Worth getting out of bed for
Wave-riders travel from around the world to surf the swells around Guiones. Get in on the action by bringing your own board or renting one from the shack next-door to Harmony. Even newcomers can get in on the action: the long breaks are perfect for less-experienced surfers. The hotel offers lessons in classic surfing and paddleboarding, with available gear storage just off the sand. The beach is one of the most striking in the area, owing in part to the hotel’s driftwood sculpture, which resembles a giant reclaimed Christmas tree. The icon is a good way for drifting swimmers to mark the hotel’s location, and its wood ‘branches’ double as pegs that keep towels safe from errant waves.
Thrillseekers can zoom through the air on a high-speed zipline over the world’s longest canopy, Guanacaste's tropical dry forest, for expansive views of rivers, waterfalls and the ocean.
Seven kilometres north of the hotel is a protected beach where tens of thousands of sea turtles nest, typically at high tide during the new moon. Guests whose visits to Harmony coincide with the subsequent hatchings can visit and see all the hatchlings make their way from their nests to the water. The arribada, or nestings, take place year-round, but the highest concentrations take place in October and November.
There are several beach-casual restaurants in nearby Nosara and Playa Guiones. A 10-minute drive from the hotel, La Luna in Playa Pelada (+506 2682 0122) serves Mediterranean food and pizza on the beach. A bit further along the sand, Olga’s pours beer and dishes up standard local fare, including beans and rice, to fishermen and visitors. Visit at sunset for perfect views. Il Basilico (+506 2682 1472) serves rep again Italian-style pizza, pasta and seafood at the south end of Playa Guiones, a stroll from Harmony. For a truly home-cooked meal, try Dona Ana’s (+506 2656 8085) in Playa Garza, where the eponymous Ana cooks freshly caught fish, shrimp tempura and local food, which she serves on her patio.
The surf crew in Nosara tends to head to bed early, but those who like to stay out late visit Bar la Banana (+506 2682 4082) on the main road. The lively open-air club features a DJ and theme nights, including reggae Thursdays.
A short walk from the hotel on the main road to Nosara, Cafe de Paris (+506 2682 0087) bakes puffy loaves of bread and French pastries each day. Even sweeter, the café has outdoor seating and a pool out back. Organico Natural Market on the main road has plenty of provisions for a picnic on the beach. The market operates a smoker outpost – called Fritz’s BBQ – for pork tacos. Robin’s Ice Cream (+506 2682 0617), on the road to the beach in Playa Guiones, scoops tropical ice creams into home-made cones.