Samara, Costa Rica
Samara has for a very long time, been a traditional holliday destination for Costa Rican families on vacation. Unlike many other travel destinations in Costa Rica, most of the businesses and hotels in Samara are owned and run by Costa Ricans.
Popular with swimmers and windsurfers, located on the shore of an idyllic pale sand beach in a half moon bay, and protected by a coral reef, Samara is a cozy, little beach village, perfect to soak up beach life and sun in ‘the pura vida’ atmosphere.
In many ways, Samara is the stereotypical picture of a relaxed seaside village. A dirt road serves as the main street, and leads directly down to the palm-tree lined beach. Bars and restaurants are open air with sand floors and beach decor, and the main activity seems to be parents relaxing and staying cool, while keeping watch over their children playing, swimming, biking, and learning to surf.
Shallow waters and easy surf in the bay is perfect for beginners just learning to ride waves. More advanced surfers can head about twelve kilometers north, to Playa Camaronal, for a bigger challenge. Windsurfing, sport fishing, or kayaking into the Rio Ora estuary or out to Chora Island next to the reef are also popular area activities. Horses, scooters, and bicycles are readily available for land exploration as well.
How to get there:
From San Jose: The shortest way to get to Samara is on Autopista del Sol to Caldera and keep driving to Puntarenas. When you pass Puntarenas turn left and follow signs to the Friendship Bridge (Puente de la Amistad in Spanish). Cross the bridge and follow the road signs to Nicoya. Cross straight through town until you see signs for Samara, the paved road there is well marked.
Due to the quality of its beaches, Samara has long been a priority in the country’s efforts to increase tourism. It also helps that the town is accessible from three of Costa Rica’s four international airports. As a result, it began receiving government funding for infrastructure improvements long before popular favorites like Nosara and Guiones.
Samara Beach is also one of the cleanest in Costa Rica. It’s been awarded the ecological Blue Flag, which is bestowed on beaches that have taken measures to improve the safety and sanitary conditions of its water.
Samara has developed a lot in recent years, but not so much that everyone there has forgotten what it was like before paved roads and reliable electricity.
Summary: Family-friendly destination; safe swimming; pristine white sand beach.
Landscape: Beaches, Tropical Dry Forest
Attractions: Chora Island, La Selva Wildlife Refuge , Wildlife
Activities: Kayaking, Snorkeling, Swimming, Ultralight Airplane Flights
Caters to: Budget Travelers, Couples/Honeymooners, Families, Surfers
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