize more activities like this, such as a horse parade for the up coming April fiestas in Nosara. He estimates that asphalts works in Los Arenales could start two weeks after Easter

Donations can be sent to account # 001-0286-448-7 at Banco de Costa Rica in the name of Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Bocas de Nosara (please mention your contribution is for the road pavement).

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We thought you would like to see the article of the “Las Olas” condominium project located here in the J section just down the street from Century 21 and Casa Tucan at the beach entrance.  It appears recently that the Harmony Hotel and Jon Johnson have decided to grow in size causing the removal of the towers we have looked at for about 5 years now! Enjoy the article my friends! This is directly from the Voice of Nosara here in the local community.


Las Olas Condominium Project with New Owner

Photo by Pinar Istek

For more than five years, the unfinished condominium project Las Olas has been an eyesore in Guiones, but that is about to change, as the property has finally been sold and orders have been given to tear the structure down.

The new owners of Las Olas are the owners of Harmony Hotel, John Johnson III and his wife, Susan Johnson.  At the same time, the couple also purchased three other neighboring properties across from the Harmony Hotel near the main entrance to Guiones beach, including Hotel Casa Tucan and a corner lot next to Guiones Plaza commercial center.

“For the last three years, the Harmony Hotel has been booked a year in advance during high season.  We just had to grow and with the way Guiones real estate prices are moving, we saw this as probably our last opportunity to do something at this scale,” Johnson related.

Johnson did not wish to disclose the price of the purchases and said that they are still determining their plan for the properties, but he did confirm that they do intend to build more hotel rooms. “We also want to be as mindful as possible to how it’s impacting the community,” he added.

Most of the property purchases were made through third parties. “I like to think that Susan and I have a good reputation as community-minded people, both here in Nosara and other places where we spend our time, but I’d also have to acknowledge that we are thought of by some as having money to throw away, and that’s just not the case,” Johnson explained. “We maintained our privacy in these purchases, not because we thought these specific sellers would change their prices if they knew the Harmony Hotel was buying but because it’s just better practice to be private until deals are concluded.  This is a small community and the hotel is, last time I checked, the largest employer here. It would be easy for that dynamic to throw a wrench in any deal.”

Originally Las Olas was planned to be a 24-unit condo project, but Ohio investor Rich Johnson halted construction in November of 2007, with only three of the luxury units sold, and began looking for a buyer or equity investor.
The structures were in fair shape, according to Reese Langston, the trustee of the property, but they were suffering from exposure to the elements. The earthquake on September 5th caused some damage to a few of the metal beams and external coverings, but the real problem revealed by the quake was that the buildings had too much flex in them.

“This is fine for a parking garage,” Langston explained, “but as finished condos, any major earthquake would have caused a lot of bothersome superficial damage, such as cracked drywall, broken pipes, cracked tile, etc.  The cost to fix this flex was too high to justify keeping the buildings.”

Since the existing Las Olas structures do not figure into the new owners’ plan for the properties anyway, orders have been given to tear the existing buildings down and restore the site to raw land. The group contracted to do the demolition work is Adol S.A., a Costa Rican company that specializes in demolition work at the national and international level since 1997. Langston said demolition is scheduled to be completed in mid-April.

“Site safety is of utmost importance, and the property will be locked down while the demolition is in progress.  It is extremely dangerous and unwise for anyone to attempt to access the site,” Langston advised. He recommended that no one approach or park near the fence around the property.

According to Langston, as many materials as possible will be salvaged and donated, and cement, including the building foundations, will be broken into small pieces for future use as road base. Questions or concerns about the demolition work can be directed to:

Link to article in Voice of Nosara -

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New York Times article about Nosara Costa Rica

A great article about Nosara Costa Rica written by Bonnie Tsui published September 28, 2012 in the New York Times!

Waves and Wildlife in Costa Rica

Playa Guiones catches swells year round.

Published: September 28, 2012

IT’S not every day that you step out from a sunset surf session straight into a jungle habitat of howler monkeys dangling in leafy guarumo trees, cicadas conducting a symphony, and a pair of white-nosed coati — raccoon-like animals with striped tails and masks — strolling across a dirt road, sending geckos darting out of their path. It was so enchanting that I even forget to swat at the mosquitoes hovering about, getting ready to divebomb my legs.

Surf Simply

The author at surf school.

Laura Florence Upton

Turtles come ashore to lay eggs monthly.

Laura Florence Upton

A local cattle herder.

Surf Simply

Such is the charm of Nosara, a small village in the Nicoya Peninsula, on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. This hamlet’s remoteness has long kept the crowds away, but surfers in the know — like the big-wave legend Richard Schmidt — have been making the pilgrimage for years. Now aspiring wave-riders far from the world tour are heading there for the handful of surf schools that have popped up around town, and for the undeveloped jungle beauty, small hotels and yoga culture.

