Visiting Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Hotels vs. Airbnb vs. Vacation Specialist

Playa Grande Costa Rica aerial view

As you begin planning your vacation, the question arises: should you be looking at Tamarindo, Costa Rica hotels? How about and Tamarindo, Costa Rica Airbnb Vrbo options? And is there any other option out there that you’re missing?

Spoiler alert: Yes, there is.

Because in Costa Rica, you also have the option of working with an expert vacation specialist, who can not only connect you to the accommodations of your choosing but also to transportation, tours and activities, private services, and more.

The question is, which option is right for you? Let’s break it down.

Comparing: The Basics

Decades ago, there were two basic options in travel: work with a travel agent or go it on your own. There were pros and cons to each – namely, that travel agents were expensive (and charged a hefty markup) but DIY travel was still very basic, with little more than a dogeared guidebook and a landline phone to help you through the process.

Luckily, the internet has changed – and dramatically elevated – your travel planning options.

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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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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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The Best Months to Travel to Costa Rica: Planning Your Visit

Reserva de Golf aerial view Hacienda Pinilla

Travel today means prioritizing open spaces, fresh air, plenty of sunshine. Luckily, the best months to visit Costa Rica deliver all those things!

If travel planning weren’t a challenge and a job to itself before – and we all know that planning a vacation could absolutely be a challenge and a time-intensive proposition before – then arranging travel today is a whole new ballgame. Which is how you found yourself searching for the best places to travel this year – and now, narrowing it down to the best months to visit Costa Rica.

Welcome! You’re definitely in the right place.

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2022 Resolution: Dream Big Dreams + Plan Healthy Travel

whale watching in Costa Rica-min

Does travel run through your veins and fuel your soul? Us, too. Prior to 2020, travel was a priority for so many of us. We craved it. We planned it. We looked forward to it. And then, like that – gone. No more plans, put a hold on your anticipation. Until now. Because now, the world is looking forward – is craving, planning, and anticipating healthy travel in 2022.

The world is slowly but surely opening back up. Sometimes, it’s two steps forward and one step back, but we’re pushing toward our goal – toward the great wide world and all its wonderful promises. Again.

Here in Costa Rica, our borders have been open since mid-2020. There’s no COVID test required to enter the country. And we’re naturally (literally and figuratively) one of the best places to travel in 2022. Hello, open spaces. Hello, sun and fresh air. Hello, outdoor everything. Hello, healthy travel.

As you solidify your resolve for this new year – as you dream your dreams and plan your plans – make yourself one more promise: Let yourself be free again. And as you plan for that freedom, consider Costa Rica. With our vast wilderness and miles of coastline, spectacular scenery and long list of outdoor diversions, we’re a perfect choice. We’re waiting for you! 

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Costa Rica Destination Thanksgiving: 10 Thanks + 1 Very Special Black Friday Deal!

El Chante

It’s Thanksgiving in Costa Rica! And by that, we mean it’s Thanksgiving Day, and we’re in Costa Rica, and we’re choosing to celebrate. Because, while Costa Rica doesn’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving, Costa Rica’s international community loves a day dedicated to good food, centered around good friends, and devoted to remembering all of our many blessings. It’s our Costa Rica Destination Thanksgiving, and we’re so happy to share it with you.

This year, we decided to ask our SIT team about what makes them thankful and they delivered with a great list. While we were at it, we also decided that this would be the perfect time to give you all a gift – a little something special for a very different kind of Black Friday. Instead of (or in addition to) filling your carts with stuff this year, why not shop for your next great vacation experience?

(Shortcut: Want to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Costa Rica destination vacation way? Jump to our Black Friday specials – 25% off your favorite Costa Rica villa rentals!)

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Costa Rica Spring Break 2022 – Best Places to Stay & Things to Do

Costa Rica spring break in Tamarindo

You’ve come to the right place – literally (Tamarindo) and figuratively (this blog post)! Your Costa Rica spring break awaits. (Photo courtesy Tamarindowiki, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ah, spring break – a much-needed escape from the dregs of winter and a long Q1 in the company calendar (or second semester of school, for the younger members of your family). Ah, Costa Rica spring break – an elevated escape to ocean-view infinity pools and world-class surf, tropical forest hikes and all the amenities of your own, private resort.

