We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Level Contributor
216 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic

we're going to costa rica at the most busy time--christmas/new years and wondering where to go for beaches and surfing. we want to avoid the crowds of tamarindo per se, but are wondering about playa grande and nosara. and how far is it from liberia to nosara driving (timewise, that is).


San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,110 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?

From Liberia to Nosara is about two hours and a half...closed to 3 hours!! Good road...easy to get there...just go to Nicoya...road to Samara...you will see sign to Nosara...

Playa Grande is great for surfers...a few hotels there!!

Happy new year!!

R.A Luis

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in paradise!!

9 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?

Playas de Nosara was either right at or just past over development at the time of my last visit ( Summer 2005). There is a "mall" there now, many surf shops, surf camps, but worse, an atmosphere of "real estate fever". Luxury homes going all up over the hillside, and sweaty, greedy tourists talking about their land grabs everywhere you go.

And yes, the area is still quite beautiful, and I still had a great time. It was my 4th visit since 1999, and my first in the dead of summer. Stunn- ing, deep greenery, feirce but brief thunderstorms everyday giving way to brilliant clear sun, and early morning solo surf sessions. You won't have many solo sessions at Christmas in Nosara proper- but look around, there are other places. And of course, it won't be green...

The place is done, in terms of commercialization taking hold, but still has tons of charm. That's why everyone wants to be there.

I believe dry season drive time from Liberia would be about 2 hrs. And you won't find, in terms of surf, better waves than Tamarindo, and it may be just barely less crowded (in the evenings at the main beach in Nosara you can see dozens to up to 100 surfers spread out in high season).

My two cents. I'm not an old hand, just a handful of visits over the past 8 years. I would not go back to Nosara during the high season; my trips there will be in the summer, if at all, from now on.

Enjoy your trip!

montreal, quebec
Level Contributor
96 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?


We were thinking of going to Nosara at the beginning of March.

After reading this last post, I am worried about this "overdevelopement".

We have stayed in Playa Grande, which was nice and quiet ( at Bula Bula) and visited Tamarindo which we thought was way too much.

We were also at MalPais (Tropico Latino) which we also liked.

So here is the question: is Nosara more like Tamarindo? or a bit less busy? Is there on-going construction all over?

And if anyone knows, Is it better to be towards the south end ( residential area K) or closer to the middle?

Thanks for any input.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
1,327 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?

Hmm, I wouldn't call Nosara overdeveloped (Tamarindo, on the other hand, is overdeveloped without a doubt). Sure, Nosara has quite a few hotels, restaurants, and shops that cater to tourists, but overall, there isn't too much going on. The area is home to many expats - mostly North American in Nosara - but their presence is hardly noticeable on the rather large beaches around town.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
5,451 posts
168 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?

Nosara is nothing like Tamarindo and I have no idea where this "mall" that the above poster mentions. Just about all the buildings in Nosara are very unobtrusive and are set back from the roads hidden in the trees

6. Re: nosara--overdeveloped?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11:19 pm, September 03, 2009