Kayaking The Pacific, An Island Adventure in Costa Rica

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Left Lane

My Partner (photo Left), and our Tour Guide (photo Center) as we prepared to snorkel over the Coral Reef. In the clear waters of Samara Beach, Costa Rica

Where To Stay?

During my second – one week stay in Costa Rica. We decided to stay on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the beautiful, tropical Central American Country.

Then we booked a beautiful Spanish Style Villa on the shores of Samara Beach, Costa Rica. Using a now defunct travel site that went bankrupt at the beginning of Covid in 2020 called BookIt.Com. I picked the All-Inclusive Resort known as Hotel Villas Playa Samara for our stay.

As we searched for activities to do during our stay. One of the excursions we decided to book was a Kayak excursion that included a midday break, and a snack on the protected island refuge of Isla Chora, along with a snorkeling experience in the Bay of Samara.

The beautiful beach side Spanish Villa we stayed in during our stay at Hotel Villas Playa Samara. With dazzling views over the Pacific Ocean, and the Bay of Samara
In addition to the beautiful scenery, they had Free Roaming Horses, that graced the shores of Samara Beach. If you got up early in the morning at sunrise, or late in the evening just before sunset. You could catch a glimpse of the famous beach horses of Playa Samara as they gracefully trotted along the beach heading to, and from their resting area.

A Story To Remember

As the time approached for our kayaking excursion on the Pacific. It was time to meet our Tour Guide on the beach. Allowing us to get accustomed with the Kayaks we would be using during our tour.

We were soon to find out, this trip would cost us more then just a few bucks for a Tour Guide. As we loaded our Kayaks, both the Tour guide, and I both had pockets, and bags. For carrying little trinkets during our Kayaking adventure.

My Partner on the other hand, now that was a different story. She came with just her swim wear on, both the guide and I asked her if she had anything she needed us to carry.

A quick Selfie with our expert Costa Rican Kayaking Tour Guide in Playa Sámara

To which we received an affirmative “No” with little more thought, we were on the waters of the Pacific and paddling away. Very shortly into our adventure, just a few yards off shore (Approx: 20 Yards).

Making A Splash

I hear my partner exclaim in disbelief, using a little bit of the “Kangs English 👑” in the process. As we turned to find out she had dropped her iPhone into the Pacific Ocean.

We stop the paddling, and return to the area around her Kayak to search for her cell phone. To add to an already bad situation, early this same morning, and all through the night. A storm had raged off the coast stirring up all kinds of silt, and reducing water visibility.

After a quick investigation, we discovered that my partner had placed her cell phone between the straps of her Life Jacket. Assuming it would be secure enough during the trip… Well umm, yeah that didn’t quite work out.

To make things even sketchier, the day before all this happened. In a rare Salt Water showing, one of the many varieties of Crocodile 🐊 native to Costa Rica. Had been spotted in this same area we were now in, and chased off by the Resort Life Guards.

Knowing this, I was in no particular hurry to dive into the water with low visibility and fill around with my hands on the bottom for a cell phone. Our guide, who I could also tell was nervous about the situation. Made the good effort of going under the water to search for the lost phone.

After a minute, or two of searching our Tour Guide, and I both thought it was best to call the iPhone a loss and proceed with our Pacific Kayaking Adventure.

Chum The Water

Yeah, my not so happy face after cutting my left hand open. As I swam through a little underwater valley in the Coral Reef as we snorkeled off the coast of Costa Rica 🇨🇷

On the first leg of our excursion, we went kayaking over to one of the underwater Coral Reefs that helped form the Bay of Samara. Once we made it to the reef, we geared up into our snorkeling 🤿 wear, complete with swim fins.

As I Frog walked my way into the water, in the most ungraceful way imaginable. We were finally ready to dive. My partner was very excited for her first diving experience.

Once under the water, the water around the reef had cleared up from the nights storm, and was crystal clear, and teeming with life. Fish of all sorts curiously swam around us.

The reef was only about 6 feet below the surface. As we swam through a section of the reef where it cupped around us on both sides, forming a narrow coral valley. I hit one of my wide swim strokes with my left hand brushing against the reef, and quickly found every sharp object that I could.

With a portion of coral of god knows what variety breaking off into my palm. I looked down to see the blood 🩸 coming from my hand. Thinking back to every Discovery Channel Shark Week episode I could remember.

All I could think about was a Sharks 🦈 capability of smelling blood up to a quarter mile away. Not wanting to become dinner on the menu after chumming the water with my own blood. I decided it was time to get out of the water.

Kayaking to Isla Chora

After losing one iPhone, and obtaining one injury. We were ready to Kayak over to Isla Chora, which was now slightly more difficult to paddle to, due to my hand injury. Isla Chora is a Tropical Island Wildlife Refuge located along the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Photo of My Partner, and I as we set foot on Isla Chora for the first time, after snorkeling

After a refreshing fruit snack, and water provided by our Tour Guide as we relaxed on the shore of Isla Chora. We were given time to explore around the island. Which was teaming with wildlife, and more Hermit Crabs then I had ever seen anywhere.

Video of the Hermit Crabs as they scampered about the beach

Our Tour Guide was knowledgeable about Isla Chora, telling us about its history. Including that of the former Monkey residents who once lived on the island, but met their untimely demise. During a really bad Tropical Storm that devastated their Island habitat.

The views from the island as you look back across the Bay of Samara are absolutely stunning. This island offers some breathtaking panoramic views of the Costa Rican mainland.

Video I recorded to remember The amazing panoramic views of Isla Chora

The total time we spent during our Adventure Kayaking on the Pacific Ocean was around 1 hour, and 5 minutes.

With it being about a 20 minute paddle to the Coral Reef for snorkeling. Another 20 minutes worth of paddling to explore Isla Chora. Then another 25 minute paddle back to shore.

The total excursion time was a little over 3 hours. Accounting for the extra time spent on an attempted Cell Phone recovery mission, and a snorkeling adventure cut short due to a hand injury.

Let’s Eat!

Did I mention this was an All Inclusive Resort? Because the restaurants onsite are A1. This is from the L’Ardoise Restaurant at the Hotel Villas Playa Samara

After a long day of water adventure, we were ready for a late lunch about 2:30p.m. Enjoying some of the local cuisine is definitely one of my favorite pieces of our stay.

After a late lunch we went back to the room, changed into our swim wear and hit the hotel pool up. Which also has its own private beachside bar called the Las Palmas poolside bar.

We relaxed at the main resort pool until sunset

Later that night around 9p.m we returned to our favorite All Inclusive Restaurant for dinner. The L’Ardoise goes above, and beyond to spoil its guests.

To Book your very own stay at the beautiful Hotel Villas Playa Sámara Click Here

You can book your very own (injury free 😂) Kayak, and snorkeling Excursion. On the Pacific in Costa Rica by Clicking Here

To buy your very own wearable, waterproof, floating Cell Phone Case. Preventing your own version of our lost iPhone experience. Check out this Amazon listing, just: Click Here

Looking for More?

If you liked our Adventure in Central America, and want to see more of our Central American Adventures. Check out my Adventures in another popular Central American Country: Right Here

The Roving Gypsy®

Thanks for reading my Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed our Kayaking the Pacific Adventure as much as we did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Share, Follow, and Comment to let me know.

3 thoughts on “Kayaking The Pacific, An Island Adventure in Costa Rica

  1. It took about two weeks for all the pieces of coral to work their way out of my hand, it broke off in there like chalk, so it just crumbled when you tried to dig it out yourself. The Doctor gave me some antibiotics to make sure it didn’t get infected, it healed fine after that. Thanks!

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