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Nosara vs Tamarindo – Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica?

Nosara vs Tamarindo – While both Nosara and Tamarindo are popular surfing towns in Costa Rica, Tamarindo is more developed than Nosara with surfing water good even for beginners. Nosara is more laidback compared to Tamarindo and best if you’re looking for the best intermediate and advanced surfing waves. Read here Tamarindo vs Jaco

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Comparing Nosara vs Tamarindo

Both Nosara and Tamarindo are popular surf destinations in Costa Rica, but they offer different types of waves and experiences. While Nosara offers long lasting waves best for advanced surfers, all levels of surfers will enjoy Tamarindo’s waves.

Nosara is known for its consistent and long-lasting waves, making it a great spot for intermediate to advanced surfers. The main surf break, Playa Guiones, is a beach break that offers both left and right-hand waves. The town of Nosara is also more secluded and laid-back compared to Tamarindo.

Tamarindo, on the other hand, is a more developed and touristy town that offers a variety of waves for surfers of all skill levels. The main surf break, Tamarindo Beach, is a beach break that offers both long and short rides. The town also offers a wider range of amenities and activities for tourists.

In summary, Nosara is known for its consistent and long-lasting waves, making it a great spot for intermediate to advanced surfers, but Tamarindo is the more developed and touristy town that offers a variety of waves for surfers of all skill levels, and also a wider range of amenities and activities for tourists.

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Booking Your Travel Insurance – Tamarindo vs Nosara

Two of our favorite travel insurances are compared here: Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance.

For $135 USD, you can get your Heymondo Travel Insurance with this Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review here

Read here for Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 day. Safetywing for $50 per month with kids until 10 years old included.

Let’s compare some other important travel elements between Nosara and Tamarindo Below to help you decide which vacation will fit your needs better.

Beaches in Nosara

Nosara is a popular destination for surfers due to its variety of surf spots and consistent waves. Some of the most popular surf spots in Nosara include:

Playa Guiones

This is the most popular surf spot in Nosara and is suitable for all skill levels. The wave is a long, slow-breaking left-hand point break that is great for longboarders and beginners. The wave is also known for its consistency and the water is warm and clean.

Playa Pelada

This spot is located just a short walk from Playa Guiones and is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. The wave is a fast and powerful right-hand point break that is best surfed at low tide. There are also a few beach breaks in this area.

Playa Nosara

Playa Nosara - Nosara vs Tamarindo - Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica? Tamarindo vs Nosara
Playa Nosara – Nosara vs Tamarindo

This spot is located just a short drive from Playa Guiones and is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. The wave is a fast and powerful right-hand point break that is best surfed at low tide.

Playa Ostional

This spot is located about a 30-minute drive from Nosara and is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. The wave is a fast and powerful right-hand point break that is best surfed at low tide.

Playa Garza

This spot is located about a 30-minute drive from Nosara and is suitable for all skill levels. The wave is a long, slow-breaking left-hand point break that is great for longboarders and beginners.

Playa Marbella

This spot is located a short drive from Playa Guiones and is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. The wave is a fast and powerful right-hand point break that is best surfed at low tide.

Playa Sánchez

This spot is located about a 30-minute drive from Nosara and is suitable for all skill levels. The wave is a long, slow-breaking left-hand point break that is great for longboarders and beginners.

Playa Hermosa

This spot is located about a 30-minute drive from Nosara and is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. The wave is a fast and powerful right-hand point break that is best surfed at low tide.

Playa San Juanillo

This spot is located about a 45-minute drive from Nosara and is suitable for all skill levels. The wave is a long, slow-breaking left-hand point break that is great for longboarders and beginners.

Beaches in Tamarindo – Tamarindo vs Nosara

Tamarindo Beach

Nosara vs Tamarindo - Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica? Tamarindo vs Nosara
Tamarindo Beach in Costa Rica – Tamarindo vs Nosara

This is the main beach in Tamarindo and is known for its great surf. The beach is also home to many surf schools, where you can take lessons or rent equipment. There are also a number of restaurants and bars along the beach, making it a great spot for a night out.

Langosta Beach

Nosara vs Tamarindo - Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica? Tamarindo vs Nosara

This beach is located just north of Tamarindo and is known for its calm waters and beautiful sunsets. It is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. There are also a number of restaurants and bars along the beach.

Playa Conchal

Nosara vs Tamarindo - Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica? Tamarindo vs Nosara
Playa Conchal

This beach is located about a 30-minute drive from Tamarindo and is known for its crystal clear waters and beautiful white sand. It is a great spot for snorkeling and sunbathing.

Hotels in Tamarindo

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas: This hotel is located right on Tamarindo Beach and offers luxurious rooms and villas. It also has a restaurant, bar, and spa on site.

Hotel Capitán Suizo: This hotel is located on Langosta Beach and offers rooms with ocean views. It also has a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool on site.

Hotel Diria: This hotel is located in the center of Tamarindo and offers rooms with private balconies. It also has a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool on site.

Hotel Pangas Beach Club: This hotel is located on the beach and has its own surf school, restaurant, and bar on site.

