Getting to Nosara, driving and safety tips
General travel advice for Nosara and Costa Rica
Coconut Harry's Travel Advice
Getting to Nosara Costa Rica
There are two intl airports in Costa Rica, the Liberia and San Jose. The Liberia Airport is closer to Nosara. It takes 2 1/2/ hours by car and is a relatively easy drive. Most major airlines now have direct flights to Liberia. There are usually lower rates and more flights to San Jose but the time saving and convenience to Liberia is worth it.
From Liberia you have a few options
Rent a car- If you plan on renting a car during your stay it makes sense to drive yourself from the airport. Use the Coconut Harrys promotion code and save 15% with National Rental car. See website link for prices, models,availability. Also, click on this link for driving directions from Liberia.
Take a van shuttle- I can arrange a pick up for you for $130 one way, good for 4-6 people. If you ask nicely the driver will probably stop for a six pack of Imperial. Send me an e-mail with your itinerary and I’ll take care of the rest.
Take a puddle jumper plane- Nature Air just started flying from Liberia direct to Nosara. The flight cost around $60-85 one way and takes about 30 minutes. Be careful if you are bringing boards. They usually do not let you carry boards on. If you are renting at Coconut Harrys ( rental board link) you have no worries. Check www.natureair.com for flight times and prices. If you got the dough this is the way to go….
From San Jose Airport:
Staying overnight- You may decide to stay overnight in San Jose either when you first arrive or before you leave. If so I would recommend a couple of good value hotels. The Hotel Aeropuerto and the Garden Court are close to the Intl airport. They both offer free transportation to the airport and breakfast is included in the price. The other hotel is near the Nature air airport about 30 min. from the Intl airport. It’s called Casa Roland. They have an awesome breakfast included in the price and there are taxis available to get you where you need to go. Check there web sites for current prices and availability. If you want to stay downtown San Jose and take in the local charm I would recommend either the El Presidente or the Balmoral Hotel. Both are in the heart of the action.
Rent a Car- The drive from San Jose to Nosara is 4-5 hours. It’s relatively easy but I would not recommend driving at night. Click here for the directions from San Jose and don’t forget to use the Coconutharrys promo code to save $$.
Take a van shuttle- The shuttle is $240 from San Jose to Nosara. Let me know if you want me to arrange this.
Take a puddle jumper- The two airlines that fly from San Jose to Nosara are Sansa & Nature Air. The airport for Sansa is directly across the street from the Intl airport which makes it easier for making connecting flights. The Nature airport is about a 30-40 min. drive from the intl airport so if you have enough time between flights you can give them a try. The rates are $70-110 one way and they usually do not let you carry on boards. If you are not traveling with boards and the connections work this is a great way to go. You can rent a car when you arrive in Nosara.
Tips for Driving- Wear your seat belts and beware of the speed limits. The speed limit can be 80km, 60km, or 40km. There are police speed traps so be careful. If you do get stopped just show them your passport and rental vehicle papers. They will give you a ticket that you can pay through the rental agency. You should learn a little Spanish for your trip like Donde esta Playa Nosara? would be very helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for directions. They love to help but beware they don’t give the best directions. You may have to ask more than one person on your way. Lastly, on the dirt roads you should drive slow and with caution. There are narrow parts to the road and blind curves that can be hazardous if you are not familiar.
Money Tips- Cash is always good. Most places do accept credit cards but some places charge extra to use them. Not Coconut Harrys of course. We accept all major cards and don’t charge nada. More for souvenirs and t shirts… There is an ATM in Nosara but keep in mind it only accepts visa friendly cards. If your card says master card it’s a no go. Also, do not bring traveler’s checks they are a pain to use. The exchange rate here is about 550 colones to the dollar. The days of $1 beers in the bars are over but you can still buy them for around $2. The cost for most dinners is about $10-$20 per entrée for a really nice meal. Lunches are about $7-10… When you arrive stop by the shop and I’ll give you my favorite spots to go for food and nightlife…
Safety Tips- Costa Rica is a beautiful country with very friendly people and you will feel safe driving through small rural towns. However, like everywhere in the world there is crime and you need to use your best judgment. You should make copies of all important travel docs including your passport and put them in a separate place than the originals. Never leave your valuables in your car unattended. A good rule of thumb is to get to where you are going, drop off your stuff in your hotel or house and then go to the beach, restaurant etc…Also, if you are a young traveler be aware of locals that speak good English and want to be your friend and tour guide. Some of them may take your stuff while you’re not looking.
Getting around Nosara- Should we rent a car?- If you can swing the extra cost I would say yes. The Nosara area is pretty spread out. There are quite a few nice restaurants and sites to see in the area that are not walking distance. There are also some surrounding beaches that are worth the drive for snorkeling, surfing, fishing, and just taking in the scenery. You can get by on foot or if you are staying close to the beach and you can also rent quads, golf carts, and bikes in town. Come to the shop and I’ll help you find what you want.