On the northern Pacific coast of Coasta Rica sits the popular town of Tamarindo. Aptly named “Tamagringo” as it’s the most developed town on the Nicoya peninsula and a popular tourist destination for people of all ages. There’s a wide range of accommodations, from hostels and cheap guesthouses to long term condo rentals and upper scale hotels, as well as huge selection of restaurants and bars. Tamarindo does have a bit of reputation as a party town, but it’s also a great place to get your bearings, relax on the beach and maybe try your hand at surfing.
Tamarindo beach is very “west coast” with golden sand and rougher, cooler waters. Hotels and condos line the beach, but there are still plenty of access points for the public, which is always appreciated. I’d encourage you to take advantage of this more developed area of Costa Rica by enjoying happy hour while watching the amazing sunsets on the beach.
The waters at the shore are shallow and great for kids, but the waves are also perfect for newby surfers. For adults who want to take advantage of adventurous Costa Rica there’s sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling and horseback riding available as well. And just north of Tamarindo is the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, where you can take night tours to see leatherback turtles come to shore to lay their eggs.
If you follow the beach to right you’ll hit an estuary that separates Playa Tarmarindo from Playa Grande. You can pay a dollar to take a boat across and visit a beach that, even though it’s so close, is very different.
To get to Tamarindo the nearest airport in Liberia is about a 50 minute drive or four to five hours from San Jose. I’d say the best way to get there is to book a shuttle bus service like Interbus or Costa Rica Shuttle you can book online and they’ll pick you up at your door and get you to your destination as quickly as the roads and weather will allow.