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Gillette Clear Shield Clear Gel Antiperspirant Deodorant Travel Size Cool Wave

Gillette Clear Shield Clear Gel Antiperspirant Deodorant Travel Size Cool Wave 0.5oz

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Gillette antiperspirant and deodorant for men has one singular-focused goal, and that is to deliver the best a man can get, one swipe at a time. Precision-formulated, Gillette clear gel antiperspirant and deodorant provides all day fast-acting sweat protection. Gillette clear gel is highlighted by a fresh, subtle scent that goes easy on your senses. Engineered with skin care ingredients, Gillette clear gel goes on clear for anti-white mark protection. Gillette provides the protection you need, so you can be the best man you can be. 

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For external use only. Do not use on broken skin. Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease. Stop use if rash or irritation occurs. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.  

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Samara Travel Guide

Two people riding horses on a Costa Rican beach.

It’s not just palm trees that line the sun-bleached coastline of Samara beach; this town-on-the-sea is home to beachfront restaurants, a little nightlife, and many other amenities for a quiet beach town. Our Samara travel guide takes you to the family-friendly white sands of this one-stop-shop for all things vacation, and one of the most sought-after destinations in Costa Rica.

  • Area: Nicoya
  • Average Temperature: 71 to 92° F (22 to 33º C)
  • Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), 2 hours; Nosara Regional Airport, 1 hour
  • Can’t-Miss Attractions: Beaches, Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (turtle nesting), Guatil Indigenous Community (traditional pottery), Barra Honda National Park (caving/spelunking), and Palo Verde National Park (wetlands & wildlife)
  • Hot Activities: Surfing, Snorkeling, Swimming, Sport Fishing, Zip Lining, Sea Kayaking, Horseback Riding, Ultralight Flights, Learning Spanish Great for: Families, Couples & Honeymooners, Budget Travelers, Solo Travelers, and Surfers

The Hidden Gem of Nicoya Peninsula

Samara is a vibrant fishing village offering local unforgettable adventure for backpackers and comfort seeking travelers. Compared to other beach towns like Tamarindo and Jaco, Samara is a place still relatively untouched by mass tourism, which certainly would give additional flavor to your experience.

Our Samara travel guide takes you to the best beaches, most epic surf, and greatest hotels, restaurants, and bars in Samara and Carrillo.

If you need a laid back vacation or some chill out time before or after exploring the other parts of Costa Rica, Samara is the answer.

What to do in Samara

The golden sand beach, which stretches all across the bay, is great for walking or horseback riding . You can arrange a horseback riding tour with Samara locals.

Swimming at Playa Samara is relaxing. The aquamarine ocean surrounded by outer reef provides calmer waters making it one of the few beaches in Costa Rica where you can swim without navigating through waves. As always, use caution when swimming in the ocean.

Snorkeling is possible in the vicinity of the beach, but be aware of the tides. You might carry your own snorkeling gear or rent from some of the local shops.

surf rental in Samara

Surfing is great for beginners. The waves are mellow and fun. There are a few surf schools where you could rent surfboards or take surf-lessons. For more experienced surfers, there are spots nearby that work during high tide.

Samara Travel Guide to Bars and Restaurants

Gusto Beach is a beach bar and restaurant . With white stylish interior, in combination with the blue sky and ocean waters, it offers the ultimate experience. It is a bit pricey but it is definitely worthwhile. They serve various tasty dishes, including Italian style pizza and salads. If you are an espresso lover, it is also a great place to get a caffeine boost, while you contemplate the ocean and the spectacular sunset. This beach bar and restaurant even works at night, with live music, nice cocktails and a wine selection. It has a central beach front location, accessible from the road and the sand.

gusto beach restaurant samara

Samara’s Cultural Center is a place that unites art, culture and food. Here you may find a few alternative and soulful cafés/restaurants serving diverse food (for lunch or brunch) and a selection of coffees.

Falafel Café with fresh Middle East cuisine is my favorite. This quick, budget friendly option has excellent reviews and is the perfect stop after a morning on the beach.

