I just got back from Sámara Beach today and let me tell you, it was very hard to leave. Sámara is hands down my favorite place in Costa Rica so far, to the point I could see myself living there. It was just my friend Kelsey and I that went. We left on Friday afternoon and arrived to Samara on the Nicoya Peninsula late that night.
The next morning we walked around the small beach town to get a feel for the stores, shops, and people. We had breakfast at this place called Bouticafé Bohemia. It is a colorful and tasteful little café run by a few French women. One thing we noticed quickly is that there are actually a lot of French-speaking people that live in and visit Sámara. Kelsey and I sat on swings at a little table and ate a healthy but filling breakfast. For me, an iced chai tea, fresh fruit, and bagel with a cream cheese, sliced avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and some sesame seeds. It was delicious! We then went to the beach and relaxed until our tour in the afternoon.
The water was refreshing but not too warm and there were young families all about playing with their kids. We decided to do a kayak tour out to Chora Island. Once we got to the island we snorkeled beside schools of fish, water snakes, and I even swam a few feet away from a turtle! Our guide, Sean, cut up fresh fruit and we relaxed on the soft sand and ate. On the island there were a ton of hermit crabs and they ate anything from leftover fruit to spilled chips. We left the island around sunset and from our kayak we watched the bright yellow, orange, red, and pink spread across the sky until the sun went down. Needless to say after a delicious dinner of seafood pizza, I was exhausted. We called it a night and rested up for the next day.
Yesterday morning we went to a place called Gusto Beach for a quick breakfast of yogurt, granola, and peach juice. We relaxed on the beach and swam until about noon. Kelsey and I we decided to get massages and the cost was a lot less than we have seen before. A sweet Tica gave us great massages for what seemed like hours. I felt like I was in another state of mind, so relaxed and rejuvenated yet not asleep.
Afterwards I decided to be a little more adventurous and try out surfing. It is something I have wanted to do ever since I decided I was going to study abroad here. I was watching people learn the day before and the instructor seemed like he was doing a good job, plus the waves in Sámara seemed perfect to learn. My guide from the day before, Sean, introduced me to the instructor, Raphael, who was very eager to teach me how to surf. He showed me the basics and I practiced on land a few times before we jumped into the water. The second time taking a wave I was able to get up and even though it was small, I was so excited I could actually do it! Some wipeouts followed and also some good little rides. Eventually he stopped telling me when to paddle and when to get up so I could practice on my own. I would recommend anyone who wants to learn how to surf to start at Playa Sámara and also ask for Raphael from Mareos Surf. The lesson was an hour long but Raphael let me use the surf board for however long I wanted afterwards. I was in the ocean and everything he taught me came together. Even though most of the waves were small, I was able to do it all on my own! I’m so glad I did the lesson and from now on if the opportunity presents itself, I will rent a board and continue to learn from friends and on my own.
Later on Kelsey and I walked around a point and watched the beautiful sunset once again. Some other students from Veritas University by chance showed up and we all had dinner and spent some time together the rest of the night. Unfortunately, 4:30 this morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and took the bus back to San Jose. Sámara should be on everyone’s list of places to visit in Costa Rica. The beach town is less touristy but has lots of art and crafts, cute boutiques, cafes, live music, and activities to do at any time. Until next time Sámara… ¡Pura Vida!