Tamarindo is one of the most beautiful and modern beach destinations in Costa Rica. The area offers plenty of outdoor activities that all can enjoy. The weather is almost always ideal, so one can enjoy the blue waters and white sand beaches nearly year round. The pueblo is focused on accommodating tourists with plenty of restaurants, shops and night life to go with the beautiful beaches.
Welcome to Tamarindo, a coastal jewel on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Nestled in the Guanacaste province, Tamarindo is a tropical haven renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant surf scene, diverse wildlife, and an all-encompassing "Pura Vida" atmosphere. Let's embark on a virtual journey to discover what makes Tamarindo the perfect destination for your next adventure.
Beautiful Beaches: Tamarindo Beach, with its golden sands and clear blue waters, is a magnet for sun worshippers, surfers, and beachcombers. It's the ideal place to soak up the sun, swim, or try your hand at surfing.
Surfing Mecca: Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica's premier surf destinations. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, you'll find waves suited to your skill level. Local surf schools offer lessons for those eager to ride their first wave.
Wildlife Encounters: The region surrounding Tamarindo is a biodiversity hotspot. Keep your eyes peeled for howler monkeys, iguanas, colorful parrots, and even nesting sea turtles during the season. Don't miss a visit to Marino Las Baulas National Park for a chance to witness these gentle giants.
Local Cuisine: Tamarindo's culinary scene is a delightful mix of traditional Costa Rican dishes and international flavors. Savor fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and delicious street food. Don't forget to sample "casado," a traditional Costa Rican meal.
Nightlife: As the sun sets, Tamarindo comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Enjoy beachfront cocktails, live music, and dancing at the town's bars and clubs.
Getting There: The nearest international airport is Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, about a 1-hour drive from Tamarindo. Liberia Airport offers convenient access to the region.
Weather: Tamarindo enjoys a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season, from November to April, offers sunny skies and warm temperatures, making it an ideal time to visit. September and October bring heavier rains and it can rain all day at times.
Water Sports: In addition to surfing, Tamarindo offers opportunities for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, and sportfishing. You can also take a catamaran cruise to explore the coast and even spot dolphins.
Eco-Tourism: Explore nearby natural wonders such as Rincon de la Vieja National Park, where you can hike to waterfalls and rejuvenate in hot springs, or visit Palo Verde National Park for birdwatching adventures.
Relaxation: Tamarindo is the perfect place to unwind. Consider booking a spa day, practicing yoga on the beach, or simply lounging in a hammock under swaying palm trees.
Tamarindo invites you to experience the essence of Costa Rica—its natural beauty, warm culture, and adventurous spirit. Whether you're seeking thrilling escapades or peaceful relaxation, this coastal paradise promises a memorable journey filled with the pure life spirit that defines Costa Rica. Come to Tamarindo and discover why it's a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world.
Planning a vacation to Tamarindo
We recommend visiting Tamarindo for 3 – 5 days. There are plenty of activities in the area, but you will enjoy a much more memorable experience by splitting time with another destination, such as a rainforest, cloud forest or volcano area.
Hotel Capitán Suizo: Hotel Capitán Suizo is a luxurious beachfront resort in Tamarindo. It's renowned for its eco-friendly practices and serene ambiance. Guests can enjoy direct access to the pristine Playa Tamarindo, elegant bungalows nestled in lush gardens, and an open-air restaurant serving gourmet cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood. The resort's commitment to sustainability and natural beauty makes it a top choice for discerning travelers.
Hotel Jardín del Edén: Hotel Jardín del Edén is a boutique hotel perched on a hill overlooking Tamarindo Bay. It offers breathtaking ocean views, luxurious accommodations, and a peaceful, adults-only environment. The hotel's infinity pool and tropical gardens provide an oasis of tranquility, and its restaurant serves delicious international and Costa Rican dishes.
Cala Luna Boutique Hotel and Villas: Cala Luna Boutique Hotel and Villas is an upscale resort offering a blend of luxury and nature. Set amid a lush tropical forest, the resort features stylish villas with private pools and outdoor showers. Guests can enjoy a spa, two swimming pools, and a restaurant that emphasizes farm-to-table dining.
Tamarindo Diria Resort: Tamarindo Diria Resort is a well-established beachfront property in Tamarindo. It offers a range of accommodations, from comfortable rooms to oceanfront suites. The resort boasts multiple restaurants, bars, and swimming pools, making it suitable for families and couples alike. Its central location allows easy access to Tamarindo's vibrant nightlife and activities
Occidental Tamarindo Resort: Occidental Tamarindo Resort is the only all-inclusive resort option in the area. While it offers many amenities, including a beautiful beachfront location, guests should be aware of the strong waves in front of the hotel, which might not be suitable for swimming but can be great for surfing.
Hotel Arco Iris: This charming hotel offers comfortable and affordable accommodations within walking distance of Tamarindo Beach. It's a great choice for budget-conscious travelers.
