Our comprehensive Tamarindo travel guide explores Costa Rica’s Gold Coast – an iconic travel wonderland of cerulean sea and golden sands, tropical dry forest and hidden waterfalls, beachfront restaurants and ocean-view nightlife. In other words, paradise.

From things to do and budget advice, to attraction information and places to stay, our travel guide to Tamarindo uncovers some of the world’s best surfing, most beautiful beaches, and most epic sunsets. Welcome!

Sunset in Tamarindo: The Views You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

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 miss ’em!

Once upon a time, there was a Costa Rican sunset…

Okay, okay – that’s a corny opening line. But, the thing is, a Costa Rican sunset really can be spectacular enough to warrant its own story. Sometimes, the sun descends slowly, smearing an entire paint palette across the sky. Other times, it disappears before it even hits the horizon – a blazing orb of mystery.

And almost every night, the Tamarindo sunset sets our world and emotions on fire. It is a sight to see, over and over and over again.

With our love of tropical sundowns, it’s no surprise that we highly recommend Tamarindo sunset tours: adventure and relaxation, nature-watching and ocean activity, all in combination with a beautiful and fiery bow.

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9 Romantic Experiences for Two in Tamarindo

horseback riding - romantic activities in Tamarindo

Gallop down the beach with the wind in your hair and your beloved by your side; horseback riding is one of our favorite romantic activities in Tamarindo!

We may be publishing this on Valentine’s Day but at Stay in Tamarindo, we believe that romance is meant to be celebrated 365 days a year. And so, we’ve pulled together 9 of our favorite romantic activities in Tamarindo. Great for any day of the year.

From galloping down a white-sand beach to kissing your honey and praying not to die (yep, our love gets adventurous!), we know all the best destinations and activities in Tamarindo – all the places you can make lasting memories with the one you love most.

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Destination Joy: 9 Tips to Identify Perfect (for you) Tamarindo Vacation Rentals

Casa Ventanas Tamarindo vacation rentals

When only an ocean-view pool will do, we call that a “must” in your search of Tamarindo vacation rentals. Pictured: The lovely Casa Ventana, a luxury vacation home set on a hillside in Tamarindo’s premier gated community.

Tamarindo vacation rentals are not created equal.

That’s not to say that some are better than others, but rather that some homes are suited to some guests and other homes are suited to other guests. Okay, and some are not suited to anyone. (We don’t list any of these, thankfully!)

This post is about all those lovely, sometime spectacular Tamarindo vacation rentals that might be suited to you: How can you pick from Luxury Home A and Luxury Home B, or Ocean-View Condo A and Ocean-View Condo B? How can you assess the possibilities and then identify the perfect vacation home for you?

Let’s start with what this: We’re going to leave out the super-obvious bits, like being sure to read every listing, in full, paying meticulous attention to the amenities list, and studying each photo in detail. Because we know you’ll naturally do those things.

What we will cover are some of the most important, yet not always considered details. They may look obvious – see Tip 1: Price Point – but we promise, there’s more to each than meets the eye. Here we go:

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Off the Beaten Path: A Visit to Guaitil, the Pottery Capital of Costa Rica

Guaitil, cradle of Chorotega pottery

Guaitil, the cradle of Chorotega culture and pottery, is lined with samples of the craft | Photo courtesy of Lydia Chow

Guaitil – pronounced, more or less, wy-teel – is the Costa Rica you’ve probably never heard of. And yet, you should have. Everyone should have. Because Guaitil is one of those special kinds of places that you cannot experience anywhere else.

This is your invitation to step back into a thousand years of tradition, to experience the Costa Rica of another millennia – before the conquistadors, before modernization, before Costa Rica even was Costa Rica. Guaitil is living, breathing history.

Guaitil is a Chorotega indigenous village, named for the dye-giving Guaitil tree and situated in Guanacaste and less than an hour from Tamarindo. It is a complete escape from the norm and exploration of tradition – a dusty, rugged town known best for its pottery. And, in our opinion, just as deservingly for its food. But we’ll get there in a moment.

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Romantic Dinners in Tamarindo – 7 of our Favorite Spots

a private chef offers one of the most romantic dinners in Tamarindo

Looking for the most romantic dinners in Tamarindo? We say, look no further than you own private chef, who will prepare the meal of your culinary dreams. Enjoy it, just the two of you, in your private villa or vacation home. Perfect lighting. Perfect views. Perfect music. Perfect company.

From twinkling fairy lights to crashing surf, lantern-lit tables to bamboo palapas for two, the most romantic dinners in Tamarindo serve up more than just a delicious memory.

Because romance is not just the meal; it’s an experience. An experience of dim lighting and stolen moments, great views and memorable moments. It’s about setting the mood – about connecting with your loved one, and only your loved one – whether it’s for a simple date or a special occasion.

The most romantic dinners in Tamarindo are some of the most romantic in all of Costa Rica. Our restaurants are world-class, focusing on hyper-local ingredients and sustainable practices, while working to deliver on an intimate and, yes, romantic ambiance.

Here are seven of our favorites:

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New Year’s Day Around the World: 6 Costa Rican New Year’s Traditions

fire dancers on Tamarindo beach

One of our favorite Costa Rican New Year’s traditions? In Tamarindo on New Year’s Eve, fire dancers set the beachscape ablaze with fiery beauty!

Well, we made it – it’s 2019! Can you believe we’re nearly two decades into the millennium? (Is it me, or does Y2K seem like yesterday? No, just me? Okay.)

