The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information
Eight km south of Samara you find one of Costa Rica's most stunning beaches. The wide crescent bay of Playa Carrillo looks almost Caribbean with its white-sand beach lined by coconut palms and clear, turquoise waters.
Rocky headlands protect the bay of Carrillo on both sides so that the water is calm and well suited swimming and snorkeling.
A luxurious 2-lane boulevard parallels the beach and you find easy parking for your car along with picnic tables 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 a bit crowded with Costa Rican families enjoying beach life.
At the southern end of the bay the road climbs uphill into the small village of Carrillo with supermarkets, tourist services, restaurants and bars. In the village and further inland you also find a good selection of hotels in Carrillo.
A nice lookout point is at the hairpin bend in the middle of the road uphill. From here you enjoy the best sunset views of Carrillo, or you can descend the steep little road to the port. Puerto Carrillo is nestled in a rocky cove that provides safe mooring for the sport fishing fleet of Samara.
Carrillo offers a great alternative for travelers who prefer a quiet, scenic beach spot while still being near the action in Samara.
Nature and animal lovers also have the opportunity to visit the bromelia garden and animal shelter of La Selva in Carrillo where you find many animals of Costa Rica which you will hardly see 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
See also: » Detailed Map of Carrillo