Note: some of the cafés sell arty souvenirs as well. Near the beach there is also a local souvenir market that runs daily and has typical colorful Costa Rican souvenirs.

La Perla offers local food and a selection of Casados, the typical Costa Rican dish. This “soda” (the name for a traditional Costa Rican restaurant) is located on the west end of the bay.

Samara Travel Guide to Hotels

There are various hotels, some more luxurious, and others more basic.

Hotel el Pequeño Gecko Verde is one of the most cozy, and expensive, with superb services. It is located just a few minutes from the beach. Surrounded by amazing tropical flora, it offers a variety of amazing facilities for full enjoyment.

Hotel Belvedere is only a five-minute walk from the beach. It is a nice and pleasant hotel of mid-range price. For the facilities and services offered it is the best value hotel.

For those with a tighter budget, there are several hostels and private rooms.

Las Olas is at the west end of the beach, near the police station. It is popular among backpackers and young travelers. The prices vary from 15 USD to higher, depending of the type of room.

Hostel Mariposa, near “Intercultura” on the east end of Samara, is the most popular place among younger travelers. It is a bit more pricey but very well run, colorful and clean.

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Sámara: A Travel Guide to Costa Rica’s Coolest Beach Town

  • February 26, 2021

Playa Samara in Costa Rica

There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. As ever, all opinions are my own.

Are you considering visiting the surf town of Sámara in Costa Rica? Need some persuasion? Well you’ve come to the right place! This Sámara travel guide is designed to tell you everything you need to know to plan your escape to this stunning area of Costa Rica.

I spent a few days in Sámara at the end of my G Adventures Costa Rica tour, and I fell for it fast!

Unlike many other places in Costa Rica, this small town on the pacific coast is surprisingly authentic, and you’ll never have to deal with crowds of other tourists. Most tourists skip over Samara entirely, which in my opinion is almost criminal!

Even if you’re not into surfing, there’s a whole load of reasons you’ll love Sámara. First of all, obviously, the lack of crowds is a big selling point. There’s also the laid-back, anything goes vibe that makes you want to quit your life and become a full-time beach bum. But Samara is also a fabulous base for a tonne of awesome activities that’ll keep you entertained for days! 

Heading to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast instead? Check out my travel guide here.

Beach with palm trees in central america.

How Much Time Do You Need in Sámara?

In Sámara, it’s easy to do whatever it is you want. Feel like reading a book on the beach for a couple of days? No problem. Feel like packing a bunch of activities into your stay and keeping busy? That’s also cool!

Aside from surfing and being a beach bum, there isn’t much to do in Sámara itself so it’s a good idea to get a balance of beach time and adventure activities. I think 3 days in Sámara is ideal for most visitors, but if you like surfing you’ll want to stay there longer.

I personally could have stayed there for over a week without getting bored! Sprawled out on the beach, drinking out of a coconut, I almost cancelled my flights home to extend my trip!

Alas… Real life responsibilities won in the end, and I caught the bus back to San Jose promising to return one day…

How to Get to Sámara

There are a few options for getting to Sámara depending on how adventurous you are.

Obviously, if you’ve hired a car, you should drive to Sámara. It takes around 4 hours from the capital city of San Jose, or 2 hours from Tamarindo. I’m a big scaredy-cat when it comes to driving, though, so it was never something I considered!

The option I went for, and the easiest option by far, is by joining a Costa Rica guided tour that goes to Sámara. There are a few different tour providers in Costa Rica, but I opted for G Adventures and I highly recommend their tours.

I went on this one , which hits up all the highlights of Costa Rica (including Sámara) over 14-days, and I had the time of my life! Taking a tour was ideal for me, as it meant I didn’t have to think at all about logistics and how to get from A to B. Y ou can read my full review of the tour I went on here.

Your final option is to catch a bus to get to Sámara. From San Jose, the bus takes around 4 hours and costs around $8 one-way. There are also local buses from Sámara to popular nearby destinations such as Tamarindo.

places to stay in Samara Costa Rica

Things to Do in Sámara, Costa Rica

Going surfing.

