Playa Tamarindo Vacation Guide
Guide to hotels, tours and fun activities in Tamarindo Costa Rica
Getting to Tamarindo
Luckily Tamarindo is easy to reach. One hour away is the Liberia International Airport with many international flights. From there you can either get a taxi, a shuttle bus or rent a car. Juan Santamaria International Airport is located in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. You can fly Sansa and Nature Air to Tamarindo which takes 45 minutes. Or be adventurous and take the road, a 4 hour drive away.
Best time to visit Tamarindo
Now that is an easy one, any time at all. It is wet from May through September and dry from October through April. No, it doesn’t usually rain every day in rainy season. And unless there are hurricanes in the Atlantic it should only rain a couple of hours per day. The temperature is nice and warm year round. If you like it really hot, then you should visit in April. But be advised, it gets HOT! For more weather tips check out our Tamarindo weather page.
Tamarindo with young children
Playa Tamarindo is a great family friendly destination. The beach of Tamarindo is big and has many tide pools. Towards Playa Langosta is the hotel Capitan Suizo. In front of the hotel you will find the calmest water and the best tide pools. There are also a lot of shade trees. The other side of Tamarindo’s beach ends in the estuary. Although it may look like a great place to swim, don’t let you kids go in the water as there are crocodiles.
The sun is strong in Tamarindo. Costa Rica is close to the equator and a sun burn can happen quickly. Keep your kids covered in sunscreen. Letting them wear a t-shirt they can swim in, or a rash guard is a good precaution. And don’t forget to put sunscreen on yourself too, especially nose and shoulders.
Tamarindo’s holiday rentals are a great place to stay with a family. You can cook your own meal, have them catered by a Tamarindo chef, or even delivered by a food delivery service. There is a huge variety of vacation rentals to choose from in Tamarindo. Some vacation rentals come with their own chef, concierge and even nannies.
Fun stuff to do in Tamarindo Costa Rica
Although there is nothing wrong with lazing on the beach all day, there are many Tamarindo activities to be had.
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.
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.
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
Costa Rica travel tips
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 pdfdocument outlining requirements per country.
DO YOU NEED VACCINATIONS
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 make sure to 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 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 to see 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
Many international car rentals have offices in Costa Rica. It’s best to rent from an agency directly and not through Expedia, as they might not be exactly aware of local laws. Be prepared for sticker shock, renting a car is not cheap. 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, but it does not cover glass or tires. Therefore the car rental agency will add a refundable deposit to your rental. If you 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 might take a while for the deposit to get refunded back onto your card.