Top 8 Things We Are Thankful For in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste

Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste aerial view

‘Tis the season for thankfulness! And this November, as we reflect on another year in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, we find we have so much to be grateful for.

We’re Thankful for… Our Biodiversity

three-toed sloth in Costa Rica

It’s no secret that Costa Rica has a reputation for being one of the world’s most nature-rich, biodiverse destinations in the world.

That’s due to many things – from our rare ecosystems (like tropical dry forests and mangroves) the vast variations in topography and scenery you can experience, even in a country smaller than the state of West Virginia. In Costa Rica, you can literally wake up to sunrise over the Caribbean and sunset on the Pacific. You can whitewater raft the same day you climb a volcano. In a single day, you can spot howler monkeys, keel-billed toucans, leaf frogs, three-toed sloths, and even endangered to critically endangered species.

And right here in and around Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, you can experience some of the world’s last tropical dry forests, watch endangered sea turtles lay their eggs, hike an ancient volcano’s fumaroles and hot springs, and boat through one of Central America’s largest concentration of aquatic birds and the most important migratory bird site of the Mesoamerican Pacific.

As we said, there’s a lot to be thankful for. And we’re just getting started!

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Things to Do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica: The BEST Times to Visit in 2023

Tamarindo Aerial View

Whether you’re here for the tropical sun or have specific wish-list items regarding things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, our tiny nation is forever serving up joy, surprise, natural beauty, and scenic wonder.

That said, there’s a season for every kind of trip and every type of traveler. The key is in knowing who you are and the trip you’d like to take. Are you a sunshine-and-beach kind of vacationer or a must-see-and-do-this-specific-thing family? Because Costa Rica’s here for you, if you’re only willing the plan a little.

Here’s the general rule of thumb: Don’t assume it’ll be the right season for XYZ when you’re here; instead, make sure you’re here during the right season for XYZ. And for everything else, there’s our wonderful, personable, and extremely knowledgeable concierge, Cris, who can help make your vacation dreams come true.

In the meantime, let’s start dreaming!

If You… Love the SUN!

Visit: December-April

Playa Grande Costa Rica aerial view

Costa Rica’s dry season would be better known as the sun season! From about mid-December through April – and, given specific climatic conditions, often into May – the entire country sees all-day, never-ending sun. We’re talking Mother Nature’s closest guarantee to warm, tropical, and sunrise-to-sunset sun.

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Our Top Costa Rica Family Vacation Rentals & Group Activities in Tamarindo

take an extended family vacation in Costa Rica

The family that plays together, enjoys vacation together!

When it comes to group and/or family vacations, success often boils down to balancing your group’s varied activity levels, interests, and travel styles. You’ll probably start by looking for Costa Rica family vacation rentals that meet at least your basic needs and hopefully fulfill many of your wishlist items. Then, you’ll transition into what you’ll do and where.

It’s a lot but it’s exciting. Quick reminder: We’re always here to help. (Concierge Cris is a literal pro at balancing everyone’s needs and would-love-to-haves!) But to get you started, here are a few of our favorite family and group-friendly activities (jump down for Costa Rica family vacation rentals!).

Tamarindo Activities for Group & Family Vacations

As soon as you go down the rabbit hole of activities, adventures, attractions, and all other manner of things to do in Costa Rica, you’re almost immediately overwhelmed. The sheer variety – and then, the variety within the varieties – is staggering.

Don’t let yourself fall prey to FOMO (fear of missing out): It’s great to say “no” to the activities that won’t suit your family or group, whether due to travel style, interests, physical activity levels, or age (many high-adventure tours have lower age limits for kids). To help guide you in the right direction, here are eight of our favorite family-friendly activities that are high on fun but not too extreme to please the majority.

Catamaran Sailing

Tamarindo bar-restaurants offer excellent sunset views

There’s nothing quite like a Tamarindo sunset, and that’s why we know there’s nothing quite like our Tamarindo sunset tours. Don’t let your family miss out!

There’s almost no easier way to please your group or family than booking a catamaran sail. Available as private or standard cruises, in the morning or afternoon (sunset sail), these Tamarindo mainstays are popular for a reason: they’re a lot of fun!

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Best Days Trips from Tamarindo: 6 Ideas to Inspire Your Planning

One of the greatest (and yet, often unsung) advantages of staying on Guanacaste’s Gold Coast? There are dozens of incredible day trips from Tamarindo, many within just a two-hour drive.

