‘Tis the Season: Traditions to Celebrate Christmas in Costa Rica

sand snowman celebrates Christmas in Costa Rica

It’s beginning to look a lot like… a tropical Christmas in Costa Rica!

There’s no Thanksgiving in Costa Rica so technically, we are go for festivities any time after Halloween. That said, while stores often start promoting Christmas as early as August (we know ­– ugh), most official Christmas events don’t kick off until late November.

Here are some of our favorite Christmas in Costa Rica traditions:

Read more

Tamarindo Nightlife: 6 Bar-Restaurants You Won’t Want to Miss

Tamarindo bar-restaurants offer excellent sunset views

Enjoy drinks and a view at the best Tamarindo bar-restaurants

There’s something about Tamarindo life that lends itself perfectly to the bar-restaurant vibe: Order up a frosty drink, dig your toes into the sand, and watch the sun go down as you sample some of the freshest seafood, juiciest pub-grub, and other tasty delicacies Costa Rica has to offer. So, what are the best Tamarindo bar-restaurants?

The good news is that many of our favorite Tamarindo restaurants offer a decent drinks menu: bottled beers, fresh fruit cocktails, and at least a few red and white wines. But, if you’re looking for a more robust bar menu, then these six Tamarindo bar-restaurants will pull double-duty to quench your thirst and sate your stomach.

In alphabetical order:

Read more

Destination Overview: Hacienda Pinilla Travel Guide

Hacienda Pinilla travel guide - Beach Club aerial view

Hacienda Pinilla’s spectacular beach club offers an oceanfront pool, restaurants, and relaxation

Located on the extraordinarily beautiful north-western coast of Costa Rica, under four miles from downtown Tamarindo, Hacienda Pinilla is one of the country’s most exclusive and unique resort communities. Our Hacienda Pinilla travel guide gets your planning started on the right foot.

You’ll love the luxury, amenities and incredible activities contained within Hacienda Pinilla, a 4,500-acre historic ranch property that unrolls over sun-bleached savannah, farm land, tropical forest and golden coastline. Here, you’ll find incredible sunsets and beachfront golfing, a fabulous Beach Club and three of our area’s most spectacular beaches: Playa Avellanas, Playa Langosta, and Playa Mansita.

Read more

Tamarindo Day Trip: Turtle Tour to Las Baulas National Marine Park

leatherback turtle at Las Baulas National Marine Park

An endangered leatherback sea turtle crawls toward the sea at Playa Grande in Las Baulas National Marine Park.

At a Glance

Location: Playa Grande, north of Tamarindo

Area: 901 terrestrial acres, 54,000 marine acres

Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Telephone: 2653-0470 / 2653-2233

Park Entrance Fee: $12 (Tour extra)

Las Baulas National Marine Park – one of the largest nesting sites in the world for the vulnerable/endangered leatherback turtle – sweeps north of Tamarindo, encompassing the beaches of Playa Grande, Playa Ventanas, and Playa Carbón, plus hundreds of acres of mangrove forest.

For nature lovers, a Las Baulas turtle tour to watch these gentle giants lay their eggs is, undoubtedly, a must-visit during your Tamarindo vacation. (Note: Turtle nesting is a rare occasion so, before you book a tour, be sure to verify current conditions.)

Read more

Tamarindo Restaurant Guide: The Best Seafood in Town

best seafood in Tamarindo: lobster coconut salad

You could be here. Dining on lobster-coconut salad. And not just this, but all of the best seafood in Tamarindo!

When you vacation by the sea, you want to dine from the sea. And in Tamarindo, that’s easy. Too easy! Our small town offers dozens upon dozens of excellent restaurants, including many with menus that promise the Catch of the Day, shrimp everything, tropical lobster, and other delicious seafood dishes. Indeed, it’s hard to define the best seafood in Tamarindo.

So, what to choose? First things first: Try a little bit of everything. Try several of our local fishes, and add in some ceviche (Costa Rican-style, with plenty of lemon!), shrimp cocktail, and grilled lobster. At the very least. Because honestly, Tamarindo offers so many seafood options that you could breakfast, lunch, and dinner a different plate every day, and still go home having only tasted only a fraction of what the town has to offer.

With so many choices, you’re going to need a little bit of guidance. So, we’ve pulled together this list of our favorites: the best seafood in Tamarindo. Seven restaurants, dozens of dishes. So good, they’re un-rankable, so we’re going old school (as in, elementary school) and presenting our favorites in alphabetical order:

Read more

Destination Family Reunion: Why Tamarindo Shines for Multigenerational Travel in Costa Rica

Vacation Rentals Tamarindo

There’s a reason (many, actually) why multigenerational travel to Costa Rica is so popular.

