One glimpse at Emilie Ghilaga's life in Nosara, Costa Rica will have you ready to up and move to the dreamy destination. The buying director of Over The Moon was visiting a friend who lived there when she fell in love and decided to make her life in the lush jungle by the sea. There she found a warm and welcoming paradise, where she was able to work remotely and sync her life with the rhythms of nature. Now a seasoned local, Emilie shares her expert tips on the best spots in Nosara to nourish mind, body, and soul.
Please tell us about your work and mission.
I am the Buying Director for Over The Moon. Our mission is to provide fashion and home products to our clients by established brands, artisans and craftsmen domestically and globally. From our fashion department, we provide fashion and accessories for the year leading up to one’s wedding as well as a curated assortment from our favorite designs of styles for everyday wear and guest-of. Clients can register for these pieces as they embark on new phases in their lives, or buy immediately through our boutique. We want to provide products for the different milestones in people’s lives as well as items that can be passed down through generations.
What are three pieces from Over the Moon that you’re gifting this season?
In a few words, how do you define your approach to beauty?
I try to be as “au natural” as possible. However, as I get older, I am a lot more mindful of my skincare regime. I hardly wear makeup though, I prefer a slight sun-kissed or rosy cheeks from a hot bath or a long sauna.
What are the highlights of your skincare routine? The 3 products or steps that are non-negotiables?
MBR Powder Cleanser
Joaquina Botanica Glow Oil (it is the perfect light oil to throw on after a day in the sun and feel hydrated and glowy for dinner)
Environ Eye-cream and Moisturizer
What inspired you to move to Nosara? What is your favorite thing you’ve learned from the culture in Costa Rica?
My friend Liza inspired me to move to Costa Rica and I also had an adventurous and eccentric side that needed to be in Nature. I also knew I had to be somewhere where I could see the sunrise and the sunset everyday. I work a lot, so having nature as a background is the only way I can find a proper work life balance.
Aside from Pura Vida—Costa Ricans have one of the strongest senses of pride I have ever witnessed in a culture. This characteristic is something that I deeply respect. They have such a sense of pride for themselves, their culture and their people that is also earnest and charming, there is no hubris here. I am astounded everyday by their kindness, knowledge of their land and the jungle, and eternally grateful for how they have welcomed me to build my home and my life here.
What does your dream day look like in Nosara?
Wake up at 5:30, surf lesson at 6. Start calls/work at 7:30, until about 4pm (6pm in NY). Yoga or Tennis 4:30 to 5. Dinner at 6, in bed by 8pm.
On the weekends, I like to visit the different beaches in the surrounding area. Each one has different color sand from volcanic to mineral and the sea shell hunting is magnificent.
Your favorite mindfulness ritual?
Meditation, headstands, and yoga. I also want to start Kundalini yoga soon as I truly believe there is a magic there that I would like to personally experience and untap.
Favorite way to stay active?
Tennis, surf, yoga, hiking the mountain, sessions at the gym and listening to great music. I need a mixture based on my mood.
EMILIE'S GUIDE TO NOSARA
Your favorite hotels to recommend when friends visit? (2-3 hotels would be perfect)
Casa Gloria (house rental)
The Harmony Hotel
Nosara Beach Hotel
Nalu House Rentals
Favorite day trip or activity?
Favorite lunch spot?
Rosie’s in North Guiones, get the Casado de Pescado - and don’t ask for Pescado Casado cause that mean’s fish marriage and I have made that mistake before!
Favorite romantic dinner spot?
Favorite spot for a group dinner party before a night out?
Pilos in Garza (get the langoustines, french fries and white wine, and go for sunset!)
Or Pepperoni in Pelada for the tuna carpaccio, with focia, it’s the BEST. And local caught tuna
OR La Luna for great margheritas, pizza and fish tacos.
Best spot for cocktails?
Howlers in North Guiones
Favorite spot for a night of dancing?
Shops – 3 favorites and for what.
Nosara Apothecary—literally the greatest place in the world. I buy everything from Hyaluronic Acid, Reishi and Cordyceps Mushroom capsules (I took them all through covid for immunity), Oregino Oil, Soups, Moisturizers, Toothpaste, the list goes on and on and on!
Harmony Hotel Book Shop - a wonderful little shop for meaningful and interesting books during your stay.
Olo Alaia - best surf boards, great iced coffee and cool gear
One dish you need to have while in Nosara?
Langoustines from Pilos
Your favorite fruit to enjoy while in Nosara?
Mangos from the trees at my house, they are the sour ones. Also rambutans which are like lychees, they sell them in season on the side of the road.
A tourist trap to avoid?
Santa Teresa, jk!
Follow Emilie for more inspiration at @ghilaga