Samara Costa Rica

Samara  Costa Rica
Best View in the World

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Best Beach View in the World Samara Costa Rica

Morning Footnote

If I were in Samara right now I would still be checking my email, but I would be doing this with the most fantastic view.

My daily routine when I am in Samara is to get up early, sit on the balcony and watch the ocean. Watching the ocean is almost a full time job here.

From the balcony I can see the waves coming into shore and hear the lull of the surf. I love the simple tranquility the sea offers to the soul.

The balcony is also a great vantage point to watch the butterflies as they dance through the morning air. Magpies come to greet me in the morning and parrots soar overhead.

I am the early riser so before my other half arises I practice my daily yoga with the back drop of this view unless I go down to the beach.

Today at home I too will practice my yoga but it won't be to this view, just the depressing reality that reminds me I am not in  Samara.

Breakfast is followed by a 1015 am swim in the infinity pool. Why such am exact time? Because this is the time the sun beams hit the pool as the sun is passing over our building.

Pooltime is followed by lunch at the beach. Samara has wonderful restaurants or we pack a picnic and with boogie boards and beach towels in tow we are on our way.

Now don't get me wrong, I have to deal with reality here. I usually have to work some every day while in Samara. I have to deal with work email and client issues almost daily, but it is an easy work around and I do my real work after the sun goes down.

After the beach and any shopping in town it is pool time. The pool is a wonderful place to watch the fiery sunset unless you want to stay dry and enjoy with a glass of wine from the balcony.

At night you can continue enjoying the ocean even if you cannot see it as the ocean waves are easily heard. In the evening I work or we watch movies. Sometimes we go down to town for entertainment at night. There is always plenty to do in Samara or as little to do as you want. Here's to counting the days till my return.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wonderful lunch/dinner spot in ocatal

So you've landed in liberia and you are famished!  It will take you about half an hour to get your bags and clear customs. About twenty more minutes to get your car. Now you are footloose and hungry....where do you go...Answer: Father Roosters.

This restaurant is right on the beach in ocatal. The food is great and they have healthy options. Full bar with great coladas and smoothies. Reasonably.priced. Walk along the shore, take a dip in the ocean, or just watch the beautiful scenery while you relax beachside.

Just turn right out of the airport then turn right off highway about ten minutes from the airport toward coco beach. Then follow the signs to ocatal. You will see a sign for the restaurant at the fork in the road. Take left fork. Go by bulldogs fitness and you will see sign for restaurant and a guard gate on your left.  Just drive through the gate and need to stop. Restaurant on the right down at the beach.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


If you are thinking a Costa Rica Vacation may be just what the doctor ordered then you need to get down here in the Green Season between October 1, 2012 and November 15, 2012 as we are running an unbelievable special. Rent our condo for just $399.00 per week. Limited to the time between October 1 and November 15, 2012.  You will love the quaint village of Samara. Green season has alot to offer and there is still plenty of good weather to be enjoyed.  Check out the rest of the blog for more information about Samara.  Just put $399.00 PER WEEK in the subject line of your email and send to:


Hidden eateries of samara

At the stop sign at the plaza with the bakery and the pharmacy are hidden gems in samara. Make your way to the interior plaza and you will fund on the left this sign and a woman who cooks great fresh meals right on the spot and great watermelon water....take a right to the coffee shop...enjoy your discovery;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Winter in Samara 2013...TOP TEN THINGS TO DO!


If you haven't booked your FUN IN THE SUN trip to the warm winter Haven of Samara for 2013 you better hurry!  Travel booking is in full swing and if you don't hurry you may miss out on booking your first choice location.


        This is our and many others opinion as Samara Beach is rated one of the top beach destinations in the world.  The crescent shape bay that is semi protected by a reef makes Samara a great beach for surf and swimming. Unlike most all of the other beaches in Costa Rica, Samara beach has the best of both worlds without the stronger undertow and stronger rip tides found in the rest of Costa Rica.  If that is not enough  you can take surfing lessons or just work on your tan.

       Because of the wonderful beach and serenity of the views in Samara, Samara Beach is a great relaxation destination. Whether you just want to lay listless under the palm lined beach or take in a massage on the beach you will find just what you want in Samara.

