Known for its beautiful beaches and peaceful atmosphere, Tamarindo is a tropical idyll on Costa Rica's Pacific coast.
Stunning surf spots, unbeatable fishing, and plenty of infrastructure for luxury travelers make Tamarindo a popular spot with visitors young and old from around the world.
Costa Rica is epitomized in Tamarindo, which boasts stunning tropical beaches like Playa Conchal and Playa Flamingo that unfurl up and down the coast.
Fishermen and women from around the world come to Tamarindo for its stunning fishing grounds and its fleet of ships captained by locals.
Surfers have seen Tamarindo in their dreams. With perfect breaks dotting the region, there's no better place to catch a wave.
Tamarindo is entirely walkable and offers a welcome respite from crowded city life.
While visitors can expect plenty of great Costa Rican specialties, the town also has a French bakery, La Panaderia de Paris.
Only 25 minutes away from Playa Tamarindo, Avellana Beach is a small and tranquil paradise. Enjoy some pleasant, secluded time in the refreshing shade under the lovely palm trees as you relax. Watch mischievous howler monkeys on the trees monkeying around as they loudly call. Sample the best cuisines and drinks from top restaurants such as Lola's.
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Grande is a surfing hub that is known for its untamed waves. Located 22 kilometers from Tamarindo on road, it's a quiet town with a relaxing atmosphere. Set yourself of and immerse in the sweet serenity that this gorgeous beach offers. Compete with the aggressive waves during the day and enjoy the best local and international cuisines.
Playa Tamarindo holds an undisputed record for being home to countless tourists, and it's easy to see why. Indulge in the best cuisines that abound in the trail of eateries, treat yourself to some fun kayaking or sportfishing and sample the best drinks in the bars that are open late into the night. Clear your mind and meditate in peace as you walk along the pristine shores, get down on the dance floor or go sailing in the clear, still waters.
This delightful turtle park gets its name from the baula, or leatherback turtle, that is predominant here. It's a sanctuary for these turtles, whose species is endangered. Get educated on these great turtles at the park entrance. Spend a pleasant sunny afternoon on the majestic mangrove swamp in a kayak, exploring the vast attractive area. See the dedicated leatherback nesting and get a chance to visit the mysterious mangroves that are home to crocodiles and caimans.
Barra Honda National Park is a combination of caves and a park. Entrance fee is $12 per person. Feel the darkness engulf you as you go into the bountiful caves through a tall, sturdy ladder. Get an unlimited display of beauty as you view the capricious and amazing figures in the caves. Mingle with bats and other cave dwelling creatures as you take in the awesome scenery, and extend the fun by climbing a trail that gives a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Nicoya.
Tamarindo is tropical, so the weather is pleasant all year long. Mid-November through August will provide the best weather, while September through March is leatherback turtle season.
The Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR), located in Liberia, is about 45 minutes from town. Taxis and shuttles abound, but a local bus from Liberia is the best way to see the countryside and costs about ₡2,000.
The city is connected to the rest of the country by the 155. Although hilly, the route is fine for driving and reaches San Jose in about four hours.
Buses operate throughout the country. A 6-7 hour ride from San Jose with Alfaro bus company costs approximately ₡5,700. Do note that tickets can sell out two months in advance.
Both budget and luxury hotels can be found in Tamarindo. Budget-friendly options include Blue Trailz, which also has a surf camp. More upmarket options such as Hotel Jardin del Eden are popular among luxury travelers.
Calle Central - the main beachfront avenue is filled with shops and restaurants and plays host to a farmers market on the weekends.
Playa Langosta - this area, a bit off the main drag, borders the Las Baulas National Park and contains numerous resorts.
Playa Grande - just north of town, this area is home to a wonderful beach and some more laid-back hotels and restaurants.
There is no public transport in town, and everything can be reached on foot.
Taxis start at about ₡640 and go up by ₡1,200 for each mile.
There are Alamo, Budget, and Hertz outlets in town. Prices come to about ₡1,500 per day for a small SUV.
While Tamarindo does not have any malls, there are many shops and local vendors in town, especially along the waterfront in the town center. Costa Rican crafts are a popular purchase. Those looking for a summer dress can expect to pay about ₡25,000.
Tamarindo's grocers are plentiful and well stocked. The cost of a dozen eggs in town is about ₡1,500, while a loaf of bread will run about ₡1,000.
Top-rated restaurants in Tamarindo include Longboards BBQ and Pangas Beach Club. The average cost of dinner for two in the city is about ₡50,000 at a low-key restaurant.