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Caribbean Beaches Guide – Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

By Angela Braun, GoGirlfriend correspondent

Beach 411 ~ Tamarindo Beach (Playa Tamarindo)

Northwest Pacific Coast

  • Beach type: Family oriented
  • Beach geography: Warm your toes in the white sand or cool them in the water on this long, wide stretch of land and sea. 3.5 kilometers minimize the feeling of crowdedness on busier days and shells in the sand make this beach great for shell searching. When swimming, be cautious of rocky areas that are only visible at low tide.
  • Ease of access: Cruise into Tamarindo Beach off of dirt road but watch where you park and be mindful not to leave any valuables in your vehicle. Tamarindo Beach is approximately 5 hours by vehicle from San José.
  • Extra costs: Receive an hour-long massage on the beach for $25 and sip a fresh coconut for only $2. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for daily rental.
  • Beach amenities: You’ll enjoy an array of places serving food and drink right on the beach as well as in the surrounding area.
  • Special note: Laidback, natural and multicultural
  • Geolocator: Where is Tamarindo Beach?

Tamarindo Bay Beach (courtesy Tamarindo Diria.com)Surfing & Sunsets by the Sea Shore

As you spot large iguanas, howler monkeys and parakeets with your travel companions, you’ll revel in the abundant nature and wildlife that surrounds you here on Playa Tamarindo. gorgeous sunsets to relax byBut tourists are just as abundant. While Tamarindo Bay is both a tourist and surfers’ destination, it’s also a sought-out destination for honeymoons and weddings, couples, singles and families and delightfully suited to eco-adventurers. Before you leave Tamarindo Beach, you’ll want to take at least one evening to witness one of the most special sunsets Costa Rica has to offer.

Tamarindo Bay activities

What should you do here? Surf, swim or perfect the art of relaxation as you stretch out and soak up the sun on Playa Tamarindo. Sit back and watch surfers as they tackle the waves year round or learn about one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites at Playa Grande. From mid-October to February, giant leatherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Night tours are available but spotting a nesting turtle can take hours – don’t forget to pack your patience.

Tamarindo Beach attractions

Go Adventures will keep you activeSpend a day horseback riding, zip-lining, rappelling, rock-climbing and whitewater rafting – then relax in a sauna and a hot spring following a volcano mud treatment when you tour with Go Adventures. Skim silently along the coast, warm your cheeks in the sun and peer off the bow for dolphins, flying fish and sea turtles – you might even have your breath taken away at the sight of a majestic whale when you take a Tamarindo Catamaran Tour with Marlin Del Rey. If you’re feeling adventurous, the fun and friendly staff at Iguana Surf Shop offer serious surfing lessons among kayak and ATV tours and much more.

Playa Tamarindo events

  • Guanacaste String Festival (January): At this electric music festival, you’ll enjoy jazz, rock, punk, folk, blues and traditional Guanacaste music played by international artists.
  • Robert August Surf & Turf (July): Take part in this charity golfing/surfing competition alongside Robert August and Robert “Wingnut” Weaver from the timeless surf movie “Endless Summer.”

Tamarindo Beach nightlife

It’s becoming a known fact that many tourists who visit Tamarindo for the wildlife stick around to soak up the nightlife. At Tamarindo’s hottest club, Aqua Discoteque, you’ll experience sociable staff, stiff drinks and great music – not to mention a balcony with beach views and a spacious dance floor. Located in the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, Crazy Monkey Bar has pool tables, two dance floors and live DJ’s throughout the week. Free drinks for the ladies are offered at Aqua Discoteque from 10 pm to midnight on Mondays and Friday is lady’s night at Crazy Monkey Bar. If a more casual bar scene is in your sights, we recommend Higher Ground and Hotel California in Manuel Antonio.

GoGirlfriend Tamarindo Bay hotel recommendations

Tamarindo Bay Boutique HotelTamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel: Just 100 meters from the center of town and 500 meters from the beach, you’ll find a smorgasbord of restaurants and bars. Book a room at the Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel overlooking the pool or the tropical gardens if a day visit just isn’t enough for you. Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel offers air conditioning, free Internet and a flat screen TV. Iguanas, birds and monkeys come free with the room. Visit Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel on Facebook and read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort: Features a large pool overlooking the ocean, 5 restaurants, 4 bars, a spa and a casino. Premium rooms feature garden, pool or ocean views, while all accommodations have seating areas, minibars and flat screen TVs. Play at the tennis courts and receive complementary discounts for their golf course just 2km away. Visit Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort on Facebook and read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Costa Rica's Hotel Arco IrisHotel Arco Iris: Stay in one of 12 contemporary style rooms and bungalows. Cool off with air conditioning or the outdoor pool and explore in their tropical gardens. Here, you’ll have access to free Internet, cable TV, a safe and a minibar. Shops, restaurants and nightlife are all within 5 minutes of the hotel on foot and Tamarindo Beach is a short 500 meter stroll away. Visit Hotel Arco Iris and read reviews on TripAdvisor.

the Hotel Luna LlenaHotel Luna Llena: Only 300 meters from the beach and complete with an Italian restaurant, Hotel Luna Llena has colorful rooms and bungalows with Mediterranean-style décor. Keep comfortable with the expected air conditioning, cable TV and free Internet. Choose between a garden or pool view and enjoy a kitchenette when you stay in a bungalow. Visit Hotel Luna Llena on Facebook and read reviews on TripAdvisor.

the Hotel MahayanaHotel Mahayana: Only a 5-minute walk away from the beach, Hotel Mahayana provides an economical option for budget travelers. It features air-conditioned rooms with free Internet and private terraces overlooking the communal hot tub. There is laundry service and a shared kitchen area where you can prepare your own meals. Visit Hotel Mahayana and read reviews on TripAdvisor.

For more hotel recommendations throughout Tamarindo we recommend visiting TamarindoBeachInfo.com.

Tamarindo Beach weather

Costa Rica's weather trendExpect consistent heat and dryness from November to April with slightly lower temperatures during the night. The beach areas have a fairly steady year round temperature with daytime highs averaging in the upper 80s to lower 90s and nighttime lows averaging most commonly in the upper 70s. If you visit between May and October you can expect daily showers.

For more information or help planning your next Costa Rica getaway, visit:

Read our other Costa Rica beach guides:

Ever been to Tamarindo Bay in Costa Rica? We'd love hear what you love about it! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let's continue the conversation!

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