Visiting Playa Samara
Playa Samara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. At about 50 minutes from Nosara Domestic Airport and 2 hours from Liberia International Airport (LIR), you can reach this white sanded beauty very easily. The Nicoya Peninsula has been labeled one of the 5 Blue Zone areas of the world. It defines locations where a large number of the population lead long and healthy lives. This has given the Samara community a rather unique atmosphere. Quite contrary to some other beaches in Guanacaste, Samara has a bit of a hippie-commune feel to it. Next to that, Playa Samara maintains its reputation as a great place for snorkeling, scuba diving and hiking. For the times you are not exploring this stunning area, you can enjoy some delicious cuisine with a strong focus on freshness and health. In short, Pura Vida! The Province of Guanacaste also has the added benefit that even during rainy season, you can have full days of sun and less people on the beach.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
With a beach flanked by rocky headlands, Samara is a great place for exploring some underwater wildlife. All year round you can swim amongst manta rays, sharks, turtles and dolphins! If these amazing creatures aren’t enough, you can also admire the colorful depths of Costa Rica is so known for. Samara is home to a wonderful coral reef and its vibrant colors are only matched by the many fish that frequent it!
Kayaking and Paddling
The ocean in this region can be quite calm during certain parts of the year, so it is possible to go kayaking and / or paddling in the ocean. But you can also take an amazing river tour and feel closer to nature. The expert guides will reveal all of the river’s secrets as well as introduce you to Costa Rica’s much beloved wildlife.
With Samara’s having rather calm waters, you may not make the connection to it being a great surfer beach. But this makes Samara a great beach to learn surfing! Pick a surf school and once you feel the lessons are paying off, why not make your way to Tamarindo or Nosara? Tamarindo is a great beach for beginners where Nosara caters to the more confident surfer.
Meet Samara’s quiet neighbor, Playa Carrillo. Located at a modest 5 km from Samara town, this beach is a perfect getaway from the bustling Samara. Still largely undeveloped, Carrillo boasts a wide, crescent shaped beach surrounded by palm trees and with a virginal jungle backdrop. During the weekends and holidays, you will have to squeeze yourself through the hordes of Tico families. But at all other times you will find this beach practically deserted. Samara offers several interesting tours visiting Carrillo including bicycle, ATV and amazing scuba diving tours.
Tropical dry forest – Werner-Sauter Biological reserve
The tropical dry forest is an increasingly rare phenomenon and one well worth exploring. From Samara you can take a tour visiting the forests just outside of the town. You will learn about the unique features and importance of this ecosystem as well as spot some wildlife. Sample fresh mangoes at the mango plantations and discover how you can recognize different pants and herbs. You will also be given the chance to support the reserve’s great efforts and plant a tree. A wonderful chance to leave a positive mark during your travels!
ATV, motorcycle and bicycle tours
Take your trip off the road and dare to get a little dirty! Book a tour with and ATV, motorcycle or bicycle and customize your package. Explore the beach and the mountains. The jungles and swimming holes. Go on a coffee tour, enjoy the sunset or combine it all with a horse riding tour.
Horseback riding tours
Exploring Costa Rica on horseback is always an amazing experience. And Samara beach is the most idyllic setting you can hope for! Make sure to pick a package with a sunset ride along the beach included for a romantic end of the day. And who knows, you might run into your horse after the tour! The tour horses wander the streets and far end parts of the beaches freely after hours.
Visit nearby beaches
Next to paying a visit to Playa Carrillo, we highly recommend you visit Nosara as well. Nosara is home to some amazing surfing beaches as well as haven for yoga enthusiasts. Make your way to Playa Garza for some great fishing and relax at the charming Playa Pelada.
Barra Honda National Park
You probably thought most of Costa Rica’s natural wonders were visible on the surface. But at Barra Honda National Park, you can explore the caves underneath the mountains! Pick up your courage and climb down the eerily thin ladder to meet your guide. Take a walk through the quirky formations and learn all about the history of these underground palaces.
Take a plunge in a still largely undiscovered swimming hole at a 20 minute drive from Samara. For now this waterfall is mainly visited by locals. So you can mix a refreshing swim with some meaningful interactions and perhaps learn about some more hidden gems.
Visit between January and March: Samara will welcome you during any time of the year, but during these months you are guaranteed amazing weather.
Bring beach slippers: If you want to take a long walk along Samara beach, make sure you wear slippers or shoes. Near the town the beach consists of sand but the further you go, the more rocks and uneven ground you will encounter.
Explore other beaches in the area: No one beach is the same and it would be a shame to focus on one beach only. Playa Carrillo, Playa Garza, Playa Nosara, … Visit as many as you can! Maybe even head to the town of Nicoya and learn about the local history!
Rent a car: If you want to get the most out of your trip and explore other beaches as well, you should definitely consider renting a car to make it easier on yourself.