Samara Costa Rica is nestled on the Pacific Coast, a quiet hideaway that still offers everything needed for a stylish beach vacation beyond the shore. The friendly beach town is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, about three hours to the east from Puntarenas across the Gulf of Nicoya. Samara is just to the south of Tamarindo, a town known for its resorts and surfing. It takes about five hours to get to Samara and its beaches by bus or rental car from San Jose, 40 minutes if you fly. There are no direct flights from Costa Rica’s capital, but they are available at nearby Punta Islita or Nosara. No matter how you arrive, you’ll find a town with plenty of charms once you arrive.
Playa Samara Costa Rica
Playa Samara Costa Rica
There’s no doubt that centerpiece of Samara is its beach where blue skies meet the blue waters of the Pacific. The beach that shares a name with the city wraps around a bay where the waves are good for surfing, ocean kayaking or swimming. This beautiful stretch of sun and sand is lined by mangroves and coconut trees, the kind of scenery you’d expect for the best of the Costa Rica beaches. By day, Playa Samara is a great place for fun both on and off the water, including swimming, horseback rides on the beach, and simply lounging in the sun. The beach has received the Blue Flag certification for its safety and clean conditions. After the sun sets, Samara’s visitors enjoy its restaurants and live music just steps away from the shore.
Samara Surfing Image: Marco Zanferrari (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
The western shores of Costa Rica offer some of the best surfing in the world, and Samara is no exception. Whether you’re an avid surfer or a complete beginner, Samara is a great place for surfing with uncrowded swells. If you’re not traveling with a board, one of the local shops can rent them for the day or the week. They’ll also provide lessons and take you out to the best waves. Playa Samara is along the south side of the bay. To the north, Playa Garza enjoys large swells and breaks that are especially great with swells from the south or southwest. Other nearby beaches also offer ideal conditions for surfing—strong south swells are found at Playa Carrillo, and Camaraonal has big waves without the crowds.
Samara Costa Rica Hotels
Samara Costa Rica Hotels Image: Micah & Erin (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
Samara may have a reputation as a sleepy fishing village, but that doesn’t mean there’s nowhere to stay at night. You’ll find beach resorts as well as charming cabanas and bead-and-breakfast inns to suit all kinds of budgets. Many of the lodging properties offer such amenities as air conditioning, laundry service, and in-room whirlpools—along with beach or hilltop views. While there’s never a time with bad weather in Samara Costa Rica, there are times throughout the year when the hotels aren’t as full. That means better rates for you and more money for enjoying all the things to do do in Samara and the surrounding communities.
Top image: Sarah and Iain (flickr)