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Samara vs. Punta Islita?

Colorado Springs...
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Samara vs. Punta Islita?

We are heading to the Nicoya Coast in January and trying to narrow down our options for where to stay. We have 3 boys ages 3,7,9 and prefer a house or villa with a pool and easy beach access. I found Villa Blanca in Samara but have read of the beach being polluted there which is really turning us off. Part of me thinks we should splurge and rent a villa in the Punta Islita resort. I'm also reading great things about Playa Carrillo and am curious about lodging options there. Any suggestions or opinions would be much appreciated!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

I will take my family any time to Samara...they are blue flag certified beach...that menas is a clena beach...

Punta Islita is lovely...but villas are way to far up from the beaqch and the beach is not that nice...Samara and next door Carrillo are two great beaches!


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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

There is no industry, no high rise hotels or big resorts, no bigger source of pollution in Samara area. Beaches in Costa Rica are natural, and many of them have streams or smaller river outlets, which might bring debris in the ocean which subsequently ended on the beach itself. But the water is clear and surely not polluted. The beach in Samara has darker, brownish colour. For lighter colour sand go to Playa Carillo.

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3. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

Samara is a nice place, don't worry.

Tamarindo, Costa...
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4. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

I definitely believe that you can find yourself an amazing vacation in any of those three areas, but each has its own personality. Samara is the largest of the three towns, and has more lodging options. With that being said, Samara still is still a smaller beach town by any standards. Carillo has a more open beach with a lighter color sand and is right next door to Samara. You can't really go wrong with either of these because you will always be able to spend a nice day at the other if you want. The wild card is Punta Islita. This area is gorgeous, but as mentioned before, it is pretty remote and there isn't a whole lot of town around it. You will have to choose what type of feeling you want, whether it be a secluded vacation or one where you would want to enjoy more of a town!

san francisco
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5. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

I would check out the villa at the Montelaguna Residence -- which sits right between Samara and Carrillo beaches and you can walk to both. It has it's own pool. My family (two kids under five) is currently staying here.

There are condos on the property and the condos have a nice pool.

The villa has a really nice set up for kids and the owners/managers of the property have three young children, themselves. There are plenty of reviews of the place on Tripadvisor.

A good point of reference for location is the Hideaway Hotel (across the street). We also saw a four bedroom house next to the Hideaway called Casa Pacifica.

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6. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

H Boycray372,

I agree with all of the above comments. Samara and Carrillo are next to each other and are both family and kid friendly. There are pleanty of hotel options in both locations. The hotel in Punta Islita is 5-star but once you are there, you feel pretty isolated from anything else. As someone previously said, it will depend on what type of vacation you are looking for.

Also, in order to recommend hotels, let us know what price range you are looking for.

Have fun!

7. Re: Samara vs. Punta Islita?

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