Samara, Costa Rica

                                                          Home Rental                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


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                3 bedrooms all with double beds, one

                en-suite, two share,  loft with pull out bed

                3 1/2 washrooms, dish washer, washer, dryer,

                dip pool with exterior shower, wired for high speed internet,

                                                                          fully equipped kitchen,  weekly house

                                                                         cleaning, immaculate gardens tropical fish pond, only

                                                                         15 min. walk to beach.

                                             Rates (all in U.S. dollars):



Terms: As we ensure that the house is properly cleaned prior to your arrival, we request Ĺ of the rent by way of deposit. We have discovered that, from U.S. destinations, the mail takes about four days. So mailing a cheque is the simplest method and does not require bank charges that a wire deposit would cost. If you wish to send by courier please do not require signature and please do not send cash.

Our telephone, fax and mail address are:

Alex & Carol Shepherd
RR # 2, 1985 Scugog Line 12
Seagrave, Ontario
L0C 1G0
tel/fax Jan to April 30th (506) 2656 0560
tel./fax (905) 985 9331(Oct-Dec)
(705) 385 3770(May-Oct)

for more information send us an e-mail:




World travelers ourselves, we decided to look for a retirement location. After picking Costa Rica as an ideal retirement venue, we then traveled up and down the Pacific Coast from Dominical to Flamingo. Much research led us to choose Samara  as the best possible site.

Why Samara? Because it has all the positive attributes of coastal living without the over development that goes with other, "well discovered" places. Samara Bay is encapsulated by a coral reef and, along with the seemingly endless white sand beaches, it makes Samara one the best swimming beaches in all of North America. Carefree swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, boogie boarding, sea kayaking and surfing are just some of the pastimes that await you.



Casa Pastor is built on the top of a 600' hill looking down on the open beaches of both Samara and Carrillo. In Costa Rica, the first 50 meters is maritime zone which is available to all of the public. 



By being up in the foothills you assure yourself of privacy  while being only a short 15 minute walk from the beach. Also, the offshore breezes during the day and the breezes coming back down the mountains in the evening, will give you of a constant cooling effect. Being on a promenade allows you a 180 degree view of the Pacific, including the picturesque Isla Chora.



And thatís not all. Casa Pastor is on the edge of a  jungle, in fact, on the other side of the property, facing the hills, is Wing Nut Canopy Tours. This has limited usage but the area is a preserved jungle and wild life is abundant on our property.                                                                            





You will awake to the sound of howler monkeys. Parrots, toucans, lizards, butterflies and countless other wildlife are yours to observe, so bring your binoculars.  




Relaxed, comfortable viewing can easily take place right at home, on the spacious terrace that winds around the house. Casa Pastor was designed by a Guanacaste architect,  ensuring that it fits into its domain and utilizes the surrounding landscape.




Built with North American standards, you will be provided with all of the comforts of home. All new appliances: stove, fridge, dishwasher, convection/microwave in a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer in a handy laundry room, along with supplied linen, make visiting here a breeze, giving you maximum time to enjoy your holiday.  Use the  barbeque to cook up your catch of the day.





Finished throughout in Spanish tile, ceilings and posts of teak, and cupboards of local cedar; these are all designed to showcase the beautiful woods and styles of Costa Rica.




One master bedroom with en-suite, three piece washroom; two guest bedrooms, which share a three piece washroom;  together with an upstairs loft with bed facilities; provide large capacity in this 2000 square foot home. And when you are up in the loft donít forget to take in the view from the walkout balcony.



A dip in the jacuzzi pool provides a great place to relax with a cool drink any time of  the  day. This pool is designed so that eight people  can sit  submersed in massaging,  cool waters while looking down at the beach and Pacific Ocean. It  also makes a wonderful place to stargaze, and don't forget the nearby tropical fish pond with waterfall.





Here are just a few of the possible other events which are easy, day trips from Casa Pastor:
  • surfing in some of the best surf at nearby Nosara or Carmonal
  • boating down the Tempisque River, with its plethora of birds, crocodiles and countless other wild life of the Palo Verde National Park.
  • exploring the 100ís of different caves and hiking paths at Barra Honda National Park
  • take a day sport fishing out of Samara Bay or Carrillo; you are sure to catch sail fish and dorado.
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling off Samara's Isla Chora
  • explore the tide pools south of Carrillo


Once we have your deposit we send you a receipt by e-mail along with two more detailed maps: one is the local area map; showing appurtenances such as internet cafes, grocery store, post office, bank, docand fresh fish kiosks.  The second map shows you some of the routes to exciting day trips  from Casa Pastor. 


On your arrival in Samara, you will meet our representatives.





Why do you rent out your personal house?

We use the house ourselves from January to April of each year but we like to see the property being used year-round.  We are avid travelers ourselves and we are willing to share this experience with you.

Do you need a car?

You can walk back and forth from the beach (15 minutes), or into town for that matter (30minutes), where you may shop and obtain groceries. There are taxis in town which can bring you out to the property. If you are prepared to stay put, or take local buses, you can easily manage without a car. We, personally, like the mobility of having a vehicle.