       Samara is a quaint beach town where you can dine anywhere and anytime of days in your flipflops and bathing suit while dining on fine cuisine.  Check this blog for photos of the food of Samara.  You will find some of the greatest Pizza we have ever eaten under the stairs in town.  Terrific Thai food there as well.  Gustos on the beach has the best view and fantastic deals on combo meals whether you want to dine by candlelight or with the family.  Locanda has great fish soup!  It is out of this world.....there are many more restaurants in Samara than the ones mentioned here.  Wherever you decide to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner we have never had a bad meal in Samara.

     Just as many come to CR to do nothing others come to get the adrenaline churning with adventure.  You can find adventure in Samara.  There are tours available and a zipline.  You can even drive yourself to nearby waterfalls.  You can experience any adventure you desire right from the comfort of the condo in Samara!

Waterfall near LaRoca just outside of Samara

      If you have only played in the water or used your boogie board for fun in the surf you can also take surf lessons in Samara.  The cost of the lessons usually includes the use of the board and some of the schools include board rental for the week. Why not try hanging ten in Samara?

        No vacation would be complete without a wonderful pool to swim and relax. At Veneto we have a great pool and you can watch and hear the surf while taking a dip.  Sunsets from the pool are spectacular!


       Whether you decide to arrive in Liberia or San Jose you can easily drive to Samara, take the bus, taxi, or private driver.  The road from both Airports is paved and easy to navigate.  Samara is a 90 minute easy drive from Liberia or about four hour drive from San Jose Airport.  See prior blog posting for directions and landmarks along the way from either airport.


        Just a short ride from Samara is Carillo Beach. This beach is gorgeous!  There is nothing built on the beach.  The only natives here are the beautiful palm trees that line the beach. During the week there is almost no one there and you will feel like there is nothing between you and the nature of the beach.  Be wary though if you are thinking of staying here. Carillo accomodations are not near the beach and you need a car. There is also no shopping here so if you need to go get groceries you will need to drive to Samara or walk.  It is about 7KM from Carillo to Samara.

         Whether you want to stay at a more budget Youth Hostel, hotel, condo or rent a home for your stay you can find it all in Samara.  The Youth Hostel is near the Spanish School just a bit North of the main street.   You will find places much further North of the main street, but in my opinion these places lack a good view and they are not near the restaurants.  The owners tout closeness to the beach but do not tell you that you will have to walk quite a way  to eat or buy groceries and probably you will want a car to stay there.
          Most of the homes are up in the hills above the beach.  I have driven by most of them and read their descriptions online.  You will have a gorgeous view from these homes, but there is usually an equally big fee for the rental as they are a full size home.  You will need a car to stay at these homes unless you are young and in great shape and love walking up and down the hill quite a ways back and forth to the beach and town.  But these are very nice in these homes.
           There are hotels on the beach where you can just about walk from your room to the water.  It is my experience that many families don't really like these hotels and we have had guests that stayed in these hotels and then changed to our condo.  You won't really have a view, but you will be near the restaurant.
           There are quite a few condos in Samara, but in our opinion none have the proximity to the beach and the view that the condos at Veneto have to offer.  I think when I tell folks that inquire about our condo this they sometimes think I am just trying to sell them on staying at our condo.  I can tell you that a few folks have chosed one of these other condos and called when they came home and told me they wished they had stayed at our condo.
           Some of the condos may be a bit  closer to the beach, but they are much further from town, these have no view.  The ones in Carillo are far from the beach and many with no view.  Veneto boasts several units with balconys and you can actually hear the surf as you watch the waves come in from your private balcony. Which I love. I can tell you that it is a full time job to watch the beach and surf while drinking your morning coffee.

         Whether you dream of practicing your Yoga on the beach or just want to hit the gym you can do both in Samara. Just across from Gustos on the beach is a gym that you can pay by the week to use. They have an airconditioned facility with equipment.  There is also a jacuzzi you can use with your membership.

9.       MASSAGE!

          Not only does Samara have a Spanish School that travelers from all over the world attend, Samara has a massage school where you can get an inexpensive massage. At these prices you can pamper yourself on a daily basis.  If you want an out of the world experience then you must have a massage on the beach.  The massage therapist hut is near Gustos on the beach.  If Samara isn't heaven enough for you the massage from this woman will complete your trip!

