Tamarindo is a sun-drenched beach town fringed by gold-sand beaches and lush tropical forests. While the town is famous for its laid-back surf culture and lively nightlife, it’s also a fantastic place to experience the unique wildlife and incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica.
Things to do in Tamarindo
Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge protects a unique ecosystem of beaches, mangroves and tropical forests. Kayak tours take you deep into the maze of mangrove canals. As you explore, watch for crocodiles basking on the muddy banks and howler monkeys swinging through the treetops.
Playa Tamarindo is the town’s signature beach and is a great place to sunbathe, swim and surf. Relax under the shade of a palm tree or rent a board and make a splash in the waves. Playa Langosta promises a quieter scene and is fringed by leafy almond trees. Across the estuary, Playa Grande is an important nesting site for leatherback turtles while rolling waves make it popular with experienced surfers.
Tamarindo boasts some of the best restaurants in the country, with options for every occasion. Get a health fix at plant-based cafes, satisfy your appetite at American-style burger bars and mix things up at the popular El Mercadito open-air food hall strung with twinkling fairy lights. Romantic beachside restaurants are the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. On Saturday mornings, the local market attracts growers from across Guanacaste Province.
Tamarindo knows how to party and offers some of the best nightlife in Costa Rica. Whether you’re looking for relaxed sunset cocktails, live music, DJ sets or reggaeton beats, you’ll find it in Tamarindo.
Getting around Tamarindo
Tamarindo is compact and easy to get around on foot. Public “lancha” boats are the best way to travel across the estuary. The town is in Guanacaste Province, a five-hour drive from San Jose. Liberia Guanacaste Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away and Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose is a 4.5-hour drive away.