The Samara Vibe
Samara Costa Rica is a small seaside town in the Guanacaste region. We like it because it has a bohemian vibe. It’s also a great surfing spot. Samara is a great jumping off point for other fun day trips. We highly suggest this spot if you are looking for a nice relaxed beach trip with great surfing.
Now on to the rest of the Samara Costa Rica budget travel guide!
Samara Costa Rica Weather
The most popular time to visit Samara Costa Rica is between the end of December through early May. This is dry season in Samara. You can expect extremely hot weather and no rain.
We like to visit this area between May through mid-August. At that time of year, you will likely have a daily afternoon thunderstorm that lasts for about an hour, but there are fewer tourists. We just make a point of getting up early and really enjoying the day before the rain rolls in..
From mid-August through mid-December you can expect the temperature to cool off a bit and more rain.
A lot of hotels close between August and December because there just isn’t enough demand. However, because of the lack of demand, you can also get tours and activities discounted because companies are so eager for business.
Getting to Samara Costa Rica
The easiest way to get to Samara is from the Liberia Airport. This drive will only take you about two hours on well-maintained roads.
You can also drive to Samara from the San Jose airport, but the drive will take you about four hours.
More and more airlines are starting to fly into Liberia, so it is definitely worth checking that out.
We suggest renting your car with Adobe because they are the most trustworthy rental car company in this country and we have a 10% discount for you. You can read more about renting a car here.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving to Samara you can always take the public bus. The bus runs from downtown San Jose at 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm daily. This ride will take about five hours.
To get to Samara from Liberia you will have to first take the bus to Nicoya and then switch buses to Samara. You can see the full schedule of how this works on the free app Off The Grid Traveler. It is a lifesaver for navigating the bus system here.
Getting Around in Samara
Samara is a very walkable town. If you plan on mostly just spending your time within the town and on the beach, you really don’t need a car.
If you plan on doing more exploring in the area we definitely suggest renting a car. If you don’t have a car you will have to depend on day tours which tend to be more pricey and don’t go to more off the beaten path places.
Keep in mind that many of the roads around Samara are unpaved. We definitely suggest getting a car with 4 wheel drive if you plan on checking out activities nearby.
Pro Tip: Rent a car with Adobe through our site and you will get a 10% discount! Score! You can find out more about it here.
Things to Do in Samara Costa Rica
Go surfing: There are plenty of places which offer surfing lessons rentals in Samara, but our personal fave is Pato’s Surf School because they offer a good rate for lessons and with each lesson you get five days of board rentals for FREE! Plus, they are just an all around wonderful company. They also offer amazing rates on SUP boards and kayaks. It is also possible to just rent a surfboard in Samara and do your own thing.
Explore nearby beaches: There are several beaches nearby you can check out. Our personal favorite is Playa Carillo because we love how it is lined with palm trees and it is almost always empty. However, the Samara beach is also really nice. It is very long and a great place for a long walk.
Check out a waterfall: Near Samara is a waterfall called Belen. It is pretty difficult to find and you will need a 4×4 to get there, but it is a fun off the beaten path adventure. If you want more info check out the TripAdvisor page here.
Take a yoga class: We are big fans of yoga classes at Samara Massage because they are well done and are taught in the shade on the beach! Classes are only $10 for a drop in and include use of a yoga mat. You can find out the class schedule and other details here.
Walk the beach: Playa Samara is really long. It’s the perfect beach for a long relaxing walk to clear your head.
SAMARA PHOTO BREAK!
Samara Costa Rica Hotels
Hostel Samara: For about $40 you can get a large basic room for two people with a private bathroom. breakfast is not included, but there is an onsite restaurant if you’d like to eat there.
Sunset Chill Out Bed and Breakfast: For less than $60 a night you can get a nice double room with breakfast included. This place is located a bit further down from the downtown area, but it is directly on the beach.
Hotel Oasis: For less than $50 a night you can get a cute and clean one bedroom house with a private kitchen. Breakfast is not included.
Hotel El Dorado: For about $30 a night you can get a twin room for two people with a private bathroom. Breakfast is not included but there is a shared kitchen on site which you can use.
Hotel Giada: For less than $60 a night you can get a double room with breakfast included. There is also a nice pool on site for guests to use.
FIND THE PERFECT HOTEL IN SAMARA ↓
We definitely suggest checking out Airbnb as well. Sometimes you can get some really great accommodation deals at beautiful places on Airbnb. We like Airbnb because often you can get a place with a private kitchen. This definitely helps us to save some money so we are not constantly eating at restaurants. Also, often staying at an Airbnb will give you a more local experience.
Save $30 off your first Airbnb stay here!
Samara Costa Rica Restaurants
Samara Organics: Not a restaurant, more of an organic store, but they serve delicious smoothies. They also have great organic products you can take with you as snacks.
Bouticafe Bohemia: The vibe here is great plus the food is on point. We suggest going here for breakfast or lunch to get a healthy and tasty meal.
Microbar Samara: If you are into craft beer you’ve got to head here! Craft beer is pretty expensive in Costa Rica, but hey, sometimes you just need some quality beers. This is the place to get it! Plus the bartenders here actually know what they are talking about and will happily steer you in the right direction for the best drinks.
Falafel Cafe: If you are into Mediterranean food, head here. The prices are extremely fair and the food is absolutely delicious!
Soda La Perla: Great typical Costa Rican food at an affordable price.
LuvBurger: Ridiculously good food with tables on the beach. Their burgers are wonderful.
Samara Travel Tips
– We have gotten a lot of questions asking if Nosara or Samara is better to visit (since they are so close and have a somewhat similar vibe). If you are looking for a really small town (more like a village), head to Nosara. If you want a bit more going on, but still cute, go to Samara.
Samara Packing Tips
WAS THIS HELPFUL? WE'D LOVE IF YOU'D PIN IT!
Let us know if you have any questions about visiting Samara Costa Rica in the comment section below. We are happy to help you out!
WANT TO CHASE FAB VIBES AROUND COSTA RICA ON A BUDGET?
Of course you do!
Join our 30,000 monthly readers in planning your dream travels in Costa Rica with our newsletter. Plus, we will send you our travel planning packet which will keep your travels super organized.