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!

Is Costa Rica a Safe Destination to Visit During COVID?

Tamarindo sunset tours - stand-up paddle boarding

Costa Rica is a paradise of natural wonders – of outdoor activities to enjoy beneath the sun, out in the breeze, and amidst your bubble of nearest and dearest. Or all alone. Whatever and however you please.

We’ve said it before (and we’ll probably say it again): The decision to travel right now is a personal one. No one can make it for you.

What we can do, however, is share some information (and a few personal experiences and anecdotes) on what Costa Rica travel is like right now. Is it safe? What kind of restrictions are in place? What about the airport – what’s flying like, right now? And on and on.

And, if you do decide to travel, we can also help put your mind at ease with a selection of Costa Rica private villas and beach houses where you can keep your distance and have your vacation, too.

But first:

Costa Rica and COVID-19: What to Expect on Your Vacation

The first impression you’ll have is that Costa Rica feels safe.

And, within today’s global framework, Costa Rica is safe: Costa Rica has received the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council. This stamp certifies a destination as safe for travel, per 16 health and hygiene protocols.

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It’s [Almost] a New Year – Time to Travel to Costa Rica in 2021

safe travel to Costa Rica and Tamarindo

Travel to Costa Rica affords privacy, luxury, and plenty of outdoor activity – bathed in sunshine and kissed by ocean breeze. Give yourself something to look forward to in 2021!

Have you ever been quite so excited – hopeful, even – about turning the calendar page to a new year? Because, while 2020 has been challenging the world around, vaccine roll-outs are now underway and 2021 shows promise of better times to come. We have our fingers and toes crossed!

Here in Tamarindo, we’re happy to report that life has mostly returned to normal. Or, our new normal, at least: COVID protocols are comfortably in place: We’re masked, transparent barriers are erected at grocery stores, and disinfection is standard everywhere. And, at Stay in Tamarindo, we’ve prepared our vacation home for safe, sanitized travel. (Read more about our COVID-safe protocols.)

Here, you have the freedom to simply be with family and friends. Travel to Costa Rica and you can play on the beach, swim in the ocean, and soak in the sun. You can hike into solitary dry forest, explore backroads via ATV, and snorkel with only the fish as company. You can get outside. You can enjoy your vacation. You can be content – joyful, even!

Because, we’ve all missed those feelings of anticipation, of pure delight, of elation. Now is the time to feel them again, as you begin planning a trip to Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica Corona Virus Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know + 4 Policies that Have You Covered

Costa Rica travel - you could be here!

You’re just one Costa Rica corona virus insurance policy away from paradise. Here, we detail all the requirements – plus four compliant local and international policies, including costs!

Travel in 2020 is unlike travel ever before: In addition to all the normal concerns – Do I have my passport? Did I pack the right type of shoes? What if the airline loses my luggage? – the pandemic has layered on a whole new tier of topics to consider.

Here’s one concern we can help allay: What is this Costa Rica corona virus travel insurance– (officially, COVID-19 or coronavirus, but we’ve adjusted to corona virus, to account for how many of our travelers are searching) – and what available policies will cover the requirements? More specifically, what’s the cheapest [qualifying] Costa Rica travel insurance available?

But first, let’s talk basics:

November 2020: Costa Rica Travel Requirements

Costa Rica private pool for social distancing

How about a private, oven-view pool for the ultimate in luxury (not to mention, perfection in social distancing)?

As of November 2020, our national borders are open and Costa Rica corona virus protocols are evolving. Evolving to be easier-to-understand, that is!

Costa Rica’s simplified travel requirements are the following:

  • A completed Health Pass.
  • Traveler’s Medical Insurance (international or Costa Rican), effective for your visit and that covers at least $50,000 in medical expenses (including COVID) and a minimum $2,000 for COVID-related (possible quarantine) lodging expenses.

Already know what’s required? Skip straight to the Costa Rica corona virus insurance options!

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Costa Rica Open to the World – and our Tamarindo Vacation Rentals Are Ready for the Holidays!

