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What’s so sweet about Nosara, Costa Rica in summer?

Nosara Costa Rica aerial view

Every year from January through April, the Nosara area community raises funds to coat the region’s roads with syrupy molasses. The problem being solved – at least temporarily – is the dust. There is a reason why this tropical paradise on the Guanacaste Gold Coast has remained off the tourism super highway, despite being named a world’s best travel destination in 2014. The dirt roads, in the past, made the area hard to reach.

Article by Shannon Farley

GingerbreadWhat is that smell these days in the little surf town of Playa Guiones by Nosara, Costa Rica? It smells like gingerbread cookies – everywhere!

No, there isn’t a gingerbread festival in town; nor is making burnt brown sugar desserts suddenly really popular in the laid-back surf and yoga haven on Costa Rica’s west coast. The sticky, sweet molasses smell is coming from the streets – literally.

Nosara Costa Rica aerial viewEvery year from January through April, the Nosara area community raises funds to coat the region’s roads with syrupy molasses. The problem being solved – at least temporarily – is the dust. There is a reason why this tropical paradise on the Guanacaste Gold Coast has remained off the tourism super highway, despite being named a world’s best travel destination in 2014. The dirt roads, in the past, made the area hard to reach.

Nosara and Playa Guiones are easy to travel to these days, but the dirt roads remain. So, during the dry summer months at the beginning of each year, the dust billows from passing vehicles and the wind.

Molasses on Nosara streets, photo by Adam DietrichThe Nosara Civic Association, businesses and private residents give money to help their community with this eco-friendly solution – since molasses is a by-product of sugar cane production in the region.

To coat the streets in Playa Guiones with molasses, first the road is sprayed down with water; then men carrying buckets of liquid Molasses on Nosara streets, photo by Andrea Crossanmolasses mixed with water splash the mixture onto the road with bowls. The coating will dry and harden in a couple of days, gluing the dirt and rocks together. After a week or so, the surface becomes almost like rust-colored asphalt, which lasts until the rains wash it away at the end of April or in May.

L'acqua Viva Resort & Spa in Playa Guiones proudly helps sponsor the community’s molasses solution for its roads. The main road passing directly behind L’acqua Viva Resort is already coated with molasses for the L'acqua Viva Resort & Spayear, drastically reducing the dust in the air. The Costa Rica luxury hotel is the best place to stay at Playa Guiones. Playa Guiones is renowned for some of the best surfing in Costa Rica. There are plenty of fun adventure and nature tours in Nosara including the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge to see nesting sea turtles.

How to get to Nosara: You can fly domestically from either the San Jose International Airport or the Liberia International Airport; from the Nosara airport it is a 10-minute drive to Playa Guiones. You can drive 4.5 hours from San Jose or 2.5 hours from Liberia.

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