Sámara Travel Guide

  • Sámara
    by Tom_In_Madison
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Sámara
    by Tom_In_Madison

Sámara Things to Do

  • Exercise, water and fun

    On our last full day in Samara, we scheduled a kayak/snorkel tour to Isla Chora (just off the coast of Sámara Beach). Our friends at Sámara Adventure Company picked us up at our hotel at 8 a.m., we hopped into the pick up truck and headed to the beach. Once there, we met our guide Fabricio, received instructions on where we were going and what we...

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  • Let's go horseback riding

    While in Fortuna/Arenal, we did the zip-line adventure. So since we traveled to another area of Costa Rica, we wanted to try something else. An activity we wanted to try while on vacation was horsebackriding. In Sámara, we again touched bases with our friends at Anywhere Costa Rica to setup the excursion with the Sámara Adventure Company (located...

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  • Hittin' the beach is the best thing to...

    The beach in Samara is protected with beautiful inside waves for learning to surf and some very good outside right and left hand breaks for the very experienced surfer.

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  • Walk to Playa carrillo

    Samara beach is nice, but Playa carrillo is just as nice, maybe better, and a lot less crowded. It's a 45 minute walk, or a $6 cab ride down the road. There's much less development around, so the beach is less crowded. Nice walk. I saw a half-dozen monkeys or so climbing among the trees on the walk down.

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  • Surfin' & Boogie Boarding

    Surf School Samara Run by an American, the first shop on the beach off (to the left) of Main St. I rented a boogie board for $2/hour here. That was enough of a workout for me. He has surfboards and other things to rent, and offers airport-pickups and rental of anything else you need. There are 2 other shops further south down the beach.

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  • learn to surf

    The waves are calm an perfect for the beginner surfer.... you can rent a board at the beach or take lessons in a surf school. Sometimes it can get a little bit crowded in the waves but its worth trying ( and offcourse at your own risk)

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Sámara Hotels

See all 9 Hotels in Sámara
  • The Hideaway Hotel Playa Samara

    on the road from Samara to Carrillo, 150 meters from the ICE Tower, Playa Samara, 50205, Costa Rica

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

  • Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

    100 mts sur de Arbol Matapalo, Playa Samara 5235, Costa Rica

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Hotel Belvedere

    Also a good option if you want to spend a bit more. Facilities include clean rooms with private...

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Sámara Restaurants

  • Yummy BBQ

    On our last night in Sámara, we wanted to enjoy a delicious meal on the beach. So again, we asked the folks at the front desk if they could recommend such a place. They said go to El Lagarto and you will not be disappointed. They were correct. Located directly on the beach, you can smell the bbq roasting on the open wood fire grill before you even...

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  • Sun, sand and tacos

    After a morning of kayaking and snorkeling, we headed to town to look for a bite to eat. We found a parking spot just off the main drag and walked along the street next to the beach. Heard folks laughing and having a good time, so we decided to stop in and see what's up. The place is called Lo Que Hay ("What It Is" in Spanish) and is located on the...

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  • Don't miss the 2 x 1 sushi

    While sitting at our hotel bar enjoying happy hour, Fernando the bartender recommended that we head down to La Vela Latina Restaurant & Bar for dinner. Since it was Monday night, the special was 2 x 1 sushi...so thats where we headed. Located directly on Sámara Beach, we shared a table with another couple and ordered our sushi as well as beer....

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  • Roadside dining - decent food and fumes

    The owners are french and so are the waiters. The interior has very little seating. Most of the seating is outdoor in front of the restaurant, literately next to the road. In concept this is nice. However, at times the cars and trucks zipping by were loud and the fumes from these cars made the experience terrible. I was a large group and we were...

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  • Try the Guava pastry!

    I've walked past this place so many times. I finally took the time to stop in one morning to buy some pastries. I'm glad I did. They open at 7am, tucked away on the corner of Main street (Via Arriba) and rt 160. There is some outdoor seating within a little compound/courtyard. I had a small blueberry muffin and a pastry filled with Guava jelly....

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  • Nice Bakery - check out the dulce de...

    I've been going here for years. It is convenient when arriving and leaving town as it is on the main street on the edge of town. Nice selection, good coffee, some outdoor seating and reasonably priced. they open at 7am. Lunch is also available but I have only gone here for pastries The dulce de leche cookie was very good. Two short bread cookies...

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Sámara Nightlife

  • Las Olas daytime and night time fun

    Las Olas is a family owned and operated restaraunt and bar on the north end of Samara. It is a great time. During the day it is a great place to surf and snorkel. In the evening enjoy a drink, some great Mexican food and a bunch of locals. You're at the beach!!!!

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  • Drinks - great, food-ok.

    Seemed to me to be the best night hangout. Lively bartenders, good prices and a nice location on the beach. They also have food, bar stuff, nothing fancy or pricey. During American football season, they show games on a big tv. Watched the last 2 minutes of the Packers crushing the Bears here, on the beach. It was 85 here, about 25 degrees in Green...

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  • Samara's late night spot

    La Gondola is a fun bar with an Italian feel. There is a pool and ping pong table as well as a dart board

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Sámara Transportation

  • Reparacion De Llantas

    So this is not about a rental of transportation but rather a repair of one of our vehicles. For several days we had a slow leak to one a tire. It was progressively get to be a faster leak. The owner at Casa del Mar told me of a repair place that just opened in town. He actually walked me to the next corner and pointed the place out to me.Drove over...

