Tamarindo Beach

The Tamarindo area is one of the most popular destinations for tourists who want to enjoy the tropical beach experience. Although the town itself has a resident population of (maybe) around 3500 people, that number can reach 6000 at the height of tourist season. Tamarindo and the surrounding area have plenty to offer the visitor. The beaches are (relatively) white, the water (relatively) clear and the surfing good. You will find all of the usual attractions of a Costa Rica beach town: ATV tours, diving, canopy tours, horseback riding, sport fishing, sailing, golf, canopy tours and more.

Like any good tourist destination, it has plenty of restaurants, bars, discos, hotels and souvenir shops. There are also the usual shops you’ll find in any small town in Costa Rica… supermarkets, hair dressers, bakeries, internet cafes, and a hardware store. If you want to stay in luxury there are plenty of options, especially in the Playa Langosta area. If your budget is more limited you will still find affordable options.

Tamarindo is in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, which is the driest part of Costa Rica. In the dry season, which runs from approximately late November to May, you will seldom see any rain at all. Even in the wet season, there will be some sunshine, although it generally clouds up in the afternoons and rains for an hour or so, sometimes quite fiercely. But if you’re like me, you will enjoy the nice little break and either watch the rain from some nice dry location or, my favorite, take a nap to the sound of the rain falling on the roof. Ah….

Tamarindo has its own airport, and there are flights from San Jose, which will get you there pronto, or you can fly into the Liberia International airport. Tamarindo is just a little over an hour away by bus or car/taxi. The bus from San Jose takes about 5 and a half hours. Tamarindo is also not far from several nature preserves, among them the Diria wildlife refuge and Marino Las Baulas National Park.

If this sounds like paradise to you, a few words of caution are in order. Violent crime is infrequent but not unheard of. Property crimes, especially grab and go theft is something that happens much more often. Never leave anything unattended, even for a short time. Tourists have reported just dipping in and out of the water to find their clothes and other belongings gone. The local police won’t be of much help, if what I have been reading is true, and I suspect it is. One other thing of caution, the water near the town has had problems with local businesses discharging contaminants into the water. The situation has improved recently, but you might want to talk to the locals before going for a swim close to town.

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