An Indagare member returned from surfing in Nosara, Costa Rica. Here she describes the experience.
The Harmony Hotel (www.harmonynosara.com) was fantastic. Great location, delicious food, seriously amazing staff. I took lessons from Nosara Tico Surf. They were great. It’s a small shop right next to the hotel and the instructors were super friendly and good. For someone who’s thinking of coming to Harmony, here’s my take:
First, Costa Rica is a third world country. Liberia airport is 2.5 hours from Nosara. There isn’t a paved road within an hour of Nosara, and the dirt roads are in really bad condition. The Harmony is in Playa Guiones, which is the surf town next to Nosara. Think Stinson Beach or Bolinas. It’s about surfing and yoga. There’s no beachfront development which means the beach is a gorgeous long flat crescent with spectacular waves and remarkably uncrowded. There’s a nice mini market, yummy roadside fish taco stand, and a handful of restaurants, shops, hotels and hostels. The Harmony has bikes you can use, but you really need a car or an ATV if you want to see more than just Guiones (rent from Cafe de Paris, bakery/hotel up the street from Harmony).
The Harmony is as close to the beach as possible (my room was four minutes away) and has a guarded hut on the beach for your towels and valuables. (There were lots of guards in Nosara, the gas station even had an armed guard, but I felt completely safe whole time.) There’s complementary daily yoga, great massages, and an organic garden which stocks the kitchen, juice bar and restaurant bar. Howler monkeys cruise the trees in the neighborhood, and I heard them most mornings or evenings. The songbirds woke me up with the dawn. And while mornings often smelled of fresh-cut basil from the garden, at night the place smells deliciously of brown sugar. Guests were mostly Americans—half families with kids, half surfer/yogi groups.
Things worth doing are driving into Nosara for dinner at Rancho Tico. Nosara is a poor town, and Rancho Tico has chain link fences for walls, but the food is delicious and the staff is friendly. Sunset drinks at La Luna is a must. I didn’t stay for dinner, but the all-white, beachfront terrace with tasseled parasols and deep sofas for lounging should be a magazine cover shoot. Miss Sky Canopy Tours was a great day of zip lining. While the zip lines and scenery are beyond breathtaking, the staff was what really made the experience: giddily cajoling laughter out of even the most dour participants.