Paddle Boarding Nosara, Costa Rica

paddle boarding nosara costa rica 9Photos courtesy of Swindell Photography’s Graham Swindell

The Nosara Beaches Area has become known over the past decade as an idyllic and adventure-orientated surfing destination. Nosara, and it is well-known beach Playa Guiones, is located on the jungle coastline of northern Costa Rica. Although originally sought out as a surfing, yoga and healthy lifestyle spot, an increase in stand up paddle surfing and SUP activity over recent years has become a growing way to both explore the coastline and enjoy the consistent waves. Nestled in the Ostional Wildlife Refugee the approximate 9-mile stretch of coastline is protected maintaining building setbacks 200 meters from the average mid-tide line; this regulation keeps the coastline views jungle-filled, natural and lush.


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Photos courtesy of Swindell Photography’s Graham Swindell

December – April is locally referred to as summer; it’s the dry season with little to no rain. Waves are typically knee to head high and the surfing line-ups can be more crowded as North American tourists escape the winter. May to October are typically known as greener months with seasonal rains beginning in May. Days typically begin sunny and bright and end with an afternoon shower and possible rain into the night. On average the waves are in the shoulder to overhead range, however it’s difficult to predict on any given week.

September and October are typically the rainiest months and offer the least-clean surf but you can still score amazing days. The water temperature is typically in the low 80’s year round. A rashguard or surf shirt is recommended more for sun protection than warmth. The dry season can be much warmer, seeing air temperatures in the 90’s while the green season is more humid with temperatures in the 80’s.

Hot Spots:

paddle boarding nosara costa ricaPhotos courtesy of Swindell Photography’s Graham Swindell

The main surfing beach is Playa Guiones. It’s a 3-mile long stretch of light-colored sand with a wave that has many faces. It ranges from longboard friendly to walled and shortboard fun. The wave has seen an increase in SUP surfers over recent years and offers enough space to spread out and find a peak.

Pelada Beach to the north and the Garza Bay to the south offer ample space for open ocean paddles and exploration. The fit paddler can adventure around Garza’s northern headland to the fabled Isla Rosada (Pink Island) or explore the outer reefs around the south portion of Guiones Beach. “Due to shifts in local tides, currents and winds paddling with a local guide is strongly encouraged.” says Alan Azofeifa, owner of Experience Nosara.

Flatwater enthusiasts can stand up paddle the serene waters of both the Nosara and Montana River, weaving their way through mangrove tunnels and explore hidden trails. They are the two largest rivers in the Nosara area and are home to numerous local and migratory bird species. Along the river you can find herons, anhingas, roseate spoonbills, and egrets.

Other Paddlers:

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Photos courtesy of Swindell Photography’s Graham Swindell

The Nosara area has a core group of SUP-related companies, long established and familiar with the area and local conditions.

Nosara Paddlesurf

Nosara Paddlesurf operates a weeklong adventure SUP surf package that consists of in-depth video and land-based coaching including theory and technique. It is a more organized approach to progress your SUP surfing or dial in the fundamentals of catching your first waves. Their guests range from experienced SUPers looking to take their paddling to the waves to life-long surfers ready to improve their progressive SUP surfing.

Experience Nosara

Experience Nosara is a SUP Adventure Tour company familiar with all the nooks, crannies and hidden away paddle spots. They offer SUP tours, lessons and educational nature paddles both in the mangroves and in the open ocean. They do individual SUP surf lessons and have a team of experienced SUP guides.

Nosara Surf Shop and Coconut Harry’s

Quality SUP rentals are limited in the Nosara area therefore if you plan to surf and your board fits within the airlines recommended guidelines you will be glad you brought it. But if necessary, both the Nosara Surf Shop and Coconut Harry’s have a selection of SUPs and surfboards.

Check out more SUP Destinations HERE.

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Last modified onFriday, 08 December 2017 08:50

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