Ask A Local – Where Should I Live, Guiones or Pelada?

Ask A Local – Where Should I Live, Guiones or Pelada?

Hi, I’m moving to Nosara for a year and looking for long term rental houses.  There’s a big price difference between Guiones and Pelada.  Why is that?  Where should I live?

This is a common question that I’ve heard at least hundred times over the last ten years.  Moving to Nosara is a big step, making sure you have the best experience can be daunting task.  There isn’t a prefect place to live, so I’ll give you pros and cons of the likely choices.


Playa Guiones is the heart of the Nosara community.  Surfing and yoga are both huge draws to the area and almost any house in Playa Guiones is walking distance to both activities.  Guiones also features the highest density of restaurants and mini supers (small grocery stores).  It’s the hub.  And thus, it drives the highest rates for rentals by the beach.  You can expect to pay between $2,000-4,000/month to rent a nice family home.

The downside of living in Guiones is the tourist season.  From Christmas to Spring Break Guiones is crowded.  Kids are hot-rodding quads, partying at times and just having fun on vacation.  It’s not a huge problem, but if peace and quiet is the goal, it might tough to find in Playa Guiones during the high season.

Playa Pelada

Just North of Playa Guiones sits Playa Pelada.  If Guiones is the social and activity hub of Nosara, Pelada is the all about relaxed beauty.  What it lacks in surf it makes up for in sunsets.  And while there aren’t a ton of restaurants to choose from, the ones that have made it are top quality – La Luna, El Chivo and Il Pepperoni.

Rental rates in Pelada are about half of the rates in Playa Guiones.  You can find very nice long term rentals starting at $1,000/month.  The reason rental rates are more affordable is due to the lower demand for short term rentals.  In Playa Guiones the profitability of short term rentals takes supply out of the long term rental market.  This creates a premium price for long term rentals.  Pelada doesn’t have the same vacation rental market, so the supply for long term rentals is higher, lowering the price.

Las Huacas – EE, The Hill

The third option for rental homes in Nosara is the hill.  It has many names, Las Huacas, meaning the graveyard, EE, the original designation by Alan Hutchinson and the developers of Playas de Nosara, but most folks just call it The Hill.  You could consider Playa Guiones Malibu which would make EE Beverly Hills.  And the pricing of real estate, both rentals and sales parallels that of Beverly Hills.

The majority of homes on the hill sell for over one million dollars.  And most of the owners choose not to rent them.  If you can find a rental on the hill pricing will start in the $3,000 range, depending on the home.

The Verdict

There isn’t a correct answer to where you should live in Nosara.  It depends on your goals, activities and budget.  If you’re a couple who surfs and does yoga then Guiones is the logical choice, if you have the budget.  If not, Pelada is a great choice too, you’ll just be driving an extra five minutes.  If you’re coming to enjoy sunsets and cocktails by the pool, that you’d pick the hill.

If you’re interested in learning more about the rental or sales market in Nosara, contact us below…

Ask A Local – Having a baby in Costa Rica while Living in Nosara

Any advice on having a baby in Costa Rica?  Is this a crazy idea?

Congratulations!  You’re thinking about having a baby in Costa Rica.  Below I have compiled a bunch of recommendations and explanations of procedures (to the best of my recollection:)  Please feel free to use us as a resource if you have additional questions.  Good luck on your voyage to parenthood!


Dr. Adam Paer Singer
2201-7601 for appointments

Dr. Paer Singer works at CIMA hospital.  His office is located on the second floor of MediPlaza Escazu, just a short drive past the large shopping mall Multiplaza Escazu.  Dr. Paer offers a 3D ultrasound, with a few printed photos and a burned DVD disk at each appointment.  Appointment cost ~$120 (so much cheaper than in the US, but probably more than in Canada!).   He has many clients from Nosara, and is very understanding to the difficulties in distance from San Jose- he will accommodate your appointments as needed.  He will deliver in the hospital of your choice (he may even attend a home birth- I’m not sure), and recommends CIMA (close proximity for him, and best technology and services).  He will perform C-Sections, and like many doctors here, will perform them even when they are not medically necessary.  You can choose.  If you have certain expectations/hopes about the birth of your baby, he is very open and willing to discuss them (we went so far as to have a written ‘birth plan’.)  He has more of a ‘hand’s-off’ approach to delivery- if you need support beyond your spouse and the staff nurses, I would recommend hiring a birthing coach or a doula.


