A Weekend Escape In Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Our first visit to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, wasn’t necessarily a memorable one. We were staying at nearby Playa Grande to witness the giant leatherback turtles that come to shore to lay their eggs. We needed an ATM, so we took a small boat across the croc-infested estuary separating Tamarindo from Playa Grande, got some cash, went to dinner and then headed right back to Playa Grande once more.

So after a year and a half of living in Costa Rica, we decided it was time to finally visit one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. And we can say that we were pleasantly surprised with just how much we loved Tamarindo and the surrounding coastline!

 

Introducing Tamarindo

 

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a popular surf town in Guanacaste. It’s one of the most developed beach towns in all of Costa Rica, so there’s no shortage of restaurants, parties and hotels. We visited during “green” season, which we would recommend if you’re not keen on sharing the beach with tons of other tourists.

Guanacaste is also Costa Rica’s driest region. We’ve heard it can get quite hot and dusty during the dry months—another great reason to visit the region during the shoulder season. We were lucky in that it didn’t rain once during the entire weekend we were in Tamarindo!

One of the things we loved the most about Tamarindo is that it’s just one small town surrounded by stunning beaches, national parks, and other attractions. If you’re traveling by rental car, it’s easy to get off the beaten track and explore some of Costa Rica’s best-hidden gems—while still enjoying the “creature comforts” in Tamarindo (like renowned restaurants and luxurious condos.)

 

What To Do In Tamarindo

 

Tamarindo
 

-Surf

It’s all about surfing in Tamarindo. There are breaks for both beginners and more experienced surfers, and you’ll have no shortage of shops and surf schools from which to rent boards or take lessons. Dan was out on the waves every morning and had a blast.

 

-Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday there’s a small farmer’s market with a good selection of organic produce, a few food vendors, and a generous number of local artisans selling their products. It’s a fun place to mingle with expats who live in the area and get a sense of the community.

 

-Live Music and Parties

All we really did in downtown Tamarindo was eat and surf. However, just about every night, there was live music, dancing and drinks somewhere in town.

 

-Zip line

Just about every tourist destination in Costa Rica has a zip line, and Tamarindo is no exception. Try Pura Aventura Canopy Tour or Congo Trail Canopy Tour.

 

-Explore The Surrounding Area

Playa Conchal Costa Rica
 

As we mentioned above, the highlight of our weekend escape to Tamarindo was checking out the many nearby beaches. The coastline is gorgeous, and you don’t have to go far to stumble upon secluded coves or local beach towns.

Our favorite beach was renowned Playa Conchal. Instead of sand, this gorgeous white beach is comprised of millions of shells. It’s a unique little spot to search for shells, swim in the crystal-clear water, or rent jet skis. Of course, you can also just sip a cold coconut and enjoy the view. This is one of the few beaches we’ve been to in Costa Rica that reminded us a bit of the Caribbean. Be sure to walk up the hill on the right-hand side of the beach for a sweeping view.

 

Playa Conchal Costa Rica
Sugar Beach
Salinas Point
 

Where To Stay

 

We were invited to stay in a lovely two-bedroom oceanview condominium with Blue Moon Costa Rica. We can easily say that we adored everything about the property. We love staying in furnished apartments and condos while we travel, and this property, in particular, had everything we could have wanted—and then some. While the only cooking we did was brewing a pot of coffee, it was nice to have a fully equipped kitchen, including a great outdoor grill.

 

Blue Moon Tamarindo Costa Rica
Blue Moon Tamarindo Costa Rica
Blue Moon Tamarindo Costa Rica
 

I especially loved the outdoor patio, which was perfect for catching up on some emails while enjoying the spectacular view and refreshing ocean breezes.

 

Blue Moon Tamarindo Costa Rica
 

This particular condo was located just a few minutes outside of downtown Tamarindo on Playa Langosta. This was another pro for us as we could easily hop downtown for dinner without trading in any peace and quiet. Blue Moon Costa Rica has numerous condos in the Tamarindo area, so we recommend getting in touch with them to explain exactly what your travel group is looking for.

 

Where To Eat

 

Patacones
 

We did a lot of eating while we were in Tamarindo. The best restaurants are a bit expensive, but the cuisine is well worth the price tag. Here were our favorites:

Bamboo Sushi Club: We love sushi, so whenever we can find a restaurant in Costa Rica that’s got a bit of selection, we’re there. The sushi and sake did not disappoint, and we loved the atmosphere. Arrive early to take advantage of the 2×1 mojitos.

Lola’s: This gem is located on Avellanas Beach, also called “Little Hawaii.” It’s a fun beach bar with great drinks and food and a fun laid back atmosphere. Be sure to meet Lolita, the restaurant’s resident pig.

 

Lolita the pig
 

Patagonia Argentinian Grill: You’ll want a reservation because this place is always packed. Great Argentinian and Italian cuisine, though the service could be improved.

Breakfast Grinds: Great brunch spot with a view of Tamarindo Beach. Dan loved their biscuits in gravy. I can vouch for the Bloody Marys.

Of course, there are also some sodas and spots for local cuisine, but since we were on a “staycation” in Costa Rica, we splurged on some of the food we can’t find locally where we live. If you’re just visiting, though, be sure to try some of the local cuisine we mention in this guide to traveling in Costa Rica.

 

We certainly understand the appeal of Tamarindo. A fun beach town, close to the International airport, with all the amenities you could want and secluded beaches just a short hop away…what’s not to love?

 

Have you visited Tamarindo? What did you think?

 

A huge thank you to Blue Moon Costa Rica for inviting us to review their stellar condos in Tamarindo!

 

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The Perfect Weekend Escape To Tamarindo Costa Rica

 

Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

10 Comments

  1. I liked Tamarindo when I visited back in 2012, but I would never say it’s my favorite place and may never go back. It’s a bit overly touristy for me and more expensive. I enjoy the places where you find more local, unAmericanized dishes, hostels and bars. If you haven’t been to Jaco yet, skip it. Go towards the mountains to Monteverde and enjoy the cloud forest 😊 Nice article, guys!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kollin! Dan and I actually live near San Isidro, so we must agree that we love experiencing the authentic Tico towns, too! Tamarindo was a refreshing escape for us, though! We loved this town, especially with the nice surfing conditions! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Tamarindo is beautiful , sea , mountains , I like the scenery here , promised to come here once

    Reply
  3. Wonderful to read your impressions. I lived in Tama full-time for 3 years. The tourism kept life exciting, week in / week out. Amazing cohesive, supportive community of ‘locals’ – summer camp for life! Pura Vida.

    Reply
  4. ohhhh it looks so warm! It’s freezing in Melbourne right now!

    Reply
  5. Wow such a great beach in Tamarindo, Costa Rica I almost excited to go there.

    Reply

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