Surrounded by lush, thick rainforests, shimmering lagoons and spectacular ocean vistas, Tamarindo is one of the most popular vacation hotspots in Costa Rica. While the town itself is fairly small, the area bustles all year round with life and activity, and there's plenty to do beyond lying on the beach and soaking up the sunshine. The area's diverse ecosystems teem with life, and Tamarindo is home to some of the most celebrated water sports hotspots in the hemisphere.
Some of the most popular activities and attractions for visitors to Tamarindo include:
-The beaches: Playa Langosta, Playa Grande and Playa Tamarindo are the three most popular beaches in town, but if you want to venture a little further, head into nearby Hacienda Pinilla for access to a half-dozen private beaches.
-Nature excursions: Guided tours into the volcanic highlands and tropical rainforests surrounding the bay are very affordable and widely available. These are highly recommended as they give you the opportunity to get an up-close and personal glimpse of the exotic wildlife and dazzling flora native of the area.
-Water sports: Tamarindo is one of the world's premier surfing destinations, with surfing areas that are appropriate for people of all skill levels. Tamarindo's diving, snorkeling, water skiing, and sailing are also very popular.
-Sport fishing: Anglers from all around the world come to Tamarindo to take advantage of the area's excellent fishing. Sailfish, marlins, roosterfish, and snappers are among the many types of fish that populate the area's crystalline waters.
-Golf: A stop at a Tamarindo golf course is a must, even if you're just a casual golfer. The area's golf courses are as scenic as they are challenging, and the weather is ideal for teeing off all year long.
Tamarindo's hotels can get very crowded, so why not opt for your very own vacation rental instead? From beachfront villas to spacious condos, family-friendly and couple-oriented options are plentiful and very affordable.
From the Pacific coast, you can head into Costa Rica's Central Valley, the nation's most populated area. You'll find more breathtaking nature in Central Valley, and the colorful and lively capital city of San Jose is also located here.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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