Tamarindo’s long Pacific beachfront has become a popular place to be in recent years, and a somewhat flashy and high-end scene has taken over what was, once-upon-a-time, a small and unassuming fishing village.
Today Tamarindo offers designer shopping, many restaurants, and a highly developed nightlife. The town also has plenty of colorful Tico flavors, and there are art galleries, traditional pottery stores, and markets next door to more modern restaurants, bars, and clubs. Surfing is a big deal here, and there are long, easy waves for beginners and more exciting breaks for the pros. Surfing along the main beach, Playa Grande, is ideal no matter what your skill level. Whether you’re looking to surf or just relax, the beaches here are first rate and the town’s laid-back feel makes it a top choice for anyone looking to have a good time. Of course, like anywhere in Costa Rica, there is fantastic nature right there on the doorstep.
Golden arc beaches & verdant green mountains
Tamarindo Beach is part of a large bay, and facing it to the north of the bay is Playa Grande. Off the coast lies Captain’s Island, and both beaches are separated by the Matapalo River. This river is part of the Tamarindo Natural Wildlife Refuge, a 400 hectare protected area with wetlands, mangroves, and dry tropical forest. Playa Grande, just like Playa Langosta, located to the south of Tamarindo Bay, forms part of the Las Baulas Marine Park system. Both are protected nesting areas for the giant sea turtles that arrive on their shores for their breeding season between November and February.
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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
Try some surf…catch a wave!
Enjoy great breaks in the surf lesson in Tamarindo with the aid of our instructors. Learn vital elements like paddling, boarding, standing up, and then executing your new movements in Tamarindo’s well-known waves, perfect for beginners. Take a surfboard and start your day at the beach with lessons are tailored to suit your level of experience, be it a total beginner or a novice surfer who wants to work on your skills.
Kayaking the mangroves
The Tamarindo Mangrove and Estuary is a protected area with a beautiful natural wildlife refuge consisting of an extraordinary flora characteristic of this ecosystem: estuary mangrove forests and wetlands. Here you’ll observe brown pelicans, magnificent frigate birds, ibis, ospreys, and roseate spoonbills, as well as two types of monkeys, iguanas and the American crocodile.
A perfect way to finish the day; sunsets over Tamarindo are spectacular. The ideal end to the day after a lovely lounging afternoon, surfing, estuary tour, fishing, snorkeling, catamaran cruising, canopy tour, shopping, or whatever you want to do while exploring Tamarindo. And it is a constant humbling reminder of our blessing to call Tamarindo our home for us fortunate enough to live in this heavenly environment.
Sailing is an excellent way of exploring the coast of Costa Rica. Tortoises, dolphins, and even whales can also be seen in the sea. In Tamarindo and Flamingo, there are many options for sailing experiences. A perfect optional excursion to Bahia De Los Pirates along the beach. You can snorkel and swim on board before crossing the bay for a stunning sunset once there.
Visit the turtles
Playa Grande and Playa Langosta are the main leatherback turtle nesting areas, and you can watch the beaches in the breeding season, November to February. The view to see the grown-ups and the baby tortoises waddle into the sea is an unforgettable experience. See Olive Ridley and Green Pacific sea turtles laying eggs, even babies hatch and walk to the sea.
Spot Capuchin & Howler Monkeys
Monkeys are everywhere in the trees around Tamarindo, especially the very vocal howler monkeys who are generally out and about with plenty to say in the early mornings. Light sleepers won’t need an alarm clock, but perhaps pack a pair of earplugs. Around Tamarindo, there are two primary singes: the white Capuchin and the larger Costa Rican Howler.
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Best times to visit Tamarindo
June through to November is great beach weather in Tamarindo, with July and August being the busiest months for visitors when booking well in advance is recommended. For the best waves, surfers should time their trip for September and October. If you are on the lookout for leatherback turtles, November to February will be the best months to visit.
HOW TO GET THERE
Tamarindo’s airstrip is 1.86 miles (3 km) north of town. During the high season, Sansa and Nature Air have three daily flights to and from San José, as well a from most other destinations in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for the absolute easiest, stress-free way to get to Tamarindo, you can fly straight into Tamarindo airport with a private transfer to your hotel. If you plan to rent a car while you’re here, and we recommend you do, we can schedule a rental car for pickup in Tamarindo, or even have it delivered to your hotel.
You can easily find your way around town by walking but you may wish to rent a bicycle which will allow you to pedal out to beaches east of Puerto Viejo instead of walking there.
WHERE TO STAY
Tamarindo is known as a tourist destination, but the long beaches give room for everyone to enjoy. The region provides a wide range of wave-sized beaches, making it ideal for swimming, surfing, or even large waves for surfers.
The resort area with stunning white sand beaches is situated south of Playa Langosta. There are a lovely swimming area and a variety of surfing areas. Langosta’s mini beaches are divided into picturesque rock formations. The village next to the beach has many new facilities, condos, hotels, restaurants, shops and much more.
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