There are so many places that will set up a horse back riding tour for you. It cost about $40 per person for a 2 hour tour along the beach. You also have the option to ride through the forrest for a little bit trying to spot all the Howler Monkeys in the trees.
The best part about renting horses in a more underdevloped country is that they basiclly have no rules for you. The guide let us go where ever we wanted and he showed us how to run the horses at full speed along the water. Now that was an awesome experience but dang did it hurt the family jewels!
Tamarindo doesn't have the best looking beach in the whole area but its definately the most developed with all the ammenities you'll need on a vacation. Its a great place to hang out for the day with plenty of places to eat, drink, and sun bath.
There are so many other beaches withing a 15-30 minute drive away and some of them are the best looking in the entire country. I highly recommend renting a car for a couple days and visiting all the little beach towns across the province.
It gets HOT in Costa Rica and it's very important to keep hydrated at all times. That's why it's a good idead to drink lots of the local beers, Pilsen and Imperial. Grab a liter bottle from the store and drink it on the beach!
This is a restaurant in front of the beach right where the two main roads in town intersect. You can sit there and have some breakfast in the morning and then spend the morning lazing in one of the beach chairs that dot the front of the property and overlook the ocean. A waiter will come by every once in a while to see if he can grab you a drink!
If you're going to try surfing in Tamarindo I highly suggest heading out in the late afternoon (depending on the tide). The sun begins to set around 5:30 and it sets right on the horizon of the sea. I can't think of anything better to look out at while you're waiting for the perfect wave.
Of course, even if you're not surfing, sitting on the beach watching the sunset is a great passtime you'll want to experience every night in Tamarindo.
Snorkeling is a very popular activity at Tamarindo (aside from surfing) because it can be done by many people from the complete novice to seasoned veteran. There are quite a few services and prices in Tamarindo. My hotel offered information on a 6-hour tour complete with a luxury yacht, lunch, and cocktails for about $85/person. I chose to go with a less extravagant tour.
I stopped off at the Agua Rica shop in the shopping center in the center of the main road late in the afternoon and arranged for a tour the following morning at 8AM. The tour cost $45 for everything on a 3hour tour, including light refreshments. This company does scuba arrangements and classes as well. The snorkel crew was actually a sub-contractor from Mandingo Tours who offers sunset tours.
On the morning of the tour, I had to meet on the beach to wait for our guides. There is a point on the beach where all the boat tours meet because all the boats are anchored offshore since there are no docks. On my particular tour, there was one couple and myself, along with the driver and two guides (quite a good ratio!) We went out on a small boat (about 2-3times the size of a dingey). After about 30mins we stopped out the first location where we dove for about an hour. It was quite a sight with many beautiful fish, urchin, corral, turtles, and other smaller marine life. After we reboarded the boat, we went off to another location that had a larger selection of corral. Our guides definitely took time to show us unique creatures if they showed up, but left us to explore on our own. One of the guides brought up sea stars from the bottom and even found a porcupine fish (puffer fish or blow fish) to show us...the cute little thing even puffed up for us. The guides and driver quite friendly and knowledge about the area and the creatures living there.
I would definitely recommend taking the time to go out and snorkel for a few hours.
It is always a popular activity at any west-facing beach to watch the sunset. The sunsets at Tamarindo are gorgeous. It is nice to sit on the beach and just enjoy the view. There are several restaurants & bars that have a great view.
When the sign read "canopy tour", I envisioned a guided walk in which the guide would point out birds, monkeys, and foliage. Instead, I was quickly harnessed and strapped on a zip line to swing through the trees from one platform to another. It was a blast and even more so because it came as an unexpected surprise. Very safe and enjoyable!
Costa Rica is a well know surfers mecca. We were fortunate that our house managers son was an instructor. He spent the a morning showing us the ropes at Playa Avellana. He charged us $23 pp for transport to the beach, surfboard rental, surf lesson and a cooler of Imperials ~ the official beer of Costa Rica.
There are two surf shops in town which rent boards for as little as $10 a day.
There are plenty of opportunities for horseback riding through out the countryside. Our package at Buena Vista Lodge included a horseback ride to natural springs and mud baths near the base of a volcano.
Seems like every region of Costa Rica offers canopy tours in some form or another. We took the tour at the Buena Vista Lodge , about an hours drive from Liberia. Sailing above the forest with howler monkey screaming at me was an exhilirating experience to say the least. The tour started with a hike to a mountain top. A group of guides gave us instructions and strapped us into a gear. From there we slid down 10 cables strewn across the forest(some as high as 300 feet from the ground) until we reached the base of the mountain. If you are afraid of heights, this is not the activity for you. My palms were a bit sweaty on the first line or two but after that I just enjoyed the ride!
Do all your souvenor shopping in Tamarindo. The main street has plenty of shops for all your needs. The prices are very reasonable here, and so is the quality.
You can find anything related to surfing, t-shirt, tanks, masks, framed butterflies, etc.
You can try surfing in any capacity here. From boogie boards, to full boards, body surf, or take a lesson. It's all here.
The waves are not that big, and it looks like a good place to learn. Bring plenty of SPF! There is no shade on this beach. Unless it's cloudy.
Playa Tamarindo is a beautiful beach, right on the northwestern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. The town of Tamarindo is a small, fun surfing village with many fun shops and restaurants. Nice slow lifestyle to relax in for a few days.
and on this lovely beach, which is also a natural reserve, turtles nest and the little ones say hallo to the world but when I tried to book a tour, which unfortunately can only be guides, at the centre of turtles, all was booked also for the following six days... :-(...
for some more infos... anyway any tour operator on site offer you this too.
In the pic, Irena, a tourist met on the playa and me... thanks a lot to her for having sent me this pic and to her husband for having taken it!.