Playa Guiones, Costa Rica: The Heartbeat of Nosara

Want to know more about one of the hot upcoming travel spots? Playa Guiones, Costa Rica, has remained relatively unknown for decades except for a few adventurous surfers and yogis. While the area is still not paved for mass tourism, news about this Nicoya Peninsula beach is spreading quickly. With sugar-white sand and surf waves for all abilities, it’s not surprising.

What’s great about this tropical beach destination is that it’s perfect for those who enjoy low-key vacations. So whether you are a yoga lover, a mad keen surfer or someone looking to relax on the beach, you’ll fall in love with Playa Guiones.  

The details about Playa Guiones

Sunset on Playa Guiones Costa Rica

The area’s remote location, which requires a drive down a long dirt road, is one of the reasons Playa Guiones has remained uncrowded and undeveloped. But this picturesque beach still has a trendy town center that extends throughout four main roads running perpendicular to the beach.

Playa Guiones 

Time to visualize what Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica looks like.

Imagine a sublimely beautiful swath of sparkling white sand stretching for 7 km (4.3 miles), warm water year-round, incredible surf waves, and a rugged jungle as the backdrop. Not bad, huh?

While it’s not the place to come for bottle service at a beach club, you will find people casually picnicking on the beach as others listen to the sound of the waves and read a book.


Costa Rican restauarant with pizza oven and drinks menu

Something that Playa Guiones doesn’t lack is an excellent selection of international dining options from Italian to Mediterranean and, of course, fresh seafood.

One well-known spot operating since the 1980s is The Gilded Iguana. You can grab a bite to eat, sip fresh cocktails and enjoy live music there. 

If you’re awake with the howler monkeys in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and something to eat at Destiny Cafe, which opens daily at 6 am. You may need it before heading out to surf. 


Even though there is a good selection of nightlife options, Playa Guiones, Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica is more about waking up early to catch some waves than partying late into the evening.

Each night, however, you will find a beach bar or restaurant playing live music. Just ask around to see what’s happening. 

For incredible views above Playa Guiones, head to K-Rae’s Black Sheep Irish Pub, where there is a beautiful outlook of the mountains and ocean. On Sundays, they have live music. 

Facilities in town 

Playa Guiones offers everything you will need for a pleasant stay without being overdeveloped. 

In terms of accommodation, you have everything from hotels to hostels and vacation rentals. If you are coming to the area to practice yoga, find somewhere to stay that runs yoga classes. 

Within Playa Guiones town, you will find minimarts stocking basic necessities as well as an organic grocery store. 

Things to do in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica (and nearby)

Catch some waves at Playa Guiones

Dude surfing in Costa Rica

Whether you are planning to take your first surf lesson or are an advanced surfer, Guiones beach, Costa Rica, is one of the country’s most favored surfing beaches. The sandy ocean floor and uncrowded waters make it a stellar spot for all abilities.

Along the expansive stretch of beach, you will find left and right breaks suited to long and short boarders. Mid-tide is best for those starting out, while those looking to tackle tougher conditions should come during high tide.

If you are a beginner looking to book a surf lesson, ask your hotel/hostel to assist, as they will know the preferred surf schools in the area. Class timing will depend on the tide conditions, so pre-booking before arriving is not ideal.

Even if you are an intermediate to advanced surfer, many surf schools offer classes on perfecting techniques.

Embrace the yoga culture  

yoga mats lined up with a view of the jungle

With a rich yoga culture, you may be drawn to Playa Guiones due to the yoga classes and retreats you’ve heard about. And it’s true. There are some top-notch instructors who can help you excel. 

If you are looking for convenience, the Harmony Healing Centre is located in the middle of Playa Guiones. You’ll find a range of classes on offer, including meditation, harmony yoga and vinyasa. A hotel is attached to the center, and guests receive a complimentary yoga class daily. 

For those planning to hit the surf daily, you may want to check out NALU Nosara, which offers a surfer’s rehab yoga class. Stretching those muscles after a long day in the ocean may be well needed. 

Many hotels in the area offer week-long retreats at various times of the year so if that’s something you are interested in, be sure to book in advance. 

Head to the nearby beaches

Playa Pelada

Nosara beach in Costa Rica

Playa Guiones is well situated to explore the neighboring beaches. Playa Pelada is only a 10-minute walk from the north end. Just be sure to take the little jungle trial, as walking via the road will take you over 40 minutes. 

