This is one of our favorite places. Not just, oh that was a fun trip. It was more like when can we move? Our first time was a a very laid back trip. We stayed in a hostel that was surrounded with monkey families, spent our days surfing, and the nights chowing down tacos and guacamole, and enjoying the shopping and bars in town. We fell in love with it's laid back lifestyle. We recently went back with my family and partook in a very adventurous tour! Although I would consider this city has a younger vibe it is perfect for singles, couples, families or retirees. It was the perfect way to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer.
Where to stay:
- Hostels - There are many hostels to choose from in this small town as it is a meca for young travelers. We personally stayed in Hostel Chocolate in a private room. This hostel had it's own pool, and was surrounded with monkeys, and was very inexpensive.
- Air Bnb - When traveling with a group of 6 it can be hard to figure out where to stay. We were fortunate enough to find 3 bed/2 bath condo right in the heart of the city that had a shared pool and was a short walk to the beach. Not to mention is was very affordable.
- Hotel - Capitan Suizo is a boutique hotel right on the beach known for it's howler monkeys on property. Besides the monkeys it's a generally a quiet hotel. It has a beach front restaurant right on property which is open for all meals, a spa, and you can even stay in your own bungalow.
What to do
- Surfing - Tamarindo is a great location to learn how to surf for around $20 a day - I recommend bringing, purchasing, or borrowing from the surf board rentals, a long sleeve surf shirt. This is not only to protect you from the sun, but also your surf board as it can cause rashes on your skin.
- Adventurous Tour - No Costa Rica trip is complete without an adventure. I recommend the Bueno Vista combo tour. It includes zip lining, horeback riding, white water rafting and hot springs and it's all done at a canyon just 1 hour away from Tamarindo. You can simply purchase these tours from the locals on the beach or through one of the many tour stands throughout the city. Or if you are a planner book it through your travel agent or online with Anywhere Costa Rica tour company.
- Turtle Nesting tours - The best time to see this is April - November. There are nighttime tours in which you can either witness the hard work the mother puts into digging her nest in the sand, or the hatching of the cute little baby turtles.
- Sunsets - Tamarindo has beautiful sunsets over the beach, grab a spot on one of the many restaurants located on the beach for your viewing pleasure.
- Shuttle or taxi - Tamarindo is approximately one hour from the Liberia Airport via shuttle which is approximately $20 per person but you can also use your bargaining skills.
- City bus - If you have the time and wanna go for a cheaper $2 option you can experience a little culture by taking the city bus. My husband and I did this the first time we went and it was kind of fun. It took about 2 hours on bumpy back roads, we were literally the only tourists, someone brought a chicken on the bus, but in the end we thought it was a really fun cultural experience getting to see all the little towns along the way untouched by tourists.
When to go
- Best time to travel: November - May
- Best value: June - October
Jenny Schultz is an Elite Service Agent for MLT Vacations and serves as the Officer of Events for the Minneapolis/St.Paul Millennials in Travel chapter. Jenny has visited over 45 countries and counting! Follow along on her own blog, Adventures Are Out There.