Tamarindo Costa Rica Travel Guide
Guide to hotels, tours, water sports and restaurants in Tamarindo Costa Rica
Due to COVID-19 Costa Rica has closed its borders until at least April 30. So take this time at home to plan your trip, and we’ll see you in a few months!
Fun things to do in Tamarindo Costa Rica
Nothing beats the trill of zip lining above the tree canopy, discovering deserted beaches by horseback, exploring the jungle by ATV or snorkeling among large schools of fish. Tamarindo is famous for its surfing and there are breaks for both the expert surfer as well as the novice. Tamarindo has been a mecca for sportfishing since the mid 70’s. Inshore fishing for Snapper, Roosterfish and Tuna makes for a fun half day. For the more intrepid fisherman a full day will target large Tuna, Sailfish and Marlin. From October through February the endangered Leatherback Turtle will come ashore on Playa Grande to lay her eggs. Volcanoes, caverns, and waterfalls are just a short bus ride away. And the very best way to enjoy Tamarindo’s many glorious sunsets is with cocktail in hand and breeze on your face while sailing on a large catamaran.
Nightlife is vibrant, and there is always a live band playing somewhere. Tamarindo is a multi-cultural community which makes for great dining experiences. Make sure to start your day with Costa Rica’s famous Gallo Pinto and a cup of Costa Rican grown coffee.
VERY VERY Important Vacation Words
Don’t speak Spanish but would like to communicate? There are many words that will help such as Si for Yes, Hola for Hello and Adios for Goodbye. But we have rounded up some more important words for you. Make sure to practice them before your Tamarindo vacation and put them to good use while you are here.
"Donde esta mi hamaca"
"No quiero salir"
"Mas por favor"
If spoken at the appropriate time then you’ve successfully mastered your holiday.
Costa Rica travel tips
Costa Rica passport requirements
Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months after your visit to Tamarindo Costa Rica. And no, your birth certificate will not be accepted. Also you might need to show proof of exiting Costa Rica like a return flight ticket. The Costa Rica Immigration website has a pdf document outlining requirements per country.
You won’t need to get special vaccinations. It is a good idea to be up to date on standard vaccinations though. You do not want to end up in a hospital with measles. Do bring bug spray and be sure to apply it, as there is both Dengue and Chikungunya.
The national money of Costa Rica is Colones. If there were such a thing as a ‘second national money’, then it would certainly be the US dollar. Almost everywhere you will be able to pay with dollars. But you may not always get a good exchange rate. Make sure to have plenty of 20s; 100’s are harder to cash.
Visa is widely accepted and there are plenty of ATMs where you can withdraw money. Local banks will change dollars. The lines might be long but they offer good exchange rates.
Before your visit ask your local bank if they charge a foreign exchange fee. Don’t forget to tell you bank that you are traveling to Tamarindo Costa Rica so they don’t get surprised by your purchase of a piña colada on the beach in Tamarindo and cancel your card.
Renting a car in Costa Rica
Many international car rentals have offices in Costa Rica, such as Avis, Economy and Budget. It’s best to rent from an agency directly and not through Expedia, as they might not be exactly aware of local laws. You can find car rental agencies in our Tamarindo Transportation directory. Be prepared for sticker shock, renting a car is not cheap, and you will have to get insurance.
Liability Insurance is mandatory and must be bought at the agency. Liability Insurance is attached to the car and not the driver, therefore a policy from your home country cannot be used.
Collision Insurance is not mandated by law, and it does not cover glass or tires. Therefore the car rental agency will add a refundable deposit to your rental. If you do purchase Collision Insurance from them, the deposit will be lower. A large portion of available credit on your card might be taken up by a the rental deposit. It can take a while for the deposit to get refunded back onto your card, so plan accordingly.