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Discover the Best Things to Do in Samara, Costa Rica

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: April 6, 2023

Nestled along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Samara is a quaint, idyllic beach town that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and local culture. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the rainforest, or immerse yourself in the local culture, Samara has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top things to do in Samara.

What You Need to Know About Visiting Samara

Before embarking on your journey to Samara, it’s important to know a few things about the area. Samara is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The closest major airport is Liberia International Airport, which is about a two-hour drive from Samara. From there, you can either rent a car or take a shuttle bus to Samara. Once you arrive, you’ll find that Samara is a small town, with everything within easy walking distance. The town has a few grocery stores, restaurants, and souvenir shops, as well as several tour operators that can help you book activities and adventures in the area.

One of the main attractions of Samara is its proximity to other beautiful areas of Costa Rica. For example, the town of Nosara is just a short drive to the north, and is known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe. To the south of Samara, you’ll find the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, where you can witness thousands of sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. And just a bit further south is the town of San Juanillo, which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. So if you’re looking to explore more of Costa Rica during your trip to Samara, there are plenty of nearby destinations worth visiting.

Beach Activities

Samara is famous for its beautiful, pristine beaches that offer a wide range of water sports and activities. One of the most popular activities is surfing, and there are plenty of surf schools and rental shops where you can learn to ride the waves. For those who prefer a more leisurely activity, paddleboarding is a great way to explore the coastline and get a different perspective of the ocean. Snorkelling and scuba diving are also popular activities, allowing you to discover the rich marine life and coral reefs that surround the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also great ways to explore the mangrove forests and estuaries that lead into the ocean.

Nature and Wildlife

Samara is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem, making it a prime location for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The Samara Trails and Wildlife Refuge offers a unique opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty, with guided tours that take you through the rainforest, over suspension bridges, and alongside rivers and waterfalls. Another unique experience is turtle nesting at Playa Buena Vista, where you can witness these magnificent creatures laying their eggs on the beach. For those seeking a more thrilling experience, the Crocodile Watching Tour takes you on a boat ride down the Tarcoles River, where you can see these enormous reptiles in their natural habitat.

Local Culture and Food

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is by visiting the Samara Farmers Market, where you can find a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and handmade crafts from the region. Another popular destination is the Guaitil Pottery Village, where you can learn about the traditional pottery-making techniques of the indigenous Chorotega people. Of course, no trip to Samara would be complete without sampling the local cuisine, which features fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and a variety of spices and herbs. Some of the most popular dishes include ceviche, gallo pinto, and casado, which is a traditional Costa Rican dish consisting of rice, beans, meat or fish, and plantains.

Day Trips and Excursions

While there’s plenty to see and do in Samara, the surrounding areas offer even more opportunities for adventure and exploration. Barra Honda National Park is a must-visit destination, known for its extensive cave system that features stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Carrillo Beach is another popular destination, offering a more secluded and tranquil beach experience than Samara. For those looking to get in touch with their spiritual side, Nosara Beach and the nearby yoga retreats offer a peaceful and rejuvenating escape.

Nightlife and Entertainment

After a long day of exploring, Samara offers a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. Many of the local bars and restaurants feature live music, ranging from reggae and salsa to rock and pop. For those who love to dance, there are plenty of opportunities to let loose and show off your moves. And throughout the year, Samara hosts a variety of local events and festivals, including the Festival of the Seas, which celebrates the town’s close relationship with the ocean.

In conclusion, Samara is a unique and unforgettable destination that offers a wide range of activities and experiences. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the rainforest, or immerse yourself in the local culture, Samara has something to offer. With its stunning natural beauty, friendly locals, and laid-back atmosphere, Samara is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the beauty of Costa Rica.

So why wait? Book your trip to Samara today and experience all that this magical destination has to offer. From surfing and snorkelling to pottery-making and turtle nesting, Samara offers a wide range of activities and experiences that will leave you feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and connected to the natural world. And with its warm climate, clear waters, and vibrant culture, Samara is the perfect place to escape the stresses of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of Costa Rica. You can easily add a trip to Samara to a volunteering experience in Costa Rica – learn more about volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica with GVI today. 

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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