We’ve already covered the history and the unique features that Nosara has to offer in prior postings. In this article, we will discuss the easiest approach to traveling to Nosara, so that you can plan your vacation without any problems.
Nosara is most likely one of Costa Rica’s most remote locations. Few places can take you so long on the road to access them.
As a tourist center of excellence, you can reach it by air or by road, and you can get there in a variety of ways, whether you travel in tourism-specific vehicles, private or shared, or by public transportation.
Of course, how you get to Nosara will be determined by your budget and the origin of your trip.
The only way to get to Nosara from anywhere other than the airports or downtown San José is to take a private tourist shuttle.
If your journey begins at one of Costa Rica´s international airports, like the Juan Santamaría International Airport or the Daniel Oduber Quiros Guanacaste International Airport in Liberia, you can take a regular domestic flight to Nosara Airport.
It has the following schedule: Depart San José at 6:20 a.m. or 03:20 p.m.; depart Liberia at 04:20 p.m. The cost is approximately $120 per person.
The disadvantage of this option is that you must coordinate your arrival flight with one of the local flights departing for Nosara. This option usually includes at least one night’s lodging near the airport.
Chartering a private flight is another expensive option.
If you are flying into Liberia International Airport, your only choice is to take a cab or a bus to the Liberia city center, to the “Empresa Taroc” bus station, and then take a bus to Nicoya from there. Once in Nicoya, take the bus to Nosara. Buses leave Nicoya for Nosara at 10:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
If you take a bus to Nicoya in Liberia after 3 p.m., you will miss the last bus to Nosara.
If you’re traveling from San José city center or surroundings, take a cab to bus stop Terminal 7-10, where buses depart towards Nosara. A direct trip departs at 05:30 every day. If not, you can take a bus to Nicoya City and then one of the four daily trips to Nosara that we have already discussed.
Buses from Terminal 7-10 to Nicoya depart at 05:30, 7:30, 10:00, and 12:00 p.m.
If you are coming from the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela, you can take a taxi to Terminal 7-10 bus stop, or even take the public transport that passes in front of the airport, and once in Downtown San José, walk to the 7-10 terminal. There you can take a bus to Nicoya already mentioned, or one of the buses that leave Nicoya for Nosara.
As you may see, traveling to Nosara by public transportation can be quite an adventure, and includes long hours and uncomfortable seats on non-air-conditioned buses.
One option is to rent a car when you arrive at the airport. Many individuals utilize this alternative to travel to Nosara since they believe the cost is comparable to paying for transportation.
Although Costa Rica has traffic rules similar to those of Europe or the United States, we must remember that our driving style is considerably different culturally. This makes driving in Costa Rica even more terrifying.
Driving in Costa Rica is only for experienced drivers, especially in congested city areas or on medium to high-speed highways.
It is, nevertheless, an option that should be examined. Not all rental car companies will pick up the vehicle at a city or airport other than the one where you leased it; the options for returning a vehicle in Nosara are fairly restricted, and this is something to consider.
Furthermore, the state of the roads might cause significant damage to a rental automobile, resulting in higher insurance expenses or excess payments, but if you drive carefully, this can be overcome.
Another hidden danger is associated with GPS systems like Waze or Google Maps, because in remote places they frequently direct users to roads that may not have optimum driving conditions, such as over rivers or roads in bad condition.
However, the flexibility and opportunity to visit more sites that a leased automobile provides is undeniable, not to mention the fact that, depending on the number of people accompanying you, the cost of the rental can be cheaper than the cost of individual excursions hired from a transportation company.
We present a description of the roads and their condition for travel from any of the airports to Nosara, whether you come to Nosara by rental vehicle or by transportation service.
When you arrive at the airport, you must clear immigration and customs. Once these procedures are completed, you should proceed to the airport gate, where your driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name.
Drivers are not authorized to wait for their passengers inside the airport due to airport rules and must instead wait on the pavement in front of the main departure gate. A sign with your name on it will be waiting for you at any transportation service you select.
Once reached, the driver will most likely take you to the parking lot where the unit, whether a vehicle or a minibus, will be parked.
