Here’s the thing with Tamarindo. It used to be a small and sleepy beach town that has developed tremendously over the past few years and is now one of the busiest tourist spots in Costa Rica. People simply can’t resist it! It’s like the beaches of the Pacific Ocean call their names with the list of endless outdoor activities. The area is a haven for sports lovers. You can surf, dive, snorkel, swim, play golf, you can even find some amazing hike trails nearby. Relax on the beach during the day, do some sports, party hard at nights, and then repeat. But Tamarindo has more aces up its sleeve. Even if you can’t stand the crowds and overly touristy feel, you can still come, stay a few days and plan your further trips. The town makes a great base.
To find out more, read this short and informative travel guide about Tamarindo, located on Nicoya Peninsula.
Things to see and do in Tamarindo
Party all night
Because parties and nightlife are pretty amazing in the bustling town of Tamarindo. There are many bars offering a wide variety of entertainment that suits all tastes. Ask around to find out where are the best parties happening.
Explore the surroundings differently
You can start by renting a quad bike, then continue with rafting or tubing, and end with zip lining. All these activities are guaranteed to be lots of fun, and an interesting way to see the place you’re staying in.
Hit the beach and/or surf
The wonderful beaches and the big waves brought fame to Tamarindo so be sure you don’t miss any of it. Sit down and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the beach. Tamarindo beach is the best known. If it’s too crowded for your likings, you can always find more secluded beaches along the coast. As for surfing- even if you’re a total beginner, you can join one of the classes or just observe the masters. If surfing isn’t your thing, give a stand-up paddle board a try!
Take day trips
Like to the Baulas National Marine Park where baulas (the leatherback turtles) nestle. But this amazing sight isn’t the only thing to experience here. Rent a kayak and spend an inspiring day amongst the incredible wildlife of Costa Rica. Another great option for a day trip is the Barra Honda National Park where you can explore the beautiful caves.
Most hostels have kitchens and charge around 15$ for dorm rooms and 45$ for private rooms. Renting a camp spot costs roughly 12$ per night. There are many wonderful and beautiful hotels in this area, but they come with a price. Expect to pay at least 96$ per night for a stay in a luxurious resort. More budget-friendly hotels offer their rooms at a starting price of 57$, including a private bathroom and air-conditioning, some even provide free breakfast. Airbnb is an option, costing roughly 20$ for a shared accommodation and 80$ for an entire flat.
Food and drinks
The food tends to be a bit more expensive, as it’s such a highly touristy area with many high-end resorts. If you don’t want to spend too much, eat “casados” (meals of the day) that cost only about 5$. Since most hostels have kitchens you can cook for yourself – 35$ should be enough for a week. Tap water should be safe to drink, but drinking alcohol can be pricey. You may want to buy it at the local stores or go for a refreshing smoothie that costs less than 3$.
Getting around the city shouldn’t be a problem since it’s small and easy to explore on foot. You can come to Tamarindo by a local bus from San Jose for around 16$ or a coach bus for around 30$. The latter is faster and provides more comfort during the travel. If you book in advance, you might be able to get a cheap flight too.
For turtle watching, you’ll pay around 50$, and the usual 10$ to enter the national parks. ATV riding costs around 48$ per person for a few hours and up to 60$ for zip-lining. Rafting or tubing cost roughly 122$.