We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Book On TripAdvisor Bonus Book your hotel on TripAdvisor — then save 20% on things to do for your trip. Use code BOOKTOSAVE.

Samara or Santa Teresa?

Which Playa Samara hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
7 posts
17 reviews
Samara or Santa Teresa?

My husband and I are planning a trip in May for 7-8 nights. We could fly into either SJO or Liberia, and will be renting a car. We want to spend 2 nights or so near Arenal and the rest of the time at the beach. I'm looking for mid-range accommodations with things like a balcony with a view, hammocks, on-site yoga, near a town with a few decent options for dinner, but we don't need a lot of nightlife. We would also like to do some stand-up paddling or possibly surfing. Santa Teresa looks perfect for this (for example, I like the idea of Pranamar Villas or Horizon Yoga Hotel) but we're concerned about how long it will take and how difficult it will be to drive there. Samara seems like a good alternative (or anywhere between Nosara and Carillo) that would be easier to get to, but I haven't seen any hotel options that I'm really excited about. We would love some recommendations for this area - or, should we go to Santa Teresa instead (is it worth the drive?)

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
7,565 posts
43 reviews
1. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

I like both places. In Samara check out the Samara Treehouses, they are pretty cool, or Hotel Fenix, Villas Kalimba, all cool places. Both areas you can do everything you have mentioned. Samara is a bit easier to get too I think in terms of time. From Samara you might be able to check out the Sea Turtles in Ostional, I think for those 2 reasons it would get my vote.

Level Contributor
7 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

Thanks Incabod. Samara does seem like the more logical choice. I just really liked the idea of those Santa Teresa hotels with oceanview yoga ranchos ;)

Level Contributor
409 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

How about La Posada B&B in Playa Carrillo?


Kelly from Chillasana does sunset yoga there Mon-Thurs at the rancho with an ocean-view.


Might be just what you're looking for.

1 post
4. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

Just returned from both places. My pick is Santa Teresa. Beach is cleaner and more beautiful. Lots of great food and not that expensive. We flew into SJO rented a car and took the ferry to Paqura. ST is an 90 minute drive from there. All dirt roads which makes it more difficult to get to than Samara. I personally will not go back to Samara. In my eyes there is no comparison to ST. ST is truly magical. This is my second time visiting ST and my first time visiting Samara.

boston, ma
Level Contributor
85 posts
1 review
5. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

Been to both and I am a more of a Samara person (just got back from our 7th trip there). Don't get me wrong - ST is quite nice and you'll probably be happy with either. But I like the restaurants, beach, and the overall vibe better in Samara. the N. American surfer crowd in ST got a bit tiring for me after a few days - can only deal with fully tat dudes with bull rings in their nose for so long. Samara more of a traditional Costa Rican town with diverse mix of people- CR families coming down from Nicoya and beyond, europeans, americans. very chill place.

Level Contributor
7 posts
17 reviews
6. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

Thanks all, it sounds like we would be happy with either choice.

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
Level Contributor
1,685 posts
38 reviews
7. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

Either Samara or Santa Teresa would be a good choice although I think there are more accommodations and restaurants to choose from in Santa Teresa. I would fly into SJO and out of Liberia (or vice versa), drive to Arenal and then down to Santa Teresa and fly out of Liberia (or the reverse if you are flying out of SJO). That way you can see more of the country and not repeat your routes.

Check out these sites for prices and choices"

www.nicoya zoom.com - gives you prices and amenities for hotels

www.nicoyapeninsula.com -great maps and locations of hotels and restaurants

www.peninsuladenicoya.com -advertises many restaurants and activities

8. Re: Samara or Santa Teresa?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, March 19, 2014