The star attraction is Playa Guiones, a four-mile-long white sand beach that catches most swells year round, with a gradual topography that keeps waves from getting too big. The result is some of the most reliable surf in the world, typically ranging from knee-high to double-overhead, with gentle white-water waves closer to the beach that are ideal for beginners.

Guiones is at the southern end of the 10-mile-long coastal wildlife refuge that encompasses Playa Ostional, a black sand beach famous for the monthly arribada, when thousands of olive ridley turtles come ashore to lay eggs, and a beach called Playa Nosara. In the conservation zone, development is prohibited about 200 yards from the high-tide line. There is a conspicuous and blissful absence of beach bars and chain hotels; instead, the backdrop is jungle as far as the eye can see.

During a surf trip I made there in late March, locals told me that the only ugly thing about Nosara is the road in. Most people fly into the capital, San José (a five-hour drive), or Liberia (two and a half hours away), but everyone leaves the highway to brave the last 15 miles of unpaved, dust-choked track from Sámara to Nosara. In truth, the bumpy ride — often obstructed by meandering cattle and herders on horseback — helps keep paradise intact a little longer.

My taxi driver, Eduardo Araya, entertained me in Spanish during the drive from Liberia (in that two and a half hours, we got to know each other rather well). A resident of Nosara, he told me that the number of tourists hasn’t yet reached the critical mass to merit a paved road, but he believes it won’t be long before one is built. A new bridge to the Nicoya Peninsula from the Costa Rican mainland, plus a brand-new airport in Liberia, have already brought better access to the region.

Visitors can cuddle with rescued capuchins at the Sibu Monkey Sanctuary, attend a yoga retreat, or head to theReserva Biológica Nosara, where the jungle runs right up to the beach and makes for rich bird-watching in mangrove wetlands (plus the odd boa constrictor sighting). But in truth, in a place that sees reliably good waves and weather from November to August, surfing’s the thing.

It draws people like Ru Hill, a self-described surf geek from Bristol, England, who runsSurf Simply, a resort that brings a technical, sports-coach philosophy to its weeklong surfing camps.

“I got a map of the world, put a line through the cold places and all the places where there was a war going on, and ended up here,” Mr. Hill, 34, said. He first came to Nosara in 2007, looking for an ideal setting for his surf project. He saw that the long stretch of warm, jade-green waters, rolling waves and white-sand bottom at Guiones made it the ideal place for surfers of all different levels to play together nicely.

There were a few established surf schools at the time — including the first, Corky Carroll’s, which opened in the mid-’90s — but the scene has evolved over the last five years, with more schools to meet the growing number of visitors. And locals are opening up their own surf-related businesses; a few years ago, Mr. Hill offered guidance and training to a pair of Nosara surfers, Esteban López Paniagua and Luis Montiel, to help them set up Nosara Tico Surf School (Costa Ricans call themselves “Ticos”).

For his part, Mr. Hill has gained a fan base for his approach: his goal is to get people to understand all the aspects of surfing, from tide charts to board design, and to take what he calls the mystical voodoo out of the sport.

During a week in Nosara surfing with Mr. Hill and his crew, I became a bit of a surf nerd, learning the finer points of angled takeoffs and riding the rails of my surfboard more effectively, and sat in on theory classes on meteorology and how to judge a surf contest. Thanks to twice-daily surf sessions that were followed by video feedback, I could watch myself ride a double-overhead bomb of a wave to its finish, and analyze what I had done right to make it possible. (I also saw, in painful slow motion, the spectacular wipeouts that came along with attempting such waves.)

I met Leslie Clyde, a 38-year-old marketing executive from Brooklyn, who has been coming to Nosara for four years straight. It was her second stay with Surf Simply. “Nosara has a really positive, uplifting, relaxing vibe, and I like the whole yoga community, too,” she told me. “But it’s first and foremost about the surfing.”

Visitors should know that Nosara probably isn’t the place for a deep cultural view of Costa Rica; though there are ample attractions nearby, so many North American expats live and work in the little community that at times the streets surrounding Guiones feel like an English-speaking island.

Andrew Jaspersohn came to Costa Rica with his wife, Lindsay Antolino, from Canaan, N.H. They spent a few days in San José, then drove the five hours to Nosara. “I came here to become a better surfer, and so there’s that singular focus of coming to Nosara,” said Mr. Jaspersohn, a teacher. “But San José was much more cultural — the shops and markets in the city were great, and we ate a lot of traditional food, and Lindsay practiced her Spanish. Nosara is different. It’s geared toward expats, in that you can walk down the main street and get a bikini, a surfboard and a fish taco in eight minutes. It’s not bad — it’s just different.”

The town of Nosara proper is actually about four miles away from the beach; it’s occupied mostly by Ticos. Mr. Araya, the taxi driver, told me that only rarely does the occasional tourist find his way up into the village for a look around.

