How to Spend 3 Days in Tamarindo

Icon Share


Advisor - Summer Orlow
Curated By

Summer Orlow

  • Costa Rica

  • Wellness Travel

  • Beaches

  • Nature Escapes

  • Tropical Vacations

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxation

  • Foodie

Aerial view of a beach.
Curator’s statement

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!

The Fora Difference

Book with Summer to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Unlock perks by contacting Summer to book your trip.

Things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

greenery with a dirt road leading to the ocean

Sunset Sail/ Catamaran Cruise

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!

Go Ziplining

This is a MUST if you go to Costa Rica! There are a few different options to choose from. We ended up choosing Skyline Canopy Tours. Another recommendation would be Diamante Eco Adventure!

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.

Horseback Riding

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.

Visit the Monkey Park Foundation

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

chairs at a wooden bar with colorful art


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.

Advisor - Summer Orlow

Travel Advisor

Summer Orlow

Get in touch with Summer

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Summer within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica.