The 13 Best Places to Stay in Nosara, Costa Rica

There are few areas in Costa Rica that rival the unspoiled beauty of the Nosara. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this area is world-famous for its beautiful beaches, verdant jungles, and thriving surf and yoga communities. 

However, Nosara isn’t as popular as other places on the Guanacaste Coast, making it difficult for travelers to find reliable accommodation. But if you plan on exploring this area and want to stay in one of the best Nosara hotels, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve traveled extensively through the country and can help you choose where to stay while visiting Nosara.

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Nosara, Costa Rica?

Most visitors choose to stay in Playa Guiones, a buzzing resort town with a prominent surf and yoga culture. If you’re looking for something quieter with more of a local feel, then Playa Pelada, Playa Garza, Playa Ostional, or Nosara Town can also be a great place to base yourself on the coast of Costa Rica.

In addition to location, it’s also essential to find a hotel that suits your budget and travel preferences. To help you decide, I’ll be sharing a couple of exquisite hotels in each location so you can get a feel for what type of accommodation is available.

Playa Guiones

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If it’s your first time in Nosara, I would highly recommend staying in Playa Guiones. Dominated by a long, sandy beach (it’s over 4 miles in length!), this area is a vibrant resort town and the most popular place for visitors to stay. And while the town center is quite lively and trendy, it still has a laid-back and undeveloped atmosphere, making it an ideal getaway for nature lovers.

The town is a mix of surf shops, yoga studios, and charming beach bars. While it may not be a glitzy area with fine dining or upscale beach clubs, it’s a great destination for enjoying a relaxing vacation.

Accommodation-wise, Playa Guiones is a mix of backpacker hostels, eco-retreats, and vacation rentals. 

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1. Budget: Nosara Beach Hostel

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The Nosara Beach Hostel is one of the best options on Guiones Beach for budget travelers. It’s relatively small, with only five cabins (four dorms and one private suite), so it feels much more intimate than other hostels in town. It also has a prime location just 400 feet from the beach, so you’re never far from swimming, surfing, or sunbathing.

Other amenities at the Nosara Beach Hostel include a shared kitchen, communal living room, and private garden with hammocks, ping pong, and foosball. 

Located on the north end of the beach, the Nosara Beach Hotel (not to be confused with the Nosara Beach Hostel) is a quaint and quiet escape for those looking to be close to the ocean. The whimsical Mediterranian-inspired architecture makes this one of the more unique-looking hotels in the area. Just take a look at that spiral turret in the main building! 

In addition to the outdoor pool, the hotel also has an ocean-view tavern and a beachside grill. You can also arrange snorkeling, hiking, ATV, or kayaking tours directly with the activity desk. 

3. Luxury: The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel

If you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury in the jungle, then book your stay at the Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel. The property is gorgeous and features an on-site spa, restaurant, gym, coworking office, and tranquil pool with a pool bar! 

The rooms are spacious and styled like a tropical cabana, with thatched roofs, private balconies or terraces, and upscale amenities and linens. Some even have outdoor showers and surfboard racks and lockers, making it an ideal place to stay after hitting the waves.

Playa Pelada

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Just north of Playa Guiones sits Pelada Beach, a hidden gem known for its breathtaking scenery of rocky outcroppings and tidal pools. Compared to Guiones, this beach is much quieter and less touristy, so it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a little peace and quiet on vacation. It’s also a great jumping-off point for nature enthusiasts, as there are ample beachcombing, birdwatching, and sunbathing opportunities.

I recommend staying near Playa Pelada if you’re interested in a more authentic Costa Rican experience. Between the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community, it’s a beautiful area for anyone who wants to savor the slower pace of life.

4. Budget: Selina Nosara

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Despite being set back away from the beach, Selina Nosara is easily the best hostel in the Playa Pelada area. You get to enjoy the luxury amenities of a 4-star hotel while reaping the social and budget-friendly benefits of hostel life.

Regardless of whether you’re staying in a dormitory room or a private suite, you’ll love how easy it is to meet other like-minded travelers here. There’s always something happening in the pool, wellness area, restaurant and bar, or on-site coworking space. They even host different events throughout the week, like yoga classes and DJ nights, to help you mingle with others.

5. Mid-Range: Nosara B&B Retreat

Nosara B&B Retreat is one of the most popular hotels for travelers craving a quiet escape. The boutique hotel is located on two acres of tropical gardens and jungles, so there’s plenty of space to relax while you’re not hiking or doing yoga (there’s a yoga pavilion and daily classes). However, you’re also just a 10-minute walk to the beach if you’d rather spend the day surfing or swimming.

Rooms are basic but clean, and there’s a shared kitchen in case you want to prepare your meals. While there’s no restaurant on the property, you will be treated to complimentary breakfast every morning, which you can enjoy from your private patio.

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6. Luxury: Hotel Boutique Lagarta Lodge

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You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better view than from Hotel Boutique Lagarta Lodge! Situated on top of a bluff near Playa Pelga, this spectacular hotel offers sweeping views, especially from the pool, sundeck, or open-air restaurants and lounges. All 36 rooms also have stunning views of either the jungle or the ocean.