Sámara is all about surf, and whether you’ve never set foot on a surfboard in your life or you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll have the time of your life surfing here.

The guys over at C&C Surf School have unbeatable enthusiasm for teaching you how to surf and are full of helpful advice. A few people in my tour group took lessons here and had nothing but good things to say about them. Everybody managed to stand up on their first lesson, which is a huge achievement!

If you already know what you’re doing they have a wide range of surfboards to hire, although they don’t have too many more “advanced” boards. They also hire out rash vests. Be sure to hire a long sleeve one if you can to protect yourself from the sun!

Surfing here was unbelievable. I just couldn’t get enough. The waves were so clean and easy to ride along (especially compared to the windswept slop I surf back at home)! Sámara is the perfect place to learn how to surf.

That said, though, the surf is only pumping at certain times of the day. When I was there, it was first thing in the morning and around sunset. During the middle of the day, it was almost flat! That means you’ll have time to either lounge on the beach in between surf sessions, or fit in an activity.

Snorkelling

How better to explore Sámara’s surrounding area than by boat, stopping off to snorkel at all the best spots? 

I love snorkelling and always try to do it at least once per trip. There are quite a few snorkelling tours available in Sámara, so I recommend using Viator to check out your options.

This tour gets rave reviews! Taking in the gorgeous scenery at Barco Quebrado, Sámara and Carrillo, you’ll be able to snorkel to your heart’s content and get to know the area by its best and most beautiful asset – the ocean!

Stand up Paddleboarding

Even if you haven’t tried stand up paddleboarding before, taking a paddleboarding tour is one of the best things to do in Samara. Sámara beach itself can sometime be too ferocious for stand up paddleboarding, but joining a tour will enable you to visit the tranquil nearby waters of Carillo, which is much better suited to paddleboarding.

During a paddleboarding class, your guide will give you a quick introduction to paddleboarding and teach you how to balance on the board before you set off along the coast.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding in Samara Costa Rica

Fun fact: the first time I ever went horseback riding was in Costa Rica.

Ever since, I’ve made it my life mission to convince everybody else to go horseback riding in Costa Rica too. Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but the experience was just magic!

Luckily, you can go horseback riding in Sámara – and you can actually ride on the beach (goals)!

This tour takes you riding up a mountain through the jungle to reach amazing viewpoints, and allows you to see a part of Sámara not many others visit which isn’t accessible by vehicle. The final leg of the tour includes galloping along the beach.

I’m always super cautious before recommending animal activities as animal welfare is something I am passionate about. Fortunately, this tour company is consistently praised for the condition of their horses, and they pride themselves on never taking the horses on more than one tour per day. 

Meeting Turtles

Ever wanted to see turtles nesting and hatching on the beach?

Well, from Sámara, you can take a tour to see the baby turtles . From Sámara beach, a guided turtle tour will take you to either Corozalito, Camaronal or Ostional beach where you commence your turtle hunt.

The tour guides have a huge emphasis on the wellbeing of the turtles and give you a full safety briefing before you spot the turtles and, after that, you’ll be able to watch the turtles making their way into the ocean.

The peak turtle hatching time in the area is September and October, so, although you can still spot turtles outside of these months, there’s always a risk that you could miss them.

Mangrove Kayaking 

Kayaking on the beach

Sámara isn’t far away from the Ora River, a popular kayaking spot in Costa Rica. Paddling the quiet waters of the river on a guided kayak tour is the best way to explore the mangroves. As you paddle you’ll be able to spot wildlife such as monkeys and birds, as well as an easy way to explore the tropical rainforest. 

Sunset Booze Cruise

I skipped this tour in favour of extra time spent surfing, but judging by the state of the girls on my tour group who went on it when they returned to the hostel, I definitely missed out!

