Skooter reporting 06/18/12
Nosara: Best for beaches
We are now in Nosara which is known for beaches. Do you know how to surf? Well, if you don’t that wouldn’t be a problem.
Going to Nosara, the road is a bouncy one. I mean a dirt road that make slow progress between rice fields and herds of Brahman cows before it brings you up alongside the glassy Pacific. You can see an endless expanse of white sand and body-temperature water is fringed by sea grape trees and restricted on either end by a rocky point. My companion said, ‘It’s a simple life.’ Oh, I have a friend here, a Nosara native Juan, nicknamed ‘Surfo’ locally to distinguish him from all the other men named Juan or its Western equivalent “John”. Looking like an extra in a California surf flick, Surfo owned a sun-bleached hair and deep tan. ‘You can run around without shoes or a shirt. It’s very informal,’ he said grinning.
There are numerous seaside communities in Costa Rica, but few that have kept their character like Nosara, which is situated in the midst of the Nicoya peninsula’s long, rocky coast. Though the area has gained attention in the past couple of decades, strict development laws keep Nosara decidedly discreet, construction isn’t permitted along the shoreline, which means that the sand is full of vegetation, not infested with resort hotels. There are few businesses and are independent spread around the forest, like Juan owned a surf shop and school, which lies on a narrow, tree-lined lane about 100 meters from the beach.
Juan is a surf enthusiast who has taught people of all ages how to ride boards from three-year-old tots to their grandparents. ‘This beach isn’t just for one type of person,’ Surfo said. ‘It’s for everybody.’ He underscores how the long beach break makes it ideal for all beachgoers, providing three different kinds of wave. Upfront, popular with scuttling children, local mutts and paddling grown-ups with cocktails in their holds, a set of baby breakers trickle out onto the sand. In the middle, novice surfers and boogie boarders tried to catch their first rides. Out in the deep water, expert surfers bob around on the wave, lying in wait for the perfect bend.
Other nearby beaches offers different inducements to discover. A few miles to the north is Ostional, a preserved nesting site for olive ridley sea turtles, which arrive in hundreds every full moon. Quickly to the south is Playa Garza, a wide bay with soothing waves, where you can watch local fishermen on the beach tending to their nets.
Looking further south along the coast are the adjacent beaches of Carrillo and Sámara, both lined with windblown palms. Samara hums with village life, including some superb beachside grills. But I tell you, it can be difficult to skin away from Nosara’s perfect warm waters and shimmering white sands bordered with green forest. ‘This is as a beach should be,’ Surfo says. ‘It’s a place where you can always feel the nature all around you.’
“You’re perfectly right, mate!
Surf lessons and board rentals can be found at surfocostarica.com (lessons from £30).
Where to Eat
Giardino Tropicale, on the main road in Nosara, offers an Italian-inspired menu of brick-oven-cooked pizzas, pasta dishes and salads, plus a daily selection of seafood (pizzas from £6).
Where to stay
Located off the main road, the dramatic 35-room inn L’Ac qua Viva Resort & Spa takes its design cues from the soaring lines of Balinese architecture. Decorative touches include wood floors, bamboo doors, roomy sandstone bathrooms and bright textiles (from £130).
Tomorrow I’ll bring you to Osa Peninsula – best for wildlife. Don’t miss it.