My dad's timeshare in Playa Hermosa was a great spot to spend a few days. A nice sun deck with a two-person hammock and a private pool, central air conditioning, an ocean view breakfast buffet and swim-up bar…not a bad way to waste some time. Most of us got chewed up pretty bad by the mosquitoes though, because life can’t be all beaches and sunsets. But we got our fair share of beaches and sunsets too.
One evening we walked down to a beach restaurant called La Casita del Mariscos and enjoyed a delicious dinner as we watched the sunset and the waves roll in. Everyone’s food was incredible: seared tuna steak, shrimp and cheese stuffed dorado, whole red snapper…all freshly caught earlier that day. And to top it off the pina coladas with umbrellas were mouth-watering. A beach dinner for the record books.
The next day we load up the two cars and head to Playa Panama. We hang the hammocks and swim in the calm water. I was in the water for 10 minutes when my luck caught up with me once again. I was stung by some mysterious ocean animal, I didn’t stick around long enough to see what it was this time. I felt stings all around my thigh and instantly went into survival mode and high-tailed it out of the water and onto the shore. I’m sure I’ve never swam so fast or screamed so loud. I had little raised red bumps all over my leg that stung for over an hour, and itched for a few days. Maybe a jellyfish this time? Who knows. It hurt worse than the stingray encounter. I’m starting to wonder if the ocean and I are just not meant to be good friends…
Later that evening we had a Costa Rican 1st for us: a giant scorpion awaiting us in our bedroom. How the heck do you catch a scorpion? This is a task I want nothing to do with and a question I don’t want to know the answer to. Handy Dandy Andy to the rescue! He saved the day by grabbing a plastic cup and a butter knife, his trusty scorpion catching tools. He shooed the scorpion into the cup and toured him around the condo, introducing him to everyone and showing him off. I did not sleep very well that night, thinking about his little scorpion family most likely living in our baseboards. Check that one off the bucketlist!
Now we’re off on our next adventure. Hasta Luego Coco and Hermosa!
Back to Samara…
Arriving at our new rental in Samara is like walking into a sanctuary. We have a huge outdoor sun patio, with a nice dipping pool, surrounded by jungle trees. I can’t wait to waste days bird and monkey watching. Sophie is also excited to have some private outdoor space to enjoy the sun. The waves roar in the distance, and the beach is a 3 minute walk. Our favorite beach bar is about 5 minutes from our new home and we will get to know that walk well I’m sure.
Our guests arrive and we swim in the pool and then walk down to the beach. We stop at Lo Que Hay to enjoy some cocktails while the sun sets. Then we wander over to Arriba for a delicious dinner of angus burgers, chicken parmesan, jumbo garlic prawns, chicken wings and chiliguaro shots. Our guests instantly fall in love with Samara and wish they had more time to spend here. We decide to make the most of the days they do have here and plan a trip to Playa Barrigona the next day. This secret, hidden surfers beach is a great spot to spend a day doing nothing.
We start our day with breakfast and drinks at The Outback. The huevos rancheros (fried eggs over tortillas covered in salsa) with a side of gallo pinto (rice and black beans) and platanos (sweet plantains), is the new combo I love to order. Always accompanied by café con leche of course. Costa Rican breakfast has become my favorite meal.
Next we cram 10 people, 3 dogs, 2 hammocks, 2 coolers and 5 bags into 2 cars. The roads to Barrigona are some of the worst we’ve seen, so they finally get to experience 30 minutes of pothole-dodging. The clouds are out, which is a nice cover from the sun, and we spend the day swinging in hammocks, walking the beach, drinking beer and laying in the sun. That evening we head back to Lo Que Hay for tacos, which are delicious as usual. We order a combo of shredded pork, blackened fish, veggie, chorizo and shredded chicken tacos. Tacos taste better when you can eat them while watching the ocean, listening to the waves, and admiring the sunset.
Their final day in Samara is spent shopping for souvenirs, drinking at Arriba and lounging by the pool. But we have one last Costa Rican gem to show them before they head back to a wintery December in the states…
Sun of a Beach…
For their last night in Samara all elements naturally align as the sunset and low-tide occur simultaneously. We take them to our favorite and most frequented beach: Playa Carrillo. Andy and I have wasted entire weeks on this beach. On the drive there we take a detour up a bumpy, steep hill to Santo Domingo to admire the ocean view and snap some photos.
Doug taking a picture of Helen and Jackie:
Doug, dad and Andy:
We drive the entire shoreline of Playa Carrillo and admire this special palm tree littered stretch of paradise. The sky is painted bright pink as the sun melts into the ocean. Splashing in the waves, walking in the tidal pools and marveling over the incredible beauty is how we spend their final evening.
Saving the best for last, we send them off with a lasting "pura vida" memory of the perfect Costa Rican sunset over the perfect Costa Rican beach. They say this is their new favorite beach, which we’ve heard each time we take them to a new beach, but this time they say they really mean it.
The four of them swimming in the ocean at sunset:
This sunset will be hard to top...
pura vida, and that's all folks!
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.