The (Almost) Complete Guide to Company Groups & Corporate Retreats in Costa Rica
Ahh, corporate retreats in Costa Rica – the dream of many! And for good reason, of course: Costa Rica is not only a beautiful dream destination, but it’s full of fun, adventure, and thrills. Of everything you need to relax and reward your employees, while building in a bit of group bonding and team-building.
It’s a match made in heaven.
Your Corporate Retreat in Tamarindo: The When
Costa Rican weather is warm and at least partly sunny, year-round, so we’ll start there: Tamarindo averages 75-95º F (23-35º C) and gets a consistent 12-13 hours of sunlight, year-round. The sun comes up around 5:30 and sets just after 6, almost every day.
Additionally, there are two basic seasons: dry season (December-April) and wet season (a.k.a. green season, May-November). If you’d like to know more, check out our guide to Costa Rican weather.
So obviously, the specific when is up to your group’s schedule but you should know there are four distinct retreat seasons in Costa Rica – and each has its advantages (and disadvantages). Bottom line: If you have flexibility in your corporate retreat schedule, then you may want to time your stay according to Costa Rica’s travel seasons, whether you’re aiming for the best weather, the best price, or a combination of the two:
High Season (Christmas through Easter; July)
Upside: If you’re looking for the Costa Rican experience – endless sun, warmth, and cloudless blue skies, for as far as the eye can see – then you’ll love the high season. From mid-December through March, we enjoy all-day, everyday sunshine, with no rain, no clouds, and unbelievable nightly sunsets that make for perfect group photo ops – and ideal corporate retreat weather.
Downside: Perfect weather comes at a price (and unfortunately, we mean that literally). It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that Costa Rica’s high season is the most expensive time of year. It’s also incredibly popular – accommodations, venues, team-building, and activities book up early – so you’ll probably need to reserve well in advance. Additionally, no matter how large your group, discounts are (almost) unheard of during high season.
Mid-Season (Post-Easter through June; November to mid-December)
Upside: Mid-season is our favorite time for Costa Rica events. Why? Because it’s the best of both worlds: You’re likely to have great weather – mostly sunny, not too hot, with a few afternoon showers to green up the scenery – but it’s also off-peak season, meaning you have more negotiating power to secure a great deal on group travel.
And, it’s not just your accommodations that come cheaper, either. If you’re booking up a retreat venue, or a team-building event, or group activities, you may be able to secure a special deal. What’s more, it’s just easier to book events during off season, since you don’t have to compete with the lost revenues of closing down a restaurant for a private event.
Downside: Mid-season is mid-season is mid-season. There’s a reason this isn’t high season and that reason is weather: Sunshine isn’t guaranteed. In fact, you’re likely to experience afternoon showers, at least once a while. (Tip: The earlier into mid-season you book – say, April instead of June – the lower the risk of rain.) If you’re booking a venue for a large event, be sure to make accommodations for possible rain.
Green Season (August through October)
Upside: The “green” or low season offers huge negotiating power. Or, let’s put it this way: There’s little competition for accommodations, venues, and other retreat services, so you’ll not only have your pick of everything, but your group will probably be able to negotiate incredible prices, to boot.
Downside: Weather. It’s called the green season for a reason: It rains. Usually, every day. And we’re not talking drizzle; during the height of the rainy season, you could see thunderstorms and downpours every day.
Destination: Tamarindo for Corporate Retreats in Costa Rica
Call us biased, but we think Tamarindo is a pretty sweet locale for your corporate retreat. Let’s start with the basics: Tamarindo is located on Costa Rica’s north-Pacific coast, about 75 minutes southwest of the Liberia International Airport (LIR). Once a funky (in every way) fishing town, Tamarindo has grown up to be a mini metropolis: great restaurants, plenty of activity, and even a bit of nightlife. Our de facto motto – “surf, eat, and have fun” – pretty much says it all!
The town curves from Playa Grande down to Playa Langosta, to encompass a mile-long little beach town that’s perfect for walking, jogging, or banana biking. In our immediate surrounds, you’ll also find dry forest, wet forest, and even desert-like savannah landscapes – a diverse and very photogenic ecosystem home to almost everything you want to see and experience in Costa Rica.
