One of the sun-kissed beaches along Guanacaste’s famed Gold Coast, Tamarindo is an eclectic mix of outdoor pursuits, vibrant nightlife and creature comforts. The surf Mecca attracts thousands of tourists each year with its epic waves, laid-back ambiance and wide swathes of golden sands. Less than an hour’s drive from the Liberia international airport, this beach vacation destination offers the best of both worlds: contemporary amenities along with a healthy dose of authentic pura vida charm.
- A Great Place for Family Vacations: While the nightlife is downright sizzling with discos, live jams, and pulsating salsa marathons, Tamarindo at its core is a family-friendly destination. There are several tours in Tamarindo to choose from including canopy zip-lines to ATV excursions, this beach town offers a slew of adrenaline-pumping adventures that cater to kids of all ages. Kayak tours explore the lush estuaries of Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge, and park rangers escort guests along the shores of nearby Playa Grande, where enormous leatherback sea turtles can be seen nesting from October through March.
- The Surf is Always Up! The town’s unofficial motto is “Surf, Eat and Party” – which is evident throughout the year. Surf shops and camps are chock-a-block, offering lessons and board rentals for novice wave riders who want to hang ten. Newbies can pick up their skills in the steady – but relatively tame waters of Tamarindo beach, or in neighboring Playa Langosta or Avellenas, where waves tend to be more consistent. Surf lessons can be taken one-on-one or as a group, and since the Pacific waters are always warm, no wet suit is needed!
Incredible Cuisine: While travelers to the area will have plenty of chances to sample Costa Rica’s national dish of Gallo Pinto (a savory blend of rice and beans), the presence of international expats has created a wonderful melting pot of culinary options. From avant-garde cuisine to homespun delights, the choices are numerous. Fresh sushi, Italian, Thai, Pan-Asian, Mediterranean fusion and Mexican are just a few examples of what’s on offer. So whether you’re craving spicy nachos or a seared duck breast, rest assured it’s all possible in Tamarindo. On top of that – many of the local restaurants have regular happy hours, seasonal specialties and live music.
- Wide Range of Accommodations: Brimming with hostels, resorts, vacation rentals and boutique hotels, Tamarindo has something for everyone – especially for those in search of oceanfront luxury. An increasing number of visitors are turning to Tamarindo vacation rentals to get more bang for their buck, as most are outfitted with fully-equipped kitchens and private pools and are just steps from the beach. In addition, many of the oceanfront villas and condos offer 24-hour security, wrap-around terraces with panoramic views plus top of the line home theater systems.
- Shop Til’ You Drop: When you’re not out sportfishing, scuba diving, or just lazing by the beach, you can do some serious retail therapy in Tamarindo. Souvenirs range from colorful sarongs, hammocks and lovely hand-crafted jewelry to intricately-carved wooden bowls. New boutiques are popping up every year and Plaza Conchal has a nice selection of stores. And of course, the best souvenir of all is rich, delicious Costa Rican coffee – which you can pick up for a song in any local supermarket.