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Earth : North America : Central America : Costa Rica : Guanacaste : Sámara
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For other destinations with the same name, see Samara (disambiguation).

Sámara is a beach town in Costa Rica's Guanacaste province.

Get in

By plane

  • Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (IATA: LIR)(ICAO: MRLB), is called Liberia Costa Rica Airport, 13km west of the city. Daily flights arrive in Liberia on several US airlines. Nature Air and Sansa Air, the domestic airlines also land here. A bus travels between the airport and city center between 6AM-6PM.

By bus

A large public bus network services Liberia and connects it with San Jose, the beaches and the Nicaraguan border. You can take a bus from San Jose to Nicoya, and then to Samara.

As of 05/2014, public buses directly from San Jose to Playa Samara are also available most days (no transfer in Nicoya). is a good, current source for bus schedules/timetables, though confirming at the bus station is always a good idea. These buses depart from Terminal 7-10 in San Jose.

By car

Liberia is at the cross section of the Inter American Highway that stretches throughout Central America and the Route 21 that heads to famous beaches such as Tamarindo. The route into town is a relatively pleasant drive on paved road from Nicoya. From points north, take Route 21 into Nicoya and then follow the signs to Sámara -- it's about two hours away from Liberia airport. From San José, the best route is through the Interamericana (Highway 1) north, then west along Route 18, across La Amistad de Taiwan bridge, then through Nicoya and into Sámara.

By Taxi

A taxi ride from The Liberia Airport to Samara costs around $50 per car and takes about 2 hours. A taxi from Nicoya to Playa Samara costs $35 USD per car and takes 45 minutes.

Get around

Public bus, bicycle or on foot. Samara Beach is a small beach town which allows for walking to most destinations.

If needed, taxis queue on the main street just before the main entrance to the beach.


A quick visit to Samara Costa Rica provides many opportunities for families to enjoy the reef protected beach. The horses walk this beach town unchecked. For safety reasons shoes should be worn at all times.


Rentals of surfboards and kayaks are available through various outfitters around town and along the beach. Also, several snorkeling, kayaking, and sportfishing tours are offered. The further you go from the beach entrance, the cheaper it is.

There are a couple offices in town that will arrange tours to observe Sea Turtles laying eggs (if the season is right). Guides were extremely professional and took enormous pains to avoid disturbing the turtles. The experience is amazing, but be warned that you must be somewhat physically fit with a fairly high tolerance for mild discomfort: the tour involves a late night, a fair bit of hiking, hours of watching, and lots of standing and waiting.

Horseback tours are inexpensive ($10 per person for 2 hours) and offer a great opportunity to see the more of the surrounding area at a slower pace.

In general, activities are very inexpensive, informal, and flexible. Guides are extremely friendly and generous; it is not abnormal to be invited to the guide's home to meet their families and share a meal. Tell them what you want to do and see and they will try to make it happen!



Apart from sodas and fast food, restaurants in Samara are generally high quality and have quality prices to match.

  • LuvBurger, (On the beach, just west of the main entrance), 506 2656 3348, [1]. 8am-9pm most days. Turning carnivores onto vegan food since 2017, LuvBurger claims to be the world's first vegan beachfront restaurant. The vegan burgers are tasty and savory, especially with the "cashew cream cheese" and "coconut bacon".  edit
  • Mama Gui, (100 meters west of the Catholic church), 506 2656 2347, [2]. Tues-Sat 5pm-11pm, closed Monday. Inventive Italian place that specializes in cured meats and cocktails. Upscale but worth it - known for stylish presentation as well as good food.  edit


Microbar Samara, Arriba pathway, roughly across from Lo Que Hay in the town centre, [3]. 5pm-midnight ish. Excellent selection of Costa Rican micros on tap. The micro in it's name accurately describes the space, but with good music and a super friendly staff, it's a great spot. The bartender had four sample glasses in front of me before I could say 'una cerveza, por favor'.  edit


  • Flying Crocodile Lodge (Flying Crocodile Lodge), Samara (Samara), 506 8827 8858, [4]. Each room of the lodge is decorated in a different style, they are spacious and up to 100 m2 large. Spacious guest rooms, on-site restaurant, outdoor pool and billards  edit
  • Sámara Palm Lodge (Samara Palm Lodge), Sámara (50 mts del Banco Nacional oueste), +506- 2656 11 69, [5]. Sámara Palm Lodge is situated in a quiet and relaxing area a short walk to the village of Sámara and nearby beach. Pool, honesty bar, and free high-speed wireless-internet. Rooms with A/C & cable TV available for an extra $10/night. $60.  edit
  • Bar Aloha Camping, (At the extreme right of the beach). Nice camping in front of the beach, very friendly owners. They also have cabins. 5$pp.  edit
  • Hostel Las Mariposas, (Only a short walk from the bus stop, there are signs scattered everywhere around town pointing you to the hostel. Look for the green signs!), + 506 870 33 625, [6]. Las Mariposas is a charming hostel in the beautiful beach town of Sámara. If you are looking for an inexpensive place with lots of extra services.... this is the place to be! For only $15 a night you will have your home right in the town center of Sámara, only 100m from the beach and close to all the popular restaurants & bars that Sámara has to offer. The hostel has a uniquely welcome family feel to it and is perfect for the lonely traveller. Delicious full breakfast is available, wireless internet, hot shower and plenty of nice areas to relax. $15.  edit
  • Villas Playa Samara, 506 2656 1111. Beautiful villas with well maintained grounds; very much a resort feel. Outdoor pool with reasonably priced bar. On site restaurant serves Costa Rican and American food; prices are considerably higher than in town. A small shop on site has basic supplies and beer for reasonable prices. Located about 1 mile from the town, about a 25 minute walk on the beach. The front desk will arrange a variety of activities.  edit
  • Hotel Casa del Mar, Playa Samara, Guanacaste, CR (Take the main road toward the beach (bus drops you on this road); Turn left at the last road before the sand. Walk one block. Near Gusto beach restaurant.), 506-2656-0264, [7]. Spic and span hotel with breakfast. Offers varying room sizes - doubles, singles, triples, no dorms with shared and private bathroom options. Pricing changes with season. Low season price for a double with shared bathroom was $40 with breakfast included. Expect clean sheets, hot water, wi-fi, tasty coffee. Well maintained, clean, with jacuzzi pool, personable and professional staff. Location has a private part of beach with access just across the street offering lounge chairs, beach towels, etc. Suprised this crisp gem hasn't made the guidebooks! Reception speaks Spanish and English. Reservations by phone or [email protected] 40 USD/night.  edit
  • Hotel Ancla, (from the bus stop on the Main Street, walk towards the beach. Just before the beach turn left and walk for 5 minutes. Just before the bend, you will find Hotel/Restaurant Ancla.). No one speaks English but the family are kind and welcoming. Rooms are basic but come with ceiling fan and en suite. £17.50 per night in a private double. Right on the beach with restaurant attached. Smashing!  edit


Get out

Two "direct" buses run from Samara to San Jose daily, at 4:30a and 9a. Tickets can be bought from an office on the side of 'Salumi & Formaggi'. Interbus shuttles also serve Samara and can be a good way to reach spots without a direct bus connection, e.g. Monteverde.

Buses also depart often for the town of Nicoya. Catch these from the bus stop kitty corner from Roots Bakery (a nearby sign indicates departure times). Earliest is 6.30.

Playa Carrillo is a lovely beach located approximately 6 km south of town along paved road. The beach is an easy bike ride from Samara with only one hill of significance between point A and B. Bring your own brewskis and lunch - Playa Carrillo is 'nothing but trees, sand, sun and water'.

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