Tamarindo vacation rentals - best social distancing

Talk about social distancing! There’s no better place to spend the holiday season – or to connect to your virtual office, the kids’ online school, or your colleagues – than from one of our exclusive Tamarindo vacation rentals – your own private enclave. (Pictured: Casa Ventana, in Tamarindo)

Oh hello, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Because wow, what a year! In some ways, 2020 feels like the punchline to a cringe-worthy riddle – when did a decade fall within the span of just a few months? – but in other ways, it’s just been… unprecedented. That’s a good word for it.

So, we thought we’d brighten your day with a little bit of much-needed precedent: The Costa Rican holiday season is upon us – and our Tamarindo vacation rentals are ready play! More than ready. We are delighted and excited and all the other good things!

Because, whether you’re planning a Christmas in Costa Rica or a New Year’s abroad, a break from the office or a long-term, work-from-home rental in paradise, we have the Tamarindo vacation package or just-right-for-you vacation home to fulfill all your travel needs and dreams.

All while keeping you safe, of course. Here’s what’s been happening in Costa Rica – at our airports, in our local businesses, and even on the government level. Or, just skip ahead to the fun stuff – plan your holiday in Costa Rica, check out our longer-term rentals (work or school abroad, anyone?), or jump right to finding the Tamarindo vacation rentals perfect for you.

Search Tamarindo Vacation Rentals ←

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Costa Rica Coronavirus Update

We’d like to give you a Costa Rica Coronavirus Update, so you will feel safe, booking a trip with us.

In the final months of this challenging year, who doesn’t need a vacation?!  There’s nothing better for your physical and mental health than sunshine, clean air, warm salty ocean water, and exercise.

Costa Rica is the ideal destination for your first post-pandemic vacation!  We, at Stay in Tamarindo are a local organically-grown vacation company located a stone’s throw from the sand in Tamarindo, Costa Rica and we can’t wait to host you!  We’ve been here throughout lock-down and the travel freeze holding down the fort, keeping our Costa Rica vacation rental homes cleaner than ever and in perfect condition.  We’ve kept our vans running and our certifications active so that now, as Costa Rica Travel restrictions lift and flights begin to arrive, we’re ready for you and it’s time to make your 2020 Costa Rica travel dreams come true!

Need some post-Covid relaxation?

Need some post-Covid Relaxation in Costa Rica? We’ve got you covered.

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Planning a Costa Rica Surf Vacation? Start Here.

Tamarindo surfing

Planning a Costa Rica surf vacation? This guide will help you narrow down where and when – and where to stay, after you’ve figured out your where and when.

So, you’re planning a Costa Rica surf vacation. You’re excited! You’re hopeful. You’re already shopping for special vacation surfboard wax.

The only problem – you’re not quite sure of where to go. Or when. Or where you’ll stay. Or, well, any of it. Because Costa Rica’s surf is legendary and, whether you’re a beginner who’s only popped up a few times or an advanced surfer looking for your next-greatest challenge, all you’re sure of is that you’ll soon be surfing in Costa Rica.

That’s an exhilarating thing to be sure of. This guide will fill you in on the rest.

Popular Costa Rica Surf Destinations

The good news is that you’ll find both beginner-friendly and good surf almost everywhere Costa Rica. The great news is that you’ll find world-class surf in a few of those areas.

The not-quite-as-good news is that you won’t have time to surf it all. (Well, unless you’re here for a few years.) So, you’ll have to prioritize. At least, for this trip.

Here’s our rule of thumb: Stick to one major surf region per each 7-10 days of your trip, so you have plenty of time to explore, enjoy, and surf every must and many of the if-you-cans. And, be sure to identify all a region’s bucket-list breaks that meet your skill level and preferences.

So, about that where:

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A Guide to Costa Rican Microbrews, Craft Beers & Artisan Alcohol

Costa Rican microbrews and craft beer-min

Have a yen to quench your tropical thirst. We have a few (okay, many!) Costa Rican microbrews, craft beers, and other brews for you to try.

In the land of sun and fun, you’ll likely to crave an ice-cold one. That’s our motto, at least.

