Playa Guiones is a jungle community spread out between the beach and the base of the mountain, with private homes and a couple restaurants peeking out of the jungle on the mountain. Unless you are on the main drag from Cafe Paris to the south beach entrance, when you are walking around Guiones you will feel more like you are in a jungle than a town. Year round population is only a few hundred and the area has several square miles of jungle. Most homes and many businesses preserve the larger trees on their property, and KayaSol has native ground cover planted through the hotel between all the buildings.
There is no development on the beach; the entire coastline is conservation reserve. The reserve includes the first 200 meters from the hightide all along the coast from Guiones north to the Ostional Turtle Refuge. Most Nosara hotels are in Playa Guiones since vistors want to be close to this famous surf beach. Nosara Hotel Kayasol is less than 50 yards from the beach refuge entrance.
The south end of Guiones includes the main street stretching about a mile from Cafe De Paris and Coconut Harry's Surf Shop on the highway to the south beach entrance. Along this road there are more hotels, surf shops, a convenience store aka mini-super, real estate offices, a couple of boutiques, gift shops, a massage studio and yoga studio. Despite its small population, Guiones does have a bank and an ATM that accepts Visa only.
The North end of Guiones is a little quieter. There are widely spaced private residences visible through the tropical dry forest jungle, but you get a real feeling of being in the jungle all over this area, whether on a refuge path, walking down the empty road, or navigating the maze like greenery of KayaSol. Our location is the best of both worlds as we are still walking distance to the main beach road.
There is a mini-super (Delicias del Mundo) with a surprisingly international selection including charcuetrie made by the expatriate Italians in Costa Rica, a DVD/book rental store, a surf shop and a few restaurants. Only three Nosara hotels are located on this less developed side of town, The Guilded Iguana, Casa Romantica, and our favorite, KayaSol Surf Hotel.
Pelada is more of a residential community than Guiones and is sheltered from the swell, so it does not get much surf. On a very big swell, the reefs in Pelada produce excellent waves for experts. There are a couple of local restaurants in Pelada and one hotel. La Luna on the beach offers elegant upscale dining and Olga's Soda Tica (typical Costa Rican restaurants are called "Sodas") offers simple food at a great price in a beautiful, local setting. Pelada is a short 5 minute walk north along the beach and over the point (accessible only at low-mid tide) and makes for a picturesque getaway for an afternoon of sunbathing and exploration.