Do you need 4 X 4?

The road up to our house from the main paved road, between Samara and Carrillo, is a concrete road for about ĺ of a kilometer, the last ľ km is gravel. While we have used non four wheel drive vehicles, there is no question that if you plan to explore the back roads of Costa Rica, you are well advised to rent a 4 x 4.

What is driving like there?

Driving is fine, most Costa Ricans are very courteous and most road signs are self explanatory. One tip, donít speed; the local police have a good cottage industry going, collecting speeding fines.

Can I get along with just English.

Yes most restaurants and tourist establishments have someone who can speak some English. They all try to be accommodating. They usually have English menus, but bring a small dictionary and try your luck at Spanish anyway, it will help you feel more local.

Do I need to carry a lot of cash; what about traveler's cheques?

When you come to Samara you will go through the town of Nicoya. There is a large Banco National on the east side of the road; on the other side is a Banco Popular. The Banco Popular has an ATM and it dispenses both colones (national currency) and U.S. dollars. We use our North American bank card here.  You are wise to avoid travelers cheques only because it will mean you have to get in long line ups at the bank (Costa Ricans seem to spend many hours in the bank especially on pay days). VISA and Master Charge are widely accepted.

What about personal security?

Samara is still a small rural town. Many people walk everywhere.  As such it is safe and you can walk at night or along the beaches and feel completely safe. You should however practice what you would normally do at home. Donít leave valuables in your car, donít leave valuables unattended at the beach.  

What about health care?

There is English speaking Dr. Freddy as well as English speaking pharmacist Dr. Henry, both located in downtown Samara. If you have some major problems there is a hospital in Nicoya (1/2 hr. drive away).

What are the distances from airports.

San Jose International Airport is a four hour drive from Samara. San Jose sits up in the Maestro Central about 4000 feet above sea level. To get to Samara you have to go down from this central plateau toward the ocean. A panoramic trip through coffee plantations and along the Pan American Highway then across the Tempisque Bridge, are all on good highways, and it's great trip.

Liberia International Airport (serviced by Continental Airlines, Delta and American) is only 2 hours away, also all good, flat highways.

Car rentals are readily available at both sites.

Finally, here are some the comments from our recent guests. We are sure once you have experienced Casa Pastor we will find your positive reviews here as well. So come and share our dream in the experience of Casa Pastor and Samara. You will create fantastic memories to last for a lifetime.




These from the last year: (direct copies from e-mails)


Kevin and Jenny Reay,


Jenny and I wanted to thank you again for sharing your house with us in Samara.  We had a very nice time.  You have a beautiful property.  Just the kind of vacation we were looking for.  We have discussed Costa Rica for years and were pleasantly surprised.  We both thought it would be more built up than it actually is.  It is still very much unspoiled.



Linda and Lou Bilek


Mostly we wanted to thank you and tell you how wonderful your house was.The

view is amazing!! It is beautiful and was perfect for us. It had everything

we could have wanted or needed.


JM Mollinghoff


I should really have sent you a note regarding our stay in your house as we are seriously pondering to repeat the experience.



Alan Dendy

Dear Alex and Carol:


Thank you so much for sharing your absolutely gorgeous casa in Samara with

us.  We were all blown away by the beauty of Casa Pastor.  You have done a

remarkable job of building a paradise within a paradise.  Our 3 young

children spent hours upon hours playing in your "cool pool" as my wife and I

soaked in the amazing view your garden and the Pacific offered


Barbara Kahan

Hello Alex,

We are finally back home after over a month away and I wanted to write and thank you for the spectacular time we had in Samara. We loved staying in your place, it is very lovely and extremely comfortable, and of course the view is absolutely stunning. For me it really was like paradise. You did a wonderful job designing it! Gladys was great and we liked her a lot, and Melissa and Mariel were very helpful and efficient. Many thanks from all of us! We really enjoyed ourselves a lot.


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd,


Sorry this is a few weeks late, but we wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was staying in your house.  I had never thought of a layout that led everyone to gather outdoors like that before.  And whereas initially we sat facing the gorgeous view, we gradually discovered the other vistas and the wonderful wildlife that accompanied them.  My personal favorite thing was the papaya tree.  There was one ripe papaya on it during our stay, and while there we saw toucans, a parrot, other birds, and lizards all taking their turns eating it.  It was amazing to see what would gather at that one tree.  I also loved waking up early before the others to hear the sounds.


I am not a beach person, and I had anticipated that our time at the house would probably be my least favorite part.  I was entirely wrong.  THe house and hammocks were so comfortable, we befriended the fish lady and cooked in virtually every night (delicious--your kitchen was incredibly well furnished), there was never a shortage of animal life on the premises (from the horse that shocked us as we pulled in the first night, to the local shepard, the leaf cutters (and fire ants!), the toads, howlers, lizards (large and small) and amazing array of bats, birds, insects and butterflies.  The town is pleasant, and both beaches (Samara and Carrillo) were quiet and relaxing.  (I never knew the Pacific Ocean could feel like bath water!)


Thank you so much for opening your home to us.  My husband can think of nothing else than returning for two weeks at least!


