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Manuel Antonio vs Samara

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Manuel Antonio vs Samara

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip for March 2018. We will have 8 nights (excluding travel days). We plan to our first full day and night in San Jose with my cousin. I then planned renting a car and going up to Arenal area and staying for 2 nights then to Manuel Antonio for the remainder. I've now been hearing a lot about Samara. Would you pick Manuel Antonio or Samara for our remainder? We want to do a half day fishing excursion, enjoy beaches and somewhere that has plenty of wildlife. Opinions?

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San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
5 replies to this topic
Edmonton Canada
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1. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Samara

For your interests, I would choose Manuel Antonio. Although it is quite touristy and heavily-visited, it will be more lush than Samara in March and you will see much more wildlife.Get to the park early, and with a guide you will see (and learn) more.

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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Ontario, Canada
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8,588 posts
66 reviews
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2. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Samara

March is a busy busy time in CR. Mid March is school break in Canada, when a lot, a lot of ppl head to other countries for a week, incl. to CR. I think our first trip to CR yrs ago was in March...

If you are planning to visit closer to the end of March, the week before and on Easter is a very busy time in CR, when local families and tourists are on vac., so they will be on the roads, beaches, in the parks, etc. and the hotel prices are at premium.

It all depends on what you like. We visited MA/Quepos at the end of Aug., and it has been by far the least favourite part. Too touristy and crowded. 20 ppl per sloth kind of crowded...-.trails, beaches in and outside the park, plus admission into the park is US$16 pp. We stayed between MA and Quepos for 4 nights, and while there are some other areas of CR where we have returned or imagine going back to, it is not one of those. If it was busy in August (many ppl were telling us it would be too rainy there, so it is definitely not the "peak season"), I imagine it would be busier and more touristy in March.

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Quepos
Quepos
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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49,669 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Samara

March is a great beach time in my country..many nice people around…

Please do not worry about roads with many cars…that is now days very common…

If wild life is important for you…Manuel Antonio is a most….you can enjoy Espadillas beach is a FREE public beach…nice in low tide and even in high tide…

In my more than 50 years driving people around my country…IMO March is a great month to visit my country..

The great thing among many more is the high number of beaches…more beaches than people!!!

I love SAMARA but IMO and agree 100% with ED…SAMARA is nice but totally different than MA…MA s green and full of wild life…SAMARA is mostly to enjoy the beach!!

roadadvisor

Edited: 31 August 2017, 05:45
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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio...
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77 reviews
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4. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Samara

What you need to remember....if there are a lot of tourists in an area.....there is a reason for it......and Manuel Antonio has many reasons....(it's like saying you wouldn't visit Miami or NY because there are too many tourists)......the amazing beaches......the national park......so many fun and casual open air restaurants......a very eclectic mix of people.....from artists....to surfers....to sports fishermen.....to back packers and other international tourists.......yes, the national park does get full at times.....but you don't have to go to the national park to see the wildlife......you most likely will experience that from your hotel.....or at the beaches.....or from your table in one of the little restaurants.......3 types of monkeys....both types of sloths.....exotic birds and reptiles.....all immersed in the thick Costa Rican jungle that covers this area......I've lived here for 14 years.....while I enjoy visiting other parts of the country.....this is where I want to be!

Tulemar Dave

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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Tulemar Bungalows...
2,776 Reviews
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Playa Samara, Costa...
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26 reviews
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5. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Samara

I have been to both and taking into consideration your wants and proximity to the airport....I would choose Manuel Antonio. I love Samara but it is more of a beach town than somewhere to view the wildlife. It is also further away from the San Jose Airport if that is where you are fly out of.

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Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
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