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!

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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Best Happy Hours in Tamarindo

Langosta Beach Club

Langosta Beach Club easily makes it onto our list of the best happy hours in Tamarindo

There’s nothing quite like winding down a Tamarindo day with a cold drink in your hand, the ocean at your feet, and the sand between your toes.

Well, nothing quite like it, except for that cold drink at half price. Because this is Tamarindo and we are all about happy hour. All the happy hours! Because salt-rimmed glasses, tropical fruit infusions, ice-cold microbrews, and lovely wines are the perfect accompaniment to an ocean view and kaleidoscopic sunset. Because 2×1 cocktails and $4 artisan pints and $5 glasses of wine are a deal that can’t quite be beat.

And now, without further ado, our choices for the best happy hours in Tamarindo:

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Tamarindo Halloween 2018: 9 Halloween Parties!

Halloween parties in Tamarindo, Costa Rica-min

Hold onto your [witch’s] hat! It’s a Tamarindo Halloween!

If you’re in Tamarindo for Halloween, you’ll be delighted to hear that our sandy little beach town goes BIG for the year’s spookiest holiday. We’re talking parties and prizes and all sorts of spooky décor, courtesy of the best Tamarindo Halloween parties.

From witchy drinks to live DJs, from breezy costumes to $1,000+ in prizes, Tamarindo is serving up all the creepy tunes, scary events, and spooky revelry you could want for your Halloween in Costa Rica celebration. Enjoy!

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Tamarindo Beach Receives its Hard-Earned Blue Flag

aerial view of Playa Avellanas

Picture yourself at Playa Avellanas, a Blue Flag beach within Hacienda Pinilla

As 2018 draws to a close – can you believe there’s only two months left in the year?! – we’re already beginning to think about our next year’s travels. And when we think travel, we think of dream destinations. And when we think of dream destinations, we think beaches. Beaches, glorious beaches. Soft sands and swaying palms. Warm waters and lazy afternoons. Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and strolling. Ocean perfection!

Ok, back to reality. Because, when it comes to beaches, there are no better in Costa Rica than Blue Flag beaches.

You’ve probably heard the term before – “Blue Flag” Beaches – and maybe you’ve even seen the flag, but do you know what the flag represents? In a nutshell, a Blue Flag designation means sustainability. It represents eco-friendly policies. It stands for safety. And it demands a healthy beach and even healthier community. And it’s very, very hard to achieve.

And for all these definitions – for all these reasons – we are so proud to share with you that Tamarindo recently earned its very own Blue Flag. Congratulations to us!

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Destination Overview: Playa Junquillal Travel Guide

Tamarindo Advanced Surfing Spots

Playa Junquillal’s surf is absolutely epic – and for experienced surfers, only! (But please don’t swim.) Read all about it in our Playa Junquillal travel guide.

For those who crave long walks at sunset and afternoons lounging in tide pools, ecological Blue Flag-recipient Playa Junquillal is a two-kilometer stretch of white-gray sands and beachfront wilderness – an outdoor paradise where jungle tumbles into sea, tide pools swirl, and boulders crumble into rocky reefs. Here, bluffs reach toward palm trees, the surf churns with seafoam, and the River Nanda Mojo cuts a swath through a 500-acre estuary and natural paradise.

Yes, this is Playa Junquillal – pronounced, hoon-kee-yal– a quiet retreat almost as hard to locate, as it is to pronounce. Located 10 miles south (as the toucan flies) of Tamarindo, this quiet corner of Costa Rica is a testament to the beauty of isolation: nearly deserted beaches, powerful surf swells (experience surfers only!), and molten sunsets that sizzle as they hit the horizon, Junquillal also marks the northern border of important sea turtle nesting beaches, both for olive ridley and leatherback turtles.

Our Playa Junqillal travel guide takes you to and through the best this secluded beach town has to offer.

Playa Junquillal Overview:

Location: North-Pacific Costa Rica, aka The Gold Coast, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Tamarindo

Average Temperature: 75-96º F (23-36º C)

Landscape: Lots of tropical ocean, protected turtle beaches, and dry and wet forest

Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) – about 80 minutes

Top Activities: Turtle-watching, Surfing, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving, Horseback Riding, and Sports Fishing

Top Attractions: Beaches, Catalina Islands (scuba & snorkeling), Ostional Wildlife Refuge

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

We Recommend: For when you crave the quiet but don’t want to stay too far from world-class restaurants, Playa Junquillal is an isolated (yet Tamarindo-adjacent) natural wonderland.

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