Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica
Eight km south of Samara you find one of Costa Rica's most picturesque beaches. The wide crescent bay of Playa Carrillo looks almost Carribbean with its clear, turquoise waters and palm lined white-sand beach. Rocky headlands protect the bay on both sides so that the water is calm and well suited swimming.
For travelers who prefer a quiet, scenic beach Carrillo offers a nice alternative while still being near the action in Samara.
A luxurious 2-lane boulevard parallels the beach and you find easy parking for your car in the shade of palm trees. Apart from that the beach of Carrillo is delightfully undeveloped: no buildings, hotels or restaurants spoil the tropical paradise flair.
Only on weekends and holidays it can become crowded when Costa Rican families enjoy their picknick on the beach.
At the southern end of the bay the road climbs uphill into the small village where you find most of the hotels of Carrillo, as well as supermarkets, tour operators and restaurants.
In the middle of the hairpin bend of the road uphill is a lookout point from where you enjoy nice views of the bay and sunsets. A small road descends down to the little port of Puerto Carrillo. Nestled in a rocky cove it provides safe mooring for the sport fishing fleet of Samara.
Nature and animal lovers also have the opportunity to visit the bromelia garden and animal shelter of La Selva in Carrillo where you can see many animals which you will hardly spot in the wild. On a guided tour you see different species of wildcats, cocodrilos, exotic birds, porcupines, coatis, vampire bats and anteaters among others. Best time for visiting is around 4 pm which is the feeding time for the animals.