I am writing this sitting across from our best friend from home (well, she is my best friend and then our best friend as a couple). I did not catch up before she got here as planned, but we did get up all those pictures last night (soooo time consuming) so I still feel successful on the blogging front. We are now in Costa Rica, enjoying a well-established tourist atmosphere that is quite a bit pricier, but also a lot easier in terms of getting around and the amount of English spoken. Before Chelsea got here Logan and I made a trip to the beach town Samara on the Nicoya peninsula. The original plan was to also go to San Juan del Sur, another beach town in Nicaragua, but we were running short on time due to our unexpected changes in plans earlier in the trip and decided to skip San Juan. We had heard from other travelers that the town is a major surf and party town, which we had no interest in, so we opted instead to cross the border straight to the beach in Costa Rica.
We left our wonderful hotel on Isla Ometepe the same way we got there, taxi to ferry to taxi (all the way to the border). Crossing the border from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was very complicated and I showed my passport to at least 10 officials (and possibly some non-officials too) but after crossing and getting a bus to the large town of Liberia and then getting to the main hub on the peninsula (Nicoya) was super easy. We had just missed the bus to Samara, our intended destination, so we shared a taxi with a couple we had traveled with all day (and shared taxi’s costs all day). So, this travel day consisted of: taxi, ferry, taxi, bus, bus, taxi. We have taken soooo many taxis in Nicaragua!! In Boulder, where we live, we have NEVER taken a taxi, and before this trip Logan had only been in once taxi ever!
We were so happy to get to Samara and to our hostel, Hostel Matilori. We thought we would not be able to make it all the way from Ometepe to Samara in one day, so we hadn’t booked ahead. Luckily they had room in the dorm, so we stayed in the dorm the first night but moved to a private room for the following three nights. The hostel itself was lovely. The kitchens were clean, the beds super comfy, the water was hot, and it was located 3 minutes from the beach! We have really been finding great places to stay, and as much as I have tried going with the flow, I really don’t think I will ever be the type of person to just show up and look for a place. I like finding and staying in the best value places, and with a little pre-planning we have found amazing, cheap places to stay.
We spent our three full days on Samara eating breakfast, going to the beach, reading, eating ceviche, going to the beach, reading, eating dinner and reading (in that order, everyday). It was so beautiful and relaxing and even though we were paying $40/night to stay in a nicer private room, we were actually under budget every day since we cooked every meal but lunch and paid for no activities. It was an amazing, relaxing and beautiful three days and Samara beach is one of my favorite beaches I have EVER been to. It is one of my top three favorite places we have been on this trip. The town was small (and very touristy), but the beach was practically empty, and the water was bath water warm. We spent hours playing in the waves and messing about in the water. We spent very little time laying on the beach, as the water was so wonderful. We probably would have stayed longer, but we were expected in San Jose to meet Chelsea and begin our two week trip with her.
Samara beach. Go there. (Or don’t, as part of the beauty is how empty it is.)