Categories
Costa Rica

Nosara Travel Trips and Travel Guide

Nosara is a charming little surf town on the Pacific (West) Coast of Costa Rica. There is Nosara proper which is where most of the locals live and then there are the beach areas called Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada which are mostly tourist hangouts.

This town is honestly epic if you are a good surfer and still a lot of fun if you’re not.

Getting To Costa Rica

You can fly into either San Jose or Liberia airport. Liberia is closer to Nosara, but depending on where you fly from San Jose is often cheaper.

Before entering Costa Rica you either need a vaccine or you need to fill out a health questionnaire online. Once completed, it’ll display a QR code that you need to download.

You also need to have travel insurance that covers COVID – you should print out / have access to a letter from the health insurance company that details that the policy covers COVID related issues. If you keep all of these documents downloaded on your phone, you won’t have any trouble when you arrive to Costa Rica in the airport. Sometimes people try to use the airport’s WiFi to get access to their documents and show to immigration officials, but it’s much easier to just download them in case you don’t have data yet on your phone or the airport’s WiFi is weak.

Getting To Nosara

Once you’re in Costa Rica, to get to Nosara itself you have a few different transportation options.

By Plane: There is a local airline called Sansa Airlines which flies from San Jose to Nosara in a small plane that seats around 8-10 people.

You can fly from SJO to the Nosara airport and it takes around 1 hour depending on the conditions.

Rent A Car: You can rent a car in San Jose and then drive to Nosara. The drive lasts between 5.5 – 6 hours although Google Maps shows the driving time as a bit shorter.

Take A Shuttle: If you don’t want to fly or drive yourself, you can also take a shuttle to Nosara from San Jose.

Where To Eat: Restaurant Recommendations

La Luna

A bit fancier and has a gorgeous view of the ocean and sky – highly recommended during sunset. You can also walk down to the beach from the restaurant. It’s just a very tiny hill that takes five seconds.

Sunset at La Luna

La Brazza

An Argentine steak house. The steak is great and so are the burgers (the meat tastes great)!

Sushi Mar

The rolls (maki) here are just OK, especially if you know your sushi, but the sashimi and nigiri are solid.

The tuna tataki is also SUPER delicious and is our top recommendation. The meat tastes great and it also comes with a bit of a salad and some diced mango.

Selina

Selina is a great place to stay and it also has great food at the Nosara location. The burger with fries at Selina is awesome (we recommend medium-rare) and the Golden Poke is also SUPER yummy. It comes as a beautiful art creation in layers and includes tuna, mango, tomatoes, diced onions, and avocado.

Where To Stay In Nosara

Airbnb

You can look for a place to stay on Airbnb in Nosara. The areas you’re looking to stay in are either of the beaches – Playa Guiones or Playa Pelada. There are lots of unique stays, and if you’re with a group of friends you can rent a larger house with a pool.

However, the cost of Airbnb’s in Nosara does tend to be pricier than other Nomad locations.

Pelada Studios

Pelada Studios is a great spot in Playa Pelada, one of the two popular beach areas in Nosara. It has a narrow pool which is very aesthetically pleasing, though it’s so narrow that you probably won’t do much real swimming in it. You can book one of the studios through Airbnb. Studio #1 which has a loft bed, and kitchen with a fridge, and a really nice gas powered stove for cooking.

It’s only a short walk (literally 30 seconds) to La Bodega for groceries or sandwiches and coffee.

Selina Nosara

Selina is like a mix between a bougie hotel and a backpacking hostel. There are options to stay in shared / community rooms if you’re on a budget, or really nice rooms like the Suite+ or Rockstar room as they called it locally.

It’s a great place to stay because they have a co-working space on the premises, a restaurant and bar, and there are parties during the spring on Fridays that are a ton of fun with an outdoor DJ. The staff are warm and friendly, and it’s a great place to meet other travelers or digital nomads.

