How to Spend 3 Days in Tamarindo
Tamarindo is a small beach town located in the Guanacaste Province along the Pacific Coast. It's a great spot to soak up the sun and warm ocean water year round! It's also a popular surf destination and known for its laid back beach vibes. You will find yourself emerging with great food options at the variety of local restaurants. There is also plenty of shopping and an endless bar scene to indulge in. End your afternoon with a beach horse ride off into the sunset! You won't be disappointed!
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Where to stay in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
An adults-only gem near Costa Rica's Tamarindo beach.
W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal
A modern Guanacaste retreat with ample activities and dining options, plus a spa and night club.
Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas
Contemporary and refined, each of the 21 sunset villas feature their own salt water plunge pool, mesmerizing Pacific ocean views from its location located near Las Catalinas.
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Things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Set sail into the bay to enjoy a sunny afternoon searching for wildlife! They provide kayaks and snorkel gear. Enjoy the popular sunset cruise aboard the Blue Dolphin which includes an open bar, food and water activities!
Learn to Surf
I had my first surf lessons at Playa Grande located next to Tamarindo Beach! Can't beat learning how to surf in warm waters and beginner waves. You can rent an all-day surfboard for $10 right on the main beach! They also have a two-hour surf lesson available for about $50.
Rent an ATV
What's a better way to explore Tamarindo than on an ATV! Paradise Cart Rentals is a popular spot to rent from. You can ride them into the mountains or explore some local beaches.
Turtle Nesting Tour
Enjoy the experience of seeing turtles and their babies breeding on the beaches. The tour guide will take you to Playa Grande to watch the turtles lay eggs or experience the sight of eggs hatching. What a magical moment!
Visit Rio Celeste
Located 2.5 hours away from Tamarindo, this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Costa Rica. The waterfall happens to be aqua-colored, how amazing does this sound!
Watch the Sunset from a Beach Bar or Beach Club
One of my favorite beach clubs to enjoy a margarita and sunset is Langosta Beach Club! Another favorite beach bar is Johnny Tamarindo! Enjoy the sunset with 2X1 happy hour and a magical fire show once the sun goes down!
Visit Nearby Beaches
Escape the bustling city and pop over to Playa Flamingo! I may have happened to get married here, The beach is much nicer and less crowded than Tamarindo. It also has my favorite restaurant Coco Loco! It sits right on the sand and has a great ambiance from the string lights, to the music, and palm trees in the sunset! Order yourself a Coco Loco drink... You can thank me later.
Probably the most popular activity here. I paid $40 for an hour ride along the beach during sunset hour. They take you to some hidden areas for the ultimate panoramic views of the water! It was well worth the money.
30 minutes from town, you can visit this non-profit rehabilitation center that is filled with a variety of Costa Rica's native species including monkeys, jaguars, sloths and more!
Places to eat & drink in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Flora Vegan Cafe: Such a cute spot to eat for any meal. The Banana & Cacao Bowl was heavenly! The staff is wonderful. Location is right across from the beach and in the middle of town.
La Bodega: Such a hidden gem up the road. Good homestyle breakfast for an affordable price. Cute patio with a bar to eat at. I got the egg sandwich and iced coffee and I was a happy camper.
Waffle Monkey: If you love waffles with views this is a must! Great beachfront spot for breakfast. They even offer gluten-free waffles!
Green Papaya: One of my favs! Great atmosphere! Upbeat music playing! Insta-worthy with cute swings on the patio. The food is just delicious! Make sure to buy a bottle of their homemade chipotle sauce to take home as a souvenir! It's that good.
El Vaquero Beach Bar: Great happy hour! We go here every time just for their jalapeño poppers! They also make a killer hand-shaken jalapeño margarita!
Falafel Bar: Best Mediterranean food. Large portions. The spicy sauce is great with everything!
Pangas Beach Club: OUR FAV!! Great date night spot or night out socializing with friends. Beautiful string lights, lively music playing, trendy spot. My husband and I got the lobster risotto and Volcanic Rocks Lomito... trust us on this! We saw surf legend Robert August... we were told he's there weekly!
Patagonia Argentinian Grill: A must-eat restaurant. Very lively. Make sure to make reservations before you go.
Dragonfly Bar & Grill: From the atmosphere, the food, and the cocktails, everything is just amazing! We go here every time we visit. Locals enjoy it also.
El be! Tamarindo: Perfect spot to watch the sunset. Good Happy hour. Great ceviche!
Namu: New spot in town. I'm told to get the Espresso Martini! Happy hour daily. Another great sunset spot.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Chelsea Reherman's guide, Visit Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica.