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M.A. to Samara

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Ventura, California
posts: 55
M.A. to Samara

Need some advice please. My son and I will be visiting for the first time this summer. We are planning a couple of days in M.A. then heading to Playa Samara for a week. I thought of taking the bus, but it looks like a looong journey and a few changes (still not sure). I prefer not to rent a car. Would it be easier to travel back to SJ, and go from there? Can anyone suggest any other value priced options? Thanks.

Ventura, California
posts: 55
1. Re: M.A. to Samara

Wanted to bump this back to top...In case it was missed by all the experts out there.

Anyone have any thoughts??

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 41,472
2. Re: M.A. to Samara

Maybe the best is to take a bus to Puntarenas...then a bus from there to Nicoya then to Samara...

Anoher nice ride long but nice...MA to Puntarenas...take the ferry to Playa Naranjo...then bus to Nicoya tyhen to Samara...you will see a lot of the Nicoya gulf and Peninsula...

Also...bus from MA to Esparza and then to Nicoya and then Samara...


Ventura, California
posts: 55
3. Re: M.A. to Samara

Roadadvisor, thank you for your input, this gives me some other options to think about.

Do you have any idea how much time it will take doing one of these routes? I suppose

we could be up for an adventure, and I would love to see more of your beautiful country :)

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 6,001
reviews: 16
4. Re: M.A. to Samara

For an idea of timings, schedules and connections you can check


Just remember that schedules are subject to change - so don't take it as gospel and before you set out on your journey recheck times etc.

Since different companies operate the various routes, you would need to buy a separate ticket for each leg and check with each company to confirm their current schedules.

It looks like the shortest time it could take is about 7 1/2 hours and 2 changes if you go via Puntarenas and Nicoya.

It would involve less changes - but would end up taking more time is you just went back to San Jose and then the bus to Samara. There are direct buses from MA to San Jose (about 3 hours) and a couple of direct buses from San Jose to Samara (about 5.5 hours) Plus you would have to get from one bus station to the other.

pura vida


Costa Rica
posts: 21,688
reviews: 26
5. Re: M.A. to Samara

I would go with roadadvisor's choices.

Quepos to Puntarenas to Nicoya to Samara -- 7 hours.

Quepos to Puntarenas then ferry to Playa Naranja and bus north on Rt 21 from there to Nicoya and then to Samara. Not as fast but much more scenic.

I think the bus to San Jose and then bus to Samara would be my least favorite.

posts: 4
reviews: 3
6. Re: M.A. to Samara

Do not bus. There is a service avail owned by a police officer named Guido. He operates new AC vehicles and drove my wife and I from samara to Liberia airport for 110. Tip included

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,154
7. Re: M.A. to Samara

Negociate a price with Roadadvisor or another van service or check in to interbus or grayline shuttles. The public bus is too much of a pain with luggage on your first trip to Costa Rica. Enjoy!

Ventura, California
posts: 55
8. Re: M.A. to Samara

First of all, thank you all for your information.

I have looked into the bus schedule via Puntarenas...Nicoya...Samara, I am a bit concerned with this trip it looks like there is only 15 minutes change time between the two stops...

Is this enough time to buy tickets and catch the bus?

We will be traveling light as far as luggage goes, so no worries on that subject.

I have checked with Grayline and Interbus neither of these does a trip from MA to Samara...unless I missed something on their web site :)

Costa Rica
posts: 21,688
reviews: 26
9. Re: M.A. to Samara

I don't think you will have problems with the bus changes. In many places, you will just pay the driver - no need to buy a ticket.

Typically, drivers will wait for other buses to arrive before leaving. In Nicoya, the bus driver will know that a bus from Puntarenas is supposed to arrive and he will wait to see if there are any passengers for Samara.

As for the shared van shuttle: You could try booking a shuttle from Quepos to, say, Tamarindo and ask if they go by way of Nicoya or Liberia. If they go by way of Nicoya, you could book that shuttle and get off in Nicoya and take the bus to Samara. Just ask the driver and he will let you off at the bus station. That way, you get an air-conditioned, direct ride for most of the way and only the last hour on the public bus.

Edited: 12:07 pm, May 10, 2013
Ventura, California
posts: 55
10. Re: M.A. to Samara

Hattie it's no wonder you are an expert! That is a great idea. I will email the shuttle companies to see if they go via Nicoya.

I feel better knowing the bus waits if that's the choice we make on our trip.

Thank you :)