The beach of Sámara is considered one of the best beaches of the Guanacaste province.
The water of the wide, sweeping bay is mostly calm and without strong currents thanks to an offshore reef. Its palm trees offer enough shade even when sunbathing. Underneath there are some beach pubs and several, partly simple, partly overpriced bungalow complexes. Over the last few years, the advantages of Sámara, which were previously only known to local families and windsurfers, have spread in the so-called traveller scene, so that the place has gone through a true metamorphosis. Sámara itself still has little to see and has remained essentially a conglomeration of small shops, pubs, tour operators and hotels, even though the once only supermarket has been joined by a second one and many of the buildings have been repainted. The old-established hotels have been joined by some luxurious new establishments, and the nightlife has also found new venues. Compared to other beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula or even the Pacific mainland like Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio or Jacó, the development in Sámara has remained within a reasonable range. Sámara is still a good place to spend some relaxing beach days.
Possible activities include beach walks, mountain biking, kayaking, horse riding, snorkelling and various water sports. You can explore the waters around Isla Chora, which is situated in front of the bay of Sámara, above and under the water on your own by renting a kayak and snorkeling equipment. The private nature reserve “Werner Sauter” begins behind the village and protects the tropical dry forest of its area, which has fallen victim to agricultural use elsewhere. Those who travel to Ostional in the months from August to December and then ideally in the week before the new moon, have the best chances of experiencing one of those spectacular mass arrivals of the green sea turtles coming ashore to nest. On the days before this event, several hundred animals gather off the coast to go ashore at a secret sign, followed by tens of thousands of other turtles in the following three to seven days. The largest so called “Arribada” in Ostional took place in November 1995 with an estimated 500000 turtles. The spectacle usually begins shortly after sunset and lasts until the early morning. Other beaches nearby are:
The wide, bright sandy bay has a perfect crescent shape and is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Although the beach is undeveloped, there is a strangely deplaced promenade parallel to the bay. In the background there are some simple restaurants and sodas. Playa Sámara and Playa Carrillo are only separated from each other by some rocks of the Punta Indio, so that one can also get from one beach to the other on foot, including some smaller detours. On weekends, many local families come to Playa Carrillo for camping and picnics.
Playa Buena Vista and Playa Barrigona
Both beaches are only a few kilometres west of Sámara. While the beach of Buena Vista is a popular surf beach, the light sandy bay of Barrigona, often described as white, has dangerous currents that make swimming risky, especially when the tide is falling. Some time ago Hollywood star Mel Gibson bought a bigger property here. The entrance to the beach of Barrigona is a bit hidden. (Approx. 7 km from Sámara). In one of the hotels you can book (in advance) ultra-light flights that promise a fantastic view of the coastline of the northern Nicoya Peninsula.