What is Different About Nosara?

Nosara Costa Rica

After visiting every beach town in Costa Rica, I find myself thinking the same thing; why is this place so different than every other beach town in Costa Rica. 

Answer: It’s History.

I know the answer, but it doesn’t happen in other places that still complex me. Nosara is the only town in the over 800 miles of coastline that I can say had this good fortune.

The answer to my question is history. Nosara has a similar but different history than many Costa Rican coastline areas, which plays out.

Like most of Costa Rica’s coast, surfers discovered it in the ’60s and 70’s. Playa Guiones was one of the gems of surfers back then. A 3 day horseback ride was what it took to get to Playa Guiones. As the years followed, many Americans up and down the coast of Costa Rica bought, developed, and sold the land. Nosara was an area that was probably 6 large cattle farms, and it had its first investors buy 3 of those farms. This mega project was called “the American Project” consisting of 3,000 acres and was to be divided up into 700 lots and include an 18 hole golf course. This might sound normal for uncharted beach property investing but in the decades to follow, the history of Nosara formed itself into one of the most unique coastal areas on the planet.

The American Project set the blueprint for Nosara and Playa Guiones. But after investors backed out and The American Project changed hands, Nosara was developed by eco-conscious investors using the layout of the American Project without the golf course.

The main difference of Nosara is that it was never a Costa Rican town like Tamarindo, Jaco, Dominical, Puerto Viejo, Samara, and towns of such. It was developed from scratch by foreigners. Not only this, but it was developed with money and people that wanted to protect the dry forest. The area was able to set the tone from the beginning and respect legal and environmental issues. No place in Costa Rica will you see the first 250 meters of coastline respected like in Nosara.

The area is quite frankly ahead of its time. While the area has its struggles with fast growth, it is an excellent example of what 40 years of conscious development can do to a place.

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