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  • Fly in

    One way of getting into and out of Playa Samara is to use the little planes of Sansa airlines. I was pressed for time, so decided to use them. It's a 30 minute flight from here to San Jose. The 'airport' consists of a corrugated tin roof alongside the road across from Playa Carillo a 5 minute cab ride away. The landing strip is hardened dirt, and...

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  • Service to and from San Jose

    The main bus company that serves Samara to and from San Jose is ALFARO.They offer daily service FROM San Jose to Samara at 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm and the return bus leaves Samara for SJ at 4:30 am and 8:30 am. The special Sunday services leaves Samara at 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. The service is fairly direct and only stops occasionally to pick up or drop...

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Sámara Shopping

  • Super Market

    This is a local super market that has everything you can possibly need. I like to support the local store in stead of the chain super market which is also in town. We always purchase our water here because as a rule I don't like to drink local water from tap, just to be safe.Hours of operation, open 7 days a week, 7:30am to 10pm. Inexpensive...

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  • don Jaime Koss Art Gallerie

    Don Jaime has a wonderful art gallerie just south of the town center. He paints oil on canvas and in addition to being an artist he has a wonderful conversation. Art at Don Jaime Koss As much as you want

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  • Sámara Hotels

    9 Hotels in Sámara

    1 Reviews

Sámara Local Customs

  • Durango43's Profile Photo

    by Durango43 Written Mar 16, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The people of Guanacaste and especially the beach areas are pleasant, accomodating and always wanting to help. I have found them in my numerous trips to become good friends.

    Coco
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Surfing

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Sámara Warnings and Dangers

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    by blueskyjohn Updated May 11, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have been to Playa Barrigona many times over the years and never had a problem. I've posted this as a must see off the beaten track when visiting Samara. However, I just returned from here several weeks ago and while spending the day a Barrigona, our car was broken into along with several other cars that were parked there. They did not break the windows but they have a way to pry the door slightly to slide something in to unlock it. I tell all my students to take everything with them because there is no one on the beach and we are very safe leaving belongings on the beach while swimming. Only one student forgot his wallet in the car and it was gone.

    The police in Samara are absolutely no help at all and suggested we report it in Nicoya!

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Sámara Off The Beaten Path

  • 4x4 needed to get here

    We had heard from numerous people in town that Mel Gibson had bought property in the area and that it was near Playa Barrigona. So being the true adventurers we headed out to find the beach. When one says that a place if off the beaten path, Playa Barrigona is that ideal place. It's located about 7 kilometers north of Samara and you will need to go...

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  • One of the Best Beaches in Costa Rica!

    Playa Barrigona is a some what remote beach, each time I have been here I was the only one. I have found sea turtle tracks so they can lay eggs.Travel south out of Playa Samara. There are no signs for the turnoff to this beach. The turn off for the beach is at these coordinates: N9 53.546 W85 34.463The beach itself is at: N9 53.004 W85 34.583Other...

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  • Sun, peace and quiet

    Before we left Fortuna, we stopped by the offices of Anywhere Costa Rica to inquire about activities in Sámara (our next destination). While talking to Rafael, he said we shouldn't miss Playa Carrillo because it's beautiful, unspoiled and quiet. So on our first day in Sámara, we headed 3 KMs south, parked the car and enjoyed Playa Carrillo for more...

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Sámara Sports & Outdoors

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    by blueskyjohn Updated May 11, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Samara is a great place to learn how to surf. Reliably easy waves, gradual beach, hardly any rocks at all and no rip tide. Just a pleasure to surf and swim. When I bring a group to Samara, I always use Tico Surf School. Not only convenient to where we stay, their rates are reasonable and the instructors are top notch. Pablo and Christian are the owners. Lesson range from $35 individual to $80 for a group of 3.

    Equipment: I've found rates vary from their website or even day to day for that matter. I have paid $10 for a full day and sometime a half day and then use of the board the next day. They have a great selection of surf boards and you can change out size as often as you like.

    They also have kayaks and paddle boards to rent.

    Pablo giving instruction to a member of our group There is a gate to the parking are on the left
    Related to:
    • Surfing
    • Adventure Travel
    • Beaches

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Sámara Favorites

  • by kaniva Updated Mar 27, 2008

    Favorite thing: Take a walk along the beach either way. If you go towards Punta Guiones walk at low tide, the rock formations are really interesting. Bring along a snorkle, fins and mask there are some beautiful tropical fish that hang around in the rock pools.
    If you walk the other way, take the beach walk to the next beach- Carillo-it is only a km. or so and well worth it, if you have the time. The beach has a strong high tide with a sharp angle.
    There is a small fishing setllement at the end of that beach before the rock heads begin. You can climb our along the rocks there, but beware of the high tides. I have never snorkled there because the tide seems to be stronger.

    Fondest memory: Summer 1971: Traveling by horse from Buena Vista and staying at a small hotel on Samara Beach. Getting lost at night during an intense thunderstorm near the Terciopelo River.
    What we miss the most is the tranquility before the onslaught of tourists.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Eco-Tourism

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