So, what kind of sights and experiences? Truly, there’s an amazing variety of things to see and do here: surfing, SUP, canopy zip-lining, yoga, catamaran sailing, turtle nesting, snorkeling & scuba diving, wildlife & nature tours, sports fishing, swimming, golf, and much more. (More on that, below.)
EASY BUTTON!! Don’t want to mess around with logistics (or group bookings)? We’ll do it for you! From activities and transportation, to team-building and chef services, we’ll take care of everything before you arrive, so you don’t spend your retreat… well, planning your retreat. If you’d like any help, our in-house concierge, Cristina (send her an email), can recommend anything you need – and book it on your behalf, absolutely free!
Where to Stay for Corporate Retreats in Costa Rica
One of the best aspects of corporate retreats in Costa Rica is, well, being in Costa Rica. This is paradise. Costa Rica is a wonderful reward for a job well done or an incentive to grow as a team. And with that in mind, you want your retreat destination to be a little bit special. A little bit fantastical. And, yes, even a tad luxurious.
You want upscale amenities – five-star extras like an infinity pools, private chefs, daily housekeeping, ample entertainment spaces, and privacy for all your retreat guests. You’d like Pacific Ocean views. And you need privacy.
We’ve got you covered. In fact, we have a few homes we recommend for corporate retreats, as well as an entire fleet of group vacation rentals that company groups love, time and time again.
We bet you’ll find something that strikes your fancy (and is large enough for your group). Search all our Tamarindo vacation rentals, where you’ll find everything from ocean-view 2-bedrooms to palatial properties that accommodate up to 64 guests!
(And remember, if you’d like any help with planning or booking tours, our in-house concierge, Cristina (send her an email) can recommend, arrange, and ensure all the details for you and your friends and family – and book them on your behalf, absolutely free!)
What to Do: Team-Building in Costa Rica
When it comes to corporate retreats in Costa Rica, it’s best to start from your goals and work backward: What do you hope to achieve during your retreat? What kind of team-building do you hope to do? What can be accomplished in just a week (or however long you plan to visit)?
Once you understand the answers to these questions, then you’re more able to plan your retreat, build in appropriate activities, and work in plenty of fun and entertainment.
Let’s start with the great news: Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s top destinations because, in addition to our spectacular beaches and excellent surf, we’re also at the epicenter of many of the country’s most incredible (and iconic) activities. From chill nature-watching and world-record sport fishing, to adrenaline-pumping surfing and thrilling zip-lining, your retreat can channel Costa Rica’s bucket-list thrills into effective team-building activities.
Groups heading to a corporate retreat in Tamarindo often book bonding adventures and activities to enjoy together. Here are a few of the most popular:
Surfing: If we had to pick oneactivity that your corporate group just cannot miss, it would be surfing. That’s because Tamarindo’s surf is world-renowned and yet, many of the best spots are appropriate for beginner and intermediate surfers – and, of course, plenty of breaks, barrels, and other waves just for the advanced among you! A group surfing lesson can offer great bonding and team-building, or we can just point you in the right direction for board rentals.
Catamaran Sailing: And now, if we get to pick one completely-fun-nothing-but-relaxation-and-laughter kind of retreat activity, it would definitely be this! There’s snorkeling. There’s swimming. There’s sunbathing. There are catamaran hammocks. And there are spectacular sunsets. There’s also lots of food and booze. In other words, this is a luxurious and wonderful reward for a job well done.
Sport Fishing: Avid anglers know that Costa Rica’s north Pacific is the place to go for great fishing, but let’s layer on some additional incentive: we can hook you up with the BEST boat and the BEST crew ever! We also offer the typical Costa Rican panga fishing boat, for the authentic Costa Rican fishing experience.
Turtle Nesting: Talk about group bonding! If you’re in town for turtle nesting, do yourself a favor and book a night tour to Las Baulas National Park, an internationally renowned (and incredibly important) nesting site for leatherback sea turtles, a threatened species.
