Lagarta Lodge Biological Reserve Tours: ****
RESERVA BIOLOGICA NOSARA is a private nature-reserve with the size of about 50 hectares or 125 acres and is situated along the Nosara River. It is home to a lot of species of plants, mangroves and wildlife. Many different birds, such as seabirds, herons, waders, tukanes, motmots,manakins, etc, can be found in this area, altogether there are more than 270 species. “Birds of the reserva”. You can also see some other animals, such as monkeys, coatis, raccoons, armadillos, snakes, anteaters, crabs, iguanas and others.
The entrance to the Reserva Biológica ($6 per person) is free for Costa Rican residents and Lagarta hotel guests. The walk through the nature reserve starts at the lobby of the Lagarta Lodge. Visitors get a map of the reserve and a tree list which includes names and short description of the trees within the Reserva Biológica. This self guided tour takes about 2 hours. If you would like a guided tour (highly recommended!!!) the entrance fee + guide = $11/per person. The tours are available in the morning or afternoon. Tours can be in English, Spanish or German. The guided tour is between 2 and 2 1/2 hours long. The morning tour can end with a buffet breakfast at the Lagarta Lodge, just add $7/pp and it's a great way to conclude a satisfying nature tour. 506 2682 0035
Bird watching: ****
This from Ed Mayfield, past president of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society & vice president of the New Mexico State Audubon Council. On of his lists of sightings in August comprised of 186 birds. "Birding is a very rewarding experience and shared by many aficionados who have had the pleasure of birding in Nosara. You can view numerous species of shore birds, raptors, wrens, flycatchers and many tropical birds which make up only a few of the more than 200 plus species of birds in the area. Places to bird begin when you first look out of your window in the morning and step outside your door. The many trails along the Nosara River, in the jungle, on the beach, in the rice fields, along the jungle roads, always present many new birds to enjoy." One of the best places to go bird watching is a walk through the Lagarta Biological Reserve. Also, for beginners: the Nosara Boat Tour is perfect! 506 2682 1380
Quads/ATV Rentals and Quad Tours: ***
Monkey Quads: 2682-4067 website
Surf Shops, Surf Schools and Surf Lessons: *** Playa Guiones, Nosara, is a fantastic place to learn how to surf for beginners, and, also is a favorite of surfers at higher levels. The beach break is very consistent. Nosara Surf Academy: Located on the grounds of the Gilded Iguana on Playa Guiones. This recent startup is a product of some of the best instructors from some of the other outfits coming together so as to do away with the inconsistencies found through the surfing instructional community. From the US 631 238 8894 in CR 2682 5082 Be sure and visit their website www.nosarasurfacademy.com Try and call in advance as they specialize in small groups
Health & Fitness Activities: **
• Nosara Wellness:2682 0360 www.nosarawellness.com • Tica Massage: 2682-0096 www.ticamassage.com • Home Healing: 8337-1323 • The Body Work Shop: 2682-0096 • Nosara Workout Beach Gym: 2682-0096 • Tierra Magnifica: often has health related activities or retreats, during which, some activities are open to the public: 2682-0270 • Physical Therapy Nosara: 2682-0360 or firstname.lastname@example.org • Pelada Spa Services: 2682-1001 or email@example.com Nosara Yoga Institute and other yoga class options: The world famous, Nosara Yoga Institute is located here in Playa Guiones. The Institute has yoga teacher trainings a couple of times a year and also hosts daily yoga classes on-site. For their current schedule or more information, check their website: www.nosarayoga.com or call: 2682-0071. The Harmony Hotel also has yoga classes: 2682-4114 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The paddling around the Nosara area is a well-kept secret. Birds and native foliage make the trips a naturalist's dream come true. Experienced & knowledgeable guides lead you down the slow & beautiful jungle rivers of the Rio Garza, Rio Montaña or Rio Nosara. Some of the many species of birds you are likely to spot are kingfishers, herons, Roseate Spoonbills, whistling ducks, storks, cormorants, anhingas, pelicans, frigates, motmots, sandpipers, kiskadees, & hawks. There are a few different companies offering kayaking tours here.
- Drifters Kayaking and Tours: Website, In addition to kayaking trips (including ocean kayaking for the experienced) DK can arrange hiking trips to waterfalls & bat caves, canopy tours and overnight volcano watching trips to Arenal. People love the tours with Jungle. Call DK at 2682-1380.
The Turtles of Ostional: *****
Beginning with Playa Pelada in Nosara, the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge spans 248 hectares and runs north for 15 kilometers. This refuge was created for one reason, to protect the Olive Ridley Turtle or Lora, as it is affectionately known in Spanish. The Pacific Ridleys, like that of their Atlantic cousin, the Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, are the only turtle that come ashore in mass to lay their eggs and do so on only 9 beaches in the world. Ostional is the largest nesting beach for the Pacific clan and its importance to the survival of the Olive Ridley’s is without measure.
Beginning with the last quarter of the full moon in July, these magnificent creatures haul themselves ashore at night during a high tide in numbers that are staggering. During the peak (August/September) of the arrival, arribada, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of over 150,000 Ridleys in search of a spot to dig out their nest and lay their eggs. So condensed is the concentration that they literally crawl all over each other with the sound of massive turtle shells and flippers clashing against each other, all in the dead of night. The product of all this is a deposit of over 15 million turtle eggs and the turtles do not just leave after this, in fact, they hang around offshore, mate again and return to the beach. For how many times, no one really knows.