With alcohol, soft drinks and snacks all included in the price of the cruise, this is without doubt the most epic way to catch the sunset in Sámara. There’s an opportunity to snorkel and dolphin-spot on the journey before you settle in to witness the sunset over drinks. The cruise lasts around 3 hours.

The girls on my tour who went on this came back so drunk (in the best way possible). They all said they’d had an amazing time – and it sure looked like they did! Check out prices here .

Quad Biking

This was another tour that I skipped in order to go surfing in Sámara (I’m sensing a theme here…) but the people in my tour group who went quad biking couldn’t sing its praises loud enough!

The quad biking tour includes a safety briefing followed by pure adventure! You’ll get to take in the hills and jungle as you zoom through the rainforest. The tour finishes off at the beach, where you’ll get the opportunity to snorkel and wash away all the dirt from the journey.

Be sure to bring a bandana if you’re going quad biking! The wheels kick up dust and dirt like there’s no tomorrow, and breathing in a bunch of dust is something nobody wants.

Is Sámara Costa Rica Safe?

Yes, Sámara is safe, and I didn’t feel concerned for my safety at all whilst I was here – unlike in a few towns on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica where harassment was a problem.

I would have felt fine walking alone in the town centre at night by myself, but fortunately I didn’t have to, and I’d always prefer to go out with others after dark.

Obviously, like everywhere else in Costa Rica, stay sensible, keep an eye on your belongings, and don’t go wandering around dark alleyways by yourself at night, and you’ll find that Sámara is a perfectly safe place to visit in Costa Rica.

Where to Stay in Sámara

There are great accommodation options in Sámara for all budgets, but especially if you’re travelling on a low to mid-range budget. Here are my picks for the best places to stay in Sámara.

Sunset on a beach in Central America

Hostels in Sámara

Sámara has quite a few hostels, but there are only a couple that have good ratings:

Matilori hostel – Surrounded by Mango trees and just 50 metres away from the beach, you can’t beat the location of this hugely popular hostel. It’s fairly small so it’s easy to get to know other people in the hostel, which is ideal if you’re a solo traveller looking to socialise. It also has all the facilities you’d need, including a kitchen to prepare your own food (and keep costs down) and reliable wifi if you need to get some work done or call home. 

One night in a 6-bed dorm costs around $15 , with a private double room costing $40 . Check out availability and reviews here .

Las Mariposas – Just like Matilori hostel, Las Mariposas is just 50 metres away from the beach (Sámara really is all about beachside living!). This hostel is well known amongst travellers to Sámara for its social atmosphere, and it has a hammock area outdoors where you can chill in the evening and chat with other guests. It also offers free coffee in the morning.

One night in an 8-bed dorm costs around $14 , with a private double room costing $40 . Check out availability and reviews here .

Things to do in Samara Costa Rica

Hotels in Sámara

If you’re travelling as a couple (or just prefer your own space and a few extra luxuries) staying at a hotel or guesthouse in Sámara is the ideal option for you. 

The Good Life Lodge – This is the perfect compromise between a hostel and a hotel – it has a communal kitchen, so you can cook your own food to save costs, but it has the little luxuries you wouldn’t find at a hostel. We’re talking about a hot tub, flat-screen TVs, welcome beers and the all-important AIR CONDITIONING! This place gets rave reviews, which you can check out here . 

Double rooms cost around $79 per night . Check availability for your dates here . 

Hotel Peace & Lodge – For one of the best places to stay in Sámara, check out Hotel Peace & Lodge. This place is one of Booking.com’s most popular stays in Sámara, and looking over the property’s pictures, I’m not surprised. With a restaurant, a swimming pool, a garden and a bar, it isn’t short of facilities, and all the rooms are spacious. The price also includes breakfast!

Double rooms cost around $102 per night . Check availability for your dates here .

