Tamarindo Travel Guide

  • Blue Dolphin Catamarans - Happy Girls (2009)
    Blue Dolphin Catamarans - Happy Girls...
    by Kaspian
  • Tamarindo Beach
    Tamarindo Beach
    by Canadian_Traveler
  • Tamarindo
    by jenn_d

Tamarindo Highlights

  • Pro
    jkirincich profile photo

    jkirincich says…

     World class surfing, good nightlife 

  • Con
    jenn_d profile photo

    jenn_d says…

     Not the "inexpensive "destination that it once was 

  • In a nutshell
    domerta profile photo

    domerta says…

     Great value if you are willing to travel over bumby roads to get there. 

Tamarindo Things to Do

  • Getting Lost

    My friend and I were going to meet here. But be careful because I guess there are two places with the same name. He finally found me after a long journey. We swam in the fas-fluorescents and slept in hammocks it was awesome!

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  • Estuary Tour, Kayak, and Surf

    There is a great little island just a kayak ride away from Playa Tamarindo. You can easily see it from the beach and it is a great little workout and you get some sun. Once you get to the island you can snorkel or explore...or even lay out. There are loads of conch shells and what looked like volcanic rock. It is typically vacant and we had the...

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  • Iguana Surf: Shop and School

    After only a 15-minute lesson on the beach, the instructor from Iguana Surf has me up on the board in the water and riding my first ever wave all the way to shore. "Wow," I think to myself, "surfing is so easy!" That was the first wave. ...By the third, my arms feel like spaghetti noodles and I can hardly even use them to stand up on the surfboard...

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Tamarindo Hotels

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Tamarindo Restaurants

  • Dont miss the Israeli food

    Me ans my family invite who ever is in tamarindo to experience a real Mediterranean /Israeli real food !! we cook all the traditional food everything from scratch and fresh every day even the pitas we bake ourselves we serve humus , falafel, kabab, babaganush, shawarma, chopped salad, and much more this is a really good place for veterinarians and...

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  • Looks great but they're so RUDE!

    The Langosta Beach Club in Tamarindo has a bright cheerful sign on the beach advertising “Beach Bistro!” “Pool!” “Happy Hour!”It looked great, so we went inside and ordered a delicious poolside dinner, served by friendly, attentive French chefs. It was an expensive but lovely meal in a beautiful setting looking out over Tamarindo Beach.BUT…Having...

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  • The best Steakhouse and Pasta in...

    I spend the Christmas with my family in Tamarindo and we descovered a new restaurant Las Brasas, it's a rustic style whit wood-grill in a natural enviroments.They have a lot of cut of meat and chiken, the chef is Italian and his Pasta is fantastic.We hate here some time,becouse the meat is good and the pasta is perfet, with all Italian ingredients....

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Tamarindo Nightlife

  • Local bands jam at Pasatiempo on Tuesday...

    Tuesday nights the Yucca Bar at the Hotel Pasatiempo hosts an open mike night featurnig local bands that play mostly covers of everything from The Clash to Aretha Franklin, to Santana.You can expect several hundred people to be there with a good sized line of people waiting to get in! Be sure to wear your good sandles

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  • girls and bottles in the middle of...

    there are plenty of bars in tamarindo and i think we went to every one. But the only i would say is Jersey style was the only club there called Aqua. They gave us bottles for only $125.we got on the stripper poles and have videos to prove it. The local girls get up on the bar and pour free booze in your mouth total spring break style. Love it. Us...

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  • Tamarindo wildlife

    Where-ever there's a live band playing the whole town goes to party. Each night, a different place. I attended a couple. At the Monkey Bar on friday nights at the Best western, and at my hotel, the Pasatiempo on Tuesdays. Anything goes! :) Anything goes again! :)

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Tamarindo Transportation

  • Xplore Costa Rica Tours & Transportation

    We just got back from a wonderful 2 weeks in Tamarindo. We used the services of Denise & Paul with Xplore Costa Rica and we can't say enough good about them. They helped us from before our arrival with immediate email response; the airport pickup and tours (Palo Verde - ATV Canopy Combo - Fishing and Sunset Sailing). They were always on time,...

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  • Rent a car 4 sure!

    Make sure you rent a car while in town. Even though you have everything right there in town you'll want to explore the surrounding province. There are so many awesome beaches just within a short car drive. Spend the days exploring other local towns and come back to all the action at night. There are several local car agencies but the only American...

