The Best Surfing Beaches In Nosara, Costa Rica

Everything You Need To Know About Nosara’s Top Surfing Beaches & What Makes Each Of Them A Great Place To Hang Ten

Nosara, Costa Rica is renowned the world over as a top surf destination. But many people don’t know that the area is home to 5 separate beaches, where visitors can spend their days in search of the perfect wave.
Each beach is dramatically different from the other and they all offer surf-minded travelers a unique surfing experience.  That’s why, we’ve created this basic guide of what you can expect at each sandy locale and what you should plan to bring to each location to get the most from your surf day.

Playa Guiones

A 8-minute drive to the entrance near The Gilded Iguana Surf Club from Villas NIMBU. A 10-minute drive to the southern-most entrance at the Baker’s Beach parking lot


Playa Guiones is the reason most surfers come to Nosara. It is famous for its accessibility to surfers of all levels, and for it’s consistent, seemingly endless breaks, year round.

Here surfers can catch oncoming southwesterly groundswells and waves ranging from heavy and hollow at low tide, to wide cruising waves at high tide. In between tides, you’ll be sure to find any variation that suits your surfing fancy.

You’ll also find long strips of whitewash across Playa Guiones, making it a great place for beginners to learn. 

The one negative point about this beach is that there are times when it can become quite crowded. Most serious surfers try to hit the beach early in the morning to avoid the midday rush.

Note: While this area is widely free from rocks and hazards, novice and intermediate surfers should be mindful of riptides and consult with the local surf schools on days when surfing without an instructor is not recommended.

Playa Nosara / Bocas del Nosara

A 12-minute walk via a jungle path, or 5-minute drive from Villas NIMBU to the Bocas del Nosara (or mouth of the river) where you can cross the sandbank to access Playa Nosara


Playa Nosara is a dark sand beach that sits north of the white sands of Playa Pelada and south of the black sands of Playa del Ostional. It is generally considered the most challenging surfing beach in the area.

Playa Nosara is one of the lesser known, and therefore less crowded beaches in the wider Nosara area. It should also only be tackled by true intermediate surfers (who have been surfing consistently for a while), and advanced to expert surfers only, on heavy swell days.

If you paddle out to the north end of the beach, near the bottom of Playa Ostional, you can catch some powerful barrels during strong SW swells.

Check the local surf report to make sure the conditions are appropriate for your surfing ability.

Playa Pelada

A 12-minute walk to the north end of the beach by jungle path. Or a 6-minute drive to the south end of the beach, near the restaurants where you can park in the lot behind Olga’s


While the north end of Playa Pelada is primary used by locals for picnicking and swimming, there is some surfing that happens in the southern most section of the beach, near the footpath to Playa Guiones.

Surfing conditions here aren’t as consistent as the other beaches in Nosara and can be quite choppy due to the right and left rocky reef breaks. But when the waves are good, it can become quite crowded. If you plan on attempting to surf Playa Pelada, the best time to try is high tide.

Playa Garza

A 14-minute drive south, along the highway


While Playa Garza used to be the local refuge for the solitary surfer, in recent years surf schools have moved there to secure more space for their students.
This beach is appropriate for surfers of all levels and has a variety of waves at both its inner and outer reefs. The best time to go is early in the morning before schools take over, or at high tide.
But lone wolf surfers needn’t fret, as there are still times of the year when this stretch of beach is largely deserted.
Warning: Surfers should be aware of the rocks underfoot at Garza.

Playa del Ostional

A 19-minute drive up the highway. Note: At certain times of year you may need to drive through flowing rivers to access this beach — so a vehicle with a snorkel may be advisable


Playa del Ostional is the beach that is furthest north and located in the heart of Ostional National Wildlife Reserve.
Playa del Ostional, also called Playa Ostional, is an advanced surfing beach with good, reasonably consistent swells from all directions. It offers hollow waves at high tide, where you can catch long, fast rides.
Being that the beach is a sea turtle sanctuary, you’ll need to be an advanced or expert surfer to navigate through the challenging breaks while avoiding our aquatic reptile friends. As a result of this, we discourage our guests from surfing this beach at all, and instead encourage day trips to enjoy the wildlife and support the refuge in Ostional instead.
Warning: There are times during the arribada (turtle arrival) when surfing this beach is prohibited and fineable.
Contact us if you have further questions about where Villas NIMBU is located in relation to Nosara’s best surf spots.
Or book with us today!



Comments are closed.