Following-up to the mega-post on a trip to the Guancaste Peninsula, we were lucky to witness 6 distinct and beautiful sunsets. As we were located along the Pacific Coast, each night was a treat to watch the sunset. In Nosara, the sunset created a gathering of nearly the entire village with all types of people gathering each night to enjoy the last rays of light as the cool air whipped over the sand. It was a treat to see every one of these sunsets.
This is a follow-up to my detailed trip report here (which has a lot more then just pretty sunsets!): http://andylibrande.com/news/2013/07/costa-rica-tamarindo-nosara-barra-honda/
Night 1: On an Airplane somewhere between Mexico and Costa Rica:
Night 2: 1st Night in Tamarindo, Costa Rica:
Night 3: Wedding over Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Night 4: Nosara, Costa Rica, land of long sunsets with ever-changing colors
Night 5: Nosara: Night of the Pink, Purples, and Deep Blue
Night 6: Yoga on the Beach
Please check-out the full Trip Report here: http://andylibrande.com/news/2013/07/costa-rica-tamarindo-nosara-barra-honda/
When: April 4th thru April 10th, 2013
Where: The city of Tamarindo, the city of Nosara and the Barra Honda National Park. Guanacaste peninsula, Costa Rica (Map Link)
What: A bunch of friends meeting up to celebrate Jake and Annie’s wedding while exploring a new country
he distinct smell of burning wood cuts through the jungle heat as we rumble towards another village perched deep in the countryside. This lone jungle road has us weaving through the hilly, thick-forested landscape of the Guanacaste Peninsula in Costa Rica as we head south from the city of Tamarindo to Nosara.
The previous 50 miles of road were devoid of vehicles but a highway for cow herds, iguanas, basking vultures, soccer matches, howler monkeys, and motorcycles with whole families on them. After several hours of travel, a couple points of confusion, in-accurate maps, and the occasional glance of the ocean, We turned the corner to face a pristine black sand beach just outside the city of Nosara:
This was our 3rd full day in Costa Rica with the prior few being spent in the somewhat touristy town of Tamarindo celebrating our good friends marriage. After the wedding a group of us headed south on a bit of an adventure to the vibrant, yet sleepy community of Nosara via a back-road route deep in the countryside. With 3 nights in Tamarindo and 3 nights in Nosara we just got a little taste of the good life (also know as the opt-spoken “Pura Vida”).
1st Stop – Tamarindo: Wedding, Surfing, Coconut Drinking
The first full-day of vacation and we quickly found ourselves some shade, a couple surf-boards, and cold-coconut water served in it’s shell. Gabe enjoying the easier and consistent waves of Tamarindo:
The first real evening ended with a perfect sunset, fresh seared ahi-tuna tacos, and meeting some new friends at the wedding recital party. Next day repeated with nearly the same routine: eat some pastries, make a fruit shake with tequila, go to the beach, surf, leave my debit card in the atm at the bank, burn our feet on the hot sand, enjoy life. Strolling through the town of Tamarindo:
Tamarindo is a town of transition as it becomes a world-wide destination for tourism. Less then an hour from the airport and with it’s beautiful beaches, it is easy to see why this place has become a favorite. First found by surfers in The Endless Summer, Gabe had the pleasure of meeting one of his life-long idols, Robert August, who runs a restaurant and surf-school there.
Jake and Annie’s Wedding at the Cala Luna Hotel:
A simple ceremony on the isolated beach on our second full-day finished up just as the sunset began to show it’s true colors. I set-up my gear and snapped a few shots of everyone as the sunset lit-up the ocean. Under this perfect sunset I took a lot of photos: Annie+Ashlee+Laura, Tom+Nancy, Annie+Ashlee+Laura (2nd shot), Liz+Matt+Bret, Below is a group shot (L to R: Justin/Liz/Matt/Jake/Annie/Gabe/Dani/Bret/Andy):
Gabe and Danni:
Jake and Annie:
2nd Stop – Nosara: Land of many Sunsets
It’s sunday evening and we stroll to the main beach for our first taste of Nosara, after spending the day driving there via back-roads. It appears the entire community has gathered to enjoy the cooling afternoon air highlighted by an incredible sunset. Golden hues dominated the beach as we worked our way to the rocky point to watch the sunset fall behind waves crashing. Just Another Sunset, This Time Pink, over Playa Guiones at Nosara:
Every evening the sunset lasted for-hours changing from brilliant orange, to pinks to deep blues; this is a shot overlooking the beach of Nosara:
Nosara is beautiful as all of the development is set back off of the beach. The town is stretched over a handful of roads with villas, local hotels, and restaurants tucked into the jungle. The waves were bigger and much more fierce, which everyone struggled with except for Gabe and Matt. We spent a whole day baking under the sun surfing as the high-tide rushed in. Liz Winding Down with a bit of Beach-Yoga:
While Tamarindo was a nice place to visit, Nosara is a place you come to and forget to leave.
Side-trip – The Caves of Barra Honda:
At the entrance to the park we picked up our guide, an weathered gentleman whose name translates to Saturn (Saturno). Our first objective was to hike to the cave. It was just three of us this day (Bret/Matt/Andy) and through our guide’s partial english and our partial spanish we had a very enjoyable and informative hike. Along the way Saturno pointed out trees with spikes on them, plants that smell like anise, howler monkeys, bee hives, hollow ground above other caves, and numerous other items in this unique forest.
After crawling down a 50ft overhanging-ladder (somehow Matt did this with a cast over his thumb), the massive main chamber of the cave surrounds you. The main cave called “Terciopelo” (name of the fer-de-lance snake) with the small entrance and the barely visible 40ft ladder (Cave Map photo):
Looking Deep into the Abyss of the Cave:
Luckily there was one other group of two that we did the tour with as one of them was fluent in spanish and we were able to learn specifics about the history of the caves. These limestone caves were split into a few sections that we crawled through each offering different formations ranging from large fins on the walls to typical stalagmites/stalactites.
The end of the trip we were brought to an overlook of the valley which provided us views all the way to the other-side of the peninsula to the Nicoya Gulf.
On the way home we stopped at a restaurant along the road that overlooked a valley below. Easily the most beautiful location we ate at it also had some of the best casado’s (traditional Costa Rican dish) of the trip.
“Pura Vida”, yes it is a well-overused term but after spending our evenings watching sunsets melt into the ocean, spending the days playing in the surf or exploring the various wonders of the landscape, eating delicious food, and meeting great people, you begin to understand why that phrase is so deeply rooted into this country. Overall a really easy place to travel to and to explore and a special place one should not miss!
Click below to see the Interactive Trip Map along with photos in the map:Read More»