It’s a fast-paced world. There never seems to be enough time for everything we need to do, let alone what we want to do. And it’s precisely for this reason that multigenerational travel to Costa Rica is so popular: combine your vacation with a family reunion, and you not only check two items off your list ( ✔ family time and ✔ annual travel), but you have a great time, to boot.

What is Multi-Generational Travel?

Multigenerational travel is any trip that unites three or more generations – typically, grandparents, parents, and their children – in a family vacation. It’s a chance to make lasting memories, share new experiences, and see the world. It’s also a chance for grandchildren to know their grandparents. And, no surprise, multigenerational travel is extremely popular.

In fact, according to the AARP (PDF), in 2017 international multi-generational trips accounted for an estimated 24% of Generation X travel, 18% of Boomer travel, and 19% of Millennial travel. That’s a lot of trips. And many of them are to Costa Rica.

Read more

Costa Rica Travel Costs: The Accommodations Budget

Casa Orchidea luxury vacation rental

Honestly, why go hotel when this luxurious mansion (Casa Orchidea) could be yours starting at just $92 per room, per night?

For most visitors to Costa Rica, accommodations cost represents a huge chunk, if not the largest portion of the budget.

Bear in mind that Costa Rica’s travel network is highly developed – tourism is the #1 industry in the country – and that means standards are high. By and large, Costa Rica’s rooms are clean and comfortable. That said, because standards are so high, you’d also be hard-pressed to find a hostel bed for $10. Costa Rica accommodations costs are not bargain-basement, but you can still find a great deal.

We’ll jumpstart this post with a disclaimer: We’re biased. We believe that Costa Rica’s vacation rentals offer far greater value than hotels. But, we don’t expect you to believe that. At least, not right off the bat. We’re going to show you why. Then, you can make your own decision.

Read more

Tamarindo: The Greatest Halloween Party in Costa Rica

Tamarindo Halloween

Are you ready for this level of epic? Welcome to Halloween in Tamarindo!

Packing for a visit to Tamarindo? If so, did you remember your wart, your witch’s hat, and your pointy buckled shoes? Because if you’re here for Halloween, you’re going to need them. And even so, you may still be underdressed. Because a Tamarindo Halloween is a serious affair.

For years, Halloween in Tamarindo has been a Big Deal. Arguably, the Biggest Deal of any town or city in Costa Rica.

We’re a go-big-or-go-home kind of Halloween haunt.

So, don’t go home. Go big! Because it’s going to be fun.

Read more

Destination Overview: Tamarindo Travel Guide

Tamarindo travel guide

You are here: Paradise!

This Gold Coast mini-metropolis is one of Costa Rica’s hottest tourism hotspots, packed with everything from golden sand and cerulean sea, to incredible restaurants and hopping nightlife. Our Tamarindo travel guide gets your planning started on the right foot.

You will appreciate how well-equipped our beach town is, and you will love how spectacularly beautiful it is: epic sunsets and breaching whales, underwater worlds and nesting sea turtles. Undoubtedly, Tamarindo is a hotspot for family reunions, destination weddings, relaxing retreats, and everything in between.

Tamarindo Overview:

Location: North-Pacific Costa Rica, aka The Gold Coast

Average Temperature: 75-95º F (23-35º C)

Landscape: Lots of tropical ocean, dry and wet forest, and desert-like landscapes (inland)

Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) – about 75 minutes

Top Activities: Surfing, SUP, Catamaran Sailing, Turtle Nesting, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving, Wildlife & Nature Tours, Sports Fishing, Swimming, and Golf

Top Attractions: Beaches, Las Baulas Marine Park (turtle watching), Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge, Catalina Islands (scuba & snorkeling), Nightlife

Great for: Families & Family Reunions, Couples & Honeymooners, Destination Weddings, Surfers, Nature Lovers

We Recommend: Surfing is a Tamarindo must, even for beginners! Ask us about surf lessons or just rent a board on your own, and hop right on in. Everyone should tick Surf in Tamarindo off their bucket list!

Read more

Tamarindo Nightlife: The Best Live Music in Town

Pangas hosts live music in Tamarindo

Though chill by most international standards, Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s most bustling beach towns. And in Costa Rica, that equates to great entertainment! Specifically, great food, craft beers & cocktails, dancing, and other Tamarindo after-hours amusements. Including live music in Tamarindo, our focus for today.

Local and visiting musicians flock to Tamarindo, where local bars, restaurants, and clubs host live music events almost every night of the week. From reggae Thursdays to acoustic Sundays, there’s always something – and often, many more than one something – happening in Tamarindo’s nightlife. Here’s our guide to some of the best live music in Tamarindo. In no particular order:

Read more