From active volcanoes and their medicinal hot springs to Class III-V river rapids and some of Central America’s most incredible birdwatching, here are six of our favorite things to do near Tamarindo:

Day Trip Idea: Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Drive Time: 2 hours

Waterfall View at Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Yup, totally worth it. | Photo courtesy Miguel Vieira

As day trips from Tamarindo go, Rincón de la Vieja is one of the best. This ancient volcano, wreathed in legend, is as incredibly scenic as it is high adventure. And there are three ways to enjoy it!

Option #1: Buena Vista Lodge

This scenic cattle hacienda and mountain retreat is one of our favorite destinations in the foothills of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. Here, within the thick foliage of rainforest-covered slopes, panoramic vistas unfold onto breathtaking views of Costa Rica’s northwest plains, rolling cattle country and, on a clear day, two sister volcanic cones – all the way in Nicaragua!

In shorthand, we like to think of this one as Option Adrenaline-Packed Fun: This is a great choice if you want to combine sightseeing with some seriously action-packed fun. It begins with a horseback ride or hike to a refreshing waterfall, followed by a 400-meter water slide built into the mountain and powered by a freshwater stream.

Then, relax in Rincón de la Vieja-heated thermal hot springs. Indulge in the sauna. And treat yourself to skin-pampering, therapeutic mineral mud.

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Why Costa Rica Should Be Your Pick for Travel in 2022 & 2023

Costa Rica spring break in TamarindoAs you begin to plan your upcoming travels, we have a few compelling reasons why they could (and even should) be trips to Costa Rica in 2022 or 2023. ¡Pura vida!

It’s not because Costa Rica deserves it. It’s because you deserve it.

You deserve to stroll, lounge, and fall in love with some of the world’s best beaches. You deserve a destination that fulfills your every sloth-loving, birdwatching, monkey-must wildlife dreams. You deserve a vacation where you can just relax. You deserve to go somewhere that exemplifies the values you hold most dear. And you deserve a place that takes only a few hours to reach and won’t make you jump through hoops.

You – yes, you – deserve Costa Rica. Welcome to the best decision for your 2022/2023 wanderings. You’re going to be so happy you came. And we’re going to be so happy you visited!

Reason #1: We Have Some of the Best Beaches in the World

pink sands of Playa Conchal

It’s no surprise that Playa Conchal, a beach famous for its pink sands, which come courtesy of crushed seashells, was voted the World’s Best Beach in 2022. Just check out that turquoise water!

A nation fortuitously placed between two oceans – the Pacific and the Atlantic/Caribbean – it’s no surprise that Costa Rica is home to at least 300 incredibly beautiful, incredibly diverse beaches. And, specifically, some of the planet’s most incredible, beautiful, and best beaches in the world.

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Luxury Retreats in Costa Rica: Top Venues and 7 Tips to Plan Yours

Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

When you’re planning luxury retreats in Costa Rica, start right here.

Planning a vacation abroad can be both exciting and challenging. Planning luxury retreats in Costa Rica? Utterly thrilling but also, often overwhelming.

We’re here to help.

From establishing your retreat structure and hammering out a budget to choosing a retreat property and add-ons (private chefs, organized excursions, and more), our tips and Costa Rica know-how dovetail perfectly to help you plan a successful and memorable retreat in the land of the pura vida (pure life)!

Tip #1: Consider Retreat Structure

Retreat structure and budget (tip #2) are inextricably linked and so, when planning luxury retreats in Costa Rica, we recommend beginning with your retreat focus and structure.

How many people are you comfortable hosting? (And for how many people can you provide a premium experience?) Do you envision a retreat that is more laid-back, relaxation, and wellness-focused, or do you plan on a more structured schedule packed with speaking topics, planned activities, and guest experts? Are you seeking a completely private space?

There is no right or wrong but there is a decision to be made.

Why now? Why so early in the process? Because your structure and inclusions will largely affect the retreat budget. For example, if experts or leaders will accompany paying guests, you’ll have to factor in not only their retreat fees but also their accommodations, meals, travel expenses, and more.