           Don't wait to book your trip. You will love Samara.  Don't take my word for it, do your research. There are beautiful beaches all over Costa Rica. Some have no one there and others are very busy tourist havens.  Samara is just a perfect blend of local Costa Ricans, Expats and tourists.  Beware, once you come to Samara you will never be the same and when you get home....well, only one thing will be on your mind....Coming back home to Samara.

Costa Rica brings out the adventure in you!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

During my last trip to Samara I met folks in search of what we all search for in Costa Rica....MONKEYS!  I am not sure that the Ticos (native Costa Ricans) are as excited about the Monkeys as we are.  I have been told that they look at them like we do raccoons.  Cute, but can be problems.

In Samara if you are on your toes and look into the trees you will see Monkeys, usually.  Once thing is certain is that you will hear them.  If you hear them you can track down their whereabouts.  The type of monkeys you will find in this area are Howler Monkeys.  Thus why you can hear them.  The Monkeys that I have seen have almost always been traveling in a troop.

We were so lucky on this last trip because there were monkeys in the trees next to the condo.  A troop of about six with two babies and several adults.  They played on the branches near us.  We were about ten feet from the monkeys as they did not seem to fear us.  It was wonderful to watch them as they cared for each other and swung from the trees.

In Costa Rica wildlife abounds both in animals and plant life.  Around every corner are plants that we only observe indoors.  Corn plants become fence roads and elephant ears can be as big as your car.

Whatever you are looking for you will find in Costa Rica. Come to Samara and you will find  monkeys, an adventure, peace and quiet, or yourself!  PURA VIDA

Send your monkey pictures to: and we will post them in the blog with credit to you for your picture.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Wall Mural in Samara Costa Rica

Hola!  Congratulations on your decision to travel to Samara Costa Rica.  I am writing to give you insight on traveling to Samara either by car or transport from Liberia or San Jose.

If you want to drive in Costa Rica rest assured that it is no different than travel in the United States. Even in more rural areas the majority of the roads are paved.  You need to understand just like in the US if you are in more rural areas the travel time is greater than if you are on the interstate.  My best recommendation is to go to the bookstore and buy the waterproof travel map for Costa Rica.

Why waterproof?  I have no idea, but it is the best map I have found.  Good news is that it really lasts well for multiple trips to Costa Rica.  I guess if you decide to take it swimming with you or stand under a waterfall with it the map will survive?

I have never rented a gps.  The car rental places will attempt to upsell you on this item.  If you can read a map and read the town roadsigns you do not need a gps unless you are going to go off road or well within the country on gravel roads and still I have never needed a gps.  Interestingly, you can always tell where you are if you pay attention as you cross the bridges over rivers as all of these are on this map!

As to a cell phone. I usually travel with one there.  We usually rent a vehicle and I like the ability to be able to call them if needed and the more I go down there the more we have someone that we might call.  You can rent a phone from the car rental agency, but if you bring an unlocked cell phone you should be able to get a prepaid chip from anywhere you see a KOLBI sign or ICE.  You will need your id and passport for this.  This is a much cheaper option than renting the full phone from the rental agency.  One of the best reasons to have a phone is that I think most of us have gotten used to carrying a phone and we use it for our alarm and watch replacement.  If you bring your phone make sure to put on airplane mode so you don't incur additional charges.  If you use your home cell in CR you can really rack up the charges even for internet.

I am not familiar with any other providers other than Tmobile. T mobile has an international plan that I can add on when I leave and take off when come home.  It is about $20.00 per month so only 10 per two weeks and covers all of my email on the go.  If you do this it is important to turn the phone off unless you are checking your mail or you will get incoming calls which can add onto your bill.  The problem is that this feature only works with blackberry so I have to change my phone to a blackberry before I leave. Just call your provider to see what options you might have and you will be on the go in CR.  You will have a signal most places unless you are really off the road.

By Bus:  You can ride the bus from SJO or LIR. I have not done this because it is a long trip because of the frequent stops.  Amazingly, CR has quite a public transportation system.  It can take 6 hours by bus from SJO and about 3 from LIR. 

 costa rica by bus

By Taxi:  You can take the Taxi from either airport.  I have taken a taxi from LIR to Samara.  We paid $120.00 USD for the two of us and the driver stopped in Nicoya for us to go to the grocery store.  Was pleasant and very quick drive.

