Tamarindo is not only one of the best spots to visit in Costa Rica, but one of the most fun and action-packed places to visit anywhere in the world. In fact, the diminutive surf village on the northwestern coast in the province of Guanacaste has grown up quickly over the last decade. Where there used to be beachside bars and simple clapboard homes, there are now luxury condos, resorts, and some amazingly diverse restaurants. But don’t worry – the beach bars still are thriving in Tamarindo, thanks to countless thirsty tourists, surfers, backpackers, and even Ticos (Costa Ricans) on vacation there.
So, aside from partying all night to reggae music until the sun comes up, what is there to do in Tamarindo? A whole lot, actually! Here are 10 of my favorite things to do in the place we affectionately call “Tama.”
What Is There to Do in Tamarindo?
Of course, there are many world-renowned surf hotspots in and around Tamarindo.
ATV tours/Mountain biking
Depending on what time of year you visit Tamarindo, you may run into some rain in the “Green Season.” That’s actually one of my favorite times to be there, as it’s the perfect opportunity to get down and dirty with some four-wheeling or super fun mountain biking on the trails and hills right outside of Tama.
Of course, you can opt for a nice horseback ride instead, and venture around the green jungle or gallop right there on the beach.
Zoooooooom! There are now several amazing options for zip lining near Tamarindo, which are all very safe and give you amazing treetop views of the jungle.
Tour Monteverde, Arenal, and more.
Just a short van or car ride away from Tama sit some of the most amazing natural parks and sites you’ll ever see in your life. Those include the Cloud Forests of Monteverde and the imposing Arenal Volcano. Don’t miss these!
Beach bumming it:
If you’re a fan of lounging around on the sand and splashing in the ocean, there are some great beaches other than just Tamarindo Beach. In fact, take a short drive to Playa Avellanas, Playa Grande, Playa Conchal, and the nearby Playa Langosta. Each has their own specific look and feel, but you’ll enjoy all of them!
Head up Tamarindo Beach to the estuary, where you cross over to the Playa Grande on the other side (just be careful because there are plenty of crocs in the water, so it’s best to jump in one of the locals’ boats there). You can also ask these boat drivers to take you on a tour down the estuary, which will give you an inside look at a surprising new world swamp flora and fauna, river fish, birds, monkeys, and yes, plenty of crocs.
Take a sailing cruise or boat ride.
The only place better than on the beach is out on a boat, and you can rent a sailboat to hit a few islands and beaches, go sport fishing, snorkel, or just hang out on the open water and put down a few beverages.
Chill and watch the sunset!
Tamarindo beach faces due-west, with a perfect view of the sun going down. Every afternoon around 5 pm, the beach is filled with locals, tourists, and expats who all walk, swim, exercise, play, or just hang out and drink beers as the sun starts to descend. You can even do a countdown as the sky lights up a dazzling array of purples, reds, oranges, and yellows and the fiery orb hits the horizon and disappears. Another great day in Tama!