While Guiones Beach, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, is popular amongst surfers, people come to Playa Pelada for epic sunsets. Not only is it a calmer beach full of seashells, but you’ll also find it’s a lot quieter, with great shade for families looking to escape the sun.  

Be sure to visit La Luna Restaurant, which is right on the beach and has a fantastic ambiance. 

Playa Nosara

Further north of Playa Pelada is Playa Nosara. What’s special about this spot is the black sand and mangroves surrounding the beach. While visiting, book a kayak tour through the mangrove swamps. 

When there are southwesterly and southern swells, it’s possible to catch some awesome waves best suited for immediate to advanced surfers. 

Go sea turtle spotting

baby turtle in sand

Head north to Ostional for your chance to see turtles nesting year-round. The peak time, however, is from July to November, when hundreds of thousands of turtles swim to shore. 

Don’t expect to come during the day to witness this incredible event. The sea turtles arrive from 8 pm to 4 am daily, and by law, you can’t actually visit on your own. 

Since the area is protected by The Ostional Wildlife Refuge, it’s best to book a tour through them. 

Fun fact: An arribada is the name for a mass-nesting event when thousands of sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs on the beach.  

Weather in Playa Guiones 

Playa Guiones trees and water in Costa Rica

Luckily, Playa Guiones is blessed with sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the year. But still, there are a few things to consider when planning your visit.

The high season generally runs from late November to April, when there is almost no rainfall. Of all the dry season months, March and April are the warmest, with temperatures reaching 35°C (mid-90s°F).

Winds come and go during the dry season, so it’s not uncommon to find the roads near Playa Guiones to be quite dusty.

The rainy season starts towards the middle to the end of April. The first few months of this season are a beautiful time to visit when everything turns lush green. Rainfall usually comes in downpours in the late afternoon, with the rest of the day full of sunshine.

September and October are the least desirable. It rains a ton, and it’s also super quiet. A lot of businesses shut down to prepare for the high season.

Packing list essentials for Playa Guiones

calm waters of Playa Guiones Costa Rica

When it comes to getting your suitcase ready, there are a few obvious things you need to pack—swimwear, loose and comfortable clothing, flip-flops and your surf gear (if you are bringing your own).

Below are a few items you may not think about packing that you will thank us for later.

  • Insect repellent – mosquitos are common throughout many areas in Costa Rica, so pack a decent insect repellent with a high percentage of DEET. 
  • 50+ water-resistant sunscreen – especially if you are planning to be in the ocean surfing for most of the trip, it’s essential to bring water-resistant sunscreen. One that is reef safe, too. In smaller, remote towns, sunscreen is often more expensive than one from home.
  • International Adapter – while some hostels/hotels are equipped these days with international adapters, it’s best to carry one on you to charge your phone, laptop and camera.
  • A spare lock – when heading out for the day or even to the beach, you may want to lock up your backpack. It always pays to be cautious.
  • Air tag – not a necessity, but if you are packing valuables in your suitcase, it’s always handy to have an air tag in case your bag goes missing at the airport. That way, you can track where it was last seen.

How to get to Playa Guiones

Couple walking hand in had at sunset

If arriving internationally, you will fly into San Jose Airport or Liberia Airport

From Liberia to Playa Guiones, you can take a standard minivan or bus to Nosara. From there, it’s a quick 15-minute drive to Playa Guiones. Alternatively, you can rent a car in Liberia and drive the scenic 2.5 hours. 

San Jose Airport is a convenient place to transfer from as there is a direct minivan to Playa Guiones. From San Jose to Playa Guiones, it will take you 3 hours and 30 minutes. 

Otherwise, you can always jump on a domestic flight from San Jose or Liberia to Nosara Airport. Some hotels/hostels offer transfers from the airport so ask when you book. 


Take a moment, and check out Playa Guiones and its surroundings.


What is the closest airport to Playa Guiones?

Nosara is the closest domestic airport (15 minutes away), and Liberia is the closest International Airport (2.5 hours).

What is the closest town to Playa Guiones?

Playa Guiones has its own small town with restaurants, cafes, hotels, hostels, and yoga centers. Nosara, which is only 15 minutes away, also has a good selection of amenities. 

Is Playa Guiones safe?

In general, Playa Guiones is safe. Just use common sense, and don’t leave valuables lying around. As well, be cautious at night if you are out late. 

Can you swim at Playa Guiones?

The beach is suitable for both surfing and swimming. 

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