Flying Crocodile Ultralight Flight, Costa Rica

Want to try a flight in an ultralight plane? Head to Playa Buena Vista and the Flying Crocodile Flying Center (tel. 506/2656-8048), where Guido Scheidt, a licensed commercial pilot, will take you up in one of his state-of-the-art fixed-wing or autogiro ultralights. Choose from 20-minute ($110) trips to three-day tours (from $1,990) as far as the Osa Peninsula. Guido and his expert licensed flight instructors also offer tuition ($190 per hour).

Sámara seen from a Flying Crocodile ultralight flight. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Sámara seen from a Flying Crocodile ultralight flight. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Want to try a flight in an ultralight plane? Head to Playa Buena Vista and the Flying Crocodile Flying Center. While you’re there, you could fall in love with the German-run Flying Crocodile Lodge (tel./fax 506/2656-8048, low season $35-65 s, $41-85 d, high season $43-90 s, $70-100 d), between Esterones and Playa Buena Vista. This marvelous spot is an artistic vision with eight exquisite and eclectic cabins spaced well apart in beautifully maintained grounds. Each is splashed with lively tropical colors and murals and has hardwood floors, curving concrete bench seats with cushions, and showers boasting black stone floors. A pool has a waterslide and a swing, plus there are horses, mountain bikes, motorcycles, and 4WD vehicles.

North of Garza Village, Mis Amores Horse Rental (tel. 506/2656-8011 or 506/8846-3502) offers horseback rides. Montaña Verde (tel. 506/2682-0300), next door, rents ATVs and has tours.

La Cocina de Doña Ana (tel. 506/2656-8085, 8am-9:30pm daily), atop Punta Garza, specializes in seafood (including ceviche) and comida típica; go for the fabulous setting between bays. It has Wi-Fi.

Getting There

The dirt road from Nosara leads south 26 kilometers (16 miles) to Playa Sámara via the horseshoe-shaped Bahía Garza, eight kilometers (5 miles) south of Nosara, rimmed by pebbly gray-sand Playa Garza. Beyond Garza, the road cuts inland from the coast, which remains out of view the rest of the way.

At Barco Quebrado, about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) south of Nosara and 11 kilometers (7 miles) north of Sámara, the road divides: keep right for Sámara, or turn left for the road to Terciopelo and the town of Nicoya. Continuing south on the unpaved coast road, you pass Playa Barrigona, hidden from view (Mel Gibson recently sold a large property here), and pass through the hamlet of Esterones, where a side road leads two kilometers (1.2 miles) to Playa Buena Vista, where there are crocodiles in the river estuary at the south end.

On the way to Sámara, about one kilometer (0.6 miles) south of Esterones, you must ford the Río Buena Vista, which isn’t always possible in wet season. In this case, backtrack to Barco Quebrado and head inland to Terciopelo and turn right on Highway 150.


Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Costa Rica.

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