Just a short ride away from Liberia Airport, Tamarindo is a great first stop for a Costa Rica vacation. Tamarindo has earned its nickname of “Gringorindo” by providing numerous dining and party options to the many tourists that flock to its gorgeous beaches and sunsets. Whether you are looking to shake off jet lag on a sun drenched beach before continuing your journey or if you are looking for an easy surfing holiday Tamarindo Costa Rica has a lot to offer.
To read about how we visited 5 cities in 2 weeks in Costa Rica click here.
What to do in Tamarindo Costa Rica
The expat crowd has turned Tamarindo into a mini San Diego. There are a lot of options for renting surf boards and the prices are reasonable. The main surf spot is right across the beach from Witch’s Rock and Volcano Brewing Co.
There is a palatable party vibe in this otherwise laidback town. Every bar has a happy hour and there is surly a DJ spinning the night away no mater what time the dancing bug bites you. That being said the main draw to Tamarindo is the beach and it almost feels like the bars, clubs and hostels are forcing it a bit.
The beach in Tamarindo is hot and perfect to catch a nice bronze. Being on the West Coast it also has wonderful sunsets. Grab a happy hour beer and enjoy.
Where to Eat in Tamarindo
As the nickname would imply, bar food is the name of the game in Tamarindo. We did find a few exceptions that were really great.
Waffle Monkey- This place is right in the sand and serves up delicious creations that will instantly give you diabetes and a huge smile. It is a waffle lover’s dream come true.
Nogui’s– Basic pancakes but their colorful chairs are steps from the water.
Witch’s Rock also has some good bar food right on the sand. Try the huge nachos!
El Mercadito Food Truck Park– This place is rad! There are a ton of great options here and when we visited there was even a live band and dancing! We got sushi at Asian Fusion Bistro and it was pretty good. Next time I would get the poke bowl at Ohana Poke which looked fantastic.
Where to Stay in Tamarindo
After our great experience with Selina in San Juan Del Sur we decided to try their property in Tamarindo. Given our last minute booking (we did it while on our flight to Costa Rica) the hostel worked out fine. The location is good and our dorm was cheap and nice enough. They did have a DJ and fire twirling party until late one night but nothing that a good pair of earplugs could not handle.
I got the impression that some of the hostels (including ours) were trying to hard to make Tamarindo more of a party place than it really is.
Plan Tamarindo as a quick rest after a flight and you might end up staying for weeks. The beaches, surf and overall laidback atmosphere are a perfect introduction to an amazing Costa Rica trip.
Want more information to plan your trip to Tamarindo Costa Rica? Check out the Costa Rica Lonely Planet here.