Exit the airport via Route 21, a large road with only one lane in each direction that is nicely paved and signed. This highway connects the principal cities of Guanacaste province, beginning in Liberia and finishing in Paquera, and is the primary route inside the Nicoya Peninsula.
This route will take us 70 kilometers via the communities of Guardia, Comunidad, Filadelfia, Belén, and Santa Cruz before arriving at Nicoya.
We leave Nicoya and travel on Route 150, which connects Nicoya to the seaside villages of Nosara, Samara, Carrillo, Islita, Bejuco, and many more. This path must be taken for 30 kilometers till it meets with the road that leads to Nosara. This route is a paved road with two lanes, one in each direction, several curves, and numerous bridges, some of which are single lanes, requiring you to wait if another vehicle approaches from the other way.
This road junction is marked by a well-known gas station in the area, such as the Nosara intersection. Once you reach that crossroads, take a road to the right that is paved, but with many holes and in poor general condition for another 10 km until you reach Route 160 in the small village of Barco Quebrado.
Route 160, which connects Barco Quebrado and Nosara, was recently resurfaced and is in excellent shape. We will keep on this road for 13 kilometers until we reach Guiones Beach, the first beach we will see in the Nosara region.
The overall driving duration is about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Waze or Google Maps will get you there in 2 hours and 45 minutes, covering a distance of roughly 130 kilometers. These systems, which do not have a complete understanding of the characteristics of the various routes, suggest alternate routes that are much shorter and much faster but are completely incorrect.
For example, one of the routes travels through Tamarindo and the northern section of Route 160 but does not account for the absence of bridges across rivers, which are nearly impossible to cross, even in four-wheel drive vehicles.
Another path takes you directly from Nicoya on a completely inaccessible road. This is why we present you with the best and most accessible path for nearly any sort of vehicle to reach the Nosara region.
To get to Nosara from the Juan Santamaria International Airport, use the following path.
As with the Liberia airport, as soon as you arrive, you walk through customs and immigration, and with your baggage, you go to the exterior of the airport, where the many drivers will wait for their clients.
Generally, once contacted, the driver will take you to the parking area where the vehicles will be waiting.
Once inside, the car will depart north from the airport and travel for 8 and a half kilometers on Route 1 until it reaches the Coyol Radial, which links Route 1 with Route 27. This radial is around 4 and a half kilometers long.
All of these routes, including Route 1, the Coyol Radial, and Route 27, are well-paved major highways with broad lanes and two lanes per way.
Once on Route 27, continue west all the way, about 57 kilometers to the Central Pacific coast, passing through towns like Atenas and Orotina, and crossing the southern Pacific.
Once on the Pacific coast, the road heads north, passing through Caldera, Playas de Doña Ana, the Puntarenas crossroads, and up to El Roble, where it runs northeast through Barranca, linking with route 1 again for a total of 13 kilometers.
Return to Route 1 and travel northeast for 50 kilometers to the Limonal crossroads, which is roughly one kilometer from the Limonal petrol station.
This route will pass through several junctions on its way to communities such as Miramar, Sardinal, and Las Juntas.
Once at the Limonal crossing, take Route 18 west for 50 kilometers until you reach Pueblo Nuevo de Nicoya, where you turn right and travel 13 kilometers to Nicoya over Route 21.
We crossed the town of Nicoya and traveled Route 150 for 30 kilometers until we reached the Nosara crossroads, a winding route full of tiny bridges with one lane in each direction.
Once at the crossroads of Nosara, we turn right along this narrow paved road with potholes, which is in very poor condition, until the intersection with Route 160 in the village of Barco Quebrado.
We turn right on Route 160 at Barco Quebrado for 13 kilometers till we reach Guiones Beach and enter the Nosara region. Despite its meandering nature and proximity to the shore, Route 160 is recently resurfaced and is in excellent shape.
The entire route is more than 250 km and will take you a total of 5 hours without taking into account how many breaks you have.
We hope we were able to provide you with the required parameters to help you make the best selection when deciding how to go to Nosara. It is entirely up to you whether you want to fly, rent a car, or take advantage of the fantastic benefits of being whisked away by Gipsy Cab Nosara.
In subsequent blogs, we’ll discuss what to anticipate from Nosara and how much to spend in order to get the most out of the experience. Later, we’ll look at the many leisure activities available in Nosara.