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El Ancla Bar and Restaurant

El Ancla Bar and Restaurant

Destination: Samara

A colored sugar-dusted piña colada and icy watermelon planter's punch tantalize from a table on the beach at El Ancla Bar and Restaurant. There's a reason El Ancla is one of Playa Samara's most beloved restaurants: a seafood meal right on the beach is a heyday for your mouth, nose and eyes — and a total Costa Rica vacation must-do.

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Coastal cocktails aren't the only Pacific pleasure El Ancla has to offer; quality red snapper, sea bass and mahi-mahi come straight from the waters of Samara, up the shore, and into the restaurant's kitchen.

Jaws drop at the spectacle of a fried whole fish, $12-$14 (depending on weight), served with a curly 'Q' lime twist to squeeze, french fries and a mixed salad.

Beachgoers turn to smell the savory aroma of butter-garlic sauce on El Ancla’s bestseller, jumbo shrimp, $14, and sides of crispy french fries and a mixed salad.


Tables directly on the sand tend to fill up quickly from travelers eager to enjoy their meals amidst the ocean view, but inland near the bar, there's also a cozy shaded area with TVs and cute Costa Rican trinkets.


Servers are comfortable with their tenure, touting more than 20-years as one of Samara's most established beachfront restaurants, enhancing their efficiency and professionalism.


Appetizers $3-$12; Entrees $8-$18; Desserts $5-$6; Drinks $2-$6


10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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El Ancla Bar and Restaurant in Pictures