Tamarindo is the most developed beach on the Nicoya Peninsula and one of Costa Rica’s best-known surf spots. The surfer mecca in the bay of Tamarindo has a funky bohemian vibe and offers one of the best nightlife scenes and international quality restaurants of Costa Rica.
Located only a 1-hour drive away from the international airport of Liberia, Tamarindo is also easily accessible from North American and European cities.
With an assortment of excellent beaches extending to both sides of Tamarindo the bustling beach town is a strategic location for exploring Guanacaste’s sun-kissed coastline.
The beaches of Tamarindo
The closest beach sits right in front of the town center: Playa Tamarindo is a broad sandy beach, perfect for swimming and surfing. Playa Tamarindo is backed by beach restaurants and lounge bars from where you have front row view to the surf or can watch the sun set behind the fishing boats and the small islet of Isla Capitán.
To the north of Tamarindo the Rio Matapalo empties into the bay of Tamarindo. Across the river lies » Playa Grande, a long ribbon of white sand beach, that curls away until the promontory of Cabo Velas, the most western point of the Nicoya Peninsula.
To the south of Tamarindo, around a rocky headland, you get to Playa Langosta, a vast swathe of white sand beach, divided by the estuary of the Rio San Francisco.
The estuaries of the Rio Matapalo and Rio San Francisco present large mangrove forests which shelter a variety of water birds, crabs and other animals. The estuaries and the beaches of Langosta and Playa Grande are protected wildlife refuges, belonging to the Las Baulas National Park.
The town of Tamarindo
In 1994 the surf cult movie “Endless Summer II” starred Tamarindo’s surf breaks, scenic beaches and pura vida lifestyle. The movie attracted the surfing nomads and nature seekers to the secret beach spot and only a couple of years later Tamarindo evolved into a lively town.
Today Tamarindo offers all kind of tourist services. There is a good many of surf, fashion and specialty shops, well-assorted supermarkets, banks, car and ATV rentals, tour operators, beauty parlors and health services.
The new residents from all parts of the world established European bakeries and delicatessen, and for dining you find some of Costa Rica’s finest restaurants in Tamarindo.
While Tamarindo caters well for the well-off travelers, it also offers an astonishing range of good hostels and hotels to suit all budgets and tastes.