See Our Destinations

Central Nicoya

Nosara, Samara & Islita

Some of our favorite Costa Rican beaches are found in the 15 miles of coast between Nosara and Islita. Each is unique; some are social scenes with palm trees and ice cream carts, others are vacant save a handful of surfers. At Playa Garza, parakeets chatter in fig trees as fishermen mend their nets. Playa Pelada has tide pools, golden sand and calm surf. Sunsets are a community event at Playa Guiones; half the town attends the puesta del sol, bringing blankets, dinner and an occasional guitar.

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, located north of Nosara, is one of the world's most important nesting beaches for Olive Ridley sea turtles. Between July and December, close to the last quarter of the moon cycle, mass nestings or arribadas can be observed here. Thousands of nesting turtles arrive in wave after wave for up to a week. The largest recorded arribada—in November 1995—included an estimated 500,000 nesting females.

Year round, visitors can enjoy surf lessons, zip-line canopy tours and horseback riding. Deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and kayak tours are also available. From December to April, you can even watch a rodeo at one of the traditional wooden arenas.

The airstrips in Nosara and Islita receive domestic flights from Liberia and San Jose. This area can also be reached by car from San José (4.5 hours) or Liberia (about 2 hours) by passing through the friendly towns of Santa Cruz and Nicoya, where excellent handmade sabanero boots and hammocks are produced.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in the Central Nicoya and throughout Costa Rica. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, domestic flights, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

Lao Tzu