Is Sámara one of the happiest places on earth? That's what more than one expat has said after stopping here on vacation and never leaving. On the surface it's just a laid-back beach town with barefoot, three-star appeal. The crescent-shaped strip of pale-gray sand spans two rocky headlands, where the sea is calm and beautiful. It's not spectacular, just safe, mellow, reasonably developed, easily navigable on foot and accessible by public transportation. Not surprisingly, it’s popular with vacationing Ticos, foreign families and backpackers, a somewhat rare, happy mix of visitors and locals. But be careful, the longer you stay the less you'll want to leave.
If you’ve got some extra time and a 4WD, explore the hidden beaches north of Sámara, such as Playas Barrigona and Buenavista.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Playa Sámara.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Playa Sámara.