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Nosara or Tamarindo?

Colorado
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398 posts
20 reviews
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Nosara or Tamarindo?

We are staying at a private residence in the hills near Nicoya in early October. We plan to send a couple of days/nights in a beach area.

Is there a big difference in climate between Nosara and Tamarindo? They look close on a map, but seems local weather can be quite distinctive in CR.

We do not want super fancy upscale lodging, but want to avoid "very rustic." Pool is nice but not necessary. We like to take nice long walks on the beach without having to climb rock outcroppings.

Suggestions?

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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1. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

Lots of rain usually that time of year at both places, maybe a little less in Tamarindo, road are much better around Tamarindo, I would head that way.

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
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2. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

I don't think Tamarindo has better weather than Nosara at that time, but it's certainly true that the roads are better in Tamarindo.

In part, because of those better roads, Tamarindo is much more developed and is more congested than Nosara. So if you want more people, possibly more nightlife and more shopping after being tucked in the hills for awhile, then yes, head to Tamarindo!

Colorado
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398 posts
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3. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

Not really interested in night life, so Nosara might fit our laid back, outdoor style more given that the weather won't be much different. If we have enough time, we might try to visit both.

Nosara, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

"Nice long walks on the beach" is most definitely Nosara. Playa Guiones is 2.5 miles of undeveloped beautiful beach and has earned Costa Rica's coveted Bandera Azul. Nesting turtle tracks are not uncommon and you may get lucky and witness their babies heading to sea. The residents have fought hard to preserve the area and much of Nosara is a nature reserve. Yes, the roads are not the best but it is part of the adventure.

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
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5. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

And right now, the road all the way in is the best I've seen it!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,644 posts
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6. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

If you are not looking for to much action...Nosara is the correct place...I love Nosara...such a nice area!

roadadvisor

Colorado
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398 posts
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7. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

Thank you all for your input. Nosara has risen to the top of the list.

Are all of the beaches in Costa Rica open to the public? Or do we have to worry about private property issues?

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

Short answer is no.

Longer answer: therealcostarica.com/realestatecostarica/buy…

I've taken 5k hikes N and S of various surf spots over the years and have yet to encounter any privatized beachfront.

Playa Guiones...
Destination Expert
for Nosara
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9. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

All beaches in Nosara area and around are public. No private property issues here.

Colorado
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10. Re: Nosara or Tamarindo?

Driving to Nosara from the north has always been hit or miss (and dangerous) during the rainy season. It has always involved difficult river crossings that risk rental cars. In 2010, the Rio Montana by Nosara was impassable for 4 months. Twelve km north, the Rio Rosario was impassable for more than a month. This meant the famous Playa Ostional turtle beach was difficult to get to between June and Dec. But in late Nov. 2011, this route will be impassable no more because of 3 new bridges installed this year (over the Rio San Juanillo, Rio Rosario and Rio Montana). The damaged Marbella bridge further north was also repaired. This means that there will be no more river crossings on the coast road to Nosara and Samara. This opens one of the finest areas on the entire Nicoya coast, and means you can drive to it in 1-1/2 to 2 hours from the LIR airport.

In terms of Nosara vs. Tamarindo, there's no comparison. Tamarindo is over built, noisy, congested and with unsightly high-rises all along and just 50m from its shore. Nosara is the complete opposite. There are no high-rises, and all the b&bs, hotels and surf shops are at least 200m from its shore. Plus it has one of the finest intermediate surfing beaches in all of Costa Rica. If you want to experience the true Costa Rica, avoid the crowds and drive south.