It was a long haul. But we’ve made it from there to here and today, Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica is thriving in our post-COVID world. From new restaurants and newer entertainment to memorable moments and returns of old favorites, our vibrant beach town is once again ready to party. And boy, are we ready.
Since we’re here on the ground, living in the Tamarindo area and soaking up every chance to thrive, enjoy, and have a blast, we thought we’d fill you in on all the fun that awaits in 2022. To start, know this:
April 1, 2022: Costa Rica Drops COVID Entry Requirements
As of April 1, 2022, Costa Rica has eliminated its COVID travel requirements. Tourists are no longer required to take a COVID test before entry, or show proof of vaccination, or purchase COVID health/quarantine insurance, or fill out the Costa Rican Health Pass. Entry to Costa Rica is exactly as it was pre-pandemic: Show your passport, get your entry stamp, and enjoy!
(Note that, depending on your country of residence or return, you may be required to take a COVID test before your flight home. Please check your home and/or transit country’s COVID requirements!)
Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica: What’s New, What’s Thriving
Tamarindo Night Market (Every Thursday)
The Tamarindo Night Market is now reopened and again one of the town’s favorite weekly events! Open every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., the Night Market is one part market, one part dining, one part entertainment.
We’ll start with the market: dozens of 100% local vendors offer their wares, goods, and products – everything from glass-bottled kombucha to handmade jewelry. When you’ve walked and shopped up a good appetite, dig in! Because the market also hosts an array of restaurants and food vendors, who serve up treats-on-a-stick (kebobs and etc.) and pizza, empanadas and arepas, pulled pork BBQ and ooey-gooey pizza. And then, there’s the entertainment, which comes in many iterations, including DJs, first dancers, and traditional Costa Rican dancing.
TamaOnda Fire Show
While there are many things that may define your experience in Tamarindo, perhaps the one to “spark” the most awe will be the nightly fire show at TamaOnda. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. every night, the bar & restaurant hosts an incredible fire dancing show on the sands. Paired with phenomenal food and an incredible ambiance, it will definitely go down as one of your favorite nights of vacation!
Sunset Drinks at Panga’s Beachfront Restaurant
For the sunset lovers among us, we can think of no better spot for a cocktail, a lingering meal, and one of Tamarindo’s best sunsets.
Sitting beachfront near the estuary crossing to Playa Grande, Pangas is an absolute must during any visit to Tamarindo – and not just for the sunsets, but for the food, too! We can recommend their incredible prime beef cuts, served rare on sizzling volcanic rock that’s been heated to 500º, so you can cook each slice at your table, to your desired temperature.
Sunday Funday Pool Party @ The Grateful Hotel
If you’re looking for your fun with the side of party, then you cannot miss Sunday Funday. Held every Sunday at 11:30 a.m., the even includes a free boat and shuttle (reservations required) in and out. It’s a pool party, it’s live music, and it’s a great time!
Stay Here: Casa Leo Loco
Tamarindo | 6 Bedrooms | 4 Baths + 1 Half Bath(s) | Sleeps 12
Open-air and designed around its landscapes and environment, oceanview Casa Leo Loco is built in the style of a classical tropical beach home, Casa Leo Loco sources warm touches and exotic details – local hardwoods, terracotta tiles, flagstone floors, and massive glass doors – to make you feel at home in Costa Rica. To invite you to cool off in the pool, luxuriate in the breeze, admire the view, and create unforgettable Tamarindo memories.
For this is a home where memories beg to be made. Every night, the sun sets over your private infinity pool. Every morning, the eastern sunset streaks the sky in pale fluorescents. And in between, you’ll check the surf conditions from your window. You’ll luxuriate on your private pool terrace. You’ll feel the breeze in your hair and the sun on your skin. And you’ll know that you’re vacationing somewhere in the middle of the jungle and yet, surrounded by comfort and luxury.
This is the promise of Casa Leo Loco, one of Tamarindo’s most select vacation homes: 6 bedrooms, perched above a coastal slope and overlooking downtown Tamarindo, Tamarindo Bay, and the blue Pacific. Enjoy the ocean views from many rooms, including the pool and pool terrace, the outdoor dining area, and several bedrooms.
And, trust us (but only until you’re here to see it for yourself): The view from Casa Leo Loco is intoxicating. This sense of altitude and soaring height will literally take your breath away!
Pool & Beach Crawl (Every Sunday)
Another Sunday event, the Pool & Beach Crawl begins every Sunday for a pre-party at Sharkys (12-1 p.m.), where you can mingle and party with your fellow crawlers. Then, board an old U.S. school bus (the kind you rode as a kid) and head out to crawl the coast.
As the tunes blast and you get to know your seat neighbors, you’ll also explore three little-known spots – and enjoy a free drink at each stop. Round it out on the oceanfront with DJ tunes, beach volleyball, live entertainment, plus happy hours specials and a beach bonfire. For many, the after-party bus ride home is one of the best parts!
Farmer’s Markets (Friday in Playa Grande | Saturday in Tamarindo)
For foodies and the adventurous, the Costa Rican feria, or farmer’s market, is one of Costa Rica’s must-experience cultural attractions: Here, amidst artisan goods and hard-working farmers, the stalls are stacked high with fruits and vegetables of all sorts.
