San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sounds From Sámara

How refreshing it is to hear success stories in this economic climate! Sámara is home to a number of new enterprises that first opened for business in the low season, as a result of either insanity or brilliance – or perhaps both.

Eight years ago, Matteo Caretti first vacationed in Costa Rica, surfing and exploring many beaches, including Sámara.

After several more visits, Sámara became home in 2005. He opened Marea in 2008 to provide quality surfing accessories and beach wear in Sámara and has weathered two slow seasons thanks to loyal local customers who have “saved” him when there was little tourist traffic, he says. This amiable, low-key and very pura vida surfer probably knows everything there is to know about nearby surfing beaches. Stop by and swap stories with him.

Pet owners, rejoice! Mascotita, which opened in the Sámara Mini Mall in September, offers a wide variety of medicines, food and miscellaneous supplies for your dog, fish, bird or cat, as well as for a few other animals.

If you don’t see what you want, ask. Owner Bárbara Arias has organized pet grooming services and also arranged for a veterinarian to be in Sámara on a monthly basis. Call her at 2656-0985 to arrange appointments.

Glenn and Alan Westland, two outgoing, adventuresome brothers from the U.S. state of Nebraska who don’t know the meaning of the word “can’t,” arrived in Costa Rica with the dream of opening a bar and restaurant. They found a closed location to remodel and opened Arriba a few months ago. From the start, the charismatic brothers found themselves with a full house.

It’s a personable, talented group; Glenn studied at a culinary academy in Spain, both brothers sing and play guitar, and they have chosen an international staff as friendly as they are, all of which translates to an enjoyable lunch or evening out. Stop by and relax at the restaurant above Sámara’s main street, enjoy a game of darts, meet new people and listen to the music, or join in on open-mike nights.

–Ann Brinson

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