Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (2022)

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.

Highlights

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (1)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (2)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.

Surfing

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (3)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.

Playa Carrillo

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (4)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (5)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (6)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (7)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (8)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

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (9)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.

Belen waterfall

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (10)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.

(Video) Visual Vacation - Playa Samara Mornings, Costa Rica

Tips

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.

Getting there

Closest International Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (11)Samara is quite close to Nosara so you can take advantage of the Nosara Domestic airport. Nosara Domestic airport is located at about 30 km from Samara. The airport only receives charter and domestic flights. Sansaoffers daily flights from San Jose as well as Liberia. From San Jose the flight will take 35 minutes and from Liberia only 15. Private shuttles from San Jose can be provided but will cost you around $240. Shared shuttles are a more affordable optionbetween $50 and $100. If you want to take advantage from the shuttle service between Liberia and Samara, you will pay about half the price.

Dining

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (12)Samara’s focus on fresh and delicious food is apparent everywhere and most restaurants will offer you a great meal. For a wonderful meal at a beach front location, pay a visit to Sheriff Rustic. Make sure to try the amazing lemon pie! But if you prefer a vegetarian twist on some local and continental dishes, definitely pass by Paraiso Vegetarian Restaurant. This restaurant fully represents the Blue Zone atmosphere: fresh food, a zest for life and an open heart.

Where to stay

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (13)An enchanting beach should be visited in an equally enchanting hotel. Hotel Sol Samara’s rustic charm is bound to leave its effect on you. This hotel is suited for families, couples as well as adventure seekers! If you favor a beach front resort, book a room at Hotel Villas Playa Samara. The fully equipped villas will give you some privacy as well as a gorgeous ocean view!

Playa Samara - Get Info

Playa Samara Map

Samara is located around 50 minutes from Nosara airport and 2 hours from the international airport of Liberia.

Click to Enlarge

(Video) Playa Samara Costa Rica - Check out the beach and town

Hotel Sol Samara

The Hotel Sol Samara is a mixture of pleasure and elegance combination with a little touch of our Costa Rican flavor. Our ...

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara

Featuring 106 beautiful rooms and villas on 7 kilometers of pristine white sand beach amid exuberant exotic gardens, Villa...

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Hotel Samara Beach

Staying at Hotel Samara Beach If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable hotel right on the beach, then stay...

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Playa Samara

Visiting Playa Samara Playa Samara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. At about 5...

(Video) Playa Samara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Playa Samara Hotels

Stay at charming beach hotels that cater to any kind of traveler.

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (23)

Hotel Sol Samara

3

From: Under $125

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (24)

Hotel Villas Playa Samara

3

From: $125 - $200

(Video) Samara Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Recorriendo Costa Rica en Drone)

Playa Samara Costa Rica - A tropical beach in Guanacaste (25)

Hotel Samara Beach

3

From: Under $125

Playa Samara Tours

Samara can offer you some of the best scuba diving and kayaking tours as well as an introduction to the tropical dry forest!

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FAQs

Is Playa Samara worth visiting? ›

Samara Vibe and Demographic

Samara is a popular expat and immigrant beach town in Guanacaste and you can find people from all over the world. Many people who move to Samara are into yoga, surfing and vegan/vegetarianism. Samara has fun nightlife but it has a very healthy vibe, making it a favorite for families.

Is Samara beach good for swimming? ›

The main beach, Playa Samara, is the area's most popular and for good reason. What is this? The wide cove has relatively calm water due to a coral reef just offshore. This makes it a decent place to swim and also enjoy water sports.

What is Samara Costa Rica known for? ›

The beautiful coastal hamlet of Samara is a paradise on the Nicoya Peninsula's western shore. Known as one of the prettiest and safest beaches in all of Costa Rica, Playa Samara radiates wonderful white sand in contrast to the aquamarine water.

How long is Samara Beach? ›

The best way to explore Samara Beach is to walk its six kilometers; each end of the beach offers something beautiful and unique to explore. This horseshoe-shaped beach is protected on both sides by reefs.