Getting Around Nosara

We recommend that you try to find accommodations close to the beach so you can just walk to it within 2-5 minutes! If you’re staying at Selina, which is awesome by the way, it is a bit of a trek to the beach especially if you have a surfboard. If that’s the case you have a few options:

Rent An ATV

These are a ton of fun to drive around and are very common in Nosara. Make sure you use a helmet and are careful when going around turns! We recommend MonkeyQuads for ATV rentals. If you rent longer term ask them for a discount.

Rent A Car

Economy Car rental is a great option for car rental in Nosara. They are located on the main road up a small hill beside the organic grocery store (Orgánico Grocer & Café) and close to Café De Paris. If you’re coming from Café De Paris you go up the hill and turn left and then it’s on the right just past the organic grocery store.

Driving around in an ATV is really fun, but the advantages of renting a car is that are:

  1. You can drive to nearby surf towns along the coast
  2. The road’s can get dusty around Nosara, so while an ATV is fun, if dust bothers you, a car is a good alternative

Take a TukTuk

A third option is to take a TukTuk. These are smaller vehicles with local drivers you will take you around. They are the Nosara alternative to a Taxi / Cab and are the same style as what you’d find in India (though thankfully Nosara has way less traffic). If you’re staying at Selina you can ask the front desk to order one for you and the TukTuk will come to the parking lot where you can give them cash (colones).

TukTuk drivers also hang out across from the Organic Grocery store near the main road in Playa Guiones, so if you’re staying nearby that’s a good place to walk to for a ride.

Categories
Mexico

Mexico City Travel Guide

Mexico City Zocalo

Mexico City (also known as CDMX) is an amazing city that is less well known amongst digital nomads.

While it’s true that there are no beaches in Mexico City, it’s a really amazing place to visit and work remotely from!

Mexico City proper’s population is around 9.2 million people. However, the Greater Mexico City area which includes 60 adjacent municipalities has a population of 21.8 million people. That’s a lot of people!

In this article we’ll cover the good and the bad of Mexico City. Specifically we’ll give you the scoop on:

  • Safety: Mexico is known for having dangerous parts and crime. How does this apply to Mexico City?
  • Neighborhoods: What are the most interesting neighborhoods to spend time in for food, art, culture and fun? Which neighborhoods should you be sure to avoid?
  • Food: Our Top Restaurant and Street Food Recommendations
  • Work: Places To Work or Cowork From As A Digital Nomad

And other helpful tips to have a great time in Mexico City! Let’s dive in.

Travelling Into and Out Of Mexico

Before we get into the low down on Mexico City itself, if you’re flying into Mexico there are a few things you should know regarding immigration and visas.

The first is that you can stay a maximum of 180 consecutive days in Mexico. When you fly into Mexico and go through Immigration / Customs, you’ll fill out a form and also get a stamp from customs.

They give this form back to you and you have to keep this form with you for when you depart the country. When you leave the country, the airline will ask for it at the gate. If you have it with you when you’re leaving Mexico, you’ll have no problems and you can skip this section of the guide, but if you want to know what happens if you forget your form you should read the rest of this section.

Below I’ll explain what ensues if you don’t have your form…

If you don’t have it, and you’re flying out of the Mexico City airport internationally (you’re leaving now) they’ll send you back out the security clearance area to Door 10 which is where the Immigration office is. If you don’t realize that you need this customs paper, and your flight is close understand that you’ll have to walk extremely far to go from the Gate that you thought you were ready to fly out of, back to the public area of the airport, and then walk all the way to the end of the corridor as Door 10 is the VERY LAST DOOR.

The reason this is a problem is between the time actually getting to Door 10, talking to Immigration and then going back through security again, if you’re flight timing is tight you could miss it.

Once you get to Immigration, they’ll ask you to pay a small fine and give new a couple of forms of fill out. One of the forms asks you why you don’t have your original form. An answer that you forgot it at your hotel or lost it is fine, which is probably the case anyways.