Best Restaurants in Sámara

Playa Samara, Samara beach in Costa Rica

Sámara is a small town, so you’re not going to be overwhelmed by choice of places to eat here. That said, there are enough great restaurants in town serving up both local and international cuisine, so you won’t be disappointed. Here are my top picks:

  • Samara Sushi – this sushi place is wildly popular and gets rave reviews. In fact, my Costa Rican tour guide said it was his favourite sushi ever! The decor is unique and makes the restaurant feel super laid back, and their 2 for 1 sushi special (which runs after 5pm) is always a hit. Unfortunately, though, it’s quite pricey.
  • Restaurante Sheriff Rustic – for an authentic Costa Rican soda (a local restaurant) you don’t need to look any further than Restaurante Sheriff Rustic. I ate here twice, and it was perfect! The prices were reasonable, the staff offer killer recommendations from the menu, and their ceviche cannot be beaten.
  • El Lagarto – Is this the best restaurant in Samara? I think so! And so do all the online reviewers! The specialty at El Lagarto is anything grilled, and boy, I didn’t think grilling could make anything taste this good! The restaurant is down a back street and a bit hard to find, but that only makes it more of a hidden gem.

Don’t forget to check out my post on traditional food and drinks to try in Costa Rica!

Things You Need to Bring to Sámara, Costa Rica

For Sámara, you’ll definitely need some mosquito repellent spray and bands , and a quick-dry travel towel for all those beach days you’ll have. Other than that, you won’t need anything special beyond what I covered in my Costa Rica packing list .

I do want to emphasise how important it is that you purchase travel insurance before you visit Sámara, though. 

A lot of people don’t think it’s necessary to get travel insurance before travelling to Costa Rica – and it makes me wince whenever I hear about it! Costa Rica is fairly safe, but being careful and visiting safe destinations doesn’t prevent plain old bad luck from happening!

Not only is travel insurance very affordable, but it can save you from all manner of nightmarish situations – whether that’s having your flights cancelled, accidentally damaging your laptop, or even getting injured on an activity! I recommend World Nomads for travel insurance and would NEVER travel uninsured . 

Travel insurance is the kind of thing you often don’t think about until you need it. Don’t get caught short!

Pura vida Costa Rica

I hope this post has helped you to plan your visit to Sámara – you’re going to love it! With so many fun activities right on its doorstep, and that incredible beach, I can’t understand why Sámara isn’t swamped with visitors. I’m definitely happy it isn’t, though!

Don’t forget to head over to my other Costa Rica posts for more trip planning tips!

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Ella Moore is the founder of Many More Maps. Growing up just 45 minutes away from Liverpool, Ella has spent years exploring the city inside out. In her teenage years, she was introduced to the music of The Beatles, and the rest, they say, is history! Today, she stands as a leading authority on Beatles tourism in Liverpool, helping over 40,000 people a month to plan their dream trip to the city.

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I’m so glad I came across your post. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit I’d never even heard of Samara. Now I can’t wait to go there.

Thanks Jenn! Samara is so lovely!

Thanks for this. How did you feel about the Hotel Villas Playa Samara. We are an active couple in our late 60’s and early 70’s who want to stay in an all inclusive but still take surfing lessons and do some excursions. Did you see this hotel and what did you think of it.

Hi Steve, I’m glad you found the post helpful! I unfortunately didn’t see Hotel Villas Playa Samara during my time in town, but given your interests I think you’ll have a fabulous time in Samara no matter where you stay! I hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Our trip has been amazing. This is our third time in Sri Lanka and possibly my favourite trip. I am already planning my next one.

One of the Nicoya Peninsula’s more peaceful coastal villages, Sámara is a great place to relax, and its distance from the capital makes it much quieter than the more accessible Pacific beaches. Even at the busiest times, there’s little action other than weekenders tottering by on stout criollo horses and the occasional dune buggy racing up the sand. Plan your trip to Sámara with our guide to Sámara — based on the  The Rough Guide to Costa Rica , your travel guide for  Costa Rica .

  • The best travel tips for visiting Sámara

Best things to do in Samara, Costa Rica

Best areas to stay in sámara.

  • Best restaurants and bars in Sámara

How to get around Sámara

How many days do you need in sámara, what is the best time to visit sámara.

