Driving from Samara to Montezuma?

Old Jan 28th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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Driving from Samara to Montezuma?

Hi! We are considering going to both Samara and Montezum because I can't decide between the two. How is the drive between them? Would you recommend doing it or should we just stick with visiting one or the other? If we should just visit one, which beach is nicer? Also, if we only choose to visit Montezuma, should we take the bridge and drive down or take the ferry? Thanks!
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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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I liked the beach in Samara better than the beach in Montezuma. The drive between them is a fairly long one with one horrible stretch of unpaved road(search under my name for my trip report from our August trip; we drove from Malpais to Nosara which is almost the same drive you would do from Montezuma to Samara. Here is the excerpt: "We were very sad to leave Florblanca after 4 relaxing days there, but all good things come to an end so we set off for our next destination, Nosara. We were told by the owner of Florblanca "not to even think" about taking the coastal road as there are 3 rivers to be crossed and the water was to high (even though it has not been raining much). He also told us that the road going through Paquera, Naranjo and Nicoya was in good shape after the first hour, so we set off for what we thought would be an easy drive. Well, let me tell you that the stretch from Paquera to Naranjo was the worst I have ever seen! My husband was convinced that we were on the wrong road (there is no other road!). We were miserable and by the time we got to the pavement again, we were exhausted".). You will definitely need a 4x4 and count on almost a full day of driving. So depending on how much time you have in total, you should probably just stick to one of the destinations. If you decide on Montezuma and are coming from San Jose, take the ferry. Make sure you take the ferry to Paquera and NOT to Naranjo. The bad stretch is between Naranjo and Paquera and you would have to drive it if you went to Naranjo or if you took the bridge.
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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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Thank you soooo much for the info. I don't think we would want to do that drive! I've heard that they are supposed to try to improve that road now that the bridge is open, but I won't risk it unless I hear from someone else that has done it recently that says it's improved. Now we just have to decide between the two! I'm leaning toward Samara because the beach sounds awesome; however, the waterfalls and culture in Montezuma sound nice too.
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Old Jan 31st, 2004, 10:00 AM
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I have to throw in another view here. As I responded to one of your others messages on this question, Montezuma is great! I haven't been to Samara, so I can't compare, but on my trip, we went to San Jose, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Tamarindo and Montezuma...and Montezuma was the place all of us enjoyed the most. That being said, if you go, make sure you stay for more than just two or three days (as we did). The drive down isn't THAT bad, but its long enough to warrant a good stay in town to justify the trip.

We traveled from Tamarindo to Montezuma, which took us about 5 hours, so it should take you a bit less. We were warned from a group of people who had traveled the day before from Montezuma to Tamarindo via the coast that the trip took 9 hours! We panicked...then took a different route. Here is our route (adjusted for Samara):

Take highway 150 to Nicoya. At intersection of 150 and 21 (at Nicoya), turn right onto 21 and head south. Follow signs for San Pablo, Jicaral, Lepanto, Playa Naranjo and Paquera. Montezuma is about 50 minutes south of Tambor, 1 1/2 hours south of Paquera and 2 3/4 hours south of Naranjo.

I'm sure that the stretch of road from naranjo to Paquera was rough, but such was most of our driving in Costa Rica, so it doesn't stand out in my mind (the way the road to Arenal does!). It really wasn't that bad, but maybe it depends on the time of year.
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Old Jan 31st, 2004, 03:15 PM
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Well, that's a bit more encouraging. Decisions, decisions...
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