Wander Off The Grid To This Blue Zone & Live At A Slower Pace
A surfer's paradise, a foodies dream and a place to live more slowly, off the grid.
Wander & Rove to Nosara, Costa Rica with us!
Back in November I was sitting at the end of a slow flow yoga class when the teacher mentioned that she would be hosting a yoga retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica. My friend and I immediately turned to each other and smiled. We had the same exact thought, we’re going!
A week later the deposit for the retreat was down, our room booked and an adventure ahead! And if you're wondering if I've ever done a yoga retreat before...? Nope, it was something totally new and exciting!
I had traveled to a different area of Costa Rica years ago on a family vacation. What I knew of Costa Rica was lush jungles, mountains, sun and the sea. What I didn’t know was Nosara and all of the culture and beauty it has to offer.
We quickly learned we were going a bit further off the grid this time to one of the 5 Blue Zones in the world!
What is a Blue Zone?
Those of you that are familiar with Blue Zones, you know. My facisnation with these parts of the world, where people live a life of longevity came from yes, you guessed it the Zac Efron series Down To Earth on Netflix where they traveled to Sardina, Italy; one of the five Blue Zones.
As I learned more about the Blue Zones, I fell in love with their slow paced life-styles and how they eat. After a bit of research I went out and bought the Ikaria, Greece Cookbook (Mediterranean cuisine has been a love of mine for quite some time so this was there perfect cookbook to add to my collection). And shortly after I was gifted a Blue Zones Cookbook from my mom - she knew the obsession was real.
Once we started to learn more about Nosara and that it was located on the Nicoya Peninsula, a new goal was created: To visit all of the Blue Zones in the world!
The Five Blue Zones:
- Okinawa, Japan
- Sardinia, Italy
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
- Ikaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
Okay a bit side tracked there but if you know me, then you know I’m foodie and a true wanderer at heart. Travel allows you to do just that while immersing yourself in a new culture, connecting with locals and discovering new things. I always have to know what is around the next corner.
Back to Nosara:
A village located on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. It’s known for it's Pacific beaches like Playa Guiones, with its long surf break and yoga center. It makes sense now that we were traveling there for a yoga retreat! It is an idyllic location for nature lovers, surfers, yogis and families looking to live a laid back lifestyle.
Sunset surfing at Playa Guiones
Navigating to Nosara:
We flew into Libera International Airport (LIR), 80 miles to Nosara which was about a 2 hours drive or you can fly into San Jose; 159 miles from Nosara, closer to a 4 to 5 hour drive.
We booked a van ahead of time for our arrival and departure trip to and from Nosara with Terra Tour Nosara. They were extremely reliable, timely and friendly. It was great to have a local navigating the roads to and from Nosara. The drive was scenic and be prepared for unpaved and winding roads. To get off the grid you have to put in the leg work.
After our journey in we arrived to the absolutely gorgeous Nomadic Hotel. It was a dreamy, open concept hotel, perfect for a yoga retreat. The hotel was booked by our retreat leader Erika Gibson Yoga, along with a private chef who cooked three course meals, three of the five nights we were there.
About The Nomadic Hotel
- Location: absolutely perfect, 5 minute walk to the beach, restaurants, cafes and shops.
- Staff: Extremely friendly and accommodating.
- Amenities: Stunning, open concept hotel, clean, light and airy. It was a jungle oasis with a pool, outdoor showers, bikes for rent and the Honey Hole shop.
- Food & drinks: hot costa rican coffee is offered every morning, an assortment of teas, fresh and locally sources meals, snacks and a bar.
Yogi Coffee's by the pool
Breakfast burrito & fresh fruit bowl
Things to do in Nosara:
- Surf- we rented boards two days in a row for $10 at Corky Carroll's, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing but we went for it! We did receive a few helpful hints from a friend at the hotel. Many of the surf shops offered lessons but we just wanted to play around with it and have fun!
- A few things to keep in mind while surfing:
- It is tiring so listen to your body and head in when you feel like you’ve had enough jumping through the waves and falling off the board.
- There is a rip current
- Drag your feet as you walk through the sand in the water to scare off sting rays- they feel the vibration and swim away.
Surf Shops: both offer lessons
Things to do Continued:
- Catch every sunrise and sunset you can! They were my favorite part of each day. It was truly special to see everyone wander to the beach and come together to appreciate the beauty of nature.
- Beach walks- Playa Guiones is a long, open and sandy beach perfect for walking or running and enjoying the scenery.
- Hang with the beach pups - local pups were all around town and loved to hang on the beach with you!
- Immerse yourself in the local culture- don't be afraid to practice your Spanish and enjoy the local cuisine, sodas.
- Chat with the locals- they love sharing about their home and are so friendly
- Yoga or other fitness classes at:
- Ride bikes or an ATV around town - we rented a few bikes from the Nomadic- it was a great way to cover a bit more aground.
