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“Great hike!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samara Trails

Samara Trails
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Samara Trails Including Werner Sauter Biological Reserve
Ranked #5 of 29 Tours in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Samara Trails is a trail system within the private 346 acre Werner Sauter Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is in Dry Tropical forest and contains various species of plants and animals including monkeys, birds, mammals, and amphibians. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete - private hikes are completed at 7am or 3:00 pm and are led by experienced and bilingual guides.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great hike!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

We loved our hike with Alvaro! His family owns the land and you can tell that he loves his job. He speaks extremely good English and the tour begins at the foot of the hill, where the land was once a cattle farm. He goes through the hike and stops at interesting things along the way to give descriptions of the different trees and plants, and to point out wildlife. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about Costa Rica and the Samara area, it was a pleasure to be around him. We saw many birds, butterflies, and caught a glimpse of a Kiwali which is sort of like a raccoon but larger.

The hike itself is a moderate hike, as there are some steep hills. However, it is cool under the trees and Alvaro is a great guide. You will hike up to the summit where you will overlook all of Samara beach. I recommend you go in the afternoon tour to catch the sunset - it was spectacular. Alvaro brings along water and a snack to enjoy as you chat and watch the sun go down. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip!

Visited January 2013
Thank Amybunny27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

If I could have given this more than 5 stars I would have! We spend 5 days in Samara and 8 in Costa Rica and this was the highlight of our trip.
If you look at the reviews listed here the only ones with less than 5 stars are because they didn't see many animals. While understandable this is unfortunate because A) this is a hike, not a zoo. The animals are wild, their fluctuating presence is expected; their being wild and not captive is something that should be praised. B) you likely overlook the extremely knowledgable and compassionate guide, who cares deeply for the land and culture and at the age of 26 is a seasoned storyteller. C) he makes the flora almost more interesting than the fauna, if you're interested in the natural state of things and how the culture relates to the land you'll love this!.

...easy for me to say since we saw more than an average number of birds and monkeys, all the same I wonder if less animals are seen because of the noise level of hikers.

...we went on the evening tour and loved the sunset, if we go back we'll do the morning hike to compare.

This should easily be the #1 attraction in Samara (and I liked the Samara-Carillo Information center). I really can't say enough about Alvaro and Samara Trails, if you're around you should go!

1 Thank SnazzyManatee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

This is really a must-do if you are in Samara. Alvaro is a terrific guide and imparts a ton of knowledge about the local plant and animal life. You'll be surrounded by monkeys, birds and butterflies. We were also fortunate enough to see some coati, which was really cool.

Also, I definitely recommend eating some termites if you get the chance. It's a really unique experience!

Visited December 2012
Thank btrain16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Ana, California, USA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Learned a lot from our guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

We did the sunset hike and it was BEAUTIFUL. It was really hot, so be prepared with water. We actually didn't get the opportunity that day to see many animals, but our guide was really knowledgeable about the land and we learned a lot. He also answered any question we had. It was a good experience.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank EllieRooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What an experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2012

Must do if you're in the area! Our guide Alvaro made this 2 hour moderate hike into quite an experience, starting with the story of how his grandfather bought the land and turned it into a natural reserve, following with the secrets to the area residents' longevity, how to "survive" in the jungle (including a taster of protein rich termites!), the medicinal properties of some plants, and sightings of birds, monkeys, and gorgeous butterflies. We caught the sunset at the view point as a fantastic finale. One of the highlights of our Costa Rica trip, for sure!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Anna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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