Geography and demographics
Despite the Nicoya peninsula being one of the last locations with large areas of unpaved roads in Costa Rica, Nosara is one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country, as well as a fishing and agricultural area.
Unlike most coastal tourist towns, Nosara lacks nearly any development directly on the beach as much of it consists of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge (necessitated by the presence of breeding Olive Ridley and Leatherback sea turtle populations). Nosara is also a surfing destination as Playa Guiones is one of the most consistent waves in the world with over 330 days per year of rideable conditions. Playa Guiones is also the location of a world-renowned Yoga school.
The official town center is located 6 km inland from the beach. Within "Nosara town" is the market, pharmacy, post office, churches, school, police station, David S. Kitson public library and Red Cross clinic (Nosara lacks a hospital facility). There is a Banco Popular branch located in the small commercial area near Playa Guiones. In 2007, a new private school,Del Mar Academy was opened with a bilingual Montessori and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
There are five main oceanfront communities each named after their respective beaches: Playa Nosara, Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada, Playa Garza, and Playa Ostional. These comprise the largest areas of foreign-owned residences, tourist hotels and restaurants, centered around Guiones and Pelada. The "suburb" Esparanza de Nosara borders the Playa Guiones area, sitting between its first two beach entrances to the south. Esparanza hosts the Guiones area's largest market, a school and soccer (football) field, and a few new housing developments, hotels, and restaurants.
The Guanacaste province belonged to Nicaragua during the Colonial period. It wasn't until after the nations of Central America gained independence from Spain that it was annexed and incorporated to Costa Rica on July 25, 1825. The government recognizes this date as a National holiday even though the boundary lines weren't changed until 1858.