By Air:  You can fly into Nosara. It is a 45 minute drive from Nosara to Samara so not worth the cost of the flight to me. 

By Car:  It is a four hour drive from SJO and 90 minutes from LIR.

To expand the discussion of arrival by car I offer these insights.

SJO to Samara:  Out of the airport follow the signs toward Alejuela or Arenal.  You should be heading a westwardly direction.  You will follow the road through Alejuela to the coast. Do not turn toward Arenal once you are on the main road.  About 20 minutes from the airport you will see a restaurant that has a windmill. This is a good place to eat. We have eaten there.

The biggest problem with the road to Samara is the portion from SJO down to the coastal highway.  It is hilly and there are many trucks and buses. It is a pretty drive. Once you come down the hill you will watch for the turn at Esparza to start your drive to the north.  Once you turn North you will drive about the same distance you have already driven, but you will make a bit better time because the road is straighter although still plenty of traffic

Coming in to Las Juntas you will turn Left toward Nicoya. On the corner is a large restaurant that has a gigantic steer (cow) at the restaurant.  I have not eaten here, but I think this is also a good place to eat because of its location and size. Tres Hermanos is the name of the restaurant.


Once on this road your next landmark will be the Friendship Bridge.  This bridge goes over the Golfo de Nicoya.  You may be tempted to take the ferry in Puntarenas. I have been told NO by more than one local.  By our US roads it would look soooo much closer, but after your cross the water you will be driving on all gravel roads.  Trust me gravel roads in CR means much more travel time.

Once over the bridge you will drive probably 15 minutes or so and you will turn right toward Nicoya. As you get closer to Nicoya you see a construction like business on your right. You are very close to the turn here.  When you see a stop light (flashing) you will turn left toward Nicoya.  

My suggestion is that you go straight through the light just about 50 feet is a big grocery story called Maxi Pali.  Surprisingly, this is owned by WalMart.  They take credit cards including American Express.  There are grocery stores in Samara, but this is a much larger store and you will be about ready to stop at this point and walk around etc.  FACEBOOK TO MAXI PALI NICOYA:

We have bought just about anything here with no problem with milk, produce, meats, lunchmeat, etc.  If you want to purchase bottled water you can here although the water in CR is safe to drink. Just past this store on the right is a place to eat.

Once out of the store just go the way you came and vere right before the light toward Nicoya.  The main road through town becomes congested and one way. On the right just before the other grocery store in town is a WONDERFUL BAKERY!

Once through Nicoya you just follow this main road to Samara. Some points along the way. You will go through a town where the road T's and you will turn Right.  At the corner is a store that sells blow up pool toys.  Don't worry you will see it.  Just past here on the right is a soccer field (they call football) and a woman who sells tamales.  We have bought these and eaten them.  I liked them, but my daughter didn't.

As you proceed the road will get a bit hilly. This is a beautiful valley and up on the left is a nice restaurant called LaRoca. LaRoca has good food and a beautiful jungle view. In the wet season to the right down the hill you can observe a waterfall.

Breakfast at LaRoca

Past La Roca you will continue toward Samara and pass a gas station on your left. Continue toward Samara and you will come to a stop sign.  On the Right is a bakery and pharmacy. To come to Veneto you turn left and you will see the condos up on the hill to your left. To go to the beach just go straight at the stop sign and don't turn.  Samara info center is on your right if you go straight next door to the laundry.


From the airport you turn Right.  If you want to go left toward Liberia you can, but I have not found much shopping there.  However about a mile on the right (if you turn left) is a really neat place to eat. Make sure and order coffee there.  If you decide to turn right we like to go to Ocatal and eat at Father Roosters.  You just follow the signs if you want to go there off the road to Coco Beach. It is about 20 minutes off the main road to Nicoya.

If you decide to go on to Nicoya just follow the signs.  When you are coming closer to Nicoya you will see some blue signs for artisans and then on the right you will see a hotel with a horse on the sign. You will pass a large Ferreteria (hardware store on your Right-two to be exact) and you will see the light coming up.  The grocery store is before the turn on your left.

From here Just follow the directions above from Nicoya. 

You will love Samara!  Read through these blog posts and if you have any questions do not hesitate to email us at  Also, if you are looking for a place to stay check out our VRBO listing on the right. Hope to see you there;)

Samara Beach At Night


Friday, August 3, 2012

Best Beach View in the World!....Samara Costa Rica!