Sure, you’ll find some of your tropical favorites – the watermelon and the mangoes, the pineapples and the starfruit – but you’ll also see, sample, and hopefully purchase marvels you’ve never even heard of: rambutan (mamón chino) and star apple (caimito), sour guava (cas) and soursop (guanábana), mangosteen (mangostán) and sour passion fruit (maracuyá). Learn more about the fruits you have to try at the farmer’s market.
Bike Craft Mountain Bike Guided Tours
Switching it up from after-dark parties to daytime delights, Bike Craft promises some of the most high-octane, delightful, family-friendly adventures in the Tamarindo area.
You’ll head a few miles south of Tamarindo and onto the trails of Hacienda Pinilla, where the community’s rugged and incredible mountain biking trails – you can choose a high-end, full-suspension mountain bike or e-bike, depending on your skill and endurance level – take you into ocean views and forest habitats home to howler monkeys, parrots, and more. Great for all ages and ability levels!
The Alley @ Calle Dengue (@ Sharkys)
An exclusive night center and event center, located at local haunt Sharkys, The Alley @ Calle Dengue promises a full event roster that delivers reggae parties, DJs, game competitions, and other events.
Swing by and check out the calendar (easily available via QR code) and then, set aside time for your favorite. Among their current events (early 2022), you’ll find Girls’ Night Out (Mondays), Karaoke (Tuesdays), Latino Night (Thursdays), Bombs Away (Fridays 2×1 on all Classic Bombs), Ladies’ Night (Saturdays), and Beer Pong (Sundays).
If you’re planning an event or just an eventful evening in Tamarindo, we can highly recommend one of our area’s newest places to be: the Water House Tiki Hut, a floating bar and tiki hut that’s all yours!
Located up the road in Potrero, the floating Tiki Hut offers a chance to turn off the world, float away, and enjoy the silence – all, starting at a very affordable $25!
Luxury Picnic Experience (Ask Us)
One of the Tamarindo area’s newest experiences, a luxury picnic can be anything from an intimate meal with a view to an all-out event, complete with add-ons like birthday cakes, professional photography, a professional drone photographer, videography, and more.
It begins with your choice of picnic package – the Romantic Picnic, Mediterranean Picnic, Sweet and Savory Picnic, Luxury Picnic, and more – and then, choose your beach location. You can also combine your picnic with surf lessons, a beach horseback ride, or almost any other activity you set your heart on.
Tamarindo’s new(ish) food truck park, known as the Jardín de Tamarindo or Tamarindo Garden, offers a fun opportunity to switch it up and level up your Tamarindo food game.
There is so much to enjoy here and you’ll have your pick of many cuisines. Sample Asian stir fry or Costa Rican ceviche. Enjoy breakfast for dinner and dig into crispy waffles and sweet crepes. Dig into cheesy tequeños and vegan casados. There’s something that everyone will love!
Stay Here: Crystal Sands 104
Playa Langosta | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | Sleeps 12
Located beachfront on Playa Langosta, Crystal Sands 104 is where oceanfront, ocean-view, ocean-everything vacations begin. This picture-perfect condo is a perfect spot for families, surf enthusiasts, and everyone who loves the sand and yearns to dip their toes in the ocean. Because here, you can walk out the door, directly onto the sand, and right into the water!
You’ll love this warm and welcoming condo for its spacious common areas, which invite spending time together and making memories. When you’re not gathering, dining, or conversing, you’ll be finishing for your dinner, rocking a surf lesson, or lounging at the resort’s pool.
And that’s another thing: Crystal Sands 104 is located within the Crystal Sands resort complex, an upscale condominium community on the south end of Tamarindo Bay, in the quiet area of Playa Langosta. In addition to its ideal Playa Langosta location, the complex offers access to a refreshing pool and sun-splashed Jacuzzi – the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon or an entire vacation! The choice is yours.
Did You Know? We Promise Complimentary Travel Planning in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica
There’s a big difference between an in-the-know local with serious expertise helping plan your vacation and reading the latest Frommer’s– and it’s probably not what you think.
To start, reading Frommer’s will probably cost you more (unless you borrow it from the library). We’re serious. At Stay in Tamarindo, our concierge services are absolutely and always free. What we mean by that is, if you can direct-book a canopy tour for $XY, you’ll pay $XY via our concierge, too.
The difference is that our wonderful concierge, Cris, knows which is the best canopy tour in our area. Not the one that the internet says is the best, but the one that’s best for your 8-year-old, or for someone who’s unsure of heights, or for the adrenaline junkie in your travel group. Because Cris knows Tamarindo like the back of her hand, and her job to get to know you almost that well, too!
Think of Cris as your Costa Rica real-life guidebook, best friend, and confidante. Tell her everything and she’ll align your needs and wants with the Tamarindo reality. She will build your custom itinerary and suggest activities, tours, and attractions tailored to your specific interests, activity levels, and wish lists.
It all starts the moment you reserve one of our Tamarindo vacation rentals!