It’s true – if you’re like many of your fellow travelers, you’ll often be on the hunt for some chilly refreshment. Luckily, craft beer and Costa Rican microbrews are readily available and pairs perfectly with Costa Rican fare and the warm tropical sun.

You’ll quickly discover that there’s one MAJOR player in Costa Rican beer: the Florida Ice & Farm Company (FIFCO), which produces all of Costa Rica’s more mainstream, standard brews, including those that maraud under the brand names of Imperial, Pilsen, and Bavaria.

Since you can find those everywhere and on every menu, we thought we’d highlight a few of the harder-to-find, you-may-have-to-ask-for-them Costa Rican microbrews, craft beers, and artisan lagers that we’ve grown to know and love.

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Don’t Travel with the Big Guys: 7 Reasons to Book with a Local Vacation Rental Company

Tamarindo Tours and Activities

Call us biased, but we know there are plenty of reasons to go local – to work with a local, in-the-know company to choose your vacation home, Tamarindo tours, experiences, and other details of your trip. Here are seven of them.

As you plan your Costa Rican vacation – the Tamarindo tours you want to experience, the flavors you can’t wait to taste, the accommodations that inspire your dreams – one of the very first decisions you’ll make is all about the logistics: Where will you reserve that vacation?

Usually, that decision comes down to two major players: The Big Guys – major travel agencies, publically traded companies, etc. – or The Local Guys: small companies, rooted in their communities and overflowing with local know-how.

At the outset, we’ll cop to our bias: At Stay in Tamarindo, we’re firmly in the latter category. We are firmly a local company. The Big Guys don’t throw their weight behind us. We don’t have huge marketing departments or major advertising dollars to throw around.

We do have heart. And, therein lies the truth behind our bias: We know local and, therefore, we understand its distinct advantages. After all, we live in Tamarindo. We visit our rental homes. We do quality checks on all our recommended Tamarindo tours, excursions, and attractions.

So, yes, we’re biased. But if you’ll give us a chance, we’re pretty confident you’ll end up biased, too.

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7 Costa Rican Christmas Traditions for your Holidays in Tamarindo

sand-man for your holidays in Tamarindo

Don’t throw a sand-ball at us, but we’re saying it: we prefer sand-men to snowmen! Because, there’s just something special about lighted palms, roasting pork, and the holidays in Tamarindo.

Look out your window. If you see anything but sunbeams, palm trees, and blue skies – okay, maybe there’s a wispy cumulus cloud in there, somewhere! – then we’re guessing you’re not in Costa Rica. You’re not spending the holidays in Tamarindo.

At least, not this year. But, there’s always the promise of 2020!

Because, here’s the truth: the holidays in Tamarindo – Christmas in Costa Rica, generally – are a festive time of year. A special time of year. A twinkling, joyous, and inclusive time of year.

There are the lights and trees and carols, and then there are the only-in-Costa-Rica holiday traditions – all the making-some-memoriesnever-forget-your-trip details that transform December into such a fun month to travel abroad. You’re going to love it.

And so, with fun and festivities in mind – and in the spirit of inclusion, all sans creed or doctrine – we present seven of our favorite Christmas traditions. So, no matter what you celebrate (or don’t) back home, you can join in the joy during your holidays in Tamarindo.

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4 Tamarindo Tours & Activities You Can Only Experience Here

Tamarindo Mangrove tour

Looking for some of our favorite, only-here Tamarindo tours? Mangrove kayaking definitely makes our list.

Every vacation, every trip, every escape is a new opportunity. The chance to see something new, experience something different. Your invitation to explore, enjoy, and endear yourself to fresh places, spaces, and activities.

Travel is your path to enjoying the world, as it is. The world, as you don’t yet know it.

And that’s why we always encourage travelers to try something new – to step outside your comfort zone and tick another item off your bucket list.

Enter these Tamarindo tours: four opportunities to do something you probably haven’t done before. Four chance to experience the world, as only Tamarindo can deliver it. These tours and activities are unique to us, unique to right here. And we can’t wait to introduce you to them.

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