About Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Playa Samara, located on the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, is a dream location whether you are visiting, moving, or investing. This small beach town is at once thriving and laid-back. The town boasts many small shops, restaurants and bars, a number of which are right on the beach so you can sink your toes into the hot sand as the waiter brings you another cold Imperial. There are homes for sale, condos for sale, hotels for sale, and land for sale in Samara, and neighboring Playa Carrillo and Buena Vista. Samara real estate provides endless opportunities. Buying a home in Samara gives you an affordable opportunity to live in paradise and enjoy a slower pace of living. Buying land in Samara gives you the option to build your ideal dream home or boutique hotel if you want some extra income. Buying a hotel in Samara gives you access to strong rental histories, not to mention a beautiful place to call home. It is here that the mountains meet the beach, and all the adventures Costa Rica has to offer can be found close by. And although so many have found this to be the place to invest or even settle down, it has not lost that small beach-town vibe which defines the pura vida attitude.
Finding Your Way Around
Coming from Nicoya, you will drive along a winding, paved road and pass a couple small schools with soccer fields. When you pass a gas station to your left, the town will be about 15 minutes away. Sámara will be obvious as it will be the first proper town you come to after passing through Nicoya (and any taxi or shuttle driver will know it). As you enter town you will see a bus stop and road going off to the left (toward Playa Carrillo). About 100 meters further in, you’ll see another road that goes off to the right (toward Cangreal and Buena Vista). If you keep going straight another 100 meters into town you will pass a small soccer field (this is the town center). Another 100 meters ahead the paved road will end and you’ll be walking on sand. Keep going a little further and you’ll be swimming in the waves.
The town center is only a few blocks by a few blocks. The soccer field is a good central landmark to remember. Just around the soccer field, and on the main road you came into town on, you will find shops, sodas (restaurants with typical Costa Rican foods), restaurants, and bars. Where the road runs into the beach, it turns left and after about 2 blocks down you will find the Natural Center, a great little courtyard filled with tourist information, restaurants, and more shops.
One of the best parts of Plara Sámara is the beachfront. All along the beach you will find surf/kayak/snorkel schools run by incredibly friendly ticos and ticas as well as a string of restaurants with their tables right in the sand. Walk past the soccer field on the main road straight out onto the beach and you have options to the left and right. Take a stroll until you find a place that looks good!
When you are getting into town, there is a road that goes off to the left (right by the bus stop). This is the road to Playa Carrillo, a beautiful palm-tree-lined beach with plenty of shade, picnic benches and places to string up a hammock for the day. There are no restaurants, shops or surf schools along this beach, but you won’t have any problem finding shave ice treats or “pipa fria” (cold coconuts opened up right in front of you for your drinking pleasure). It is about a 10 minute drive, and you can’t miss it when you get there: to your left will be hills and jungle and to your right will be palm trees and beach. The beach is very long, and at the opposite end, just after the last bridge, you will enter the town of Carrillo. A number of sport fishing boats tie in at this end of the beach, so if you are looking to do some deep sea fishing this is probably where you’ll go.
Past Carrillo before long it will become a dirt road (this is the coastal road). For you surfers, this will be the direction to go if you want to get a 4-wheel-drive and hit some of the most famous and righteous surf in the area, like at Playa Camaronal and countless other totally empty and pristine beaches. Keep going this way for a few more hours and you’ll reach the surf towns of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais. Be careful though! This route includes river crossings that are usually uncrossable in the rainy season. In the dry season and with the right vehicle, this journey is a great adventurous day trip.
To go the opposite direction on the coastal road, you will take the road that goes right after you enter town. Just after turning you will see a bank with the Samara Massage Center just behind it, the hardware store right next to it, and a Pali grocery store across the street from it. About 100 meters after this you will find our office underneath the Coldwell Banker sign (to the right).
In another 200 meters, you will come to a bridge and the road will veer left. You will see a large open field to your left and eventually it will end at a T-intersection. Turn left here to head toward Cangreal neighborhood and the more secluded end of Sámara beach (across the estuary from the beachfront restaurants and surf schools). Turn right at the T and you will get onto another dirt road. It won’t be long before you get to a fork in the road. Stay to the left and in about 5 minutes you will be in Buena Vista neighborhood and then Buena Vista beach, another very secluded and undeveloped beach. Buena Vista, as with most beaches here, have a small estuary where a river opens out into the ocean. Cross these with caution! While rare, crocodiles do sometimes swim in these estuaries.
Stay right at the fork and you will be heading up the coastal road towards another favorite local surf spot at Playa Barrigona, and even further you can find yourself in the quaint neighboring town of Playa Guiones and Nosara (about an hour drive). Again be careful! Driving on this coastal road any farther than Playa Buena Vista make sure you have the right vehicle, check the time of year (rainy or dry season), and don’t be afraid to ask locals about road and river conditions before you decide to adventure.