Samara Beach, One of Costa Rica’s Best Kept Secrets…Still

Why is Samara Beach so different from other beach towns?

I first went to Samara Beach in 1994 and found it to be a friendly charming little town with a beautiful beach protected by a coral reef. It had a nice welcoming hometown feeling. I spent a few wonderful days there and left. Over the next few years I visited most of the beaches in Costa Rica and saw growth and expansion in most. A lot of it was not too pretty and environmentally disastrous. The developing done in areas like Jaco and Tamarindo I thought were sad examples of things to do to those pristine beaches.

In 2004 an old friend from Montana came down and asked if I knew a responsible realtor as he was interested in buying some ocean view land to develop. They ended up in Samara Beach and asked me to look at the land and give my opinion on the feasibility of what he wanted to do.

Remembering the lovely town of Samara and always having wanted to go back I gladly said yes.

As we came down the hill and pulled into town I was amazed. This little beach paradise seemed exactly like I had left it 10 years earlier. Noticeably a few more nice restaurants but no nasty high rises and realtor signs everywhere. There were still horses grazing along the streets and a few street venders selling souvenirs, hammocks, and fruit. There was a new hardware store, a pharmacy, and lots of people on bicycles. You could still hear the monkeys in the mango trees communicating back and forth.

As my friend decided on doing the sustainable development I decided to get involved and ended up spending quite a bit of time in Samara. I had an overwhelming curiosity as to why this town didn’t take off like Nosara 45 minutes up one of the worst roads in Costa Rica.

The friendliness I figured out was not solely because of the Costa Rican’s warmth and friendliness in their society. Also contributing to this is the fact that for years there had been a couple of Spanish schools and a massage school or two in Samara. Most of the students did home stay with Costa Rican families for a total immersion learning experience. This built some bonds, communications, and understanding between these different cultures that created respect and friendships that carry on still today. Almost all of the students return to visit their host families and enjoy this lovely beach town. This makes for a melding between the expats that move here and the locals. The normal barriers are already down.

Another interesting thing I learned is that much of the ocean view land is owned by a few entities that were not development oriented. One is a local family that owns a lot of the land overlooking Samara. Half of them don’t want to sell so they put their prices well above the market. All of the land above the  gorgeous nearby Carrillo beach is owned by Hitachi the owner of Hitachi. I’m not real sure but have heard he likes it like it is.

Surely there will be more development but now that the government bodies have had time to see how it can go a muck they are carefully scrutinizing what goes on now.

People are discovering this little paradise at the end of the road and are loving the more comfortable prices and the weather. Samara get 56 inches of rain a year which seems perfect to me. Down South it rains so much you have to pull over and let it slack off so you can see to drive. So much humidity that mold is always an issue. In Samara there is a lovely rainy season with sunny mornings, afternoon showers, and often clear evenings. Everything is green and growing. This starts in May and goes until about the middle of November. March and April things are getting dry and warmer then again come the May rains. There is no water rationing like in many beach areas north of Samara.

Samara Beach Life-Style

There is so much to do here and its not hard to find people with common interests. The fishing is spectacular. The annual world sail fishing tournament Is often held in Samara. There is excellent snorkeling, diving, surfing, kayaking and other water sports. One can go hiking swimming in pools below water falls, horseback riding, and quadracycle excursions.

Samara is definitely a treasure worth checking out.