The extensive development of Tamarindo has been tinged with elements of affluent foreign culture; this influence can be found all over, from modernist cafés to chic restaurants, mixing with the fundamentally Tico culture of the locality. This makes for an appealing combination of both worlds. Visitors from Europe and North America will surely enjoy the diverse elements of their own culture in Tamarindo while getting a sample of the authentic local culture at the same time.
Yet, its spectacular beach still remains Tamarindo’s main attraction. Playa Tamarindo is a broad sandy beach, perfect for swimming and surfing. Lounge bars and restaurants are located along a great part of the beach, perfect for getting a bite to eat or enjoying a drink right on the sand. The beach is a well-known surf spot and surfing schools can be found all over, offering the perfect chance to learn to ride the amazing local waves.
The Matapalo River empties into the sea on the northern border of Tamarindo Beach, separating it from Playa Grande (‘Big Beach’). Although this beach offers little shade and part of it is an uninspiring crop of pebble-rock seashore, Playa Grande offers some of the best surfing in the whole of the north Pacific of Costa Rica. It hosts several international surf competitions, a testament to the excellence of its waves. In addition, Playa Grande is part of Marine National Park Las Baulas. The beach is one of the largest leatherback turtle nesting sites in the world. Every year between October and March hundreds of leatherbacks come ashore to lay their eggs. These ancient reptiles, the largest of all sea turtles, can weigh upwards of 680kgs/1500 pounds and measure 1.8mts/6ft. in length. The beaches of Las Baulas Marine Park are visited by over 800 nesting sea turtles annually. Visitors can arrange nightly guided turtle tours from Tamarindo during nesting season.
Another attraction in the vicinity is the Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge. This reserve protects 400ha/1000acres of tropical forest, including abundant mangroves and estuaries. Visitors will find a series of tours available that will take them on a boat ride through the refuge. These are ideal for spotting the diverse wildlife and offer a splendid glimpse into the fascinating plant life of the mangrove ecosystem. Other protected areas nearby include Ostional National Wildlife Refuge and Barra Honda National Park.
Average 80° F (26° C) all year round.
Sunny season from November to May.
Rainy season from June to the end of October.
**In the rainy season (May through October), you can expect showers in the afternoons.