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!

Tamarindo Day Trip: Las Pumas Rescue Center

jaguar Panthera onca-min

Jaguars, Costa Rica’s biggest wildcats, are just one of the five big cat species you’ll find at Las Pumas Rescue Center

We like to say that in nature, there are no guarantees. What that means is that, while Costa Rica is an incredibly biodiverse country where more than 25% of all land is reserved for national parks, wildlife refuges, and reserves – habitats to some of the densest wild animal populations in the world – there’s no guarantee you’ll spot a specific animal. Especially if that animal is elusive. Enter Las Pumas Rescue Center, or El Centro de Rescate Las Pumas.

Las Pumas is a wildlife rescue center, taking in the injured, the orphaned, and the illegally captured. Their goal: To provide necessary medical care and rehabilitate these animals, hopefully for release back into their natural habitats. What this means for us: Guaranteed animal sightings and a feel-good, do-good kind of day, where you not only see some animals but put your tourism dollars toward a worthy nonprofit. 

Need to Know:

Location: About 2 hours east of Tamarindo and 4.5 miles outside of Cañas, on the Interamerican Highway en route to Liberia

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Cost: $8 children & students / $12 adults

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Costa Rica Travel Tips: Packing for Rainy Season

Costa Rica travel tips for rainy season-min

Rainy season travel is some of our favorite. The landscapes are green, the water is clear, flowers are in bloom, and the wildlife is happy. But, yeah, there’s likely to be rain. These Costa Rica travel tips for rainy season will see you through.

So, you’re visiting during the rainy season? Then hoo boy, do we have some Costa Rica travel tips up our sleeve.

Are you envisioning torrential downpours and epic thunderstorms, gray skies and a vacation spent huddling indoors, hiding from another miserable day?

Yeah, Costa Rica’s rainy season isn’t like that.

So, how much does it rain?  Are we talking a few sprinkles or more like apocalyptic, monsoon-level downpours? Does everything shut down? Here’s the short of it: Unless you’re really, really unlucky – as in, once-in-several-years unlucky – it’s not going to rain morning, noon, and night. It probably won’t even rain noon and night. It may not even rain every day.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Hold on to your umbrella, because we’re about to get real about Costa Rica’s rainy season.

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Day Tours from Tamarindo: Make the Most When Time is Short (Part 2)

whitewater rafting in Tamarindo

Ready to up your adventure quotient AND make the most of your time? One of our favorite day tours from Tamarindo could be just the ticket!

Think you don’t have enough time to do everything in Costa Rica? Does your bucket list have holes in it? Then, think of these day tours from Tamarindo as both putty to fill those holes and the magic fairy dust to give you more time. Or, at least, to squeeze more from your time. Welcome to the 25-hour vacation day.

Okay, okay. We’re exaggerating a little bit. But, not much. Because, while Costa Rica may be a small country, it is vast. There is so much to see and do, even in our beachy neck of the woods. And so, when time is short – when you’re here for just 7, 10 or even 14 days – well, you find yourself crossing items off your wish list. And with each item you eliminate, you wonder: Is there any way to fit it in? Because, you really don’t want to miss a minute, if you don’t have to.

Enter the second half of our favorite day tours from Tamarindo: one-day trips and jaunts to maximize your time, whether you’re in the mood for birdwatching or country-hopping. (See Tamarindo Day Tours, Part 1 for more inspiration.)

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Treat Yourself: Hiring a Tamarindo Private Chef

mahi mahi from private chef tamarindo costa rica

Relax. Indulge. Treat yourself. Our favorite Tamarindo private chef is here to serve. Literally.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to eat out. You don’t feel like getting dressed up, or piling into the car for dinner, or any of the restaurant routine. You’d much prefer sunset drinks on the balcony, appetizers by the pool, and a low-key evening. You’d prefer the luxury and bespoke services of our favorite Tamarindo private chef (and surrounds).

Welcome to paradise. Truly. Because, if there’s anything more indulgent than a vacation in Tamarindo, it’s a vacation in Tamarindo, upgraded with the luxury of your own private chef – a personal chef who visits your vacation home, understands your palate, and crafts fabulous meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

In other words – yum. All the yums. Whenever and however you want.