Other Top Things to Do in Tamarindo – Nosara vs Tamarindo

Surfing

Which is the Better Costa Rican Vacation?, Tamarindo vs Nosara, Nosara vs Tamarindo

Tamarindo Beach is the main spot for surfing, where you can find many surf schools and rental shops. Some other popular surf spots nearby include Langosta Beach and Playa Grande.

Wildlife watching

There are several tour operators in Tamarindo that offer guided wildlife tours. Some popular places to see wildlife nearby include the Marino Las Baulas National Park and the Hacienda Guachipelín.

Fishing

You can find fishing charter operators in Tamarindo that will take you out to sea to catch sailfish, marlin, and other big game fish.

Hiking

There are several hiking trails in the area, such as the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where you can explore the rainforest and see some of the local wildlife.

Sport activities

Nosara vs Tamarindo - Which is the Better Vacation in Costa Rica?, Tamarindo vs Nosara, Nosara vs Tamarindo

ATV tours, horseback riding, and rappelling can be found in the nearby towns such as Santa Cruz, Nicoya and Liberia.

Golf

Tamarindo has an 18-hole golf course, the Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course, which is located a short drive from Tamarindo.

Spa treatments

There are several spas in Tamarindo where you can get a massage or other spa treatment. Some popular options include The Spa at Jardin del Eden and The Spa at Cala Luna.

Shopping

Tamarindo has a variety of shops where you can buy souvenirs and local crafts. You can find everything from clothing and jewelry to art and home decor.

Visit nearby towns

Tamarindo is conveniently located near other popular towns such as Santa Cruz, Nicoya and Liberia, which can be accessed by car or public transportation.

Nosara vs Tamarindo: Digital Nomad Scene

Nosara has a smaller digital nomad scene compared to Tamarindo. The town is more secluded and laid-back, making it a good option for those looking for a quieter and more peaceful lifestyle. Tamarindo, on the other hand, has a larger and more established digital nomad scene, with more coworking spaces and networking events.

Nosara vs Tamarindo: Tourist Vibe

Tamarindo is more developed and touristy compared to Nosara. The town has a wide range of tourist activities and amenities, including bars, restaurants, and shops. Nosara, on the other hand, is more secluded and laid-back, catering to a more relaxed and eco-conscious crowd. The vibe of the two towns is also quite different. Tamarindo is more developed and touristy, with a lively nightlife and a wide range of activities. Nosara is more secluded and laid-back, with a focus on eco-tourism and outdoor activities.

Nosara vs Tamarindo: Food and Restaurants

Both towns offer a wide range of delicious food options, with a focus on fresh seafood and traditional Costa Rican cuisine. Tamarindo has a more diverse and international food scene, with a larger number of restaurants and bars. Nosara has more limited but still delicious options for food and restaurants, with a focus on healthy and locally-sourced options.

Nosara vs Tamarindo: Accommodation

Both towns offer a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, vacation rentals, and eco-lodges. Tamarindo has more developed and modern options, while Nosara has more eco-friendly and secluded options.

Tamarindo vs Nosara: Climate

Climate: Both towns have tropical weather all year round, however, Nosara is a bit more humid and rainy than Tamarindo, which is dry and hot.

Where To Go Before or After – Tamarindo vs Nosara

Before or after Nosara:

San Jose

Many people fly into the capital city of San Jose before heading to Nosara, and some people also visit the city after their stay in Nosara. San Jose is the largest city in Costa Rica and offers a variety of cultural and historical attractions, as well as restaurants and nightlife.

Tamarindo

This is another popular surf town located in the Guanacaste province and is often visited before or after Nosara. Tamarindo is known for its beautiful beaches and lively nightlife, and it’s a great spot for those who want to do some more surfing.

Manuel Antonio

This is a national park located on the central pacific coast and is often visited before or after Santa Teresa, Nosara or Tamarindo. The park is known for its beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and wildlife, and it’s a great spot for those who want to explore more of Costa Rica’s natural beauty.

Montezuma

This small town located on the Nicoya Peninsula is often visited before or after Santa Teresa, Nosara or Tamarindo. Montezuma is known for its beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and laid-back atmosphere, and it’s a great spot for those who want to explore more of the peninsula’s natural beauty.

Jaco

This beach town located on the central pacific coast is often visited before or after Santa Teresa or Nosara, even Tamarindo. Jaco is known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, and adventure activities, and it’s a great spot for those who want to experience more of Costa Rica’s lively atmosphere.

Currency and ATMs – Nosara vs Tamarindo

The currency of Costa Rica is called Costa Rican colón and as of now, $1 USD is worth 620 CRC Costa Rican colón. Do not exchange your currency at the airport because you’ll get less than what you’ll get with the city’s exchange.

Summary: Which is Better between Nosara vs Tamarindo?

Nosara is more secluded and laid-back, with a focus on eco-tourism and outdoor activities, while Tamarindo is more developed and touristy, with a lively nightlife and a wide range of activities. Both towns offer great options for accommodation, food, and weather but Nosara is more humid and rainy than Tamarindo. Either way you can’t go wrong. Better choose the one where you’ll enjoy better. Good luck and til our next guide!

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.