For a peaceful beachside break, a good bet is to head down to Sámara or Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula. A road runs the 35km between Nicoya and the coast at Nosara, via Caimital, though it’s only negotiable with a 4WD. Most drivers, and all buses, take the longer, paved route (marked as Route 150 on some maps) through Playa Sámara, from where you can loop north back up the coast. The scenery from Nicoya to Sámara, 30km south, is rolling, rather than precipitous, although there are a couple of particularly nasty corners, marked by crosses commemorating the drivers who didn’t make it.

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