Hotel Luna Llena: Another budget-friendly option, Hotel Luna Llena, provides simple yet comfortable rooms with a relaxed atmosphere. It's conveniently located near Tamarindo's shops and restaurants.
These hotels in Tamarindo cater to a range of preferences, from luxury seekers to budget-conscious travelers, ensuring a memorable stay in this beautiful beach town.
Tamarindo offers a variety of exciting tours and activities for visitors to explore the natural beauty and adventure opportunities in the area. Here are some of the best tours you can do from Tamarindo:
Surf Lessons: Tamarindo is a renowned surf destination with consistent waves suitable for surfers of all levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer seeking challenging breaks, there are surf schools and instructors available to help you improve your skills.
Barra Honda Cave Spelunking: Explore the fascinating Barra Honda Caves, a system of limestone caverns located in Barra Honda National Park. This guided adventure takes you underground to discover intricate stalactites and stalagmites formations. It's a unique and thrilling experience for those interested in spelunking.
Canopy Zipline - Congo Trails: Get an adrenaline rush while soaring through the treetops on a canopy zipline tour at Congo Trails. You'll glide along a series of cables and platforms, enjoying panoramic views of the tropical forest. This is a fantastic way to experience Costa Rica's rich biodiversity from a new perspective.
Catamaran and Snorkeling Cruise - Lazy Lizard Sailing: Set sail on a catamaran adventure with Lazy Lizard Sailing. You'll cruise along the Pacific coast, relax on the deck, and have the opportunity to snorkel. Keep an eye out for marine life, including colorful fish and perhaps even dolphins or sea turtles.
Hacienda Guachipelin One-Day Adventure Pass: For thrill-seekers, the Hacienda Guachipelin, in the Rincon de la Vieja area, offers an action-packed day with activities like zip-lining, waterfall rappelling, river tubing, and horseback riding. It's a great way to experience Costa Rica's natural beauty while enjoying a range of adventures. Alternatively, you can choose to hike to hidden waterfalls and enjoy the lodge's natural thermal hot springs.
Offshore Sportfishing: Tamarindo is known for its excellent offshore sportfishing opportunities. You can book a charter and head out into the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean in search of big game fish like marlin, sailfish, and dorado. It's a popular activity for anglers looking for a challenging and rewarding experience.
Riverboat Safari at Palo Verde National Park: Take a riverboat safari tour at Palo Verde National Park to explore the wetlands, rivers, and dry tropical forests of the region. This tour offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, with a chance to spot howler monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, and numerous bird species.
Scuba Diving Catalinas Islands: Scuba diving enthusiasts will love exploring the underwater world around Catalinas Islands. These volcanic islands offer excellent diving sites with the possibility of encountering diverse marine life, including manta rays, sharks, and vibrant coral reefs.
These tours and activities from Tamarindo cater to a wide range of interests, from adventure seekers to nature enthusiasts, making it a fantastic destination for exploring the best of Costa Rica's natural beauty and adventure opportunities.
Tamarindo boasts a diverse culinary scene with a variety of restaurants offering both local and international cuisine. Here are some of the best restaurants in Tamarindo:
Pangas Beach Club Restaurant:A renowned dining destination that encapsulates the essence of beachfront dining. With its breathtaking ocean views, tropical ambiance, and a menu that celebrates Costa Rican and international flavors, Pangas Beach Club offers a quintessential dining experience by day and lively bar by night. Guests can relish fresh seafood, an array of meats, and delectable cocktails while listening to the soothing sound of waves. The restaurant's dedication to sustainability and locally sourced ingredients adds to its appeal, making it a favorite spot for both visitors and locals seeking a memorable beachside dining adventure in Tamarindo.
NOI Bistro: NOI Bistro is known for its breakfast and brunch. Open until 2 pm, guests can expect classic American breakfast offerings as well as local favorites.
Antichi Sapori Sicilian Cuisine:TEMPORARILY CLOSED - If you're in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine, Antichi Sapori is the place to go. This restaurant serves delicious Sicilian dishes prepared with fresh ingredients. Their pasta, seafood, and traditional Sicilian desserts are favorites among diners.
Wabi-Sabi Sushi: For sushi lovers, Wabi-Sabi is a top pick. They offer a wide range of sushi rolls and Japanese-inspired dishes, all made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. The casual yet stylish atmosphere and creative sushi options make it a local favorite.
Green Papaya Taco Bar: Green Papaya Taco Bar is a laid-back spot with a focus on Mexican and Central American flavors. They serve a variety of tacos, burritos, and other Mexican classics. It's a great place for a quick, tasty meal with a relaxed beach-town vibe.
El Mercadito: El Mercadito is a food court-style dining experience with various food vendors offering different cuisines. You can find everything from pizza and burgers to Thai and Costa Rican dishes. It's a casual and budget-friendly option for families or groups with diverse tastes.