Immigration at Door 10 only accepts cards – they won’t take cash (“efectivo” in Spanish), so you need to have a credit card you can use.

All this is to say that make sure you hold onto your Immigration forms and take them with you when you leave the country.

If you get to the airport to leave the country and realize you’ve forgotten the forms, or if during your travels you lose the forms, make sure you go to Immigration at Door 10 FIRST before going through security. That way you can fill out the two forms they give you, pay the fine, and get the stamp you need.

You then hold onto a smaller pieced of paper with a stamp that they’ll give you from the process discussed above, and you keep that with you and only THEN do you go through security. At the gate you give the airline the stamped paper and you are good to go. If you forget your Immigration papers and you don’t get this stamp you won’t be allowed to get on the flight.

Parks In Mexico City

One of the best things about Mexico City is the greenery. It feels like you’re still connected to the jungle forest while living in an Urban City. There are so many beautiful parks, and you’ll find lots of people there in the mornings taking dance / exercise classes, using the outdoor gyms, going for a run, walking dogs, or just hanging out on the benches!

Many of the parks also have soccer fields, and you can often find people playing soccer – people are super friendly and if you ask nicely they’ll always welcome you into their game.

Getting Around The City

Uber

Uber is probably the fastest and safest way to get around the city. While it is more expensive than taking the subway, North American’s will be amazed at how inexpensive long Uber rides to different neighborhoods in Mexico City are. For this reason it’s what we use most frequently and our top recommendation.

Beat App

Beat is a really interesting app that we’ve only encountered in Mexico City. That have a fleet of cars that are only Tesla’s. Yes, you read that right! You can select the type of Tesla you want, and the standard is to ride in a Tesla Model 3. Beat isn’t available in certain neighborhoods (e.g. less affluent areas or when you get into the adjacent areas of Mexico city) but it’s a really fun experience! We recommend downloading the app to see if there are cars near you.

In our experience it has the same reliability as Uber, just is less available in certain areas.

Subway

I get that you want to ride in style, but you’re in Mexico! You have to ride the Subway at least once right? The Subway in Mexico City is your cheapest option and works well. We recommend riding the Subway at least once for the experience. There are people of different ages, families, people selling items, food, and even dancers. It’s a fun experience, and it runs quick well too.

Pro Tip – Check Out Viveros Subway Station: We recommend checking out the Viveros Subway station. Make it part of a day trip to Coyocan. It’s one stop after Coyocan on the subway line and it has beautiful artwork of animals and a forest on the steps and walls. Highly recommended!

Fun Things To Do In Mexico City

Play Soccer at Deportivo Oceanía

This is a fun place to play soccer / football (or fútbol) in Spanish. Soccer is the most popular team sport in Mexico followed by Baseball (#2) and then Basketball (#3).

There are multiple AstroTurf fields you can play on. If you see people playing you can ask the to join and they are usually very friendly. As a foreigner they’ll ask where you are from and are happy to include you.

One of the Astro Turf fields at Deportivo Oceania

Visit The Pyramids In Teotihuacan

The pyramids of Teotihuacan (meaning city of the gods) are only 50 minutes to 1 hour from the city via highway. You can hire a private driver or take a tour.

At the pyramids just across the street from the main parking lot there’s a restaurant called La Gruta which is in a cave which we highly recommend trying out!

Best Food and Restaurants

Mexican Street Food (Tacos)

The street food in Mexico is incredible. Make sure you eat at a taco stand where they cook the meat / prepare the taco in front of you. It’s delicious! You’ll be able to tell how high quality the meat is – the flavor is super yummy and you’ll also be able to tell how fresh it is!

The most famous type of taco in Mexico City is Tacos “Al Pastor ” which is pork cooked in a Lebanese Shawarma style and it’s a classic. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can get other types of tacos too.