Can I drink water in Samara Costa Rica? ›

Can you drink the water in Costa Rica? The short answer is yes. You can drink the tap water in Costa Rica safely in most every part of the country. In some rural areas, including the Caribbean and in non-touristy places, you may want to stick with bottled water.

How many days do you need in Samara Costa Rica? ›

We recommend visiting Samara for 3 – 5 days. As with most beach destinations, we do not recommend more days as you will likely regret missing out on other parts of the country. A 3 -5 day stay is just right mixed in with another destination or two.

What is the nicest beach town in Costa Rica? ›

Manuel Antonio is one of the top destinations in Costa Rica and one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica. This Central Pacific coastal village is home to white sand beaches and the most popular national park in the country: Manuel Antonio National Park.

Where is the clearest water in Costa Rica? ›

Unless a big hurricane swell moves in, Manzanillo to almost Punta Mona on the south Caribbean coast will offer the clearest waters in Costa Rica for the next few months. For the rest of the year, the clear is to be found offshore in the Pacific.

What is the crime rate in Guanacaste Costa Rica? ›

Data confirms it. Between 2013 and 2017, crimes increased 36 percent in 17 coastal districts in the province. While in 2013 the average crime rate was 14 per 1,000 residents, that number rose to 19 in 2017 and showed a growing trend almost every year.

How far is Samara from Liberia airport? ›

The distance between Liberia Airport and Sámara is 80 km. The road distance is 105.7 km.

Where can I see monkeys in Guanacaste? ›

The best places to spot these monkeys is in Rincón de la Vieja or Monteverde. Notable Behaviors: Spider monkeys are social creatures, and travel in packs of up to 35 individuals. However, during the day they split into groups of distinct individuals to forage.

Is there snorkeling in Samara Costa Rica? ›

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!

Is there good snorkeling in Samara Costa Rica? ›

Enjoy Amazing Snorkeling off Carrillo and Samara!

You can enjoy fantastic Costa Rica snorkeling trips with us all year round off Carrillo and Samara, as they are home to sheltered bays with turquoise-blue waters and fine white sand beaches backed by dense green jungle. The water temperature remains between 26-28°C.

Is there surfing in Samara? ›

Samara and Carrillo: Samara is a fun little authentic Costa Rican surf side village. The waves are perfect for beginners during high tide, usually waist to chest high. Just south of Samara, Playa Carrillo offers great surfing for experienced surfers with head high waves at the south end of the beach during high tide.

Can you brush your teeth with tap water in Costa Rica? ›

If you're a tourist traveling in the region, we recommend – despite what you read above – using bottled water wherever you are, even in Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. You can brush you teeth fine with tap water in these countries, and even use ice, but for straight drinking, stick to bottled water.

How much cash should I take to Costa Rica? ›

We recommend that you bring around $50 to $100 US dollars in cash and a VISA or Master Card. There are other credit cards that are accepted, but VISA and Master Card are the most commonly accepted throughout Costa Rica. If needed, you can get a cash advance on a VISA card if you go to a large bank.

Should I take cash to Costa Rica? ›

Using US Cash

US dollars are widely accepted in Costa Rica. Bring smaller bills like $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. The bills will need to be in good condition as they will not be accepted if they are ripped or torn. The larger the bill, the more perfect it needs to be.

Do you need a car in Samara? ›

Samara is a very walkable town. If you plan on mostly just spending your time within the town and on the beach, you really don't need a car. If you plan on doing more exploring in the area we definitely suggest renting a car.

Where is Costa Rica? ›

Costa Rica is located in Central America, connecting North and South America. It borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.

Where in Costa Rica is Dominical? ›

Dominical is a beach-front town in Bahía Ballena District, of the Osa canton in the province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica, approximately 45 km south of Quepos. It is well known for large, year-round waves and is popular among surfers in Costa Rica.

Can you swim in Guanacaste Costa Rica? ›

Playa Hermosa

Guanacaste's Playa Hermosa rounds out my list, and it's one of the best beaches on the province for swimming. A gray sand beach located in north Guanacaste just off Route 159, Hermosa is one of the most relaxing stretches of Costa Rica's Pacific Coast.

