This was my favorite tour in Samara. Samara Trails offers a well-kept, moderately challenging hike, which takes 11/2 to 2 hours to complete. It is on 150 acres of Biological Reserve, has several short hills to ascend and gives access to gorgeous vistas of distant parts of Costa Rica, including Montezuma. The hike leads to a summit with a breath-taking wide-angle view of Samara and Carillo Beaches, where you will be treated to fresh fruit and a great feeling of open space. Along the way you will encounter a rich variety of plants and a diversity of wildlife. The refuge harbors a lot the special hard wood trees for which Costa Rica is known, and Alvaro, your guide, having researched and labeled the more exotic ones, will share their history and lore. Depending on the time of your hike, you may see howler monkeys, coatis, and iguanas; you will definitely hear beautiful songs from many varieties of birds, and with the help of Alvaro’s keen eyes, may see some. Alvaro is a gentle soul with an unabashed love of nature and an obvious attachment to the refuge, his family estate. Make sure you get some love from Big Papa. This is a refreshing, stress-free, and pleasurable break from the sun and the beach. I took a private 7AM tour on my last day in Samara, but wished I discovered it sooner. I would have gone several times, at different times of day. Whatever else you’re into, don’t miss Samara Trails!
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