If you’re in Tamarindo, you’ve now seen how Costa Rica (and the beach) ring in the New Year: An entire town’s worth of events, most steeped in sand with a sprinkling of good drink, oceanfront fireworks, midnight countdowns, and plenty of live music, DJ stylings, and all the fun you could handle. Hope all that celebration doesn’t hurt too much today!

Now that we’ve safely rung in the New Year, you may be looking forward to starting 2019 with a few hope-filled traditions. So, this 2019, why not create a few new ones – well, new to you. Because these Costa Rican New Year’s traditions have been around for decades!

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Costa Rica Family Vacation: Your [Almost] Complete Guide to Tamarindo with Kids

surfing in Tamarindo with kids

Tamarindo is an excellent choice for your Costa Rica family vacation

You’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season – by the way, happy holidays from the Stay in Tamarindo family! – and you’re loving your time together with your loved ones, whether you’re gathered with just your nearest and dearest or gathered with extended family and friends. And now, you’re thinking (and even talking) about that Costa Rican family vacation you have all always wanted to take.

Congratulations! Costa Rica is an excellent choice for your family vacation, and Tamarindo is the best choice of all. (Yes, we admit we’re a little biased.) But, consider this: spectacular beaches and even more beautiful sunsets, dense mangroves and sick surf, thrilling adventures and tranquil slices of beach – the perfect recipe to create one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations.

You’ve already heard a lot about Costa Rica. You’ve definitely dreamed of your someday visit. And now, you’re really starting to plan. Go ahead – you can do a little dance! A family vacation in Costa Rica is something to get excited about.

With visions of mangoes dancing in your head, your initial excitement and anticipation passed, inevitably your thoughts will begin to wander to some of the more practical matters: When should you plan your visit?What will the weather be like? Where should you visit and where will you stay? And then, importantly, how much should you budget?

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Tamarindo Overnight Trip: Explosive Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica’s most famous volcano – and one of our favorite day trips (even better: overnight trips!) from Tamarindo.

On slopes where once flowed destructive red-hot lava, now grows an explosion of rainforest riches: soaring palms, dense foliage, and jewel-toned tropical blooms. And, lest you forget its origins, the occasional (yet tamer) belch from a mostly-sleeping-sometimes-rumbling active volcano.

Indeed, while a nightly lava show used to draw visitors to the region, today Arenal Volcano relies on much more than Mother Nature’s red-hot fireworks. This is a town dedicated to diversion, relaxation, and a full suite of adventure: soaring canopy ziplines, exhilarating waterfall rappelling, frothing white-water rafting, volcanic hot springs, shadowy cave spelunking, and so much more.

Oh, so very much more.

Because, this is Arenal Volcano. And this is one of our most popular overnight tours from Tamarindo. Trust us, it’s worth the drive.

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Coming Soon: Ocaso Underground Music Festival

Ocaso Underground Music Festival Tamarindo-min

This year’s Ocaso Underground Music Festival Tamarindo will take place January 2-7, 2019, in three picture-perfect (literally!) Tamarindo locales

What do you get, when you blend the great beats with tropical vibes, an awesome festival with Costa Rica’s best music? Answer: The Ocaso Underground Music Festival, a world-renowned music festival that grows bigger by the year.

Whereas Ocaso was once a one-venue, three-day kind of festival, it has fortuitously become a much bigger, much grander, and yet, still intimate kind of event: This year – well, technically nextyear, as the festival kicks off on January 2, 2019 – Ocaso Underground Music Festival, which is produced by Native Events, will span six days and six venues, with dozens of DJs, artists, and other musical events.

It’s about more than music, though: Ocaso promises to be a place where the world comes together and where spirits meld, together to celebrate the mystical energies of the Costa Rican forests, beaches, and mangroves.

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7 of the Best Dinners in Tamarindo

aerial view of Playa Avellanas

Seafood lovers (and every other kind of foodie), you’re going to love our choices for the best dinners in Tamarindo, an eclectic foodie town at the heart of Costa Rica’s restaurant scene

A vacation in Tamarindo. A getaway to the Pacific. A trip with your feet buried in the sand.We’ve set the stage and now, you know what’s coming – an epic, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, you deserve an epic, unforgettable, and once-in-a-lifetime meal. Several of them, hopefully. You deserve the most delicious, the most memorable, and the best dinners in Tamarindo.

We are here to serve. We live here. We dine out often. And so, we have our favorites. We know. Because we’ve done the legwork (and the fork-work); we’ve ordered a few duds and had many more meals we’ll never, ever forget. Because we live here, on the Pacific. We live here, in Costa Rica. Here, where the freshest seafood, meets the freshest fruits and vegetables, meets some of the freshest takes on upscale beach cuisine.

And so, we bring you our choices for the best dinners in Tamarindo: seven incredible opportunities to make memories while you satiate your cravings for fresh-caught seafood and seared veggies, cold soups and rack of lamb, Argentinian barbecue and shrimp cocktail. We encourage you to try them all – especially anything that involves the Catch of the Day and/or signature tropical cocktails.

But, the real litmus test is, does it make your mouth water? Because that’s the common denominator here: We want your most memorable, most innovative, and all around best dinners in Tamarindo to be the meals that most excite you. The food that tempts you. Because, Tamarindo has it, whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or a gluten-free celiac, a meat-loving barbecue fiend or a sea-faring foodie.

We hope the memory of these meals and these experiences are a kind of souvenir you’ll  cherish forever. And so, without further ado, seven of the best dinners in Tamarindo:

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