A Costa Rican Paradise
Last year, two yogis met in Puerto Morelos for a well-deserved vacation and AniGraham+1 was created! 2023 started off with Ani and new addition Jessica having a week adventure in the beautiful Playa Pelada, Costa Rica. If you are looking for a laidback environment, amazing food, and endless sun, we know the place for you! Playa Pelada is a small beach community located north of Playa Guiones in Nosara, Costa Rica and is a must visit spot.
Planning a vacation anywhere first requires a place to stay that includes everything you are looking for in a peaceful vacation. For us, walkability yet not in a touristic area was a must and Beach Break Bungalows owned by Darcy and David met all our needs! The Airbnb was an adorable 2-bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment that sits under Darcy and David's home and shares a pool area with 5 (soon to be 6) other homes. I am not sure if our favorite part was the screened in front porch, walkability to everything or our lovely hosts. Darcy and David made our trip that much more special with their amazing recommendations of places to eat and things to do. One recommendation they made was to use Terratour to arrange our shuttle to and from the Liberia Airport. In addition, any questions we had or anything we needed, they were just a driveway away! While we felt very safe in Costa Rica, for any of those who are concerned, the apartment is in a gated community in which only residents have the code.
One of the things we enjoyed the most was just how close we were to everything, without being in a touristy part of Costa Rica. When it comes to distance from the airport, it is a 2 ½ - 3-hour drive from the Airbnb and we chose to take a private shuttle. Other options include renting a car or taking a puddle jumper from Liberia to Nosara airport. Once at Darcy and David's lovely apartment, we were next door to La Bodega for groceries, 5 minutes from Playa Pelada beach, 10 minutes from Playa Guiones beach, and 5-10 minutes from several wonderful restaurants. For anything that required wheels and not legs, Darcy connected us with her favorite tuk-tuk driver Freddy, who took us everywhere we needed to go! For people new to Central America, tuk-tuks are wonderfully fun little 3-wheel taxis that are the main mode of transportation in Nosara.
Nosara's laidback nature was a huge appeal for us, and we oddly still found plenty to do, however, one must still be comfortable with the idea of doing nothing. For the adventure in people, Playa Pelada beach offers beautiful beach walking and a bat cave to explore at sunset. If you are interested in a natural Costa Rica spa experience, be sure save all your used coffee grounds, mix them in a container with olive oil and venture out onto the beach to find a shallow hole in the rocks after hightide to scrub yourself down and relax. Darcy does this every other morning, and her skin is glowing!! For those looking for more beach and even a little surf, you can walk to Playa Guiones. There are two ways to walk to the beach, the first is a short path near La Luna that takes about 7-10 minutes. For the adventurer, one can hike (slowly) over the rock formations on the left side of Playa Pelada and we recommend shoes that stay on your feet such as chacos. When visiting Playa Guiones, you can choose to just relax on the beach, take a surf lesson, or if you are interested in a more secluded beach with a pink tint, walk all the way to the other side of the crescent shaped beach, which is approximately a 6-mile round trip. In addition, Playa Guiones is home to the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, which offers drop-in classes daily. If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the right time, you can take a tuk-tuk to Ostional Beach and witness a bale of turtles laying eggs and maybe even see a hatchling or two. Even if the turtles are not out, we still highly recommend visiting Ostional as it is a beautiful black sand beach.
No vacation blog would be complete without discussing all the food options. Since Costa Rica is nestled in between the Pacific and Caribbean Sea, there is no shortage of seafood, which was exactly what we were looking for. Our plan was to eat our way through Nosara and boy did we! Darcy and David recommended both K-Rae's Irish Pub and Coyol for dinner, both of which are located high in the mountains and require a tuk-tuk to get there. Another local spot that also requires a tuk-tuk is Cevichera Mary, which is home to some of the best ceviche in Nosara. For great, all organic food but in a more tourist area, we tried Café de Paris for lunch, which is a must if you love smoothies. While it is walkable from the beach of Playa Guiones, we recommend a tuk-tuk for the drive back, so you don't have to walk the curvy main road back. Local spots that were walkable from our Airbnb that are absolute musts are Olgas, La Luna, LL Pepperoni, El Chivo, and La Bodega.
Playa Pelada will forever have a place in our hearts and our home away from home in Costa Rica. Even though we just got back, we are already planning our next trip down south and you best believe that we will be staying at Darcy's and David's lovely Beach Break Bungalow again!
See you soon travelers!
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