Samara Costa Rica
Samara is the perfect place to soak up some sun and enjoy the beach in an unpretentious, laid-back atmosphere. The small village is located in a large horseshoe bay with a wide sandy beach that spans over 4.5 miles (7 km) and is lined by palms and other shade trees. Because the bay of Samara is protected by a coral reef, the gentle surf is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Beach in Samara Costa Rica
Samara has a nice ‘Tico’ feel and is also a popular vacation spot for Costa Ricans themselves. The town is easily
reached by paved road and a daily bus connects to San Jose, Costa Rica's capital.
Hotels in Samara also offer good lodging options in the mid- and budget range and the village is pretty compact so that you don't need an own vehicle. Within easy walking distance from your hotel you find everything - from banks and supermarkets to car rentals, tour operators and a wide selection of restaurants.
Street vendor in Samara
On the beach of Samara you enjoy the ocean breeze while lounging in one of the laid-back bars and restaurants with sand floors, beach artworks and a
casual bohemian vibe. Stroll into the village center and you'll find even more cool venues and places for dining.
For those who want to improve their language skills, there is the Samara Language School located right on the beach. Learn Spanish while participating in cultural and communal activities, including a homestay with a Costa Rican family, if desired.
Tours and Activities in Samara:
The best spot for snorkeling is in Cangrejal, at the northern end of the Samara Bay, where the reef is to the beach. In dry season enjoy crystal clear waters with colorful fish, manta rays, and star fish within the submarine fauna.
Kayaking in the bay of Samara
At the extreme southern end of the reef, is the 5-hectare islet of Isla Chora, a wildlife reserve which protects colonies of maritime birds.
Paddle to the island by kayak and check out the beautiful pink sand beach.
Other kayak tours can be made along the coast and into the mangrove forests of the river estuary of the Rio Ora or Rio Buenavista.
A popular new sport in Samara is SUP (Stand Up Paddle), which involves paddling in the ocean on a large type surfboard.
With chest-deep water and easy surf in the bay, learning to surf is easy for beginners. More challenging waves for more experienced surfers are found 12 km south of Samara, on Playa Camaronal.
Sport fishing on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast is world-class and professional fishing tours are offered from the nearby port of Carrillo. Sportfishing enthusiasts can catch mahi mahi, marlin, giant tuna and sailfish among others.
A popular tour by boat is for dolphin-sighting where you might also see sea turtles or manta rays while enjoying views to Samara from a new, oceanside perspective.
The calm waters of the bay are a main feature of Playa Samara
For activities on land you can ride on horseback to the Tobacco waterfalls, comprised of three cataracts and natural swimming pools. Or, go on a Canopy Tour in Santo Domingo, three km inland from Samara. All hotels in Samara will book these tours and activities for you.
By bicycle you can easily reach the neighboring beaches of Samara:
to the north is the estuary of the Rio Buenavista and the pristine beach of Playa Buenavista.
To get there, drive through the community of Cangrejal and continue for 2 km on a road through the forest.
From Samara to the south cycle to the bay of Carrillo, known for its picturesque palm-lined beach and tranquil, clear waters.
If you want to see animals in Costa Rica it is pretty difficult to spot them in the wild. A good opportunity to see a lot of Costa Rica's wildlife is the bromelia gardens and animal rescue center of La Selva in Carrillo. On a guided tour you see wildcats, cocodrilos, racoons, exotic birds, sloths and anteaters among many others. Best time for visiting is at around 4 p.m. which is the feeding time for the animals.
See also: Detailed Map of Samara and Carrillo
Getting to Samara:
Samara can be reached quite easily via the 35 km paved road from Nicoya, or, if coming from the Tempisque bridge via Hojancha and Carrillo. Daily direct busses connect to San José. Unfortunately, the small airport of Carrillo is no longer in operation.