  • How to get to Sámara

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The best travel tips for visiting Sámara

Located in Guanacaste province at the north end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Sámara is home to one of the Pacific coast’s finest beaches. It offers excellent swimming, spectacular sunsets and good waves for beginner surfers.

On Sundays, the town turns out in force to watch the local football teams who play on the village field as if they’re Brazil and Argentina battling it out for the World Cup. Even weekending Ticos shun the beach for the sidelines.

Sámara also boasts some of the area's calmest waters. The long, gorgeous stretch of sand is protected by a reef about a kilometre out. This takes the brunt of the Pacific’s power out of the waves.

The effect also makes the beach one of the best spots on the Pacific coast to learn to surf. The waves are strong enough without being too unforgiving on beginners.

The Friendship Bridge

Opened in 2003, the 780m Puente Tempisque connects the mainland with the Nicoya Peninsula. It spans from near Puerto Moreno on the peninsula to a point 25km west of the Interamericana on the mainland.

The bridge replaced a time-consuming ferry connection, and saves at least two hours on the journey between San José and Sámara. It’s partly held up by suspension cables connected to towers that, at 80m, make it the tallest structure in Costa Rica.

Nicoya-costa-rica-shutterstock_1598849740

Sámara is located at the north end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Sámara is famous for its beautiful and pristine beaches, where you can engage in a variety of water-based activities, including swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and surfing. Sámara also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, restaurants, and cafes serving delicious local cuisine and refreshing cocktails.

These are the best things to do.

#1 Bliss out on Playa Sámara

Apart from being beautiful and retaining a laidback vibe, one of Playa Sámara’s key characteristics is the variety of visitors you’ll find here. It’s a place where younger indie travellers rub shoulders with families, honeymooning couples, and retirees.  

Thanks to the reef that lies just offshore, Playa Sámara boasts calm waters that make it perfect for families with children, and for beginner surfers. You can also kayak, paddle-board and snorkel here. 

While being well-served by facilities — including having plenty of places to eat and drink — Playa Sámara manages to feel lowkey in a lovely way.

If beaches are your bag, read up on the best beaches in Costa Rica .

#2 Enjoy adventure excursions

Sámara Adventures , located in the middle of the beach, offer all manner of land and water based activities, and know the best places to do them.

As such, their excursions are the perfect way to soak up Sámara while satisfying your impulse for adventure.

Water-sports offerings include bay-to-bay paddle-boarding, snorkelling, sea and river kayaking, and fishing.

Back on land, take your pick from horse-riding (beach and mountains) and trail walking. You can also book full-day trips that combine an "ocean seafari" (dolphin and whale-watching, plus snorkelling) with zip-lining.

#3 Take a kayaking-and-snorkelling tour to scenic Isla Chora

One of the most enjoyable excursions is taking a kayaking-and-snorkelling tour to scenic Isla Chora.

This tiny island south of the village is surrounded by crystal-clear water that affords snorkellers excellent views of marine-life and coral. Expect to see hundreds of tropical fish, plus star fish, octopus, eels and turtles.

There's a lovely little sandy beach to enjoy a picnic on before kayaking back to the mainland.

You can book this through Sámara Adventures, though other operators in town also offer the same.

#4 Relax with yoga classes and massage treatments

Based at Tico Adventure Lodge , this acupuncture and yoga centre offers group classes, as well as more focused one-to-one private classes. And all this on a covered deck offering stunning views.

The on-site spa also offers massages. These include a general relaxation massages, Swedish massage, reflexology, deep tissue, aromatherapy, myofascial release, and Thai massage.

The personable owner is a great source of local information, and staff can arrange surfing lessons

Playa Carrillo, Costa Rico © Shutterstock

Playa Carrillo, Costa Rico © Shutterstock

#5 See sensational sunsets at Playa Carrillo

Aficionados of Pacific sunsets will want to head 6km east of Sámara Playa Carrillo, a ninety-minute walk along flat sands.

Known for its spectacular evening light and colours, beautiful palm-fringed Carrillo is also safe for swimming, with a reef to snorkel. When the tide is high, pools form at the southern end of the beach.

