Top 5 things to do in Tamarindo

photo by Jarle Naustvik

Tamarindo is the most perfect little tropical paradise in Costa Rica, which is no easy feat in a country known for its lush beauty and warm climate. This smallish town is not the kind of place where you can wader in and out of museums for days, nor a nightlife capital, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things to do here. The town is near some of the most spectacular beaches in Costa Rica, it is surrounded by rainforests and it has a great variety of amazing restaurants and craft shops where you can buy souvenirs. Here are top 5 things to do in Tamarindo, one of the best destinations in Costa Rica.


The warm waters near Tamarindo and the good weather have made the town a mecca for surfers of all skill levels. You don’t have to be a pro surfer in order to be able to catch some waves on the beaches of Tamarindo. However, so many people surf in Tamarindo that it can be quite crowded during the day – if you prefer to avoid the throngs you should go to the beach in the late afternoon or evening.


photo by Tostie14

Despite probably not getting along with the surfers due to competing interests, amateur fishers will love Tamarindo. The town has a sports fishing fleet, and you can try your hand at deep water fishing or reef and shoreline fishing. Most people are in for the sports fishing, but you can also catch your dinner if you want: marlin, sailfish, giant tuna, which you can have cooked at the beachfront restaurants.


Despite its small size, Tamarindo is a great destination for foodies. For breakfast you can try the German or French bakeries in town, and cafes that sell both locals specialties, Caribbean food, or North American classics. There are many excellent seafood restaurants where you can taste the day’s catch, but if you want to taste some authentic local cuisine, you’ll notice that many locals sell homemade food at lunchtime for really affordable prices.


photo by on Flickr

Tamarindo’s nightlife might not be as diverse or rowdy as San Jose’s, but there are several nice venues in town where you can dance or drink tropical cocktails. The Monkey Bar has both a live band and a DJ, so you can pick whichever type of music you prefer, while the nearby Aqua offers more typical club music. Head to the the Pacifico Bar for some reggae music and some pretty big dancing crowds.

Las Baulas National Park

Las Baulas National Park is only a short ride from Tamarindo, and it is one of the places where the giant leatherback turtle comes to lay its eggs. You can see hundreds turtles nesting from October to February on Playa Grande, and the baby turtles usually hatch 40-45 days later. Although the hatchlings begin their journey towards the sea at night, it’s not uncommon to see some late comers during the day too. Seeing this miracle of nature is definitely in the top 5 things to do in Tamarindo!

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