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“Education and entertainment”
Review of Samara Trails

Samara Trails
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Samara Trails Including Werner Sauter Biological Reserve
Ranked #6 of 28 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.
Gander, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Education and entertainment”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

A lovely way to spend a few hours. We learned about ecology and the various birds and plants of the area. Alvaro is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado, United States
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“One of the highlights of our trip to Costa Rica”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

On the last day of our stay in Playa Samara, my husband, father and I embarked on an early morning hike along the Samara Trails with Alvaro as our guide. Based on all of the glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, we set out with fairly high expectations. Our 3 hour hike exceeded all of those expectations. The trails, all made by Alvaro and a few others on his grandfather's land, were in great shape. The vistas along the hike were amazing. Alvaro is incredibly knowledgable about all of the trees and plants in the dry tropical forest, their uses and the important roles they play in their eco system. He shared a lot about the impact of farming and cattle on the dry tropical forest and his family's efforts to preserve the forest in its natural state. He described in great detail all birds, animals and insects we were seeing (and not seeing). He provided an additional richness to the tour by sharing some of the history of the indigenous people who lived in the area. He has spent a lot of time talking with and learning from some of the oldest members of his community (including his grandfather) to better understand how they once lived off the land.
Alvaro is bright, well informed, and passionate and he draws from all of those qualities to offer an amazing hiking experience. Not to be missed! Thank you. Alvaro.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Samara
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Amazing !!!”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Fisrt time taht I walk so long without to be tired!
The nature is fabulouse,the view is amazin,and Alvaro is the best guide that you can find !

Visited March 2013
Thank RobyPlayaSamara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Get yourself over to Samara Trails”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Samara is truly a lovely place. A few roads stitched together to make a town, people riding bikes to and fro, some horses ambling unattended here and there, and a beautiful palm-lined beach. Everyone loves it. I do. Yet with all of that, a highlight of my visit was Samara Trails. About 30 years ago a family decided to buck conventional wisdom and let their ranch turn back into rainforest. Today it's an awesome setting. Grandson Alvaro built a set of trails through the forest and now leads tours.

Want to know why Guanacaste is one of five blue zones in the world known for longevity? Want to know why teak wood is killing coral reefs? Want to see some Howler Monkeys up close? Want to stop for a snack on a hilltop that overlooks Samara bay? I learned things that are interesting and important -- a lot more than if I had just gone hiking on my own.

It's about 2-3 hours and costs $35. Alvaro will pick you up and drop you off. You can arrange a time, but morning is probably best to beat the heat and see more animals.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank cborchar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Spring Island, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hike”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Alvaro, the grandson of the founder of the bioreserve property, lead our small group on a 3+ hour hike through the dry tropical forest to a stunning lookout. It was one of the highlights of my week in Samara. Alvaro is passionate and extremely knowledgable about the forest environment and the impacts of development in Costa Rica. It is a great way to spend an afternoon, and a wonderful opportunity for taking photos.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank mehsaltspring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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