One Week in Sámara

by Tom on April 8, 2014

So, this blog has been dormant for nearly 18 months. Getting a new job, having a family, music, travel…Life. It’ll do that to you.

I’m closing in on nearly one year with The Conservation Fund, a national environmental nonprofit with a dual charter of environmental conservation and community economic development. It has been a challenging, fun, and rewarding year with the Fund, and I look forward to doing more good for the environment and those communities that depend on natural resources.

But what I’m really here to write about is…Spring Break! The whole family, including my parents and brother, spent a fabulous week on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in a small beach town called Sámara. Because our son Casey attends Arco Iris Spanish Immersion Charter School, and we were tired of the cold, gray Portland winter, we decided to venture south to warmer climes and a Spanish-speaking country for the week. Sámara fit the bill on so many levels.

We flew into SJO (San Jose, Costa Rica) via LAX on the Delta redeye. It was a nearly 24-hour journey from the time we left Portland to arriving in Sámara, thanks to long layovers incorporated into our frequent flyer itineraries, i.e. if it’s free, don’t complain about sitting around at LAX. We connected at SJO to Nature Air, the world’s first carbon neutral airline, for the quick 40-minute jaunt out to the coast. After landing at a cow strip (a runway surrounded by cow pastures) in Punta Islita, our pre-arranged shuttle van picked us up and whisked us the 20 km. to Sámara via horribly bumpy and potholed gravel roads in about an hour. Did I mention the river fording? You know, when cars just drive through the riverbed when it’s low water (and impassable during the rainy season)?

Sámara is compact, making everything one would need accessible by foot or bicycle, including the beach, groceries, restaurants, bars, and tourism shops. Sámara is touristy, but it’s also where Ticos (Costa Ricans) take their families for vacations. Everyone was incredibly warm and friendly. The locals knew enough English and understood enough of my beginner Spanish to be able to converse, order food, ask where the baño was…the important things during a family vacation.

We fell into a predictable daily routine consisting of: eat – pool – eat – nap – beach – eat – sleep {rinse and repeat}. The Costa Rican sun is brutal between the hours of 11-3, so we took full advantage of siesta time after lunch. We also did an intro to SUP (stand-up paddling) in the calm waters off Samara at sunset, which was amazing. If you are in need of a restful spot on the beach and have the chance to visit Sámara, do it.

Recommended in Sámara

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