Playa Samara is one of those towns that is lots of fun, but a little off the mainstream tourism trail.
The narrow beach itself is quite small. Small hotels and restaurants line the beachfront. So it is a great place to enjoy a long lunch with a few adult beverages. When the surf is up, it is a great spot to watch the action. We found these restaurants to be quite friendly. They are also catering to the surf crowd, so the prices are quite reasonable.
Along the road near the beach, you will find the usual scattering of vendors selling trinkets, knock off t-shirts, colorful towels, sarongs, and inexpensive jewelry. These little pockets are found at most beaches in Costa Rica. I have heard the wares here described by my local friends as “beach trash”. But they are still fun to check out, and my wife has found a few interesting little bits of jewelry on these tables. Along with some fun little clothing items.
We have done hotel inspections twice here. We have pretty much covered them all. We couldn’t find anything that was a good match for our client base. Though on our most recent visit, we saw that a couple close to “downtown” were being renovated. So we are holding out hope for our next visit
We found the nearby Playa Carrillo to be more our style. This is a very long crescent shaped beach with almost no development. Also no restaurants, bars, or services.
But if you bring your own supplies, this is pretty heavenly place. You will usually find local families hanging out here. The main paved road passes close to this beach. There are lots of palm trees lining the beach, and on our visits we have found the surf to be gentle.
Our suggestion is that you stay by Playa Carrillo (our inspections have uncovered a couple of local hotels that are true hidden gems.) You can always go into Samara to shop, or have a meal at a beachfront restaurant. Then spend your beach time at Carrillo.
You find the best of both worlds here.
Leyenda Hotel & Restaurante
Punta Islita ~ We have also included Punta Islita in this section. It isn’t really all that close to Samara, but it isn’t any closer to anything else! This unique destination hotel is worth looking into for that special family trip or honeymoon.