But there are places that attract both locals and tourists; naturally, it’s often out on the water. One of these, said Mr. Araya, is La Boca — the river mouth in the jungle where Rio Nosara and Rio Montaña converge, leading out to Playa Nosara. It is one of the most exquisite spots in the area for natural beauty, and is frequented by local fishermen, great blue herons and egrets, and it leads into the Reserva Biológica Nosara.

One evening at sunset, we headed over to the Lagarta Lodge, perched high on a cliff overlooking La Boca, for mojitos and dinner. The air was the same blissful temperature as my skin, and the late-afternoon rays lighted everything, from the clear blue sky overhead to the brilliant fuchsia sprays of hibiscus and verdant jungle canopy below. Just three surfers bobbed in the water, with miles of glassy swell behind them all the way to the horizon. That dirt track might help keep Nosara under wraps, but not for long.


Nosara is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Liberia International Airport, which opened last fall. The rainy season is brief, September and October, but waves and sun are often plentiful even during this period.

Surf Simply (Playa Guiones, Nosara; 646-233-3139; offers weeklong surf trips from $2,570, including lodging, meals, surf coaching, yoga classes, and airport transfers. Surf camps run from November to August, but often book up early.

Nosara Tico Surf School (Playa Guiones, Nosara; 506-2682-4076; has 90-minute surf lessons from $45.

Link to Article -

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Nosara a place to visit, live and enjoy life to the fullest.

IMG_3628Nosara has been a place for many of us over the years that we have held close to our hearts. It has been a place to come visit and forget about the world. A place we can sit back and relax in a hammock reading a book and just listen the the sounds of nature or head to the beach in the morning for what we always know is going to be a great surf session. The greatest thing is that it is a place we can all equally enjoy weather your a surfer our your into Yoga or Nature. They all cross paths here.

DSC01115The beaches are clean, the people are friendly and you have a great mix of all kinds of life.  What you notice mostly is that things start early here. Nosara is a town full of life beginning at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. People walking the beach with a morning coffee while others are up waxing their boards in preparation for that morning surf to get their blood pumping for the day.

But what do you do here in Nosara after the morning surf session is done and that walk on the beach has been fulfilled. Head out for adventures thats what! Nosara is filled with all kinds of adventures and tours and things that you can do throughout the day. Everything from a drive up the coast with a set of mask and fins to a private beach to do some snorkeling or taking a tour in the Boca de Nosara Kayaking or Paddle boarding! If your looking for privacy there is always the tide pools to the south end of Playa Guiones where you can take a bottle of water, your towel and a good book and just relax.

DSC01254If your looking for an exhilarating experience head out from Garza for a day on the water to see what you can find. Garza is the home to our local fishing fleet and some of the best captains in our area! Heading out for the day you can the experience of a lifetime catching your very first Sail Fish, Marlin or if your sitting on the reef you may even get a Rooster Fish or Dorado! The potential here is endless and the fun and experiences to be had in this beautiful town are abundant so come down and enjoy a bit of paradise. Who knows you may like it and end up being our neighbor! haha!

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Surfing in and around Nosara, Playa Guiones

Nosara is known to have some of the best surf in our area for the consistency and that both experienced as well as beginners are able to enjoy the same break. However just outside of the main break of Nosara, Playa Guiones there are several really fun waves which are not often spoken of.

Heading to the north there is always Ostional and Marbella which are both experienced surfer breaks. They tend to have heavy rip tides and a much faster wave but the quality and barrel that one can enjoy is absolutely fantastic!

Heading to the south we have Playa Cameronal which is a south facing beach  and absorbs swell constantly. When Playa Guiones is flat or knee high this wave is usually chest high and very fun.  This beach however is also a experienced surfers wave as the conditions are known to change in 20 or 30 min with the tides and the wave can often grow in size rapidly as the tide drops. Playa Cameronal is one of the few beaches however in our area that actually enjoys swell. The bigger the swell the better the form at this beach. Getting to this location some times can be a bit challenging but over all it is worth the adventure and will be a memorable experience if your up for the challenge.

Check out this video by Nosara Shack of one of the hidden breaks here in our area just a little to the south of Playa Guiones. Showing some of our local talent having a fun session.

Video Link -

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National Geographic top 20 surf towns in the world!

National Geographic has been around for years and has always given us some great aspects on life, culture, history and much more. If you got nothing else out of it well they have always had some of the most beautiful shots of life.  However National Geographic has been writing on some of the worlds destinations. In one of their articles they chose Nosara, Costa Rica as one of the top 20 surf towns in the world to visit! Incredible because we knew how beautiful and special this place was but to see it publicized in such a widely read and well known location such as the National Geographic is fantastic.


A great surf town is the nearly magical sum of consistent waves, inviting accommodations, friendly locals, fun nightlife, delicious food, and plenty of activities should the ocean go flat. The following is a list of the world’s best surf towns, picked not necessarily because they are home to the best waves, but because the sum of their parts makes them inviting for locals and visitors alike. Plus, for each town, locals tell us where to eat, stay, and play.—Tetsuhiko Endo

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