The distance from Tamarindo to Nosara is approximately 44 miles (71 km). Traveling by car, via Route 160 South, will make the trip about a two-hour drive. Both towns are popular surf destinations so the roads are well-traveled and fairly easy to navigate. However, it's not a bad idea to travel with a 4x4 vehicle, if possible, especially during the rainy season.
Private transfer is the most efficient way to travel around the peninsula. However, there are taxis and buses available between the destinations. Public transport is cheap and relatively reliable but they can get crowded with tourists and locals alike.
Since you'll be traveling down the western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, you'll pass through a number of places worth stopping for. There's a lot to see and do on the Pacific side of Costa Rica so consider these activities and sample itineraries as you plan for your trip.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2-3 hours
Route 160 is a national road so it's in good shape for the most part. Typically, the drive won't take more than a few hours but rain and flooding can cause delays at times, especially when crossing low-lying areas. If you have the freedom and flexibility of your own car, it may be worthwhile to go slow and include other stops on your way. The coastal area is dotted with surf breaks, yoga studios, roadside taco shops, and wilderness trails.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Tamarindo is a very busy, bustling surf town so finding a taxi won't be an issue. Your hotel can also assist with reserving one ahead of time if you request it. A taxi ride is less expensive, more private, and you'll get the added bonus of a local driver who knows their way around. They might also have good ideas about out of the way spots to visit so consider hiring the taxi at a half or full-day rate.
Duration: 5-6 hours
As long as you're not in a hurry, budget-minded travelers also have the option of going by bus. There are plenty of tour companies offering shuttle services which mean a more direct, comfortable ride. As for public transport, you'll have to catch a combination of buses from Tamarindo to Santa Cruz to Nicoya to Nosara. Buses do run frequently but this trip could take a better part of a day so be sure to factor in waiting times and road conditions as well.