I really appreciate all the information on your site. We are planning a trip the week before Christmas and I am trying to decide where to go. Right now I am looking at Samara or Manuel Antonio – it will be myself, my husband and our 18 and 20 year old children. Looking for a place with a nice town to visit on the beach and many options for activities. We do not want a Cabo San Lucas vibe – but do like to go out to eat and not be secluded on a resort. Not sure if we are renting a car yet – if so would probably do it in which ever town we end up in and fly in from San Jose or Liberia. We like to stay in a resort with a spa if possible and on the beach. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Manuel Antonio probably has more hotel options that are similar to a resort with a spa, however most of them aren’t right on the beach. A lot of the lodging there is up in the hills with nice ocean views and a few minutes ride/drive to the beach. Samara is set up more as a traditional beach town with a lot of the hotels, restaurants, etc being build near the sand. But there are less higher end options. Manuel Antonio also has more activities in close proximity, so depending on what you are interested in doing, that might be a better choice. Our posts about Manuel Antonio and Samara might also help you narrow it down. If you still need help, we offer itinerary services and could narrow it down for you based on what you’d specifically like to see and do. We’d also help with hotel and activity choices. Read our Itinerary Help Page for more details. Hope you have a great vacation!