What is the best side of Costa Rica to stay on? ›

Most travelers visiting Costa Rica think the Pacific side of the country is the better coast to visit. The remote Osa Peninsula, the monkey-filled area of Manuel Antonio, the surfing near Santa Theres, and the touristy Nicoya coast make it the superior choice.

What is the safest beach in Costa Rica? ›

4. Safest Beaches in Costa Rica: Where Can You Swim?
  • Biesanz Beach, Manuel Antonio. Down a trail from Parador Hotel, Biesanz Beach sits in a small cove offering protection from the open Pacific. ...
  • Panama Beach, Papagayo. ...
  • Punta Uva, Limon. ...
  • Potrero Beach, Guanacaste. ...
  • Carillo Beach, Guanacaste. ...
  • Samara Beach, Guanacaste.

How far is Guanacaste from airport? ›

There is a distance of 7.7 miles (or 12.5 kilometers) between Guanacaste (the city center) and the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia. This means approximately 20 minutes driving.

Does Costa Rica have mosquitos? ›

Mosquitoes are present all year long in Costa Rica. However, since mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, rainy season (May to end of November) is the worst time of year for mosquitoes. Unfortunately streets in Costa Rica do not have good drainage and when it rains, drains get clogged.

What is the most popular destination in Costa Rica? ›

San José is the most popular destination in Costa Rica — More people are taking advantage of the international airport in Liberia and most people that arrive in San José don't stick around too long but it still gets more visitors than any other place in Costa Rica.

Is the water clear in Guanacaste Costa Rica? ›

Playa San Juanillo (Guanacaste)

Waves are soft for swimming and the water is a clear blue. It's not a very big beach but it's perfect for a picnic, laying out or swimming. San Juanillo is a tiny local fishing town in a non-touristy area of Guanacaste, perfect for a day trip visiting a hidden gem in Costa Rica.

What's the best time to vacation in Costa Rica? ›

The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April, when the weather is at its driest and brightest. We'd also recommend traveling in the country's green season, from May to June or in November. This is when you catch the seasons in transition, and the national parks are quieter.

Where is the turquoise water in Costa Rica? ›

Isla Tortuga is a turquoise water paradise located between the Nicoya Peninsula and the mainland of Costa Rica. It boasts sandy beaches, turquoise water, and just the right balance between of relaxation and a party vibe.

Where do the rich live in Costa Rica? ›

Escazú Situated just 9 km (5.5 mi) west of downtown San Jose, Escazú is one of Costa Rica's most affluent communities. The suburb is perched on a hillside and has all the modern amenities you would expect to find in a city.

Are there drug cartels in Costa Rica? ›

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, which have been using Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as drug-trafficking transit points, have added Costa Rica, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Is Costa Rica safer than Mexico? ›

The US State Department considers Costa Rica among the safest countries for US nationals. As per its safety ranking, Costa Rica is Level One whereas Mexico is Level Two.

How do I get from Jaco to Samara? ›

There is no direct connection from Jaco Beach to Sámara. However, you can take the Bus to Malpais, take the walk to Malpais, then take the shuttle to Sámara. Alternatively, you can take the Bus to Tambor then take the drive to Sámara.

What animals are in Guanacaste? ›

Guanacaste is the habitat of hundreds of species of mammals, among which the puma, white-faced monkey, peccary, pumas, raccoons, armadillos, deer, jaguars, tapirs, Agoutis, and peccaries.

Where can I see sloths in Guanacaste? ›

From Guanacaste, the nearest location to see sloths in their natural habitat is in Tenorio Volcano National Park a few hours away. Monteverde and Carara National Park are also within a day's trip from Las Catalinas, or make for an interesting weekend trip deeper inland.

What time of day do monkeys howl? ›

Males typically howl at dawn and dusk, and a keen listener can hear their memorable calls from kilometers away.

