One of the best things about Costa Rica’s Gold Coast? The sheer variety of our Tamarindo daytrips! Tamarindo day trips take you to active volcanoes and turtle-nesting beaches, historic sites and wildlife refuges – to the depth and breadth of Costa Rica’s natural, cultural and historical offerings.

Looking for a Major Adrenaline Rush? Don’t Miss this Combo Tamarindo ATV Tour + Canopy Zipline!

Tamarindo ATV tour to secluded beaches

You are here: On the best Tamarindo ATV tour, roaring through dusty backroads, carving out your own secret passage to three of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Imagine this: You’re clinging to the side of a mountain, racing up a country background. The wind’s in your hair and the ocean’s at your back. A cloud of dust billows out behind you, a puff of earth to trace your progress up the bumpy dirt road.

Or this: You’re teetering who-knows-how-high above the jungle floor, your toes curled over the edge of a treetop platform. Behind you, your guide chants, “One, two, three – JUMP!” Suddenly, you’re flying.

Or this: You’re speeding through arid countryside, cutting a swath through scrub and sand. It’s your own secret passage – an off-the-road shortcut to a no-road-access nearly deserted beach.

Welcome to the world’s best adrenaline rush, as only Costa Rica can offer it!

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Tamarindo Day Trip: Guide to Diria National Park

Howler Monkey

How about a howler monkey welcome to Diria National Park?

Guanacaste is home to eight national parks, each known for their vast habitats, natural beauty, and varied wildlife. You’ve probably heard of many of them: from leatherback turtle beaches at our own Las Baulas National Marine Park to the canals of Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste is famous for its parks. Except one. One that flies decidedly under the radar.

Welcome to Guanacaste’s best-kept secret. Kick off your flip-flops and get out your hiking shoes. We’re going to Diria National Park!

Here, what was once a protected area is now a national park – an upgrade courtesy of Diria National Park’s varied ecosystems, strong conservation efforts, and entertainment value. That’s right, Diria is not only beautiful but also a fun place to visit: Filled with crystal-clear river waters, a majestic waterfall, interwoven trails, and an abundance of birds, mammals, and other animal species.

Diria National Park Overview: 

Location: 10 miles south of Santa Cruz

Founded: 1991 (became a national park in 2004)

Maximum Altitude: 5,905 feet (1,800 meters) above sea level

Area: 13,410 acres

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Telephone: 2686-4968 / 2686-4970

Entrance Fee: $6 adults / $5 children

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Guide to Santa Rosa National Park

Witch's Rock at Santa Rosa National Park

Witch’s Rock, a famed surf site, is located within Santa Rosa National Park

Where isolated beach meets rare dry forest, where rushing rivers flow into lush mangrove forests, where epic waves crash onto rocky islands – this is Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica’s first national park and an untouched beauty still far off the nation’s beaten path.

Rough and wild, Santa Rosa is a place where white-tailed deer still frequent drinking holes and the jaguars still meander along parched landscapes. Where one of the world’s last tropical dry forests meet endangered sea turtle nesting sites, where howler monkeys hoot in the tees and bats flutter through the air.

Here, amidst waist-high scrub grass and the veil of Guanacaste trees, Santa Rosa National Park protects critical habitats and prized Costa Rican history. Here, Santa Rosa National Park cradles ocean-view hiking trails and two of the world’s most beloved surf sites. Here, Santa Rosa National Park calls you to outdoor adventures and inner reflections, to heart-pounding thrills and tranquil afternoons.

Santa Rosa National Park Overview: 

Location: 22 miles north of Liberia; about 2 hours north of Tamarindo

Founded: 1971

Area: 91,926 acres and 192,660 maritime acres

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; extended hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during high season

Telephone: 2666-5051 / 2668-1045 / 2668-1150

Entrance Fee: $15 adults / $5 children

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6 Brag-Worthy Fish You Could Catch While Sportfishing Tamarindo

sportfishing Tamarindo for roosterfish

Rooster fish are hard-fighting (and make for a great photo op!)

When it comes to sportfishing Tamarindo, there’s a lot of thrill. Not only do many local boats practice hook retrieval – a true test of skill and mettle, as well as ocean stewardship – but the fish that populate our waters are what angling dreams are made of: sailfish and marlin, rooster fish and mahi-mahi – sun, sea, and hours of hard fighting are in your future. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular things to do in Tamarindo.

In what promises to be the first of a few posts about sportfishing Tamarindo, here are six of the most oft-caught, most brag-worthy specimens you can hope to catch off our Pacific coastline:

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Tamarindo Day Trip: Guide to Palo Verde National Park

roseate spoonbills inhabit Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde National Park is famous for its birdwatching (pictured: a roseate spoonbill)

One of Costa Rica’s seemingly greatest contrasts, spectacular Palo Verde National Park is home to a resounding dichotomy: rich and vibrant wetlands that simultaneously house one of the world’s foremost examples of tropical dry forest.

A contradiction, indeed, and one that works beautifully.

