Things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica's main tourist towns, a once sleepy fishing hamlet turned into a vibrant surf community on the Guanacaste coast. With access to amazing surf, national parks, great beaches, and much more, there's so much to do here. And we haven't even begun talking about the bars, restaurants, and nightlife!
Let’s talk about the opportunities for adventure you and your group have when staying in Tamarindo.
ATVs & Horseback riding
Whether you want to explore the Tamarindo area on the back of a quad bike or the back of a horse, the result is the same - endless gorgeous beaches and tropical dry forest fun. Either type of tour will take you off the beaten path. You'll enjoy talking about your day in the restaurant later.
Snorkeling or Diving
Because of the surf, snorkeling isn't so prevalent around Tamarindo, but there are some decent spots here and there where you can find colorful schools of tropical fish to swim with.
Tamarindo also offers access to scuba diving, and local outfits arrange trips to several popular sites in the area, as well as places a little further afield like the Catalina Islands.
Tamarindo is the surfing capital of Costa Rica, one of the locations of the iconic Endless Summer 2 surf movie. The beach right in town is great for learning to surf, especially at the north end, near the estuary. Across the river in Playa Grande, the waves are better for the more experienced, as are those on Playa Langosta to the south.
If you're in Costa Rica to surf, you're going to want to spend at least some time in Tamarindo.
Playa Grande isn't only about surf. In fact, the beach is part of the Marino La Baulas National Park, which was set up to protect the leatherback turtles who come here to lay their eggs every year.
Leatherbacks are the world's largest sea turtles, weighing up to 1,500 pounds and reaching lengths of over six feet.
October through March is the main nesting season, and it's worth taking a tour to check the turtles out if you're in Tamarindo at the right time.
You'll many opportunities for a canopy zip line tour all over Costa Rica and that includes the Tamarindo area.
Tamarindo is a well known fishing hotspot in Costa Rica, both for inshore and offshore angling. Once aboard your chartered boat, you can head out in search of marlin, billfish, and much more.
FAQs about Things to Do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Is Tamarindo worth visiting?
Yes, Tamarindo is worth visiting. It's one of our favorite beach towns in the country, with an amazing beach, beautiful sunsets, great surf, and tons of great restaurants. All that, and it's only an hour from the Guanacaste airport!
Is Tamarindo a party town?
Yes, but the great thing about Tamarindo is that it's family friendly as well. For every bar and club staying open until the early hours, there's a chilled out restaurant or beachfront spot that's perfect for family time. There's something for everyone in Tamarindo.
Is it safe in Tamarindo, Costa Rica?
Tamarindo is safe, but it's a beach town with a transient population and lots of tourists, so crime happens. But the vast majority of crime in Tamarindo, as with elsewhere in Costa Rica, is petty and opportunistic. It's avoidable in most cases.
If you have a car, don't leave stuff in it, and don't bring anything to the beach with you that you're not prepared to lose.
How many days do I need in Tamarindo?
You can spend two days or two years in Tamarindo - it's one of those places! For travelers coming to Costa Rica for a week and splitting their time between the beach and elsewhere, we recommend four days in Tamarindo.
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