- Farmers market/ vendor market on Tuesday’s
- Coquette’s Armoire- beautiful, handmade jewelry and baskets.
Bikes for rent at the Nomadic Hotel
Fresh produce and sugar cane at the market
- Clothing store within Organico Grocer & Cafe- I had a bit of trouble tracking down the name
- Love Nosara- an incredible, one of a kind open air shopping experience selling hand crafted goods. I truly have never seen anything else like it! A must see!
Clothing store within Organico Grocer & Cafe
Where to Stay:
A few adventures we didn't fit in this trip but definitely next time!
- Pink Sand Beach Snorkeling
- ATV Excursion
Places to eat: I can honestly say I think I ate the best in one week in Nosara than I ever had in my life. Don’t get me wrong we ate a lot... but everything was so fresh and produced locally that it didn’t feel heavy or unhealthy one bit.
Organico Grocer & Cafe
Rolling Waves Coffee Shop
• La Luna at the Nosara Beach Hotel - Mediterranean cuisine
- Highly recommend booking a reservation at sunset
- You can walk the beach to get there and take a tug tuk home or walk along the beach if you are with a group of people.
La Luna at sunset
- The Beach Dog Cafe - be sure to order local favorite - a shot of Chiliguaro, made with Costa Rica's national liquor guaro, tomato juice, hot sauce and lime. AND stay with me here... we had to stop here mainly because we had heard about their Picklemole and we were dying to try it! Yes you heard that right, pickle guacamole! It was SO good!
- Howler’s Beach Lounge - the passion fruit margarita was delicious as well as their tacos!
- Rosi's Soda Tica - traditional Costa Rican cuisine
Rosi's Soda Tica
Daily Retreat Schedule:
We had two classes a day, a morning yoga practice at 8AM and an afternoon practice at 3PM. We even snuck in a 6AM sunrise HIIT class one morning!
It was a wonderful balance to start the morning with movement, followed by a delicious breakfast at the Nomadic then set off for the day for some fun in the sun and come back to ground down for to the afternoon session followed by a sunset drip/ stroll and dinner.
Up in the jungle: our yoga sessions were held here in the dreamy open air pavilion - it was absolutely magical.
Needless to say if your looking for a new destination to explore in a warmer climate, try surfing, practice yoga, be a bit off the grid or discover a blue zone; Nosara is a must see and add to your bucket list!
The best thing about Nosara is the ability to slow down and not having to go far for anything. Everything in the area was walk-able and being in a remote location allowed you to really connect with the local culture, cuisine and immerse yourself in the slower paced lifestyle. It was so refreshing.
What to pack from Wander & Rove:
My approach to packing is always to pack pieces that are easy to make different outfits with, pieces to mix and match so you don't over pack. My goal is to always pack a carry on ( I've had too many experiences getting stuck in airports and having my luggage traveling without me to trust checking bags... trust issues lol). So versatile outfit options are the best for traveling light.
In warmer climates pack light, breathable & natural material pieces. You never know what the day will bring and pieces that my body can be cool in and dry easily are the most practical. The vibe in Nosara was very laid back and most days are spent in the sun so transitional pieces that work from beach to dinner are ideal.
Try some of these pieces in the shop!
- Organic Cotton Gertie Shorts
- Flared Sweat Shorts
- Linen Vacation Shirt
- Jaina Organic Cotton Dress
- Satin Step Up Dress
- Linen Dot Tank
- Linen Dot Pant
- Praya Linen Dress
- Remy Linen Jumpsuit
- Linen Freya Top
- Maya Dress
- Clarence Short
Biggest take aways from Nosara:
Human connection is a necessity- never be afraid to immerse yourself in a new culture, try new foods and talk to a local.
- Slow down and enjoy the little moments or else you'll miss all of life's greatest joys.
- Try something new that scares you, like surfing or booking a yoga retreat!
- Open your eyes- inspiration and new opportunities are all around you. Traveling is an endless source of inspiration and you don't have to go far - a trip to a new cafe in the next town over can easily spark inspiration.
- Give yourself the opportunity to feel like you are living somewhere else by fully immersing yourself in the slower paced lifestyle and the culture that Nosara has to offer. Try the local cuisine and be a local. I've always said this about travel- the less you do the better. Don't try to cram all the thing in during a trip or else you will be too busy going from one place to the next and miss all the good bits.
Nosara was an absolute dream and the perfect place to detach and be inspired by travel again. This was the first international trip I had taken since 2019. It was long overdue and to say my travel big is alive and well again is an understatement!
I am looking forward to sharing more adventures with you all, comment your favorite bit/ feedback or if you’re planning to travel to Nosara soon!
Pura vida amigos!