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Beachfront, Playa Sámara, , Costa Rica

A lively mix of locals and globals gather at this casual beach bar to lounge in leather rocking chairs on the open-air patio and sample from an exquisite cocktail menu (more than 90 concoctions are on the list). Try the excellent sangria or the Gran Margarita—a cosmopolitan take on the Mexican classic, made with Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and tequila. Playa Sámara, with its creamy white sands and forested offshore islands, has gotten quite upscale in recent years—but La Vela has retained its laid-back, predevelopment charm.

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La Vela Latina

A lively mix of locals and globals gather at this casual beach bar to lounge in leather rocking chairs on the open-air patio and sample from an exquisite cocktail menu (more than 90 concoctions are on the list). Try the excellent sangria or the Gran Margarita—a cosmopolitan take on the Mexican classic, made with Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and tequila. Playa Sámara, with its creamy white sands and forested offshore islands, has gotten quite upscale in recent years—but La Vela has retained its laid-back, predevelopment charm.