If you're looking for an adventurous road trip and want to see more of
Costa Ricas great coastline and beaches, drive north on the coast road
and visit Samara and Nosara. You can also go inland and Samara can be
reached quite comfortably on the 35 km paved road from Nicoya. Buses
connect direct to San José every day and there are flights to San José
from the small airstrip of Carillo, 7 km south of Samara.
Samara is perfect for soaking up sun and enjoying beach life in
an unpretentious, friendly, laid-back atmosphere. This small village is
located in a large half-moon bay with a pale sand beach shaded by palms
and old fig trees. Samara is a very compact community, and everything
you need is within walking distance.
You´ll find seaside restaurants and bars with sand floors and fancy beach
decoration, where you can hang out comfortably, watch life on the beach
while drinking, eating, listening to good music and just feel – the feeling
of vacation. For late-night entertainment you can go to the funky
discotheque of Samara, located right on the beach.
Hotels in Samara run the gamut from simple and cheap cabinas, to cozy
Bed and Breakfast, to boutique hotels on the beach.
Activities in Samara
A 2 km walk south along the beach brings you to the fishing community of Matapalo.
Matapalo means strangler fig in English and indeed there is an immense
old strangler fig rooting in the sand. The beach is littered with broken
corals which make up the sea bottom of the southern part of the bay. The
shallow waters are ideal for snorkeling and kayaking.
For underwater adventure, go diving or snorkeling at the offshore coral
reef. It is one of the few found on the Costa Rican Pacific coast and there
are schools of yellow jack, sardines and manta rays. Next to the reef is
Chora Island which is home to colonies of maritime birds. With an ocean
kayak you can paddle to the island and enjoy a gorgeous pink sand beach.
The chest-deep water and easy surf in Samara bay is perfect for beginners
learning to surf. More challenging waves for the profs are found 12 km
south of Samara, on Playa Camaronal. Other water sports offered in
Samara include windsurfing, sport fishing, or kayaking along the coast or
into the river estuary of the Rio Ora.
On shore activities include horseback rides to the Tobacco waterfalls with
its three cataracts and natural swimming pools. Or go on a Canopy Tour in
Santo Domingo, three km inland from Samara.
½ hour north of Samara, is one of the great Costa Rica
surf spots, with two beaches: Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones. Unlike
Samara, Nosara it is quite spread out, so some form of transport is
needed. Lots of people use bicycles, a fun way to travel because the area
On Playa Pelada one can experience a real tico, fishing experience by the
river mouth. Getting to this remote beach by vehicle on a rough road or
by foot is not easy but well worth the effort. It's one of the few places left
where the local fishermen still use traditional fishing techniques. It is best
on the incoming tide, when fish like snoek and sea bass wait for river
shrimp and other estuary life to feed on.