However, there’s much more to this small boutique hotel than just panoramic vistas. Guests will also enjoy a pool with a wet bar, a children’s pool, a spa, a hotel shop, art exhibitions, and free shuttle service to and from the airport.

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Playa Ostional

Costa Rica is known for its abundant wildlife. And while you can see creatures everywhere in the country, Playa Ostional is one of the best hotels in Nosara for animal lovers. That’s because the beach is an important nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. From August to November, nearly half a million sea turtles come to Ostinal to lay their eggs, making this beach a truly remarkable place to see

Accommodation here is few and far between, but there are at least a handful of places to stay near the beach. And even if you aren’t here for nesting season, you can still enjoy the beautiful coast and peacefulness of the local town.

7. Budget: Cabinas Surf Arribadas

If you want to stay on the beach without breaking the bank, Cabinas Surf Arribadas is a decent option. Although the hotel only has shared dorm rooms, they do have private bathrooms and are outfitted with air conditioning. 

I personally would find it a little too cramped for long-term stays, but it’s perfectly fine if you want to be close to all the turtles in the morning! And they have breakfast, so you won’t have to go hunting for a bite to eat early in the morning.

8. Mid-Range: Ostional Turtle Lodge

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The family-run Ostional Turtle Lodge is the most popular hotel for visitors staying on Playa Ostional. Although it’s not directly on the coastline, it has easy access to the beach (a 5-minute walk).

The rooms at the hotel are clean and come with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms. If you don’t mind paying a little more, I would highly recommend booking the treehouse, which faces the Nosara Biological Reserve. You’ll have a bird’s eye view over the mangroves from your balcony and dining room.

Besides the turtle viewing, one of the best things about staying here is the spa. Treat yourself to a relaxing facial or even a brow treatment while you’re here!

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Playa Garza

Located south of Playa Guiones, the crescent-shaped Playa Garza is an untouched slice of paradise on the Nosara coast. The calm waters and golden shores are rarely frequented by tourists, so it’s one of the best areas for those seeking a more rustic experience. That also means you’ll be staying in a rental home or hostel, as there’s a lack of fancy hotels or resorts.

However, Playa Garza isn’t totally devoid of life. It’s also a vibrant fishing village with some outstanding local restaurants and bars. The combination of natural beauty and a laid-back community makes it a must-see for those visiting Costa Rica.

9. Budget: Surfhost

The 3-star Nosara Hotel Garza Beach is a clean and quiet hotel for couples, families, and solo travelers. It’s an intimate hotel with just six rooms – four rooms are basic doubles, while two have en-suite kitchens for longer stays. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a bar, and a small restaurant (breakfast is included every day).

For this price, it’s one of the best hotels for people looking to explore Nosara on a budget.

Nosara Town

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If you travel inland from the coast towards the hilltops, you’ll find Nosara Town. The charming town center primarily serves as the economic hub of the region, so expect to see many restaurants, markets, and, most importantly, friendly locals.

Nosara Town is a 10-minute drive from Playa Pelaga and 15 minutes from Playa Guiones. Because it’s set further away from the coast, accommodation is more affordable compared to other areas near the water. You’ll also find more rental properties and guesthouses here, which is nice if you are looking for an alternative to the many eco-retreats and hotels.

So, if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Nosara where you can participate in local daily life, Nosara Town is where you want to stay! 

11. Budget: Chill-In Nosara

Situated right in the middle of town, the Chill-In Nosara is a cute and cozy place to stay for your Costa Rica adventure. Despite being close to shops and restaurants, the property is surrounded by lush gardens, so it feels isolated from the bustle. 

What I like most about this hotel is the intimacy. There are only four units that are rented out, and each one is a detached bungalow complete with a sleeping area and separate bathroom. While it may not have the frills or amenities of other hotels near Nosara, it’s a decent option within walking distance of many things in town.

12. Mid-Range: Hacienda Sarah 

Traveling with a large family or group of friends? Hacienda Sarah is a spacious and affordable rental home that has four bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a beautiful outdoor area with a large pool. 

Keep in mind that this is an open-concept villa, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about insects. While you may encounter a not-so-nice bug inside from time to time (all the beds have mosquito nets), you can also see other creatures like butterflies and dragonflies!

13. Luxury: Satori Bubble Hotel

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This is arguably the coolest hotel in Nosara – if not in all of Costa Rica! The Nosara Satori Bubbles consists of 4 individual bubble suites that offer panoramic views of the sky, which is perfect for stargazing! Each one has a private pool (some also have fireplaces and hot tubs), so you can spend the day soaking while being surrounded by 3.5 acres of lush foliage. 

This Nosara hotel is a bit off the beaten path, approximately a 10-minute drive from Playa Pelaga (you’ll probably want to rent a car in Costa Rica if you stay here). And while it may not be within walking distance to a beach, you simply can’t beat the experience of spending a night in a private oasis under the twinkling stars.

Choosing the area to stay in Nosara largely depends on your budget and what you want to see and do during your visit. If you want to be within walking distance to the beach for surfing or swimming, then Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada, Playa Garza, or Playa Ostional are good options. But if you’re on a budget and don’t mind not being right on the beach, then it’s possible to find affordable accommodation further inland in Nosara Town. Enjoy your vacation and memorable experiences being on one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful coastlines!