If you have traveled the globe and thought you have found a great beach with a beautiful view and you have not been to Samara Beach in Costa Rica you have not really experienced the breath taking view of what many call the Best Beach View in the World from the Veneto Condos in Samara.

Veneto is a four story high rise condo that towers above the beach in Samara as there are NO OTHER buildings like it with this view.  Certainly there are other condos, but none of them have the view plus the proximity to the beach.  Certainly, there are homes perched above the bay, but they are very expensive to rent and you will have quite a trek back and forth to the beach and you must have a car!

The condominiums at Veneto are very comfortable and they are as different as the owners who own them.  There are owners from Costa Rica, California, Canada, Kentucky, and you will meet people from all over the world as you lounge and swim in the Infinity Pool as Samara is a hot destination for Europeans, Canadians, and Americans.

This complex has 24/7 security that is gated along with the resident Chester who is an added bonus to the team of maintenance/security personnel.  Only 5 units have a balcony and of these only three are rental units. 

If you want to see Monkeys while in Costa Rica this is the place.  I have been ten feet away from a troop of Monkeys near the gate including babies!  We have lounged in the pool and watched monkeys in the trees as well.  If you are lucky enough to snatch one of the balcony units you can relax on the balcony and watch mother nature unfold as you listen and watch the surf and see  parrots, butterflies and several species of birds.

If you see photos from the condos at Veneto you will love the view of the beach and the solitude because you will see nothing from your view except nature and the beach.  Don't be fooled though, the quaint village of Samara is under those trees which makes Veneto the perfect spot for a holiday.

Just a short walk down to the beach and you can enjoy the sun, sand and water.  A few more steps and you are in town and can dine in any of the wonderful restaurants, tourist shop, buy groceries or just relax on the beach.

Our favorite restaurant HANDS DOWN is Gusto's on the Beach.  They have great food and drinks and it is so relaxing to sit there and watch the surf.  At night the palms are illuminated as you sit under the moon and stars.  They have dinner specials that include appetizer, main course and a drink (includes beer) for about 14-17 USD. They also serve breakfast and lunch.  During the day it is the best to go for a cool glass of Watermelon water....Yes, I said it...Watermelon water!  Just believe me and try it!

My husband likes Gustos, but he gets tired of going there day after day because my daughter and I will go and stay the day.  Gustos has lockers for you to use which we love.  So every now and then we have to go to a different restaurant.

He really likes the fish soup at Locanda.  It is very good. You will find lobster claws in the soup, shrimp, fish etc.  The price is right and it is very filling.

If you are having withdrawals from American Pizza then no fear.  There are two pizza restaurants in Samara.  We tend to love the one under the stairs in town.  They have FANTASTIC Pizza.  They also deliver.  Behind them is a Thai restaurant that is very good as well.  I am not 100 percent sold on Thai, but my daughter likes it.  I will say they have beautiful food presentations.

Of course no trip to the beach would be complete without a massage on the beach.  You absolutely must have a massage on the beach! Just to the right of Gusto's on the beach is the most wonderful massage therapist! You will never experience again this type of body work.  Massages average around $45.00.

There is so much to do in Samara and there are tours as well.  Stop by the Samara Info Center next to the Laundry on the main street. They are experts on information you need in and around Samara.  There are several tour operators in Samara, but this one is English Speaking and they are wonderful people that operate this center.

You can snorkel, dive, fish, zip line, go horseback riding, kayak, motorsports, and more just in Samara. Close by are waterfalls and other day trip adventures that can be arranged.  Samara has several grocery stores, two banks, hairdressers and just about anything you need during your stay.

One of the most important things to bring with you is sunscreen. The sun will be stronger here even if you are from Florida.  It can be expensive here so pack a lot in your checked baggage.  You don't need alot of clothes here so pack light. Several bathing suits, a coverup and a couple of outfits will suffice nicely.  If you plan to adventure into the jungle bring some bug spray and good shoes for hiking.

If you haven't figured it out yet, you will find Samara as the best location to experience all of what Costa Rica has to offer.  Come experience Samara...Stay at Veneto...Eat at will love it and never want to leave and you will count the days until you can return...PURA VIDA!

PS...there are links on the right of this page of condos at Veneto!