All the best,


Sarah Cunningham and family

And here are some others:

From: "Robert Kenney"
To:  Alex Shepherd
Subject: Hi Alex

Dear Alex,

Your place is so beautiful, I don't think you will have a problem renting.  We certainly had an absolutely wonderful time, and would be more than willing to let you use us as a reference for your future rentals.

Dr. Robert Kenney Maine


From:  Nancy Harwood  Loveland, Colorado



Subject: Re: Samara - Barra Honda

Dear Shepherds,

We just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us, and for the maps and tips.  We had a wonderful time-could have stayed much longer.  Your home is wonderful. 

We didn't make it to the caves, mostly because we couldn't tear the kids from the beach.  They got tired of driving around, and wanted to learn to surf.  Maybe next time! 

Thanks again, and we will refer you to our friends.

Nancy Harwood, Colorado



From: Dena Platis



Subject: Re: VRBO - Rental Inquiry [dena platis] 

Dear Shepherd's,

Sorry it has taken us a while to get back to you, we were traveling in other parts of Costa Rica until the end of April and then I had family obligations in Michigan until yesterday.

Our stay in Samara was wonderful.  The views from the house are outstanding.  The expansiveness of the views make it a great spot just for sitting and gazing. 

The electricity went out one night due to a storm and it was beautiful to experience from the house!

We kept our wildlife guide and binoculars out constantly and enjoyed bird watching from the veranda, as well as viewing howler monkeys and spider monkeys play nearby.  You should emphasize how much wildlife there is around the house.  For those that enjoy feeling like they are in another land, the constant howling of the howler monkeys is a dramatic reminder.  We made a long list of all the birds we spotted and we even got to know a flock of parrots that came around quite often.  The kids were enamored by the iguanas in the yard, as well as the other lizards, and the opossum that lives up the road.

The children absolutely loved having the soaking pool, they spent hours at a time in there, perfect to escape the heat of the day.  Meanwhile, the hammocks were an ideal place for us adults to take an afternoon siesta.  We found the house quite comfortable and fairly well equipped.  (We brought our own books and games.)   We were satisfied to have use of the washer and dryer and were able to do our own towels.  Thank you for providing the beach towels as well as the boogie board, we loved the beaches all around the area and made good use of them. 

We came with some supplies and restocked whatever we used, since we enjoy cooking so much it was a pleasure to have a kitchen, although if I had known, we would have done a more thorough shopping stop in Nicoya on our way into town.  As you know Samara is limited. The fish restaurant on the main drag has excellent cervice and paella. 

We went to Ostional and along the way stumbled across the fish market at Garza, which was well stocked with a variety of fish, squid, octopus, shrimp, etc. (open on Saturday too).  We also went south past Carillo and found great beaches, there was a sweet coved beach with a beautiful resort above it, that was good for fishing off the rocks.  We never made it all the way down to Cabo Blanco, the roads were getting to us.  We took a tour in the caves at Barra Honda and would recommend that to anyone that likes spelunking, since they are in such good condition and somewhat challenging.  It was hopeless trying to call ahead of time (no answer) but there were guides available for us too.  The hiking in the park was interesting, but would have been better if the guide knew more English.

Thank you for opening your home to us, I am sure that as you live in it more, it will become even more loved and cozier.  You have a beautiful spot on this majestic Earth!  We are grateful for the time we spent there and would highly recommend it to friends and family.


Dena Platis and family, Washington



From: Jesse Shumway

Subject: Re: Final arrangements


We arrived at your house in Samara a few days ago.  The first thing my wife
said was that this is the first time she thought an internet ad understated the
quality of the accommodations.  The house is extremely nice and an
extraordinary bargain.

It's been really great so far.  The weather has been incredible; very
little rain and lots of sunshine.  Yesterday was pretty warm, but for the
most part, you were right, you really don't need air conditioning.  It's very
comfortable almost all the time.

Jesse Shumway, Austin Texas


We still consider your home to have one of the best
locations in the area, also the house itself is beautifully finished.

Mirka & Marek Kozak

Newark California


From Danielle Buchanan Deltona Florida


Your home was beautiful with a breathtaking view.  Given the opportunity, we would love to come and stay again. 


 (the honeymooners)

Hello there,

We had a fantastic time, the house was beautiful, the views unbelievable and exactly what we needed.We enjoyed the porches and spent a lot of time out there talking and reading.

Samara was great, people are friendly, the beach was deserted and we had some nice meals and drinks.


Mr and Mrs John and Colleen ScowbyLexington, Kentucky


The house was wonderful and Samara is a wonderful place. Thank you so much!
Shannon Soignier

Durango, Colorada

Wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time at your house and in Costa Rica. The pictures do not do your house justice-it is more beautiful than depicted. We had the feeling that we were visiting a friend rather than a simple rental due to the atmosphere that you created. Feel free to use our letter as a recommendation.
Sherwin and Elizabeth Wilk

New York City



Good morning Alex,

I'm sorry, I actually meant to write you to tell you how wonderful
time we had at your house. The house is really amazing, Thanks for everything and you'll sure hear from us again, we won't be
shy to refer your house to friends and family




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