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  • Local Airlines

    There are two small local airlines that will fly directly into Tamarindo. The first is Nature Air and the second is SANSA Regional. They both have webiste you can book reservations for in advance. Don't expect big planes though. They are usually 6-10 seater plane. That in itself is a fun experience. They fly direct from San Jose and will save you a...

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Tamarindo Shopping

  • Beach clothes shopping and getting a...

    I took a surf lesson from Secret Spot Surf Division and was really pleased not only with my lesson (I can surf now!!!), but with the content inside the shop. It wasn't just a "Surf Shop" with boards you can rent and such, but a really cool clothing and accessory store. They had brands from all over the world, including Hurley, Redley, Vans, Sanuk,...

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  • Durable, Usable Pottery in Costa Rica

    Visit the studio and gallery of porcelain potter, Martha Cooper Mays.Located on Playa Junquillal, next to Hotel Iguanazul, producing functional tableware and home decorating items. All are made on the potter's wheel, each is unique, "one of a kind" and all related in brilliant colors a flowing hand painted theme.All made from durable, chip...

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  • Otherwise, Skip the Souveneirs

    With the exception of the Alegria handmade soap shop, there is nothing in Tamarindo that cannot be bought at the airport or at home for less. The prices here are outrageous.We stopped at grocery store in San Jose on our way home and bought the same coffee and salsas being sold in Tamarindo for 70% less. For example, one pound of coffee in Tamarindo...

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Tamarindo Local Customs

  • Exit Fee

    Costa Rica charges a $26 pp exit fee at the airport. You will not be able to check in for your departing flight without receipt for this tax. A good idea might be to pay the fee in the terminal when you arrive as it is one less thing you'll need to worry about on your day of departure.

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  • and a line...

    and fishing is done with the old method of throwing a line with hook and no rod plunging yourself into water...

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  • Tamarindo Hotels

    40 Hotels in Tamarindo

    25 Reviews and Opinions

Tamarindo Warnings and Dangers

  • RIP TIDES!!!

    Sure..it looks peaceful from the surface but novice swimmers should proceed with caution. According to locals, the safest area for swimming is in front of Capitan Suizo. While we there, a young Aussie tourist had gone missing in the surf. He ws still missing when we departed.

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  • Too much development and construction in...

    After visiting Tamarino last year we were horrified with all the changes since our last visit. Lots of construction and new buildings – mostly 5-6 story luxury condominiums, a pizza hut, subway sandwich, TCBY yogurt and a Burger King! Walking around town requires dodging the trucks hauling construction equipment and choking on their dust clouds. We...

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  • Watch Out For Aligators

    While we only saw one, aligators are present in this area and breed not far from this resort. During our stay we did see one small aligator swimming in the ocean right were we were the day before. They are very hard to spot and look like a stick floating in the water. Keep your eyes peeled and be alert as they will bite!

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Tamarindo Tourist Traps

  • Jase1177's Profile Photo

    by Jase1177 Updated Sep 30, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I fell into the trap of having to pay too much for souvenirs in Tamarindo. Of the places I stayed in Costa Rica (San Jose, La Fortuna, Monteverde, & Tamarindo), the souvenir prices were much more expensive in Tamarindo than in the others (I would say at least 25% higher). I walked into virtually every souvenir shop in town to compare prices so I could find something on par with what I saw elsewhere, but didn't succeed.

    I didn't really buy anything in the other towns because I knew Tamarindo was going to be my final stay before leaving the country. I wish I would have bought more of the same exact items in Monteverde at cheaper prices (even though Monteverde is very touristy).

    The only plus I saw here was the higher variety of ceramics than in the others towns. I did find a couple small items that I felt were worth the price.

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    • Budget Travel

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Tamarindo What to Pack

  • NCGabrielle's Profile Photo

    by NCGabrielle Written Aug 5, 2007

    Luggage and bags: it's pretty expensive here... bring an umbrella during the rainy season and ALWAYS bring a flashlight... its good to have at night for the roads... so you dont step in potholes... and during the rainy season so you dont step into a RIVER hahah...

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: depending on how nice your hotel is... bring flipflops you can take a shower in just incase... bring sneakers for the tours... LIGHT clothing... no thick shirts... flowy skirts are a good idea...

    Photo Equipment: little cameras at the store are expensive... bring digital camera and go to Mr. Tom's and get them put on a CD to store them.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: dont bring a beach towel just buy one here... we got one for $8 and its also something to have for a souvenier!!!

    Miscellaneous: :) bring bathingsuit... duh! ;)

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Tamarindo Off The Beaten Path

  • Experience a Real Rodeo Coasta Rican...

