Sendero’s Surfer Starter Pack: Surf Vacation Essentials for Nosara

As most of us know, traveling is an essential part of our modern living. It allows us to discover new places, learn from different cultures and feel the excitement of adventure. These encounters are some of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. For your next trip, whether you’re an avid surfer or seeking a new experience to check off your bucket list, consider embarking on a classic surfing adventure at Sendero Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica.

Why Nosara, Costa Rica?

Nosara, one of the surfing gems of the world, has slowly, but surely, gained notoriety due to its consistent waves, exuberant nature, and its overall wellness orientation. Our slice of paradise here at Sendero Hotel is located on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. This area is one of only five blue zones in the world, making it a prime spot for views, adventure, and beautiful waves. Other major draws here in Nosara, Costa Rica include world class yoga, turtle watching, sport fishing, and of course, surfing. All of which can be enjoyed at our boutique luxury surf hotel Sendero, located just a few steps from the best surf break in Nosara, Playa Guiones. 

For many though, the main attraction in Nosara is surfing. Let us explain why Nosara, and more specifically Playa Guiones, is such a great place both to learn and to improve your surfing, regardless of your current skill level. 

Nosara is located in the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, which in itself is uniquely positioned to receive swells from both the south and the north. Its location combined with the weather helps create the waves we love. One of the best parts of surfing in Nosara is that the waves are surfable almost all year round and for all levels. Playa Guiones is known for its gentle beach breaks with year-round 80-degree water. The Guiones beach break is the most popular surf beach in Nosara, and only a short walk from your room at Sendero. 

Learn From The Locals 

Whether you’re a beginner surfer or experienced and looking to level up, be sure to book a lesson with our surf coaches. Sendero Hotel hosts one of the finest and long established surf schools in town, Chorotega Surf School. We always recommend, regardless of your skill level, to opt for taking at least one surfing lesson with a local. In surfing, there is always something to learn and you’ll feel more comfortable understanding the lay of the land from someone that has been surfing this spot for years. Bonus: there’s always a fresh pipa (coconut water) waiting for you after your surf lesson at Sendero Hotel!

We’ve created the ultimate Nosara surfing starter pack that includes all the top essentials you should bring with you for your ultimate surfing vacation. Yew!

Sendero Nosara’s Surfer Starter Pack

Surf Swimwear 

While some board shorts and bikinis can look comfortable for surfing, it is important to choose swim apparel that was made for surfing. This will make a world of a difference in functionality, and you will feel more comfortable while you’re in the water. If you haven’t already experienced it for yourself, let us tell you… having to constantly adjust your wardrobe while you try to concentrate is the last thing you want to worry about when an amazing wave is coming! 

If you forget your suit, or just want to buy the perfect one once you’re in Nosara, be sure to shop local. A few minutes walking from Sendero Hotel is Manta Raya, a cute boutique shop that has an amazing variety of surf friendly bathing suits in stock, many from Costa Rican brands. 


During surf trips, you’ll want to make the most out of the swells for as long as possible. Rashguards are essential since they serve two very important purposes: avoiding chafing and sun protection. Neglecting either of these two factors can easily get in the way of fully enjoying your surf trip. As we’re closer to the equator and the sun is strong in Nosara, people usually opt for the long sleeve rash guards since they are the ones that offer the most coverage. Make sure they have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), so you can remain safe while surfing all day.


The sun’s rays have a higher power output per minute as one moves closer to the tropics. We think it’s safe to say most everyone would like to avoid getting sunburnt during a surf trip, and the best way to do so is by using a sunblock with a mineral-based SPF of 50 or greater. It will protect your skin and the fragile marine ecosystem, both of which are at risk when conventional sunscreens are used. These types of sunscreen are natural, yet still made to have more UV protection and to stay on your skin for longer. 

At Sendero Hotel, we have Natural Sunscreen by This Way handy if you forgot yours at home. For us, it’s the little things like this that add up to luxury at our boutique surf hotel. We also want to mention our favorite local brand is Pura Vida Sunblock – it’s organic, eco-friendly and leaves you smelling like chocolate. 

Surf Hat

Just like the rashguard, the surf hat serves two purposes: sun protection and the brim helps your vision when the sun is shining bright in your eyes. We always recommend a surf hat because it truly helps you better enjoy your time in the waves. We’re fans of the Dakine Indo Surf Hat and Patagonia’s Surf Brimmer.


Regardless of your skill level or board you ride, surf wax is super essential for any surf trip. Because of Nosara’s location and climate, we always recommend buying wax for “tropical” or “warm” weather. This will help the wax perform better, making it easier for you to just concentrate on enjoying the waves. Not only is Kassia’s Palo Santo wax functional, it leaves your board smelling divine.  

A Few Extra Essentials …

A book for your lay day (surfer’s term for day off) is always nice. A classic from the surf canon, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life will keep you connected to the surf even when you’re not in the water.  

While nothing beats booking a massage at Sendero, a tennis ball might be a lifesaver for quickly working out a knot in the shoulders or hips. 

Don’t forget your yoga clothes. At Sendero Hotel, we offer yoga classes daily and your tight surfer shoulders will thank you for taking the time to stretch and breathe into them.  

Be sure to download the app Surfline on your phone. Knowing the surf forecast, from the tides to the incoming swells, is clutch in planning your surf sessions.

There you have it, the list of essentials that will help you make the most of your Nosara surf trip. If you are keen to further your surfing skills or ready to have your first surf lesson, now’s the time to book your stay at our luxury boutique surf hotel. It doesn’t get much better than staying steps away from one of the best surf breaks in all of Costa Rica!