What’s more, if you envision a retreat with planned activities – be they anything from rejuvenating spa treatments to high-adrenaline team-building / group-bonding activities – then that both builds on your retreat goals while increasing the base price. And that brings us to…

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Costa Rica Group Travel: 9 Tips for Planning the Perfect Vacation

Golfing - Things to do in Tamarindo Costa Rica

Group travel – be it a family reunion, friend groups, couples, or multiple families traveling together – can be an incredibly enjoyable, unforgettable experience. It can also be a tad (sarcasm alert!) tricky to plan. Luckily, we’ve pulled together the 9 expert tips for your Costa Rica group travel planning:

Tip #1: Give Yourselves Time to Plan

To minimize planning stress and maximize your available options, ideally, you’ll begin planning your Costa Rica group trip at least a year in advance.

We know – someone, somewhere, is reading this and saying, “but I’ve planned a group trip just three months out!” And, you’re right: Given the right circumstances, the right conditions, and just a bit of luck, you can plan group travel on a tight timeframe. We just wouldn’t recommend it.

The benefits of planning in advance are several, but they mostly revolve around your stress levels and getting everything you want: The narrower the timeframe, the harder it is for your entire group to plan for time off of work or other commitments, the fewer group-sized vacation villas are available, the more booked are your desired tours and excursions, the higher the airfare (typically), and so on. And with all that on your plate, you’re more likely to feel pressured than excited. And you want to feel excited!

So, if you can, start planning group travel 9-18 months (preferably 12+ months) in advance.

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Post-COVID – How Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica is Thriving

fire dancers on Tamarindo beach

Every night when the sun goes down, Playa Tamarindo lights up with markets, nightlife, and fire dancing

It was a long haul. But we’ve made it from there to here and today, Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica is thriving in our post-COVID world. From new restaurants and newer entertainment to memorable moments and returns of old favorites, our vibrant beach town is once again ready to party. And boy, are we ready.

Since we’re here on the ground, living in the Tamarindo area and soaking up every chance to thrive, enjoy, and have a blast, we thought we’d fill you in on all the fun that awaits in 2022. To start, know this:

April 1, 2022: Costa Rica Drops COVID Entry Requirements

As of April 1, 2022, Costa Rica has eliminated its COVID travel requirements. Tourists are no longer required to take a COVID test before entry, or show proof of vaccination, or purchase COVID health/quarantine insurance, or fill out the Costa Rican Health Pass. Entry to Costa Rica is exactly as it was pre-pandemic: Show your passport, get your entry stamp, and enjoy!

(Note that, depending on your country of residence or return, you may be required to take a COVID test before your flight home. Please check your home and/or transit country’s COVID requirements!)

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Top Tamarindo Instagram Must-Visits & Must-Stays

Soul House

When it comes down to it, your Tamarindo Instagram must-visits should be about your priorities, your vacation style, and however you define “perfect”

When it comes down to it, your Tamarindo Instagram must-visits should be about your priorities, your vacation style, and your however you define “perfect”

There’s something so very appealing about framing a perfect photo or snapping a shot at just the right moment. It’s more than a rush; it’s the kind of vacation alchemy that imprints on your soul, forever tying this one perfect moment to that one perfect photo. And that’s where our favorite Tamarindo Instagram spots and vacation rentals come in.

Because these are the kind of places where alchemy sizzles in the air. They’re almost begging for you to shoot your shot, in both the literal and figurative senses. So, give yourself over to the feeling. Be a little daring. Wade into the water and kayak out toward the horizon. Chase that next photo, not for the ‘gram but for the moment, the memory, and the feeling that you’ll then immortalize through your Instagram.

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What You Can Expect From Your Tamarindo Vacation with Stay in Tamarindo

aerial view of Playa Avellanas

The internet is full of Big Promises: Best-of this and once-in-a-lifetime thats – so many superlatives that they lose their meaning. So, by the time we say that we offer some of the best Tamarindo vacation rentals and that we are dedicated to the highest quality everything, you’re already numb.

What does “best” mean when it comes to vacation rentals? What does high quality even refer to? We’re glad you asked.

Because, truly, this is important to us. For years, Stay in Tamarindo has worked to not only create high traveler expectations, but to fulfill them. We really are best-in-class, and we have the non-superlative, long(ish) answers to explain it all:

Quality of Service

At Stay in Tamarindo, we are dedicated to the highest quality of service. This is the beating heart of what we do: In all things, our services – your experience, joy, and satisfaction – are always our top priority.

It’s a complicated promise to summarize, because “quality of service” infuses absolutely everything that we do. Here’s what we mean:

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