Palo Verde’s unique setting is owed to the Río Tempisque, which ebbs and flows over this otherwise arid region. The result is somewhat other-worldly, with sun-drenched dry forest unfolding over parched limestone, which then cozies up to rushing river and muddy habitats.

It’s a major watershed, a protected wildlife sanctuary, and an important dry forest, all rolled into one. And it’s absolutely fascinating.

Palo Verde National Park Overview: 

Location: 16 miles south of Bagaces

Founded: 1978

Maximum Altitude: 879 feet (267 meters) above sea level

Area: 45,492 acres (divided into two sectors: Las Pailas and Santa Maria)

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Telephone: 2200-0125 or 2661-4717

Entrance Fee: $12 adults / $5 children

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In Our Daypack: What to Carry on Your Tamarindo Day Trips

Tamarindo day pack

Here’s what to pack for your Tamarindo day trips. Just add sun! And sand. And Tamarindo. Adventure awaits!

Beyond our general Costa Rica packing list, you’re going to want a day pack. Well, at least, you’ll want one if you’re anything like us. We carry our day packs everywhere. Because, when you’re vacationing at a beach that borders on tropical dry forest, which cozies up to jungle waterfalls, that then spill into sapphire ocean… well, who knows what the day’s adventures will bring?

Obviously, what you throw into your daypack depends on your personal beach style. There are the standards – bathing suit cover-ups, sunglasses, sandals/flip-flops, a good book, etc. – that we know you’ll pack. But there are a few additional things you really wouldn’t want to forget. Here are our musts:

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9 Ways to Upgrade Your Tamarindo Vacation

Tamarindo vacation upgrade private sailing tour

This moment can be yours. All yours. Welcome to our favorite upgrades to your Tamarindo vacation!

So, you’ve done it. You’ve finally booked your trip to Costa Rica. You bought the airfare. You reserved your Tamarindo vacation rental. And you’re thisclose to your dream Tamarindo vacation.

You have just a few details to iron out. Well, maybe more than a few.

Because you have no idea what you want to do while you’re here. Or rather, you know exactly what you’d like to do. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough time to do it all. Well, not unless you’re here for six months.

So, what’s a traveler to do? Prioritize, that’s what. Because, as difficult as it may be to narrow down your Tamarindo vacation preferences, it’s an unfortunate necessity. Your trip (and your sanity) deserve it. (And don’t worry, whatever you can’t fit in now will be perfect for your next visit!)

Luckily, we’re here to help. We’re here, on the ground. We’re here, doing it all so you don’t have to. We work with delighted travelers every day. And so, we know – we know the best upgrades, must-book tours, and other activities you can’t miss on your Tamarindo vacation.

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Tamarindo Day Trip: The Fascinating Rio Celeste & its Waterfall

Tamarindo day trip to Rio Celeste

Tamarindo day trip: Rio Celeste, one of the world’s most incredible sights!

Once upon an ancient time, a god decided to paint the sky. Blue, he said, as he picked up his brush – the sky shall be blue. And so, the god chose his paints and began to smear the sky in swaths of cerulean, sapphire and turquoise.

As he painted, the god reached down to Earth to clean his brush. And his brush touched a river. And thus, the river also turned blue – sky blue, as the hue would be known, after the god finished his work. The Celeste River, as the river would be known, one day.

Or so the story goes.

Of course, there’s a scientific explanation for Costa Rica’s Rio Celeste. One that has everything to do with volcanic minerals – with oxygen, aluminum, and silicon, suspended in water and refracting light.

But we prefer the more romantic explanation. It’s fitting for this special river, baby blue in hue and proof, if ever there were, of real-life alchemy – of the mundane becoming something magical. Because here, the water is really, truly blue. Scoop it up with your hands – blue. Immerse your arm – blue. The Rio Celeste is really, truly the blue of a sky-blue crayon. Of a god’s leftover sky paint.

If we are vague, let us be clear: Don’t miss this Tamarindo day trip. Just don’t!

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Off the Beaten Path in Costa Rica: Guide to Rincón de la Vieja

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Costa Rica’s Rincón de la Vieja National Park is a favorite!

Known as the park with a watery skin and a fiery heart, Rincón de la Vieja National Park is one of Costa Rica’s steamiest and coolest attractions, in every sense of the word. Here, still-active volcanoes and boiling mud pots meet cold-water cascades and misty cloud forest – a startling and striking combination of many natural wonders, conveniently distilled into one awesome national park.

And yet, for all its delights, Rincón de la Vieja National Park remains one of Guanacaste’s best-kept secrets. On any given day, you’re likely to meet only a few other tourists at the park. The reason? Access. Located a hop, skip, and more than a few bumps up rustic gravel roads, Rincón de la Vieja is not the easiest drive in Costa Rica. But is it worth it? You bet.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park Overview:

Location: 17 miles northeast of Liberia; 62 miles (2 hours) northeast of Tamarindo

Founded: May 10, 1974

Maximum Altitude: 6,286 feet above sea level

Area: 34,908 acres (divided into two sectors: Las Pailas and Santa Maria)

Hours: Las Pailas: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday; Santa Maria: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Telephone: 2666-5051

Entrance Fee: $15 adults / $5 children

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