Though the beach no longer has the sleepy, end-of-the-line feel it once had — more and more people are setting up hotels and restaurants here — it remains an undeniable beauty.    

Swimming, chilling and sunset-watching aside, you can kayak, jet ski and water ski here, with beach yoga and horse-riding also available.

Sámara boasts a somewhat surprising diversity of places to stay, from relaxed hotels with family-friendly facilities, to beachfront bungalows, to hostels and camp sites. 

There are a number of more luxurious options, too, among them the high-end Villas Playa Sámara resort. Popular with wealthy Costa Rican families, this offers all-inclusive and bed and breakfast-only tariffs. The villas (sleeping up to six) come with spacious kitchens and sitting rooms, plus outside terraces and hammocks.  

At the other end of the budget scale, Camp Supertramp, located a fifteen-minute walk from town, offers low-cost, well-kept dorms and camping spots (bring your own tent). It’s decidedly — and delightfully— eccentric, with and bird- and animal-filled gardens strung with hammocks.  

All of which means, travellers on all budgets will somewhere to suit them. 

Browse places to stay in Sámara, Costa Rica .                    

Best restaurants and bars in Sámara

In keeping with the diversity of travellers who visit Sámara, its food offerings are equally as broad.  

In general, there’s a strong focus on fresh organic produce, with plenty of places offering a good range of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Self-catering? The Californian owners of Ámara Organics café in the centre of the village organise regular farmers’ markets — Tues 8–11am; Fri 2–5pm; Mon–Sat 8am–7pm.  

And, if you're after Costa Rican food, you’ll find several options, from fancier restaurants dishing-up well-prepared catches of the day, to basic sodas serving filling fish dishes, casados and arroz cons.

Recommended restaurants in Sámara

  • El Ancla Cabinas: a bright waterside restaurant with an extensive fish menu. 
  • Luv Burger: this vegetarian, mostly organic joint delivers flavoursome, plant-based (often vegan) burgers.  
  • Sheriff Rustic: right on the sand, this no-frills soda delivers generous portions of comida típica.

Find out more about  eating and drinking in Costa Rica .

ceviche-food-peru-shutterstock_255404581

Sámara, Costa Rica, isn't short of places to enjoy the likes of fresh ceviche © Shutterlstock

Given that the entirety of downtown Sámara can be walked in fifteen minutes, the best way to get around is on foot. 

If you want to take it very, very easy, hourly buses will whisk you to Playa Carrillo. Public buses also run to the southern town of Estrada, and Nicoya. 

You can also rent ATVs by the hour, daily, or weekly. Note that these are not allowed on the beach. A few shops also hike bikes. 

If you need a taxi, head to Sámara’s soccer field to find one, and be sure to agree the price before you depart. 

If you've come to Sámara to relax and recharge — the main reason most folks head here — you'll want to allow yourself time to slow down.

So, we recommend spending at least 4-5 days here to unwind and feel the benefits of Sámara's chilled vibe. For example, you could easily spend a few days just relaxing on pretty Playa Sámara, dipping in and out of those perfectly calm waters.

Talking of which, you'll want to allocate half a day to kayak to Isla Chora. Add to that strolling to Playa Carrillo for lunch (staying to see the legendary sunset), going on a trail-walking trip or ocean safari to see local wildlife, and you'll wonder where all the time went.

In addition, if you want to learn Spanish, Sámara is a great place to do exactly that. The excellent Intercultura Spanish language school (near the beach) offers week-long Spanish classes, and packages that include homestays.

Looking for inspiration for your trip? Check our  Costa Rica itineraries , or talk to our  Costa Rica experts . 

Predictably, Sámara’s tourist high season coincides with the December–April dry season, with January tending to attract the biggest number of visitors.

As such, January is best avoided if you’ve come for Sámara’s getting-away-from-it-all charm. Instead, consider visiting in November, or between February and April.

