Surf and yoga notwithstanding, ask any visitor to Nosara the reasons why they came, and their reply may include hoping to glimpse the flora and fauna, wildlife-filled environment that the marketing materials are tripping over themselves to convey.

These ad campaigns are many things to many people. However, one thing they are not, is false advertising. The monkeys, pizotes, parrots, birds of prey, and even the seldom seen kinkajous, white faced monkeys, snakes and wild cats such as ocelots and margays really do live here. And while chances are high of spotting a pizote safely guiding her young across the road, or watching a howler monkey troop navigate the jungle canopy, your only realistic hope of seeing the other stuff is by getting off the beaten track.

“But Nosara is off the beaten track. That’s why we came here,” comes the reply. Well, maybe that’s true to a point. However, if you think your definition of “off the beaten track” is the same as a white faced monkey, or a highly reclusive margay, then think again. For those that don’t already know, the good news is that thanks to the efforts of the NCA, these kind of tracks can be accessed from your doorstep, without having to trek through the mountains, or the swamps of the biological reserve.

When the NCA first raised the idea of constructing a trail system within the 240 hectares of NCA protected parklands, its mission statement was twofold. To imbue visitors, locals, residents, and expats with a true, authentic sense and taste of the Costa Rican wild. The desired result would be to remind ourselves of the easily overlooked natural beauty and delicate ecosystems that surround us, thus fostering an expanded awareness and desire to protect these precious, priceless areas of land from development.

The Nosara trail systems are the result of hard work and extensive planning by dedicated members of the NCA, and should be top of the ‘to do’ list for visitors, and even the many long term residents who have yet to walk, run, bike, or horse ride through them. The approximately 12 km of trails incorporate beaches, jungles, rivers, mangroves and more.

Very soon, the NCA plans to expand the trail signs. As well as the trail information, these signs will feature all NCA business members, which is one more great reason for businesses who wish to support the NCA but have yet to sign up, to do so asap. For more information, and to download a trail map, click here.