A once-sleepy beach town that was only accessible by water plane, Samara is now one of the coolest places you can end up in the Nicoya Peninsula. The town is super walkable with a long beach made for leisurely strolls. There’s only one coworking spot in town, Locoworking, but you could also work at Cafe Iona, an open-air cafe on the river, where the staff is friendly and they roast their own coffee. For a spot on the beach, Gusto Beach has decent Italian food and big breezy tables where no one will mind if you want to hang around on your laptop all day. You can also check out the Roots Bakery and Cafe which has nice pastries and empanadas.
Most restaurants and bars are located around the four main streets of town or on the beach. El Lagarto has excellent grilled surf and turf. Sherriff Rustic on the water has a big menu of traditional foods. Continue down the beach to Lo Que Hay for friendly (if slow) service. Further along the water in Matapalo, Las Palmitas is a no-frills chiringuito and has the cheapest lobster dinner in the area. In an unassuming parking lot, you’ll find Rosa with an ever-changing menu of fresh meat and seafood. One of the most unique meals in the town is the lobster tacos at Cantina de Baco. When you’re ready for a drink, Microbar has lots of beer options and friendly bartenders while Las Olas is cheap, cheerful, and popular with locals. If you’re craving a different kind of night out Que Mas is a nice French wine bar.
During the day, walk along Samara beach and join one of the many surf classes or a kayak and snorkel trip to Isla Chora or drive south down the coast to find black sand and turtle nesting area at Camaronal Beach. Further south you’ll find Punta Islita which is home to the Macaw Recovery Network—a great place to see the colorful birds and support an incredible mission to restore a once endangered species. Inland from Samara on the road to Nicoya, is Hojancha where you can take a tour of the Diria Coffee Farm, one of Guanacaste’s only local coffee suppliers.
Kayla Kurin is a travel, health, and fiction writer from Canada. She is the author of Where Can I Find Wifi? Work Anywhere, Travel Forever: Tales of a Digital Nomad and The Nomadic Art of Budget Travel...
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