Seasons Restaurant at Hotel Arco Iris: Seasons Restaurant, located within Hotel Arco Iris, offers a menu inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and delicious seafood. They emphasize using locally sourced ingredients and offer a range of dishes to satisfy different palates. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service add to the dining experience.
These are just a few of the dining options available in Tamarindo. Whether you're craving international flavors, fresh seafood, or local Costa Rican cuisine, Tamarindo's restaurants offer a delightful culinary journey for food enthusiasts.
From San Jose: The fastest way to drive from San Jose is to take the Autopista del Sol or the Interamerican Highway to Caldera and turn left after Puntarenas towards Puente de la Amistad (Friendship Bridge) over the Tempisque River. Cross the bridge and follow the road signs to Nicoya until you start seeing signs for Tamarindo. The drive takes about 4 hours.
Tamarindo, located on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, enjoys a tropical climate characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. Here's a general overview of the weather in Tamarindo:
Driest Season (December to April): This is the most popular time to visit Tamarindo. During the dry season, you can expect plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall. The weather is typically hot and dry, making it perfect for beach activities, surfing, and outdoor adventures. Daytime temperatures often range from the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (29-35°C), with cooler evenings.
Green Season (May to November): Tamarindo experiences its wetter season during these months. While it's called the "green season," it can be quite rainy, with frequent afternoon showers and occasional thunderstorms. However, the rain usually doesn't last all day, and mornings are often sunny. The landscape is lush and vibrant during this time, but outdoor activities may be interrupted by rain. The temperatures remain warm, with daytime highs in the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (31-35°C).
Secret Season (May and June): Tamarindo is located in the driest region of Costa Rica. While teh rain season kicks off in May, most of the rains in May and June occur overnight. This time of the year is a favorite for those in the know as there are fewer tourists, more hotel availability, and great prices.
Rainiest Months:September and October tend to be the rainiest months in Tamarindo, with the highest precipitation levels. Travelers should be prepared for more significant rainfall during this period.
Hurricane Season: Tamarindo is located in an area rarely affected by hurricanes. However, it's essential to monitor weather forecasts, as tropical storms can occasionally bring heavy rainfall and rough seas.
Overall, the best time to visit Tamarindo depends on your preferences. The dry season offers ideal beach weather and is perfect for sun enthusiasts. On the other hand, the green season showcases Costa Rica's lush landscapes and can be a great time to visit if you don't mind occasional rain showers. Make sure to check the specific weather forecast for your travel dates to plan accordingly and make the most of your visit to Tamarindo.
Lightweight Clothing: T-shirts, tank tops, and shorts are ideal for the warm and humid climate.
Swimwear: Bring multiple swimsuits for beach days and water activities.
Light Long-Sleeved Shirts and Pants: Provide sun protection and help deter mosquitoes, especially in the evenings.
Beach Cover-Up: Useful for transitioning from the beach to dining or exploring.
Rain Jacket or Poncho: Tamarindo can experience rain, especially during the wet season; a compact rain jacket is handy.
Sandals and Flip-Flops: Comfortable footwear for beach walks and casual outings.
Hat and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the strong tropical sun.
Beach Towel: While many accommodations provide towels, it's convenient to have your own for the beach.
Daypack or Beach Bag: Carry essentials like sunscreen, water, and snacks to the beach.
Water Shoes: If you plan on exploring rocky areas or tide pools.
Sunscreen: High SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong sun.
Aloe Vera Gel: To soothe sunburn if needed.
Insect Repellent: Tamarindo is in a tropical region, so insect repellent can be helpful, especially during the evenings.
Travel Adapter: Tamarindo uses Type A and Type B outlets, so bring the appropriate adapter.
Mobile Phone and Charger: Stay connected and use travel apps for navigation and information.
Health and Safety:
Prescription Medications: Carry enough for your trip, along with copies of prescriptions.
First-Aid Kit: Include basics like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any personal medications.
Snorkeling Gear: If you plan on exploring the underwater world.
Beach Toys: If traveling with children, consider bringing beach toys for added fun.
Cash and Cards:
Cash: Have some Costa Rican colóns for small purchases, but credit/debit cards are widely accepted.
Passport: Ensure it's valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates.
Travel Itinerary: Keep a copy of your flight and accommodation details.
Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance for added peace of mind.
Reusable Water Bottle: To stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste.
Camera: Capture memories of your trip.
Travel Guidebook or Maps: Useful for exploring the area.
Spanish Phrasebook or Language App: Helpful for communication.
Reusable Shopping Bag: Reduce plastic usage while shopping.
Tamarindo offers a laid-back beach vibe, so pack light and prioritize comfortable clothing and beach essentials. Don't forget to check the weather forecast for your specific travel dates to make any necessary adjustments to your packing list.
Fun Fact: Tamarindo is not only an awesome beach destination for swimming, surfing and all around fun, but it is also surrounded by national park, estuary and wildlife reserve.