Boketto City Guides are odes to our favorite places. This is a weekly micro-series by Team Boketto. This week, our very own Allison Walton takes us to Central America’s Nicoya Peninsula for a taste of pura vida - extra petacones, por favor.
‘This is what it feels like to shimmer and go speechless’ - an excerpt from Mark Nepo’s Things That Join The Sea and The Sky which rings so true of my sentiment towards Nosara, Costa Rica. Sitting just north of the equator, this pocket of paradise is adored for its spectacular sunsets, consistent surf, and sustainable living. From admiring the stunning heliconias that thrive long after green season to sipping curbside pipa fria on your barefoot jaunt to la playa, there are plentiful moments of swoon along whichever jungle path you choose.
Dubbed a blue zone, the lifestyle along the Nicoya Peninsula is conducive to living long, and living well. Re: while 30% of longevity comes from genes, 70% comes from lifestyle alone. The sun rises and sets around the exact same time each day, effortlessly syncing circadian rhythms and creating an early bird out of the most wide eyed night owl. Movement is a critical component of the daily routine (as the commute is usually by foot / bike), yet so is rest and siesta. Produce is fresh, abundant, local. And the drinking water - pure, clean, safe. Less plastic, more bamboo. Hence the term ‘pura vida’- a life of purity and simplicity. As a guest, you will very quickly connect to its meaning and significance, with the hope that some lifestyle aspects stick as you continue on your way.
The ‘itinerary’ is to be loose and fluid. Moment to moment, hour by hour, day by day is the way to be. Always on tico time. Enjoy morning coffee alongside the orchestra of howler monkeys. Swim in the tide pools at low tide. Treat yourself to a honey pat facial in the afternoon, followed by sushi and sangria just after sunset. Lounge / nap / read, repeat. Let the beauty of this place wrap you up and hold you tight.
And sure, there are trails, hikes, stand up paddle boarding adventures and other excursions within close proximity that may be appealing (definitely take local surf lessons), but it’s waking up every single day to the sun on your face and sand beneath your feet that will steal your heart away.
DO / DINE
The quality and preciousness of food and dining options is worth prioritizing, I promise.
Book a sunset dinner reservation at La Luna, located on Playa Pelada, a crescent moon shaped white sand beach. About an hour prior, begin the walk from Playa Guiones through the jungle path, where the restaurant sits and offers the best sunset views. Order a glass of wine and a bunch of small bites and shareables, including the patacones. Bring a flashlight to take a starscape walk back, or just tuk tuk.
Have breakfast and/or lunch at Harmony Hotel’s Juice Bar. A fresh papaya smoothie, order of spring rolls, and giant almond chocolate chip cookie will do. While there, take a peek inside La Tiendita, their local bookstore and shop, to sift through the pages of coffee table surf books and snag some sunscreen, in case you forgot to pack it.
Take a stroll through town to Organico, a local market that offers amazing handmade empanadas, cold pressed juices, raw chocolates, and other delights. Get dos empanadas to go and enjoy them while sitting on a piece of driftwood during sunset.
Catch an early evening yoga class at Nalu Nosara’s jungle studio, then hop across the street to Pacifico Azul for a little snack and nightcap.
And by all means, get everything on the menu at Naked Foods.
A stay in Central Guiones ensures you’re within the heartbeat of Nosara and just steps away from the beach. If you’re fortunate enough to stay somewhere with an outdoor shower, take advantage of it. I really mean this.
Nalu Nosara is a small compound of private villas that are very family-friendly, but just as great for couples and small groups. Equipped with absolutely everything you could possibly need or want for a quiet and comfortable stay, including your own saltwater pool.
The Nomadic has an adults only vibe with incredible daily breakfast (it’s on the house for guests) and poolside lounging. Some of the best playlists around, hands down. Charming customer service and just a short stroll to the beach. A nearby jungle path will get you right into the main area of Guinoes.
Harmony Hotel has exceptional service, and everything imaginable is right at your fingertips - including private beach access. It’s certainly the most luxe, and what I mean when I say to take advantage of any stay with an outdoor shower. The body soap is so good you’ll want to take it home (and you can, because they sell it at La Tiendita).
Let packing be a lesson in minimalism and simplicity. You will not feel without once you arrive.
Easy breezy clothing that lets air flow easily pass through, and a bathing suit or two. Sandals and flat shoes. You’ll spend a lot of time barefoot, anyways. Sunscreen, anti-inflammatory serums and digestive supplements— but only the essentials, as nature will be your best D therapy and exfoliant. A turkish towel, silk pillowcase, and smokeless incense. Those are of course optional, but really nice to have around for la playa and siesta.