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The Complete Guide to Semana Santa – Easter Week in Costa Rica

Tamarindo surfer during Easter Week in Costa Rica

Visiting for Easter Week in Costa Rica? Here’s what you need to know. And trust us – there’s a lot you should know. (For example, make your reservations NOW. Really.)

So, you’re in Tamarindo for Easter Week, known locally as Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Otherwise known as, one of the most popular times to travel. The weather is great, the sun is warm, the landscapes are greening up, and the beaches are packed. Welcome to Easter Week in Costa Rica.

You’ve heard a lot about Costa Rica. You’ve spent months (or even years) dreaming about your trip. And now, it’s on – you’re headed to Costa Rica for Holy Week! Maybe it’s because your kids are on Spring Break. Perhaps you’re interested in Latin American Easter traditions (more on that, later). Or, it could simply be that this is one of the most beautiful (and festive) times of year.

Whatever the reason, you’re going to have a great trip. And, this guide will help. Because, while Easter Week in Costa Rica is special, it’s also one of the busiest times of year. With a little bit of planning (and very advanced reservations – trust us!), you’ll enjoy a much better, more relaxing getaway. And with that, off we go!

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One-of-a-Kind Oceanfront Vacation Rentals in Tamarindo: Part 2

Flamingo Blu oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo

Where sky meets sea, where sea meets infinity pool, where you meet your dreams: 5 striking oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo (Pictured: Flamingo Blu)

Last month, promised you a list of the best oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo – and we delivered. Well, partially. We shared the first part of our list, which highlighted 5 beachfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo, with some help from Playa Langosta, Playa Flamingo, and Playa Potrero – the “greater Tamarindo” area, as we know it.

Today, we’re bringing you the grand finale – grand, not in the sense of overshadowing our first list, but grand in its true meaning: luxury, oceanfront estates, grand in both size and style. Because, these homes are truly something more: Perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime wedding, event or celebration, they promise more than the space you need; these vacation homes deliver on the luxury experience.

Oceanfront infinity pools. Full-time staff. Bubbling Jacuzzis. Multiple master suites. Gourmet kitchens. High design. And oh, those views. These homes represent the apex of oceanfront vacation rentals in Tamarindo: the nexus of upscale living, exclusive location, and dreams made reality. And we are so excited to share them!

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Spotlight on: Tamarindo Day Tours to Make the Most When Time is Short (Part 1)

Tamarindo day tour to Monteverde cloud forest

Welcome to a world very different from our own. Swap sand for epiphytes and sun for misty cloud forest in Monteverde, a favorite Tamarindo day tour!

You’ve made it. You’re in Costa Rica. You’ve arrived at Tamarindo. The sun is shining. The waves are crashing. Your feet are buried in sand. There’s probably a cold drink in your hand. Life feels pretty perfect.

And then, you overhear someone talking about that trip they took yesterday. You know – the one to the volcanic hot springs or the tropical cloud forest, to the roaring river or to hike on once-active lava flows, to an incredible waterfall or a birding paradise. And suddenly, the sun doesn’t feel so warm and the sand isn’t quite as pleasing.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a very real thing when you’re on vacation. After all, when you’ve traveled all the way to Costa Rica, you want to pack it all in. You want to see and experience all (or, at least most!) of this spectacular country. We get it. And, we’re here to help. Because, the last thing we want is for you to miss out. Don’t miss out. Do it all – or, all that you want – with these time-saving Tamarindo day tours. (Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!)

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Spotlight on: A Tamarindo Mangrove Tour

Tamarindo mangrove tour

Come with us on an adventure of watery proportions! A Tamarindo mangrove tour promises a special morning or afternoon.

You came for the beaches but you’re now enthralled with the wildlife. After all, how often can your toes be in the warm sand, while a howler monkey hoots above or a prehistoric-looking ctenosaur scurries into its next sunny spot? This is Tamarindo, this is the glory of our natural wonderland, and this is the primary draw to a Tamarindo mangrove tour.

Yes, it’s high time we shared with you the secret of this floating boat ride, set amidst the Tamarindo National Wildife Refuge and Las Baulas National Park. Yes, it’s time we let you in on the adventure just minutes from town and a paddle away – in on the estuary, the mangroves, and the entirely different habitat (with its often hereto-unseen residents) that wait to welcome you.

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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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