The nesting area is open to the public for viewing. Walking around, stepping over and looking down on one of these creatures is all part of the greater Nosara experience. To take part in this you will need to drive north out of Nosara and ford the Rio Montana and then after five kilometers you will arrive at the Asociacion Desarrollo Integral de Ostional ranger station (Tel:2682-0470). There is a nominal entry fee of $8 and you will be required to have a guide at an additional cost of around $7.
Timing is everything. Mostly at night, the Ridleys will use the high tide so as to minimize their crawl to the higher ground. As each high tide arrives the numbers ebb and flow. Local information is the key for when the arribada will be at the peak. Because many of the people of Ostional work in Nosara, simply asking around or a phone call or two is usually all one needs to do. Even if you do not get to see the grande arribada, any high tide occurring at night will produce stunning numbers. (Not like 50,000 turtles is a let down!)
With insufficient funding to adequately patrol the beach at Ostional, and needing the support of the local villagers, the Wildlife authorities, in an example of the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy in conservation proposed that Ostional residents, and only Ostional residents, be granted permission to harvest a limited number of eggs only during the first two nights of each nesting period; allowing them to sell the eggs only to bars with licenses to serve turtle eggs. This policy theoretically protects the later nests as turtles arriving later on during an arribada often inadvertently excavate early nests. The idea is for the local populace to be able to safeguard their source of income, while functioning as a police force. This novel policy has generated much debate, but seems to be working effectively. Turtle Info: 682-0470/682-0462 (Taxi)
Logistics: While the trek to Ostional may appear be a quick and easy journey the Rio Montana may feel differently. The green season (code name for rainy season) for the area is September and October. With the rains comes the rise in the runoff from the mountains above Nosara. The Rio Montana is simply one of the bigger escape routes for the rain water and there are others between Nosara and Ostional just not as pronounced and unforgiving to those trying to cross. In 2012 a new bridge was built over the Rio Montana and this greatly helped getting from Nosara to Ostional. The problem now may in fact be the other lesser streams. Ask around if people are able to get to and from Ostional and Nosara and by what means. Regardless of the month, the amount of rain greatly affects travel in all of Costa Rica and especially roads like the one north of Nosara. One smart thing to do is do a reconnaissance trip in the day time. (Remember you will be trekking to see the turtles at night!)
Boat Rides: **
Ride through rivers, jungle paths, hidden waterfalls, and along wide, dreamlike beaches. Experience the tropical rain and dry forest along the pacific coast. The much loved horses of Boca Nosara Tours are well trained so you can relax and concentrate on the natural beauty of your surroundings. Nosara River Tours, 2682 0610
Hoarse Back Riding: ***
Beate and Hawe of Boca Nosara Tours are specialized to take small groups (maximum of 6) and they know the animals and plants of our area well. With their knowledge and experience you are guaranteed an unforgettable riding experience. You’ll not only see much of our wildlife, including monkeys, anteaters, armadillos, anteaters & birds, but you’ll learn which trees the natives use for making lipstick, pots, & natural medicines. For more information about horseback riding or this particular tour: Call them at 682-0280/ 849 3846 directly or you can also arrange this tour with Nosara Travel & Rentals: 2682-0300.
Canopy Tours: ***
Set amidst the unequalled beauty of a Costa Rican forest wilderness is the longest, most exhilarating canopy tour in the world. Traversing majestic mountain ridges and valleys, soaring high above multiple ravines, with breathtaking vistas of rivers, waterfalls and the Pacific Ocean. Comprised of 14 exhilarating runs, a stopover at the waterfall and river pools, the ultimate stage emerges from the serene forest, crosses high above beautiful River Nosara and sails directly into a disco-bar on the top floor of a five story architectural wonder. Suitable for nature lovers, adventurers, families and all who wish to experience the ultimate canopy tour adventure; Miss Sky Canopy promises to be the experience of a lifetime. 2682 0969 *Miss Sky is the longest Canopy Tour in the world (The next longest is less than 50% of the length of Miss Sky Canopy) *Total length is 6400 meters *The longest line is over 600m long and the shortest is over 300m long *Most of the 14 runs are between 500 to 600 m long and several hundred feet high, affording the most spectacular views * Miss Sky Canopy affords 100% natural vistas and 0% human presence, located within a pristine 2500 acre forest reserve that is situated in a coastal mountain range just 4 miles\10 minutes from Costa Rica’s finest Pacific Coast beaches, including the famed Ostional turtle nesting refuge. * A stop at the largest waterfall in the region, with a network of river pools and endless forest trails to observe nature and listen to the chorus of howler monkeys is all exclusive to the canopy tour participants. * The only canopy tour in the world where one emerges from a pristine forest, crosses high above the beautiful river Nosara and descends into the 5th floor disco-bar atop a spectacular building unparalleled in Costa Rica * All lines are double wired, 200% of what is required by the Costa Rica tourist board specifications. The resulting ride is completely smooth with no spinning and hands completely free of the line if desired, ensuring a smooth stop at the arrival pads * Double harnesses, secondary oversized, sturdy cables and all redundant equipment of the highest quality and standards * The only lightning grounded canopy in Costa Rica * All continuous connecting platforms are placed on solid ground
Costa Rica is famous for its offshore angling. Sailfish, Dorado, Rooster Fish, Marlin and many more species can be found just off the beach. Nosara does not have shelter from the surf and as such does not have a port or marina. Just south of Nosara is the fishing village of Playa Garza. There you will find the local fleet anchored just inside the shelter of the reef. Getting out to the boat required a small skiff but that is part of the culture. Fishing Nosara has an office just down from Cafe du Paris on the left as you drive to Giones. They have several boats and offer a wide range of options to choose from. 2682- 0606 From the USA 904-951-2161 or go online at www.fishingnosara.com