At the Playa Samara resorted we opted to upgrade to the all inclusive which ended up being a good decision for us as the town of Samara is quite small and a $6 taxi ride away. Our first day we walked along the beach 35 minutes into town - after the walk in the hot sun our first stop was a beach bar for a great tropical drink.
Next we needed to talk to the local tourist information to find out if we could arrange for a couple of days accommodation closer to Manuel Antonio (the place where the wedding was to be held - which is a 5.5 hour drive from playa samara (which means 7 on these roads). Aaron was to arrive in San Jose rent a car and drive to manuel Antonio - the next morning he was to come and pick us up in playa samara but I reconsidered this idea and thought we should move closer to manuel Antonio. Now one must understand there is no real train system in Costa Rica - and there is apparently a bus system but when you go to book it - it is not available for your route (funny how that works). Through the local tourist information centre we were able to catch a ride with an American who hired a van to take him and his dog to Puntarenas (about 2.5 hours from manuel antonio - so much closer for Aaron to pick us up). Although we were warned puntarenas is not a nice town and not as safe as other places in Costa Rica - the appeal to us was that we could arrange a tour from there to the Arenal Volcano and famous Tobacon Resort, which we booked through grayline. We also found an all inclusive hilton hotel in puntarenas for $100 each per night and best of all the grayline tour left from that hotel.
One of the last days in Playa Samara we went on a nature walk (up the side of a mountain). We were picked up by a pick up truck - so we all piled in the back of the truck and off we went - I doubt this tour has liability insurance. The tour guide and his grandfather own 35 acres of land that use to be farm land and is now a secondary forest. We walked for over three hours up the side of the mountain, learning about the natural flora and animals in the area.
Our last day we kayaked out to Chora Island to snorkel. The kayaking was fun although since Costa Rica does not have a great reef system the snorkelling was not great - much better off the Caribbean side of Mexico and of course the barrier reef in Australia - but the views were lovely.
This was the end of our Monkey Tour we bought off the groupon website. Groupon came through this time - entire tour with all the activities (except nature walk), accommodation, transportation, most food, taxes and all inclusive upgrade for last three days was $900 each. Great tour, good company - everything as advertised. The people on our tour were great - WHAT AN ADVENTURE!