I would take Brasilito area over both (close to potrero) . Def Samara over Potrero as not much in Potrero but Brasilito is the perfect mix of tico and tourist and has the best tourist beach and one of the nicest in all Costa Rica. Lots of inexpensive places to stay here for example we have bnb at our house $fifty a night
Would highly recommend Samara for a more family type vacation. Been to both locations and this is where I would go if I had children.
I haven't been to Samara, but it does seem to be the most highly recommended beach for families on this forum. That said, I just returned from Playa Potrero with my family (kids 4 and 6), and I didn't regret choosing it over Samara or any other beach. For me, being closer to the airport was a big win, and in Potereo I was able to be in a beautiful house steps from the beach, another huge win on convenience with kids. You don't see many other people on the beach, which I like but others may not. The water was swimmable for my kids, but waves did get rougher at high tide. We were able to walk to numerous restaurants and to a beachfront hotel where I took a yoga class and, later, got a massage. I found plenty of what I was looking for in Playa Potrero. Depending on what you're looking for, don't necessarily rule it out! (Also the nearby Flamingo and Brasilito areas might be worth looking at.)
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