    While at the Tamarindo, Diria Resort I found out from one of the waiters that there was to be a 3 day local rodeo that is mostly attended by the locals. So for a $5 taxi ride I decided to go on one of the days. This was a real treat to see. Upon arrival it looked like a mini carnival with bumber car rides for the kids, a beer tent and several...

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  • Southern Beaches

    The Nicoya Penninusla offers beach after beach of unspoiled coastline. Tamarindo is the most developed of the beach towns and it takes but a short ride north or south to stumble across less touristy areas. We went to Playa Avellanas because the current at Tamarindo was unusually strong for swimming and begining surfing.Avellanas also has a...

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Tamarindo Sports & Outdoors

  • Scuba Dive

    Scuba Diving is great in the North West portion of Costa Rica. I highly recommend using Playa Tamarindo as your base camp for scuba diving. I did a lot of research while I was there and the best dive shop I found was in Playa Flamingo which is only 15 minutes away by car or they will pick you up. The place is called Aqua Center Diving and is a Padi...

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  • Surfing at Tamrindo and Playa Granded...

    The beaches along this part of the Nicoya peninsula have a very gradual rise from the sandy sea bed onto the heaps of sand on the beach. Behind the beaches, and separating the two beaches is a estuary and dry marshland. The beaches create a gentle curve along a several mile long stretch. Like any good surf spot on the Pacific Ocean, the waves can...

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  • SURFING TRIP

    Playa Langosta : Right and left river mouth break. Works well on big swells. Breeding ground of the giant sea turtles. Playa Tamarindo: Right hand point and a right and left river mouth break. 5 minutes by car or 15 minutes walking ocks, not for beginners. • Pico Pequeño: rights and lefts in a sand bottom, small size swell. • Pico...

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Tamarindo Favorites

  • Dental Emergency

    I was learning how to surf in Tamarindo....... and of course I fell ( like most of the time) I hit the board with my face and I broke my front tooth, this was on a saturday afternoon, my local friend Carlos took me bleeding an d crying to a cople of dental clinics, but they were closed for the weekend he called several times and no one answered the...

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  • Gorgeous Sunsets

    Many of the tips I read on Tamarindo included the sunsets. I made sure that I watched a sunset to see what it was like in person. I was not disappointed in the least!!! You must take the time to watch a sunset on the Playa Tamarindo. Whether you do at one of the many restaurants or bars or just sitting on the beach, you will not forget the dazzling...

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  • All who wander are not lost

    Almost everyone who lives in Tamarindo knows a guide who will show you around the country side or arrange a day trip for you. All guides are not created equal. The guide who took us to Buena Vista was less than enthusiastic while the son of our house manager was full of character and national pride. While driving south he was constantly scanning...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Tamarindo
Best Food in Tamarindo!
Restaurants
Fresh Baked Goodies!
Restaurants
Disappointing
Restaurants
Not the best at all
Restaurants
Blue Dolphin Catamarans: Sunset and Snorkel Sail
Things to Do
Basilico Catering Service
Restaurants
Surf Lessons & Surfboard Rentals
Things to Do
Truly friendly place in Tamarindo
Things to Do
Tamarindo not worth visiting
Things to Do
Take a siesta at Etc.
Restaurants
Surf with the Banana Surf Club
Things to Do
eco adventure
Things to Do
Tico food @ tico prices
Restaurants
A taste of home
Restaurants
Great Tico, Italian, & Lebanese @ great prices
Restaurants
Walk Around...
Things to Do
Great Place!!!
Restaurants
Fun place to eat!
Restaurants
Yummy.
Restaurants
Good Breakfast!
Restaurants
Friday Nights
Nightlife
Tamarindo Cigars
Nightlife
Kahiki...Good Times, Great Food
Restaurants
Viewing the Leatherback Turtle Nesting
Things to Do
if it's busy, don't go
Restaurants
Learn How to Surf Like a Pro
Things to Do
Local Hospitality
Restaurants
always something to do
Nightlife
Must see beach - Playa Conchal
Things to Do
Eat fresh seafood
Restaurants
Scuba Dive the Catalina Islands
Things to Do
Eat local pastries
Things to Do
Horseback riding on the beach.
Things to Do
Hanging out at the beach
Things to Do
Drinking cold beer on the beach at 10am!
Things to Do
Alfaro bus from San Jose
Transportation
Relax on the chairs in front of Copacabana
Things to Do
Big ass nachos and other eats
Restaurants
Our Favorites
Restaurants
Best Western ATM surcharge - big bucks!
Warnings and Dangers
Map of Tamarindo

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