The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information
North of Samara lies the pristine and often deserted beach of Playa Buenavista with its river estuaries. From Samara you get there easily by driving through the small hamlet of Cangrejal where you bear to your right. Continue for 2 km on the road through the forest and you arrive at the estuary of the Rio Buenavista. Around low tide you can cross the river to explore the northern side of the beach.
Alternatively you can drive to the northern part of Playa Buenavista on the dry-season road to Nosara (see below). From the turnoff in Esterones continue 2 km through the valley of Monterreyna until you reach the estuary of the Rio Ciego. The lagoon behind the beach and the extended wetlands are inhabited by crocodiles and a great variety of birds.
Playa Buenavista is an important nesting site for 4 different species of sea turtles. The non-profit organization ASVO offers volunteer programs to protect sea turtles on Playa Buenavista.
Year-round Route to Nosara: From Samara you have to drive uphill direction Nicoya for 6 km, then turn left on the gravel road to Nosara. After 12 kms you reach the hamlet of Barco Quebrado. Here the road forks: the branch to the left takes you to Playa Buenavista, and the right one leads to Nosara.
Dry Season Route: In dry season you can take a shortcut to Nosara by crossing the Rio Buenavista. From Samara drive via Cangrejal to the Rio Buenavista. 5 km after the river crossing you arrive at Esterones where a turnoff to the west leads to Playa Buenavista, continuing straight the road joins the main Nosara road after another 5 km.
6 kms before reaching » Nosara you pass through the small fishing village of Playa Garza. An offshore reef protects the crescent bay with its broad, white-sand beach. Here you can take a break under the palm trees or plunge into the calm ocean.
Playa Garza hosts Nosara's sport fishing fleet. From here fishing buffs can go a tour with one of the local outfitters. All hotels in Nosara can book you sport fishing tours or just a leisurely trip on a boat.