Canopy / Zipline: Okay, if you’re looking to add some heart-pumping action to your company retreat, then this is it! You’ll jump off sky-high platforms, swing through the canopy, navigate a swimming bride, and even scale down a thrilling rappel. It’s high-octane and all fun!
Snorkeling or Scuba Diving: Whether you’re looking to spot manta rays, or reef sharks, or wily octopuses, our great captains know just where to take you – from a tiny and secluded inlet to a major destination like the Catalina Islands.
Mangrove Tours: There are tons of nature tours available, but none quite so Tamarindo as a mangrove tour, which will take you through the canals in search of photo ops and nature sightings, including crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, and dozens of bird species.
Of course, there are many, many more things to do in and around Tamarindo, including tubing/rafting, horseback riding, ATV tours, ocean kayaking, luxury spa days, and even day trips to Palo Verde National Park (wetlands and wildlife-watching) and Rincón de la Vieja National Park (hot springs, hiking, horseback riding and more!).
More of What to Do: Things to See in Tamarindo
Think we’ve covered all there is to see and do in Costa Rica? We’re just getting started. Yes, we’re biased – but only for our love of this country and our beach town! Costa Rica and Tamarindo are truly a wonderful place to visit, especially as part of a company group. (Speaking of, where do you work? Because sign us up! Only the best companies make the corporate trek to the tropics.)
But, we’ve sidetracked ourselves. Back to the topic at hand: a few of our must-dos-or-you’ll-regret-it-forever Tamarindo things to see:
Beaches: It’s no contest! Tamarindo’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica, boasting pillowy soft sand, natural pools, and rocky outcroppings for walking. Not to mention, of course, the killer surf and, just a short drive away, the you-have-to-see-them-to-believe-them pink sands. Your company group could spend all day, every day on the beach, and still leave wanting more.
Las Baulas National Marine Park: Even if the leatherbacks aren’t nesting (or hatching), our neighboring Las Baulas Marine Park still offers miles of pristine beaches, great surf, and other must-see sights.
Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge: If your group is replete with animal lovers, then you owe them a trip to the Tamarindo Estuary, a saltwater jungle rife with animal life, mangrove forests, and wetland habitats that house crocs, monkeys, herons, caimans, coatis, and so much more.
Catalina Islands: Known for their scuba diving, the iconic Catalina Islands also offer superb scenery, both below and above the water. On your way there, keep your eyes open for manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and whales breaching near the boat!
Nightlife: Chances are, when corporate retreats in Costa Rica head to Tamarindo, there are going to be at least a few toast. We are the nightlife capital of the north Pacific, after all! From dancing and dining, hosted events to live music, beachfront fire dancers and after-hours drinks, Tamarindo sure knows how to show your group a good time.
Getting to/from Tamarindo
There is nothing more irritating than transportation troubles, areweright? So, forget the frustrations and iron out your transportation to/from Tamarindo in advance, starting with how to get to Tamarindo (and back again).
Option 1: Private Airport Shuttle
Hands down, this is our favorite way to get to Tamarindo. After a long flight, there’s nothing better than finding your name on a sign, climbing into an air-conditioned vehicle, and letting your driver handle your bags, the driving, and all the other details.
Option 2: Drive
You’ll probably want a rental car while you’re in town – don’t worry, if you shuttle from the airport, we can have your rental car dropped off at the house! – so if you pick one up at the airport, be sure to use Waze, a free GPS app, to navigate to Tamarindo. Otherwise, from the airport, take Route 21 south to Route 155 southwest, and then follow signs on Avenida las Palmas west to Tamarindo downtown.
You have three additional options, as well – but we don’t recommend them. The first is flying into SJO (San José International Airport) and taking a puddle-jumper to Tamarindo; the second is taking a shared shuttle from Liberia, which can be scheduled at inconvenient-to-you times and has luggage limitations; and the third is to take the public bus, which we recommend only more the most adventurous travelers.
What else would you like to know?
And that, company guests, wraps up this our primer on corporate retreats in Costa Rica and Tamarindo. If there’s anything, in particular, you’d like to know, please post a comment or get in touch! We’re always happy to help.