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Monday, 31 October 2011

Gilded Iguana, Nosara, Costa Rica - Page 2

Written by Lisa Harvey
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IMG 1198The beach, Playa Guiones, is a very short walk, littered with orange and purple tree crabs that sputter away when you walk by. Even at high tide, there is plenty of beach because there is usually no one there. Surf schools can be seen in the distance to the left, but the beach is long and spacious enough to fit everyone. The water is warm but isn’t tropical. No blue water, just amazing waves! Nosara’s breaks are known to be amazing – even beginner surfers like me can handle it, though, depending on the tides. You can rent surf boards at pretty good prices at the surf camp located in the Iguana’s back yard or down the street. Sharks are uncommon, though we were always surrounded by schools of fish when not catching a wave. The beach is great for walking during sunset. The bugs aren’t bad, and the surfers even build little palm tree huts to rest under if the sun gets too bad. On that note, make SURE you wear sunscreen and keep applying it throughout the day. A burn from the Costa Rican sun is bad. I had tan lines from the ten minute walk to and from the beach to check the surf at nine in the morning.

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The wildlife near the Guilded Iguana is abundant. Iguanas can be found on warm days in the yard off the restaurant, along with smaller lizards, and the occasional cat or dog that likes to hang around. (Sushi the cat was my favorite; very smart and became my new best friend) There are also the infamous howler monkeys; they will wake you up at night, but it is simply part of the Costa Rican experience. For a close up look, head down the road to the right of the Iguana and listen when a motorbike goes by (they hate them and will howl in response to the noise). Sometimes they come almost down to ground level and you can get some good pictures. If its turtle season, I recommend getting to Ostional (If you go by ATV getting there is an adventure as well!). We went on the beach at night (bring a red LED light!) and watched the turtles come up and lay their eggs. There were hundreds and you can go right up to them, pet them, and watch the entire process up close.

When we were there in August, it started to get dark around nine. Because it is not very developed, there is not much nightlife, but we took advantage of this. My boyfriend and I would sit out on our porch after dinner with a few drinks, listen to the howlers and go to bed early. My stay at the Iguana was the most relaxing and refreshing sleep I have ever had. We awoke every morning to the restaurant opening and as we’d step in for breakfast, we’d be greeted with fresh coffee and a sing-song “good morning, babies!” from Di. She’d update us on the news and happenings while she got our orders and we would relax in the morning sun before a day of surfing. If you do want to go beyond the walls of the Iguana, you can. There are yoga institutes, other café’s, bars, and restaurants to explore. But because we stayed, we felt more like a family and grew to know the others staying at the Iguana as well. I would definitely recommend the Guilded Iguana to anyone looking for an excellent, relaxed, stress-free vacation. I would be back there in an instant if I could.

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©Lisa Harvey

(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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