  • Suadero = Meat between the belly and leg of the cow (another popular choice)

If you’re the more adventurous type there is also:

  • Ojos = Eyes
  • Lengua = Tongue
  • Sesos = Brain

Street Food

Mexico City’s food scene is truly incredible. The local Mexican food is amazing, but there are also so many really, really high quality restaurants with other country’s cuisines including Japanese food / Sushi, Lebanese Food, Italian Food, and more. You can find so many amazing restaurants that it’s not possible to list them all here. Instead, we’ve selected our favorite few from our time in the city.

Ryoshi (Japanese, Sushi)

Ryoshi is a Japanese restaurant located in one of Mexico City’s fanciest neighborhoods – Polanco. It has a gorgeous interior with gorgeous indoor plants and greenery and a variety of seating options including a long bar, tables, and cozy booths. It also has outdoor seating.

We love the quality of sushi at Ryoshi. Basically everything on the menu here is very high quality and tastes delicious, but we’ll share some of our favorite items.

Truffle Sashimi: This is our favorite dish on the menu. It’s sashimi with a light ponzu flavor and truffle on top. Truly spectacular.

Rollito Wagyu: This is 1 piece of Japanese Wagyu piece served with truffle and is also spectacular.

Sake Sampler: The waiter will bring you a tray with 5 different types of sake and explain each type to you. They range in sweetness and are all wonderful. There’s also one that is served hot. It’s a lot of fun to try each one at a time with a friend or a date to start off the evening.

Spicy Tuna Roll: If you’re going to pick a roll with fish you should choose tuna. It’s the best tasting fish that they serve, and the Spicy Tuna Roll is amazing. We’ve had to order a second one – it’s that good.

Dessert: For dessert you have to try the Tres Leches chocolate cake. It’s moist and melts in your mouth in a way no other way any other chocolate cake we’ve had in our lives does. Highly recommended.

María Ciento38 (Italian)

María Ciento38 is located north of Juarez in a neighborhood in Mexico City called Santa María la Ribera.

The restaurant serves authentic Sicilian food. The food is fantastic and so is the ambience. There is outdoor seating in a backyard courtyard. It’s gorgeous and very lively. In fact, the entire restaurant is situated in a beautiful 19th century mansion!

After dinner, if you’d like to go for a walk the Kiosco Morisco is only 200m or a 2 minute walk away. It’s a plaza with beautiful Moorish Architecture similar to what you see when you visit Spain!

Pujol

I’m not sure we could write a guide to Mexico City and it’s restaurants and not include Pujol. Pujol is an incredible dining experience. It’s also a very expensive fine dining experience but the tasting menu is superb. It lasts 2.5 hours usually, and you get a variety of different dishes.

Casa D’Italia

Their Centro location makes fantastic Pizza – some of the best we’ve had in our lives – and our team has travelled to Italy 😉 For some reason when we ordered the exact same pizza on the menu, their location in Condesa wasn’t nearly as good. We’re not sure why, but let us know how it is if you try it!

Other Useful Tips

Getting A Covid Test (PCR or Antigen)

There is an app similar to Uber Eats that is very popular in Mexico City called Rappi. You can order a COVID antigen or PCR test on Rappi. Once you place the order, you can see the arrival ETA for a Health Worker, just like a food delivery app.

A health worker will come to your home and give you the test. You’ll know within around 10 minutes what the results are. You can ask them to register you electronically in the local health system and they’ll also suggest that you take a photo of the test results with yours and their signature. If they don’t suggest this make sure you ask for it! They should also hold the device used to administer the test in the photo which has a series of lines, to match the result on the piece of paper.

You’ll see multiple options for the type of test to take in Rappi. The antigen test works well and is far less expensive than the PCR test, but if you are getting a test for travel clearance make sure you check the country you are visiting to see if they will accept an antigen test or if you need a PCR test.

Wrapping It All Up

Hopefully by now you’re convinced how great of a place Mexico City is to visit and work remotely from as a digital nomad. Between the beautiful parks, kind people, great internet speeds, and incredible food, there are so many reasons to pay Mexico City a visit.