Where can I see monkeys in Guanacaste? ›

The best places to spot these monkeys is in Rincón de la Vieja or Monteverde. Notable Behaviors: Spider monkeys are social creatures, and travel in packs of up to 35 individuals. However, during the day they split into groups of distinct individuals to forage.

What is the crime rate in Guanacaste Costa Rica? ›

Data confirms it. Between 2013 and 2017, crimes increased 36 percent in 17 coastal districts in the province. While in 2013 the average crime rate was 14 per 1,000 residents, that number rose to 19 in 2017 and showed a growing trend almost every year.

Is there surfing in Samara? ›

Samara and Carrillo: Samara is a fun little authentic Costa Rican surf side village. The waves are perfect for beginners during high tide, usually waist to chest high. Just south of Samara, Playa Carrillo offers great surfing for experienced surfers with head high waves at the south end of the beach during high tide.

Where in Costa Rica is Dominical? ›

Dominical is a beach-front town in Bahía Ballena District, of the Osa canton in the province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica, approximately 45 km south of Quepos. It is well known for large, year-round waves and is popular among surfers in Costa Rica.

What animals are in Guanacaste? ›

Guanacaste is the habitat of hundreds of species of mammals, among which the puma, white-faced monkey, peccary, pumas, raccoons, armadillos, deer, jaguars, tapirs, Agoutis, and peccaries.

Where can I see sloths in Guanacaste? ›

From Guanacaste, the nearest location to see sloths in their natural habitat is in Tenorio Volcano National Park a few hours away. Monteverde and Carara National Park are also within a day's trip from Las Catalinas, or make for an interesting weekend trip deeper inland.

What time of day do monkeys howl? ›

Males typically howl at dawn and dusk, and a keen listener can hear their memorable calls from kilometers away.

Where do the rich live in Costa Rica? ›

Escazú Situated just 9 km (5.5 mi) west of downtown San Jose, Escazú is one of Costa Rica's most affluent communities. The suburb is perched on a hillside and has all the modern amenities you would expect to find in a city.

Are there drug cartels in Costa Rica? ›

Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, which have been using Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as drug-trafficking transit points, have added Costa Rica, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Is Costa Rica safer than Mexico? ›

The US State Department considers Costa Rica among the safest countries for US nationals. As per its safety ranking, Costa Rica is Level One whereas Mexico is Level Two.

Where can I surf near Liberia Costa Rica? ›

Playa Tamarindo

Located about 1.5 hours from Liberia, on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast, is one of the most popular surf beaches for all skill levels. This is particularly true in December and January when the waves are larger, attracting surfers from around the globe.

Can you surf at Playa Hermosa Guanacaste? ›

Playa Hermosa is frequented by surfers from all over Costa Ballena. When the surf at Dominical is too big and/or closing out you're sure to find surfers out at Playa Hermosa. A surf spot that is best suited for intermediate-level surfers, this break also provides fun waves for the experienced surfer.

Are there crocodiles in Dominical? ›

At the north end of the beach, the great Barú River flows into the ocean. The river is unsuitable for swimming as there are crocodiles, which have already eaten one or two dogs.

Is Dominical Costa Rica worth visiting? ›

Surrounded by lush mountains and a handful of stunning natural attractions, Dominical is one of the top tourist destinations in Costa Rica for those looking for a much needed escape to the beach and jungle.

How far is Dominical from airport? ›

The airport of Quepos/ Manuel Antonio (Managua Airport, XQP) is just a 30 minutes' drive away from Dominical.

Videos

1. Playa Samara and Playa Carrillo in Costa Rica February 2021
(Cruise Addict)
2. Playa Samara, Samara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
(Wandering Canucks)
3. what do we think of Playa Samara Guanacaste, Costa Rica!
(Sins&ski - Pura vida)
4. Why This Is The Best Beach In Costa Rica! - Get To Know Samara Beach.
(TheDufresnes)
5. 17 things to do around Samara, Costa Rica
(TheDufresnes)
6. Paseo Playa Samara y Carrillo, Guanacaste Costa Rica
(Andy Fonse)

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