Dra. Liana Castro Poll
2208-1412 for appointments

Dra. Castro will attend your child’s birth, and continue as their pediatrician.  Her office is located on the fourth floor of the building next to CIMA hospital.  She is easy to communicate with via email or phone, and is fluent in English and Spanish.  She travels often to Miami and New York, keeping current in her field at conferences of pediatric medicine.  She is warm and receptive to the kids.

Passport Services:

You will want to consult with your embassy in San Jose to learn the required documents and procedures.

A few additional points about applying for the baby’s passport.

  • We had to provide a written statement from the physician who attended the baby’s birth, to include date/time/location/etc. of the birth, as well as a list of the people who witnessed the birth (perhaps this fulfills proof of identity?).
  • We had to show our passports, as well as our marriage certificate (original or notarized copy, I believe)
  • The most difficult document for the passport is waiting for the baby’s birth certificate.  A day or two after the birth, the handwritten birth certificate will be transported to the Nacional Registry for input into the database (Registro Nacional).  Once the handwritten certificate is received at the Registro Nacional, you can petition for an expedited birth certificate (which will shorten your wait from three months, down to 15 days or so).  As with national custom, they will ask you for a second last name (apellido) for your child.  Traditionally, the father’s last name is first, and the mother’s second.  When the birth certificate is ready, order several at one time so that you don’t have to go back!!  They stamps cost pocket change, it is worth getting 12 at once.
  • I cannot remember the procedure exactly, but you may need to apply at the embassy for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad prior to the passport application*  Please confirm with your embassy.

After you have the baby’s passport in hand, and before you leave the country, you must visit the Migration office(where locals apply for their CR passports.)  They will direct you to a tiny office in the back, where you must sign receive a stamp in his/her passport allowing the baby to leave the country.  Make sure to bring all of the paperwork that you have: birth certificates, copies of your passports, etc.  They will ask you to grant permission to who can leave the country with the baby (mother alone, father alone, always traveling together)- they take child welfare very seriously in CR.  We granted permanent permission for either parent to leave with the children.

Now, lucky you, each time you go to the airport to leave the country with the baby, you get to take an extra step.  After you pay the exit tax, you must bring your little airport payment receipt (that you fill out and give to the airline) and the baby down to Migration Services (to the left of the airline counters).  They will check the baby’s passport for the stamp from Migration, check your documents, and give you a special stamp on the receipt.  You cannot leave the country without their stamped approval.  Then, at least, you get to use the shorter ‘traveling with minors’ line at customs:)

Since you have a tico child, you can also apply for permanent residency…..but that is a conversation for another day!!!!

Have a nice afternoon, hope that this information helps.

p.s.  When it comes to simple symptoms, rashes, etc. you can just visit a pharmacy and the attending doctor will make a recommendation to you.  You don’t necessarily need to visit a private doctor, if you don’t want to…FYI:)
If you have a question about Nosara that you’d like to Ask A Local – Do it below!

Ask A Local – Organic Meat in Nosara

Ask A Local – Organic Meat in Nosara

What are my options for organic meat in Nosara?

There have been huge advances in the ten years we’ve lived in Nosara.  I’m sure we’ll write about them in the future, but of all the advances, the most important might be food quality, specifically meat.

In 2006 there was one option for good meat in Nosara, and that was Mini Super Delicias, the mini down from the Iguana.  Everything was frozen, and with the consistent power outages, meat was frozen and re-thawed multiple times.  But, at least we had an option.

Our normal practice for our first 3 or so years was to take a monthly trip to San Jose and grocery shop.  We’d hit Price Smart and then buy our meat at Don Fernando’s.  Load up a huge cooler and drive back to the jungle.  Mind you, the roads weren’t what they are now and the new highway wasn’t yet built – the drive was every bit of six hours.

Cut to present day and there are numerous grocery stores, all much cleaner and fully stocked with anything you’d want to purchase.  For goodness sake, we’ve got craft beer!

Maybe our favorite addition in the last couple years is Tony and his organic farm.  The meat is incredible.  We only supply his meat in our camps and all-inclusive family vacations.  Below you can check out his latest offering.

