Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo Map

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Located on the northwestern Pacific coast, Tamarindo is a bustling surf town with pristine beaches, unique shops, and delicious restaurants. The beach at Tamarindo is part of a bay formed by Cabo Velas with Playa Langosta just a few miles to the south.

The town is located about 40 minutes from Liberia, and about a 5-hour drive or one-hour domestic flight from San Josť, making it a popular beach destination. Don't worry, the town still maintains its Tico charm and the locals are friendly and helpful.

History & Culture

Tamarindo was founded as a fishing village but today is known for its surfing and sportfishing. The pace of life here is slow despite its popularity, and it is a fantastic destination for anyone looking to have a good time.

Playa Langosta, just to the south of Tamarindo, is a protected nesting area for the giant leatherback turtle and is part of the Costa Rican national park system. Both Playa Langosta and Tamarindo feature a number of delicious restaurants and a busy nightlife.

Lodging & Dining

If you like the cozy feel of a bed and breakfast, but can't live without the amenities offered in a full-service resort, then you will love either Capitan Suizo or Cala Luna, both located between Playa Langosta and Tamarindo.

If it's luxury you seek, try either Reserva Conchal or the all-inclusive Paradisus Playa Conchal located just to the north of Tamarindo.

The family-friendly Barcelo Playa Langosta is another all-inclusive option located in Playa Langosta. Finally, if you love to be in the heart of all the action, but still crave comfort, then try either Tamarindo Diria or Jardín del Edén both located in the middle of Tamarindo.

Tamarindo and Playa Langosta have no shortage of fantastic restaurants. For a quick meal during the day, don't miss the giant plate of nachos at Witches Rock Surf Camp. For a quick meal at night, try Firefly BBQ, owned by an expat from the southern U.S. Be sure to get there early because when it's gone, it's gone!

For more upscale dining in Tamarindo, both Dragonfly (International/Fusion) and Restaurant Zully Mar (Costa Rican/Seafood) are favorites and consistently please with fantastic cuisine. If you are staying near Playa Langosta or you make the short trek over for dinner, do not miss the delicious local food prepared at Maria Bonita (Costa Rican). Taboo (International/Fusion) is another great Playa Langosta restaurant which is also open for lunch.


Tamarindo has plenty to see and do with a little something for everyone. Fantastic shops can be found in town featuring a number of handcrafted goods as well as delicious Costa Rican coffee. You can also take a trip to the village of Guaitil, where members of the Chorotega indigenous group create handcrafted pottery in the ancient tradition of their ancestors.

For more active endeavors, try a snorkeling or SCUBA diving trip to one of several sites with excellent undersea life. Sea kayaking to a local mangrove estuary is another great way to experience the Pacific coastline.

Of course, the area is best known for its surfing and sportfishing, and your trip to Tamarindo wouldn't be complete without attempting at least one of these local favorites.

Other great options include horseback riding, canopy tours, hiking in nearby national parks and wildlife areas. Also, turtle viewing is available from December to March when the Leatherback Sea Turtles come to the area to nest.

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