Because, while long gone may be the days of bacchanalia and spring break parties into the wee hours of the morning, a new kind of adventure now awaits: Welcome to a vacation that leans into sunset sails and long walks on the beach, lounging by the pool and savoring a spectacular sunset.

If you’re planning your Costa Rica spring break 2022, then you’ve come to the right place: Tamarindo, where you can carve out your perfect getaway, whether you’re a relax-and-do-nothing-at-all vacationer or a bucket-list traveler seeking to go big and pack it in.

Costa Rica Spring Break: What to Do

As we so often say, what you do in Costa Rica is largely a function of what you want to do. The truth is, we’ve lived here for years and still haven’t done it all – there’s just so much to do that, as soon as you’ve done it all, there’s another new thing to do!

So, we say, you do you: Are you an adrenaline junkie? Relaxation royalty? Family traveler? Nature aficionado? Because check, check, check, and check – Tamarindo has you covered!

That said, here are a few things you should at least put on your radar:

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8 Reasons Why Travel (Especially to Costa Rica) is Good for Your Health

benefits of traveling to Casa de Los Monos

Destination Costa Rica: Step into the myriad benefits of traveling. (Pictured: Casa de Los Monos

Everyone looks forward to travel, right? We crave a break from our everyday almost as much as the opportunity for new adventures and choose-your-own relaxation. But, did you know? There are many tangible benefits of traveling, especially to Costa Rica, where the sun is so often shining and new experiences await around every corner.

Discover some of the many scientifically proven (and personally verified!) reasons why travel can be good for the body, mind, and soul:

Reason #1: You’ll Get Outdoors & Get Active

tamarindo zip line

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

There’s just something about an outdoor activity; it’s just different from its indoor cousin. It’s something we feel, something we know – like that there’s no real comparison between putting foot to pavement and foot to treadmill: One, we do because we need or want the exercise; the other, we do because we love how it feels.

One of the greatest benefits of traveling, at least to Costa Rica, is the latter: You’ll love spending your time outdoors. You’ll surf in the sea and hike in the rainforest. You’ll white-water raft down river rapids and swim in the Pacific. You’ll spend your sunsets on a sailboat and your evenings grilling by an ocean-view pool.

And all those things – well, you’ll love them just as much as your body loves doing them. Because getting outdoors, especially when traveling, has been found to really, truly keep you healthier, even in your retirement. In fact, the study found that regular travel can significantly impact your overall health. For example, women who travel twice a year (or more) had a statistically significant lower risk of heart attack, while men who vacationed at least annually had a reduced risk of death and especially of a heart attack.

So, go on – travel. Do it for your health!

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Level Up Your Vacation: Top 7 Day Trips from Tamarindo

Costa Rica red-eyed tree frog

Red-eyed tree frogs – the world’s cutest amphibian? And one of the frogs you could spot, on these 7 day trips from Tamarindo!

Tamarindo is a destination unto itself, famed for its powdery beaches and raucous surf, rolling hills and splendid sunsets.

That doesn’t mean you’ll never want to adventure past the town’s limits, though. (After all, Tamarindo proper occupies less than a square mile!) So, for all those times you crave stretching your legs, for all those moments you can’t experience with your toes in the sand, for all the must-sees and must-dos that lie just beyond our borders, we offer…

7 Incredible, Memorable & Worth-Your-Consideration Day Trips from Tamarindo:

Sloths & Frogs

two-toed sloth in Costa Rica

Can you really say you don’t want to see this face, up close and personal? Can you? Can you?? We thought not.

If you’ve ever dreamed of a close encounter with a smiling sloth or a colorful frog – and, let’s be honest? what nature lover hasn’t, really? – then we’ve designed this adventure just for you.

One of our most popular day trips from Tamarindo, this unique experience takes you hiking 90 minutes into lush landscapes and tropical forests. On this special half-day, you’ll not only take a dip in waterfall pool, but will enjoy close encounters with sloths and spottings of toucans, butterflies, and frogs in their natural habitats.

Round out the day with a typical meal at a sodita, or homestyle diner, for a typical lunch and a true taste of Costa Rican tradition.

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