Granadillas, Avocadoes and Mangos
There is almost no traffic today on Highway 1, the Pan American Highway going north towards Liberia. What luck. Some days there is bumper-to-bumper traffic and it can take 7 hours to arrive in Samara. Today, we arrive in less than five.
Along the way, we pass under some howler monkeys crossing the road from above. Now that the rainy season has begun here, the monkeys are moving back in to the area to dine of the array of fresh, young leaves.
There are several side of the road fruit stands selling, among other things, seedless watermelons, bags of passion fruit (yum!), mangoes and avocadoes, all at inexpensive prices.
A common sight in Costa Rica along the roadsides is trees with their trunks painted white from the base up to 3 or 4 feet on the trunk. The paint is a limestone-based paint and it deters the ants from invading the trees.
We arrive in Samara just before sunset, and at high tide. There are several surfers out enjoying the clean breaking waves but other wise the beach is almost deserted.
Samara is a rather quaint town with a beautiful beach. The restaurants, bars, stores and hotels are all centrally located so you can walk to just about everything. There is a bank with an ATM, plenty of artisan shops and tour companies offering snorkeling, horseback riding, canopy tours, fishing trips and a variety of other trips to other parts of Costa Rica. One could easily spend a short week in Samara relaxing on the beach and participating in the variety of activities offered here.
Our final destination for the day is Hotel Giada, locatedon the main street as you come into Samara. This attractive hotel is Italian style with tile floors, wrought iron railings and painted terra cotta colored concrete walls. Attractive, bright and clean, there are 2 pools, a jacuzzi and 10 new rooms, 25 or so in total. Each room has cable TV, private baths, AC and a phone. AND, as a bonus, room service is available until 10 pm, including cocktails, pizza, spaghetti and salads.
Driving Directions to Samara: HWY 1 north from San Jose: pass the Monteverde Store and continue north. Turn left onto Route 21, following signs to Nicoya and to the La Amistad Bridge. Then turn right onto route 18, following signs to Nicoya. Go through the city of Nicoya, stay on the main road and follow signs to Samara.