With its pristine beaches, crystal clear blue waters, superb natural surroundings, and near perfect weather, it is no wonder that Tamarindo is among the most popular vacation destinations in Costa Rica. A former fishing village in the northern regions of Guanacaste province on the North Pacific Coast, Tamarindo is the area’s most well developed tourist town with plenty of accommodations to suit every pocket. With much to enjoy & even more to do, this multi-cultural community is the ideal place to have some fun in the sun!
The beaches here are first-rate, and the entire town has a relaxed laidback feel to it, making it a fabulous place for anyone looking to have a good time. With the surfing and windsurfing conditions here near perfect for the experienced as well as novice surfers, Tamarindo Costa Rica is probably the most accessible beach town on the country’s entire northern Pacific Coast. Besides surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, boogie boarding, horseback riding and scuba diving, visit the nearby wildlife refuge of Diria, as well as the Marino Las Baulas National Park, where leatherback turtles come every summer to nest and breed.
The beach at Tamarindo Costa Rica is large enough for those who are looking to find some peace and quiet to get some. But for those who want to be where the action is, another favorite past time here is sportfishing, with record marlin, tuna and sailfish catches off the coast. For the land loving traveler, golf is a popular option at the Hacienda Pinilla, one of the finest golf courses in Central America.
It is important to keep in mind that Playa Tamarindo has strong rip currents and barely submerged rocks, so be careful swimming here. Also the estuaries to the north and south are very dangerous to cross at medium to high tide. The estuary to the north that separates Tamarindo from Playa Grande is quite big and canoes can be rented to view the wildlife here. To the south is the beautiful but upscale beach of Playa Langosta, with its excellent Bed & Breakfasts. Most of the high-end expensive hotels and B&B’s are spread out along Playa Langosta & south of Tamarindo.
Tamarindo town itself is quite colorful with plenty of local Tico flavor. Here you can find several bakeries, an outdoor vegetable market, an art gallery, pottery stores, a beauty spa and more than 40 restaurants, bars and discos with cuisines to suit every palette. Easily accessible by bus, the best way to get to Tamarindo is to fly into the Liberia International Airport or if you are already in San Jose take the domestic flight to Tamarindo Domestic Airport which is just outside of town.
Warning: Recent years have seen a growth in tourist robberies, while rental car break-ins are of particular concern.
Tamarindo Costa Rica
Once a quite fishing hamlet, Tamarindo has evolved to be the area’s most developed and accessible tourist town. Located on the central west coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, Tamarindo offers visitors of whatever budget a chance to experience the region’s unspoiled beaches and incredible biodiversity in a range of accommodations. Despite the town’s recent and ongoing development, it still retains that laidback vibe so characteristic of the region.
Seperated from Tamarindo by the Río Matapalo is Playa Grande, an uninspiring crop of pebble-rock seashore with the exception of numerous tide pools that are exposed at low tides. However, surfing along Playa Grande is ideal—regardless of skill level. The town hosts several international surf competitions, a testament to the quality of surf available. Visitors seeking luxurious accommodations can do so south of Playa Grande at Playa Langosta, a pristine white-sand beach near the Río San Francisco.
As a regional hub, Tamarindo offers a wide-range of extensive services to visitors including sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and horseback riding. The Tamarindo airport offers visitors in the San José area a seamless method of travel to the area, and Liberia is a close by 50 km for visitors already bound on international flights to Nicoya.
Perhaps Tamarindo’s greatest appeal is its proximity to the Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge, which comprises 1,000 acres (400 ha) of dazzling protected forest, including abundant mangroves and estuaries. Tours of the fascinating plant and animal life can be arranged from Tamarindo, including canoe tours of costal habitats. Just north of town is the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, which offers visitors an opportunity to see the world’s largest reptile, the leatherback turtle, come ashore to lay eggs. Also close by is the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional and Parque Nacional Barra Honda.
Tamarindo’s extensive development has imbued elements of affluent foreign culture from modernist cafés to chic restaurants into the fundamentally Tico culture, making for an appealing combination of both worlds. North Americans and Europeans in particular will enjoy the many elements of their own culture offered in Tamarindo along with the authenticity of local culture.