-Anton Kast Organic Meat   Tony,, Phone 89 12 39 68
Here is the latest list of available products:
(CHINOA Burger)  Chicken burgers from low-fat chicken with quinoa, chia, turmeric,moringa, and ginger
Each burger is 150 gram, 4 in pack 3900.-NEW
ORANGE JUICE 100% NATURAL1gallon      4500.-
Half gallon  3500.-
1 Liter       1800.-Dog Food   kilo  700.-

Moringa  Powder  50 gram    4000.-

Supertortis 10 pack 3000.-

Chicken liver  (higado) kilo 1500.-
Chicken giblets (menudos) kilo 1300.-
Whole Chicken (pollo entero) kilo 3750.-
Chicken breast (pechuga desheusado) kilo  6350.-
Chicken breast bone in (con hueso) kilo  4950.-
Chicken thighs and drumsticks (muslo ) kilo  3750.-
Chicken wings (alas)  kilo  3650.-
Chicken thighs (cuarto de muslo) kilo  3750.-
Chicken drumsticks (muslito de muslo) kilo  3750.-
Chicken thighs boneless (muslo deheusado) kilo 5550.-
Chicken thighs boneless, skinless (desheusado sin piel) kilo  5650.-
Chicken wing drumsticks (muslito de alas ) kilo 3950.-
Ground Chicken (molido) 500 gr  3200.-
Chicken burger  (torta ) 4pack 3400.- GLUTEN FREE
Chicken sausage  (salchicha) 4pack 3500.-  GLUTEN FREE
Chicken sausage HOT 4pack  3600.-    GLUTEN FREE
Liver pate  (Pate de Higado) 1pack 2000.-    not available at the moment
Liver pate smoked   (pate de Higado ahumado)   1 pack   2500.- not available at the moment

Loin   (lomo) kilo 7950.-
Pork loin boneless  (lomo sin hueso) kilo  8150.-
Shoulder Roast (paleda) kilo  5250.-
Pork Long rib chops (chuleta) kilo  5150.-  Specify how many *single* pork shops you want. If you say “2”, you will get 2 packs of 2 chops.
Ribs (costilla )    kilo 5950.-
Baby back ribs (costilla bajo lomo) kilo  5600.-
Pork tenderloin (lomito) kilo  9900.-
Ground Pork (Molido) 500 gr 2600.-
German Brats (salchicha tipo aleman)  4 pack 3500.- GLUTEN FREE
German Brats smoked  (ahumado) 4 pack 3700.- GLUTEN FREE
German Brats HOT      PICANTE  4 pack 3600.- GLUTENFREE
Bacon (tocineta ) 150 gram  3600.-
Blackforest Ham  (jamon selva negra)120 gram 3700.-

Ground Beef (Molido)  500 gr  2600.-
Beef Tenderloin (lomito) kilo 14450.-
Filet Mignon  kilo 19950.-
Top Sirloin Roast (lomo) kilo  9000.-
Chuck Roast (paleta)  kilo  6600.
Beef Ribs (costilla) kilo 4500.-
Osso buco (Shank) bone in kilo 4400.-
Beef Lever ( higado) kilo  4400.-
Roast beef (Mano de Piedra) kilo  6900.-
Ribeye, steak or whole   kilo  9900.-

If you’ve got a question about Nosara or living in Costa Rica you’d like to Ask a Local – Ask below!

Ask a Local – Dealing with the Nosara Sun

Ask a Local – Dealing with the Nosara Sun

What hours should I avoid the sun?  What do you recommend for sun protection?

Nosara, Costa Rica is nine degrees North of the equator.  It’s hot – all year.    The sun’s a factor in any outdoor activities.  After ten years of playing in the beautiful Nosara area, here are my guidelines for dealing with the heat and radiation.

  1. Start early!  The sun rises around 5:15 most of the year.  We don’t follow daylight savings time here, so there’s no time change.  Getting up and out early means more active time in lower sun conditions.  You’ll avoid crowds in the surf – huge bonus!  Also, as we face West, the morning light in the water is excellent.  The sun will be over your left shoulder while you’re waiting for waves, this saves the eyes.
  2. Buy Heavy-Duty Sunscreen.  You’ll likely be spending a ton of time in the water or sweating a lot, and most sunscreens won’t last and will run in your eyes.  Buy and use sunscreen built for the water.  A personal favorite is Aloe Gator.  It’s like Vasoline.  There are also some great face-sticks like Head Hunter.  If you don’t mind looking like casper use white, otherwise they make it in a skin-tone.
  3. Avoid the middle of the day!  Between 10am and 2pm you shouldn’t be outside.  If you took my advice and got an early start, you should be napping, getting ready for the afternoon activity.  If the surf is pumping, or you going to be fishing all day, make sure you cover up.  Use a hat in the water, long sleeves, lots of sunscreen – and drink lots of water.
  4. Sunglasses are a must.  Especially if you’re fishing all day, make sure you have UV protection.  When you’re fishing you get a double-dose of sun.  From the sun and off the water.  So, even if you’re wearing a hat, you’re still getting blasted.
  5. Enjoy the Sunset!  From 4:30 until dusk the beaches in Nosara are spectacular.  You should be all rested from your nap and ready to charge again.

If you have a question you’d like to Ask A Local, let us know below.