One of my colleagues recently referred to the "axis of cool" in travel—the Ibizas and Tulums and Jose Ignacios of the world. Nosara has occupied that axis for a while, but now the Costa Rican surf town is eclipsing some of its more famous compatriots. More understated than the Balearics and free of the scene-chasers in overpriced caftans that have invaded Tulum, Nosara retains all the laid-back surfer charm that put Playa Guiones on the map but with a fantastic hotel (I write loopy love letters to the Harmony in my diary), mellow eateries, a couple cool shops and more activities than I could fit into one stay. Read on to find the places not to miss on your own trip. - Henley
Like Nosara, the Harmony Hotel is a place so special that guests feel torn between wanting to tell everyone and wanting to keep the space to themselves; this is the place to stay in town, and if you want to score a room, plan well ahead of time to beat everyone else who’s dying to go or burning to return.
Traditional Mexican fare with a cute garden and children’s play area. If you're a futbol fan and fear missing a game, check here; they may be showing it.
Slick by Nosara standards, Tibidabo boasts an El Bulli trained chef, the occasional DJ at night and an upscale tapas menu.
Like the name says, this cool Nosara newcomer serves up burgers and brews and is the place to hit when you have a meat craving, although vegetarians rave about their fish burgers as well.
The go-to spot for sunset drinks and thin-crust pizzas on Playa Pelada. This is where to score those next-level Instagram pics at the end of the day.
A colorful food truck serving up fresh juices, tropical smoothies and coffee, perfect for refueling after a surfing lesson. You can also grab fresh poke bowl or check out the specials for the local ceviche.
Tiny gelato spot just down the road from El Chivo. Come here for dessert.