How to Visit Nosara Costa Rica on a Budget

Costa Rica is known to be a little on the pricey side in terms of travel destinations. Nosara Costa Rica really lives up to that reputation. However, you don’t have to be rich to visit Nosara, have a wonderful time and experience all the beautiful coastal town has to offer. I traveled around as a pretty broke backpacker, and still managed to spend over 6 weeks here! You just have to be informed, and a little creative!

Where is Nosara?

Nosara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, on the Pacific side. It is located about 120 km from Liberia, and 70 km south of Tamarindo. It is a small, sleepy, beach town, far away from any major cities. Fun fact: the town of Nosara itself is actually a small, local town about 8 km away from the beach. When people talk about the “beach” part of Nosara, they are usually also talking about the entire area, including Playa Guiones.

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What is there to do in Nosara?

At first glance, Nosara might seem a little boring, or sleepy. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The town is actually a surfer/ yogi paradise. If yoga or surfing isn’t your thing, there are also plenty of affordable things to do in Nosara including:

  • see baby sea turtles hatch, or mamas laying their eggs
  • live music
  • salsa and reggae nights
  • restaurants
  • hang out on the beach
Sea turtle in Costa Rica
Sea turtles I saw on my trip to Nosara

Where to stay in Nosara Costa Rica

There are not a ton of budget options in Nosara Costa Rica. However, there are a couple great options for accommodation!

  • Nosara Beach Hostel: This is my favorite budget accommodation in Nosara, and maybe my favorite hostel I’ve ever stayed at. It’s a 2 minute walk from the beach/ best surf spot, has surfboard racks, private bathrooms in each dorm, and a very large clean common space. Also, the owner, Dee is incredible. I stayed here for several weeks.
  • 4you Hostel: This hostel is another great budget option. It’s maybe a 10 minute walk from the beach but it is much closer to “downtown” Guiones than the Nosara Beach Hostel.
  • Airbnb: If you are looking for a private room, I recommend checking airbnb!

Where to eat in Nosara Costa Rica

Nosara Costa Rica has TONS of awesome places to eat. My favorite budget options were:

  • Rosi’s Tica: This is a local soda restaurant located in Playa Guiones North, and Central. Here you can eat delicious typical food that will fill you up, and is still affordable!
  • El Circo food truck: In North Guiones, there is a little food truck court with 3 total trucks. There is a poke truck (my favorite), a burger/hot dog truck, and a pita place. They have live music Thursday nights too so that’s a fun place to hang out!
  • Pura Pizza: Pura Pizza is located across from the food truck court in Guiones North. You can get hot, delicious pizza for about 2000 colones a slice (about $3USD) and it’s perfect for a quick eat.
  • Celajes: Celajes might be my favorite restaurant in all of Nosara. It’s not *budget* per se, but if you want to go to a nice, sit down restaurant, this is the place to go. It is located in the actual town of Nosara, and has a very local feel. An entree and a drink will probably run you about 10,000 colones ($16 USD) but it’s definitely worth it for the splurge.

How to get around in Nosara Costa Rica

Finding budget transportation might be the most tricky thing about Nosara. I have two recommendations for getting around:

  • If you’re planning on spending a longer amount of time in Nosara, buy a bicycle. Don’t rent! You can join the Nosara facebook free and for sale, buy a bike, and resell it easily. A rental will cost $250/month.
  • Take tuk tuks! Tuk tuks are the little red 3 wheel taxi/ car things you’ll see driving around everywhere. During the day, they typically congregate on the main road next to Cafe de Paris. At night, they’re usually all up in Guiones North outside the food court place. My best recommendation is to introduce yourself to a few drivers that you like/ trust, and get their phone numbers so you can schedule rides with them!

Conclusion: You definitely don’t have to be rich to visit and enjoy Nosara. Just plan to stay in one of those hostels I talked about, eat local, and take tuk tuks rather than renting a car/quad! And you can still enjoy the beauty of the town. On my four month trip to Costa Rica, I spent over 6 weeks total in Nosara, and my average trip cost was $65/day.

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  1. I hadn’t heard of Nosara before, but it sounds like a lovely place to visit – especially with those baby sea turtles! I’ll make sure I look into it before planning a trip to Costa Rica.

  2. I love Costa Rica and am saving this for our next trip, thanks! I haven’t thought of buying a used bike for a longer stay, that’s a great idea– I appreciate the tip!

  3. I love Costa Rica, but I’d never heard of Nosara before. It sounds like such a lovely place! Great recommendations to stay at a hostel and to buy a bike in order to save money!

  4. Costa Rica- such a charming country. I wish I would’ve known about this little slice of paradise when I went. I guess it’s a great excuse to go back!

  5. Costa Rica hasn’t really been on my radar for future travels, but it is now based on this post and others on your blog! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. Oooh nice! It’s always nice to hear about a gorgeous beach area that is also budget friendly. I can totally see why you liked Nosara!

  7. Nosara sounds like a beautiful place! This guide is super handy for anyone planning a visit. Thanks for sharing this helpful information!

  8. This is super helpful. We just spend 3 months in Tamarindo and considered going back to Nosara (we visited a few years ago) but ultimately decided against it. I KNOW we will go again and I’ll keep this handy! Thanks for putting this together! – Linzey @thefamilyfuntour

  9. You had me sold on watching baby sea turtles hatch. How amazing! Costa Rica has become really sparked my interest this past year. Thanks for this awesome travel guide!

  10. I’ve traveled to Costa Rica for a month but didn’t about Nosara. Damn, now I have to go back! 😀

  11. This is a really great post, I had no idea Costa Rica was big with yogis and surfers! I love yoga and beach holidays so Nosara sounds like my kinda place! Thanks for all the budget and travel tips!

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