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Nosara Costa Rica Vacation
When I want to unwind and unplug at the beach I head for Nosara. The feel of this seaside town is relaxed yet upscale, and has some pleasantly familiar tones for a California native like me that echo holistically oriented communities like Santa Cruz, for example. At the same time, it is uniquely Costa Rican with a Guanacasteco flair. Nosara is part of the proudly independent Guanacaste Province, that was once part of Nicaragua. The focus on wellness is represented well and genuinely in what the area is best known for: surfing and yoga. You dont need to partake of these, however, to completely enjoy and appreciate your Nosara vacation. Thankfully not too many people know about Nosara yet, and I am hoping that this unspoiled gem can stay low key for a long while to come. The town is 40 miles from the nearest paved road, and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Costa Rica. What I really appreciate is the strong sense of community and the commitment to keeping Nosaras water and environment healthy and clean. The Nosara Civic Association was established to represent the interests of the people living in the region in a sustainable way. The community is inviting to locals and foreigners alike, and I simply just feel at ease whenever I visit. Pura Vida is alive and well in Nosara!

My family and I especially enjoy the Harmony Hotel on Playa Guiones:

The ambiance, the caring staff, and the sustainable practices pull it all together in an elegant, yet relaxed environment that leaves all of us refreshed and recharged after every visit.

The cuisine is a natural extension of the focus on health and wellness, with many vegetarian options, no red meat, and plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as just-caught-fresh fish and seafood.

The juice bar has many inventive concoctions including both beverages such as Ginger Lassi (Indian yogurt drink), and fun vegetarian appetizers such as coconut-lime ceviche-delicious! Reflecting a harmonious way of living, the kitchen uses organic ingredients whenever possible.

The rooms are natural, roomy and very private with a great indoor/outdoor feel. One of the best kept secrets is the Harmony House. It is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom beauty and simply elegant.

The open kitchen, dining and sitting area open onto an expansive patio boasting the best views in Nosara. You can check the surf on Guiones below, while floating in the infinity pool. We stayed with family and had an incredible time.

The Harmony staff even offered to shop for our family dinner we insisted on cooking together in the fully equipped kitchen. It is the best of both worlds: a private beach house , fully equipped and with all the amenities of a hotel. Perfect for families up to 6. The natural wood and crisp white linens work well and the amenities include organic products locally made for you to enjoy during your stay.

The pools are easy on the skin, leaving no harsh chemical burn because the treatment is done with salt water instead of chlorine.

The spa is wonderfully appointed with tantalizing services including a chocolate wrap, using organic cacao and coconut oil.

The coffee rub is amazing and invigorating with great anti-oxidant effect.

The spa also uses organic ingredients as much as possible, for example insisting on organic coffee beans only for the coffee rub from a local family producer.

There are yoga classes overlooking a pond with lotus blossoms, a natural juice bar, ping pong table, and great little store with art supplies, books and many other gems.

The very short stroll to the beach will reveal the long, pristine Playa Guiones with surfing, boogie boarding and a private palapa (with attendant) where you may leave your belongings while you frolic in the sea.

There are many local tours and activities to choose from in addition to the very popular surfing, boogie boarding, yoga and spa treatments. These include kayaking the Rio Garza, Rio Montana, or Rio Nosara, ocean kayaking, bird watching, waterfall hike, Ostional Turtle Nesting, canopy tours, horseback riding, estuary boat tours, among others. One of the best natural highlights is the Lagarta Lodge Biological Reserve Tour, which is very near to the Harmony Hotel. The private reserve is 125 acres along the Nosara river mangroves boasting an abundance of plants and animals including herons, waders, seabirds, motmots, monkeys, coatis, armadillos, anteaters, crabs, iguanas and many others. The best time for animal activity is early morning, and after the tour it is a wonderful option to enjoy the breakfast buffet at the Lagarta Lodge with a lovely ocean view.

Some other highlights include the local eatery/bar/bakery called Cafe de Paris. This is a great spot, right in the heart of town, with a wonderfully diverse menu, yummy bakery and extensive beverage selection. You will find unique German and Belgian beer, along with many tropical drinks, and eclectic international wines. The Black Sheep Pub up in the Nosara hills is a fun place with a great view and vibe. Strolling through the surf shops and boutiques in town, you will find an old fashioned ice cream shop with giant waffle cones and a super wide variety of flavors. You will meet locals, North Americans, Europeans, South Americans all in a very enjoyable, easy setting. If you want to unplug and unwind, with a focus on well-being, you will love Nosara, too.

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