With September and October tending to be the rainiest months, you’ll avoid the heaviest downpours that might put paid to your dreams of blissing out on Playa Carrillo. And you’ll also avoid the biggest crowds.

For more on the best time to visit different destinations in Costa Rica, read our guide to  when to go to Costa Rica .

Playa Samara, Nicoya, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Playa Samara, Nicoya, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

How to get to Sámara

There are several ways to get to Sámara, Costa Rica. If you are coming from outside the country, you can fly into the Liberia International Airport, which is the closest major airport to Sámara. From there, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use a shuttle service to get to Sámara, which is about a two-hour drive away.

Sansa planes from San José arrive at the airstrip 6km east of town at Carrillo, from where 4WD taxis make the trip to Sámara.

Buses stop at the village’s northern edge, where the roads to Nicoya and Nosara meet. You can buy tickets for some bus services from the Transporte Alfaro office (daily 7am–5pm) in the centre of the village.

Destinations: Nicoya (8–12 daily; 45min–1hr); Nosara (3 daily; 40min); San José (1–2 daily; 4hr 45min).

Hwy-150 runs the 35km between Nicoya and the coast at Sámara.

For more transportation tips, read our guide to  getting around Costa Rica .

Looking for more inspiration? Read up on the  best things to do in Costa Rica , and get yourself a copy of  The Rough Guide to Costa Rica .

Our  Costa Rica travel tips  will also help you plan your trip. Not keen on planning? You'll love our  customisable Costa Rica itineraries .

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

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    Precision-formulated, Gillette Clinical Protection clear gel antiperspirant and deodorant provides all day fast-acting sweat protection. Gillette Clinical clear gel is highlighted by a fresh, subtle scent that goes easy on your senses. Engineered with skin care ingredients, Gillette Clinical clear gel goes on clear for anti-white mark protection.

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  8. Gillette : Mini & Travel Size Products : Target

    Gillette Mach3 Sensitive Men's Disposable Razor. Gillette. 307. $6.99 - $13.49. When purchased online. Add to cart.

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    Gillette clear gel is highlighted by a fresh, subtle scent that goes easy on your senses. Engineered with skin care ingredients, Gillette clear gel goes on clear for anti-white mark protection. ... Reviews for Gillette Clearshield Clear Shield Clear Gel Antiperspirant Deodorant, Travel Size Cool Wave. Loading reviews. Show more. Similar ...

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    Gillette Clear Gel features Dri-Tech technology, providing invisible sweat protection for 72 confident hours. This formula is fast-acting, fights odor at the source and goes on clear for anti-white mark protection. Gillette Clear Gel is non-irritant* and is highlighted by a fresh subtle scent that goes easy on your senses.

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  13. Samara Travel Guide

    Our Samara travel guide takes you to the family-friendly white sands of this one-stop-shop for all things vacation, and one of the most sought-after destinations in Costa Rica. Overview. Area: Nicoya; Average Temperature: 71 to 92° F (22 to 33º C) Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), 2 hours; Nosara Regional Airport, 1 hour

  14. Sámara: A Travel Guide to Costa Rica's Coolest Beach Town

    Sámara isn't far away from the Ora River, a popular kayaking spot in Costa Rica. Paddling the quiet waters of the river on a guided kayak tour is the best way to explore the mangroves. As you paddle you'll be able to spot wildlife such as monkeys and birds, as well as an easy way to explore the tropical rainforest.

  15. Samara

    The best travel tips for visiting Sámara . Located in Guanacaste province at the north end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Sámara is home to one of the Pacific coast's finest beaches. It offers excellent swimming, spectacular sunsets and good waves for beginner surfers. On Sundays, the town turns out in force to watch the local football teams who play on the village field as if they're Brazil ...

  16. GROOM INDUSTRIES

    Our deodorant combines castor beanextracts to fight odours, as well as tapioca starch extracts to absorb moisture. Carnauba wax and shea butter are here to nourish your skin, while keeping a dry finish. Choose between the regular 75 g size, or the 21 g travel size. Both will serve you well!