First Trip post-Covid... Nosara, Costa Rica

I absolutely love to travel. There is just something about traveling that makes my heart lighter and my senses explode. But the worldwide pandemic had different plans for my travel itch and I, like so many others, was forced to stay put for a while. I opted out of the great American RV exploration in the summer of 2020 and apart from a few California road trips, I did not travel for over a year. Needless to say, when I was fully vaccinated and the opportunity to go to Costa Rica arose, I jumped at it. 

My personal life took a hit over Covid, so I am not going to pretend that this was the most blissed out trip... it was complicated. But it was also beautiful and fun and I was surrounded by great friends. It was kind of like everything post-covid... a little weird, slightly shaky, and also a great adventure. 

Here are some of the fun things we did:

  • Surfing. My son picked up surfing when we lived in Bali and he absolutely loves it. He is proficient enough to surf without an instructor, so he hit the waves every day. His favorite break was at Playa Guiones

  • Ziplining. This is a blast and fun for the whole family. The guys running the tours for Miss Sky Canopy Tours are very casual and allow you to blast through the forest in any way you'd like. Four people attached to the line at a time. No problem. Flip upside down midway over the canyon. Sure. We survived without incident, but I did have a friend who crashed into a tree with her family of five and suffered some broken bones. But.. hey... I did say it is an adventure

  • Horseback Riding. My daughter loves to ride back in Los Angeles and was thrilled that we found Playa Ponies so that she could do some eventing lessons while traveling. Justin, at Playa Ponies, was an absolute gem of an instructor. Once he realized she was a competent rider, he took her out of the main ring and into the cross country riding field so she could jump logs and barrels. She loved every minute of it. We went back for a family ride at sunset. Justin took us through the mangrove forest, to a scenic overlook at the river head, and onto the beach where our horses splashed through the whitewash. 

  • Yoga. The Bodhi Tree is a yogis paradise. One of the beautiful yoga shalas overlooks the trees all the way to the ocean. The breeze through the open windows is a blessing on a warm day. I loved Marc's morning class and my daughter loved their aerial yoga class. The juice bar by the pool is a perfect way to replenish after class. 

  • Sound Bath. I also highly recommend the sound bath at the Bodhi Tree. There is something otherworldly about being in a communal space with people and music in this way. 

  • Wellness. Nosara Wellness is a haven for all things grounding and pampering. I highly recommend Jill for massage and/or cupping and if you're interested in things like Reiki or past life regression sessions, then Kate is your girl. 

  • Sunsets. Do it every day. 

Where to Eat:

  • Olivia's. I know... I didn't think the one thing I would love more than anything in Nosara was pizza. But this place is amazing and the owner is the sweetest guy, so you can't help but want to support this establishment. 

  • La Luna. The most beautiful place for sunset and dinner. The food is ok- I actually found the appetizers to be much better than the main courses. But the space more than makes up for it. 

  • The Harmony. This hotel is so lovely and has the most casual and inviting atmosphere. The food here is a little pricier than most, but it's really delicious and fresh. 

  • Luv Burger. I am vegan, so imagine my delight in this gorgeous little courtyard restaurant with divine vegan burgers and amazing coconut based ice cream! My family is not vegan and they also loved it. 

  • Destiny Cafe. This pretty outdoor restaurant in the main area of Nosara has great bowls and salads. Their juices and amazing drinks really sent us over the edge. (And also made the bill look like LA prices.)

  • SeekretSpot. This tiny ice cream stand is right behind Olivia's and practically became a daily destination for our family. 

  • Organico. If you're renting a house, want snacks in your hotel room or need some food for the plane flight home, this is a great place to go. It's a small grocery store with fresh, prepared food too. 

Where to Stay:

  • Bodhi Tree. This yoga-inspired getaway is ground zero for all things relaxing and rejuvenating. It's situated up a little hill and feels removed from the hustle and bustle. This is where I stayed and I loved it!

  • The Harmony. This is probably the nicest hotel in Nosara. If you have a larger room, they really are beautiful. The smaller rooms don't really seem worth the price to me. However, the restaurant, pool and proximity to the beach are all selling points. 

  • The Sunset Shack. This sister property to the Harmony is awesome. It's directly across the road from the Harmony and therefore very close to the beach. It's laid back and spacious. Slightly less frills, but I would highly recommend it, especially if you just want to surf, relax, and watch the sunsets. 

  • The Gilded Iguana. I personally did not stay here, though a friend of mine did and they loved it. It's located right in the heart of the downtown area, so there is a lot within walking distance. 

Miscellaneous:

  • Golf carts or ATVs are a great way to get around. Depending on where you're staying, it's not the most walkable destination. We rented a golf cart and you can drive them all over the place- even on the highway, which is mildly embarrassing because they are so slow that you can cause a traffic situation. Nevertheless. I highly recommend. Try Dan's Limos for rentals. If they are sold out, then you can rent one at another shop in town when you get there. 

  • Speaking of Dan's Limos, I used them for my airport transport and our driver was great and the price was very reasonable. I paid for these rides with cash. You can also arrange transport through your hotel for a slightly higher price added on to your bill.  

  • Cash. There are a few places that only accept cash... the ziplining outfit, tuktuk driver, etc. I found ATMs hard to find, so I recommend bringing USD enough for the whole trip with you. You don't really need any local currency.