Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica

We stopped here with my parents in route from the cloud forests to Playa Ocotal.

Beach Score: 8.5 of out 10

This may be the perfect day beach. If you lived anywhere within a three-hour radius, you’d wanna make this your home beach. Just slap on your swimsuits and caper to the car. Park right on the beach under the palm trees. Concrete picnic tables and grills are provided. All you need to do is enjoy.

It may also be the perfect family beach. In addition to being easily accessible, easily accommodating, the beach is soft and splay and the waves are small and sweet. Your kids will most likely remain alive while you take a nap.

It may also also be the prefect sized and shaped beach (see the Google Map image below). Just big enough so everyone can spread out. Just intimate enough to feel private. And one of the most perfect crescent shapes we’ve seen.

Hostess With The Mostest

Carrillo doesn’t have much in terms of lodging, so we vanned to and crashed in the neighboring town/beach of Samara.

We shopped around a bit. Checked the rates and digs of a half dozen hotels. Eventually settled on Pension Playa Samara, not only because it’s (relatively) inexpensive and has a pristine pool and functional foosball table, but also because the German lady that runs and/or owns it is incredibly, magnetically friendly. Some of the best customer service we’ve experienced in Central America. While my parents stayed inside, she allowed us to camp outside. Even gave us coffee (one of the easiest ways to our hearts) and breakfast in the morning.

The Troop

We were drinking our fourth or fifth cup of coffee during the second half of the World Cup final when we heard the howlers. First in a few trees a few blocks away. Then in trees near the pool. Then above the restaurant! Eventually, they climbed across power lines to a mango tree across the street (see video below). It was the closest we’ve been to monkeys. We also got pretty close the iguana above.

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