Today Samara still remains one of the hidden jewels of Costa Rica; although, in recent years, the gorgeous beach town has been getting a lot of tourist attention. And who can blame these curious visitors? Samara, which sits in the Nicoya Peninsula and overlooks the Pacific, is indeed the ideal beach getaway.
Because of its location, traversing the Nicoya Peninsula can be a long and strenuous journey. But a number of travelers do not mind the waiting especially if it means they can relax at southern isolated beach towns like Samara. The town itself is situated in a large bay, and is small enough that you don’t need a vehicle to get around. Everything, from banks, hotels, bars, restaurants and tour offices are within easy walking distance. The town is served by daily buses that come from the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.
The true beauty of Samara lies of course in its palm tree-lined white sandy beach. This majestic wide 7-kilometer stretch, is well complemented by lush jungles and high cliffs, which serve as backdrops. There is a selection of restaurants and hotels along a road, opposite to the coast. But these establishments are more local in origin and are not chain businesses owned by large conglomerates. As a result, Samara has maintains its laidback and humble vibe.
The water near the coast is shallow. But most of the time, the beach generates strong and big enough waves suitable for surfing. After a refreshing dip in the ocean, you can relax at one of the beach lounges and bars in the area. These bars and lounges feature reggae music, soft sandy floor and a relaxing bohemian atmosphere. The most magical time on Samara Beach is undoubtedly the sunset. The setting of the sun here promises to be scenic and dramatic. So make sure you have your camera all charged up and ready for this big memorable moment.
Be assured that there are other activities offered in Samara to keep you busy. If you don’t like lying around on the beach all day, (which is really not too bad); you can kayak, surf, go boating and even try stand up paddling. Like in other Costa Rican villages facing the Pacific Ocean, sport fishing is a popular activity. Some of the game fish up for grabs include marlin, tuna, sailfish and mahi mahi.
Snorkeling is excellent in the Cangrejal area at the northernmost section of the Samara Bay, because it is home to a ring of coral reef. At the southern end of this reef is an islet called Isla Chora, which covers 5 hectares and is declared a wildlife reserve. When you head inland, there are also opportunities for jungle trekking, horseback riding, cycling and canopy tours.
There are not too many low budget accommodations in Samara, but you can find decent hotels that are reasonably priced. There is also option of doing a homestay with a Costa Rican family.
Learning a new language may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re vacationing at a lovely Costa Rican beach resort. But if you want to grab such an opportunity and interact with the locals more, then take Spanish language and culture classes at Samara Language School, which is conveniently located on the beach.