Looking for the best enjoyment in Tamarindo, Costa Rica? We can help!
Tamarindo is mainly known as a surf town, but we find many other water sports, great restaurants and a lively night market, as well as ziplines, quads and horseback riding on the beach.
Of course, tamarind occasionally has a bad reputation. It can be lively and touristy and can be a bit pricey compared to other parts of Costa Rica. However, Tamarindo is a beautiful place with a long and wide public beach and crystal clear water.
THINGS TO DO IN TAMARINDO, COSTA RICA
As with most holiday destinations in Costa Rica, you need to take a little time to get here. The journey from San Jose to Tamarindo takes four to five hours by car, but you can also take a commuter flight to Tamarindo Airport.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Tamarindo.
SPEND TIME ON THE BEACH
The main beach of Tamarindo, called Tamarindo Beach, is long, sandy and ideal for everything from sunbathing to surfing, building sand castles and even enjoying a delicious meal in the fresh air under a palm tree. Beach hangouts are our favorite of the many inexpensive things to do in Tamarindo. We spent many hours walking up and down the beach enjoying the scenery and the water.
Tamarindo is one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. It is a great place to learn how to surf, with constant waves almost every day. There are many surf shops that offer lessons, but Carlos’ surf shop is probably the most famous in the area. Group classes are pretty inexpensive – about for a few hours-and they almost guarantee that you will get up and start at least a couple of times.
Beginner surfers catch the waves at Tamarindo Beach, just across town. As you get better, you will surf at the Estero River estuary for faster breaks and beyond.
BOOGIE WOOGIE ON LOBSTER BEACH
While Playa Tamarindo is the most famous beach in Guanacaste, Playa Hummer is within walking distance. The waves on lobster beach are usually smaller and are more suitable for family vacationers and beginners.
Teaching our five-year-old son how to play on a boogie-woogie board was one of our favorite family activities in Costa Rica during this trip.
However, we caught waves on the lobster during a high tide on a day with strong waves and managed to smash the boogie-woogie board in half.
GET UP WITH A PADDLE AND KAYAK
Rowing (SUP) is now very popular among tourists, but the last time we visited it, it was not so big. It’s a lot of fun, but I find the waves a bit big to make it easier to paddle the waves of the ocean.
If you want something a little less bumpy, you can rent a kayak to explore the estuary, where you will see wild animals such as birds, monkeys and even crocodiles.
One of the most popular activities in Tamarindo is to go on a sailing trip at sunset (or at sunrise).
There are several operators offering catamaran tours, and most of them include something to eat and drink. It’s a great time with the opportunity to see dolphins, sea turtles or even cetacean.
Fishing provides an opportunity to go into the water and even have dinner. Some of the most popular tamarind fish are marlin, sailboat, mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna.
The beaches of the province of Guanacaste in Tamarindo are ideal for horse riding. The horseback riding tours start in Tamarindo and descend to Conchal beach. There is an opportunity to observe the local wildlife and snorkel at Conchal Beach.
The monkey park is a refuge for issue or sick animals. It is a non-profit organization run by volunteers with low entrance fees.
You have spider monkeys as well as birds and other animals like monkeys. It is not a traditional zoo, and its budget is limited to the income from admission. Many animals are rehabilitated for release into the wild, but some permanent residents cannot survive on their own.
TAMARIND NIGHT MARKET
The Tamarindo Night Market is open every Thursday evening from 6: 00 to 9:00. There are food vendors, local enjoyment and a lot of sellers.
EATING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
Tamarindo has the well-deserved reputation of an excellent restaurant. In terms of cuisine, this coastal city is definitely far above its weight category. The best tamarind restaurants range from breweries to beach bars and gourmet dinners.
Volcano Brewing Company is a great place to drink beer, while Shrimp Hole is popular with seafood, and Antichi Sapori Tamarindo is the place for Italians. The Green Papaya Taco Bar is very popular and offers a swing to sit on and a relaxed atmosphere.
VISIT THE LAS BAULAS NATIONAL MARINE PARK
The Marine National Park Las Baulas was founded in 1990 to protect the endangered eggs of a leatherback turtle from poachers. Las Baula means Baula.
During the mating season of the turtles, you can go on an evening educational trip to see the nesting of the turtles.
TENNIS AND PICKLEBALL
This is the right place to go if you want to play tennis or pickleball. There are tennis and pickleball clinics, open games and competitions, if you will. You can also rent a Love Tennis & Pickleball villa with 15 seats on Airbnb.
KINDERGARTEN FOR CHILDREN
The babysitting garden next to the Tamarindo gym is suitable for children between one and six years old. It is open from 7.30 to 15.30 and is dedicated to enjoyment and art. Lunch and babysitting services are also available.
SKATING OR QUAD BIKING
We spent the day with the kids at Monkey Jungle and it was one of our favorite things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
While we had fun at Monkey Jungle, there are many other options like Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and Canopy Vista Tamarindo.
DIVING OR SNORKELING
Divers depart from Flamingo Marina (about half an hour’s drive from Tamarindo) to dive on the nearby Catalina Islands.
Tamarind or tamadiv are popular options for diving. PADI courses are also available.
If you are prepared for a more difficult task, the WAIRA Spanish Institute offers Spanish lessons in Tamarindo.
They offer a wide range of services, from online courses to intensive courses and hotel lessons.
GOING TO THE GYM
If you want to stay fit, there are several ways to work out in the gym in Tamarindo. Perhaps the most popular is Nick Holt’s Fitness, but many people visit the Revive Wellness Center at Langosta Beach Club, Tamarindo Fitness and Pura Vida Barre.
UNUSUAL AND UNUSUAL enjoyment IN TAMARINDO
Are you ready for something else? Check out these unusual activities in Tamarindo.
ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
If you haven’t tried this iconic Costa Rican ice cream concoction yet, you’ll be treated to a treat of trits.
Trits is sold in most 24-hour stores and supermarkets in Costa Rica. It’s not usually available outside of Costa Rica or Nicaragua, so enjoy it while you’re here.
Trits is the ice of the gods. Photo by Dakin Kane
TRY YOUR LUCK AT THE CASINO
The reviews of Tamarindos Diria’s Casino are clearly mixed, but it might be worth a visit if you like casinos. We have never been to it, but it is a small casino with board games and slot machines. It is the only known casino in the area.
GET AN INSPIRING PSYCHIC READING
If you are looking for something unusual to do in Tamarindo, you can opt for a psychic standing by.
Sally Rice is a psychic who describes herself as a “certified psychic and Reiki healer, remote observer and medical intuitive”.
Although your future may be uncertain, you will almost certainly find something to do when you visit Tamarindo.