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Tamarindo Surf

Tamarindo is you one-stop shopping Costa Rica Surf Vacation. Tamarindo really has it all: multiple surf spots for surfers of all levels, a killer nightlife, day trip adventures, surf camps, surf shops, great restaurants, and plenty of surfer-friendly accommodations. Even better, Tamarindo is just a short shuttle/bus/taxi from Liberia International Airport. All this makes it one of Costa Rica’s most popular surf spots.

Playa Tamarindo: The beach in front of the main drag is good for beginners, and easy to find a little ripple to yourself. Theres kind of a rocky-ish left that comes in as well. I’ve surfed it about head high and it’s fun. Playa Tamarindo is lined with surfer-friendly hotels and cabinas pretty much the whole way.

Playa Grande: As far as Costa Rican beaches go, they don’t get much more beautiful than Playa Grande. The white and gray coral sand stretches seemingly forever, and you can always find an uncrowded spot to chill on the beach or surf. Playa Grande is very consistent, so I doubt you will get skunked on a surf trip here. Theres healthy mix of lefts and rights, and surf jacks up at high tide. The beachbreak here is good for beginners, as is Playa Tamarindo (probably a bit mellower for beginners). You can hike to the trail at the north end of the beach which winds along the cape through dry forest to Playa Ventanas, where you can get away from the hub-bub and play in the tide pool which are great for snorkeling and splish-splashing around with your girlfriend.

Playa Grande Marine Turtle National Park: The entire shoreline in Tamarindo is protected within the 445-hectare preserve, which guards the largest nesting site of the leatherback turtle on the Pacific coast. The preserve even extends 22,000 hectares out to sea. Turtles have been nesting here for millions of years, and in 1990 the beach was finally included in the park to protect the turtles, which are so awesome! Hopefully you will get to witness them hatching sometime.

Witchs Rock Boat Trips

Ollies Point Boat Trips

Surf Lessons/Camps: There are a lot of places offering camps and lessons in Tamarindo. You can expect to $30 for an hour lesson and $100 (and up) for surf camps/day. Since I’ve kind of graduated from the surf camp thing, I can only recommend a few that i know are professional, reliable, and have the expertise and equipment and blah blah. You get it. Here are my recommendations for Tamarindo Surf Camps: Iguana Surf, Nomad Surfers (right on the nature preserve behind Playa Grande), Witch’s Rock Surf Camp (get your boat trip to Witch’s Rock), and Maresia Surf Shop (one of the first shops in the area– definitely check them out — you can get hire your boat to Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s here as well).

Tamarindo Hotels: There are so many places to stay here. I never plan ahead, I just get into town and sniff out a cheap place, or camp. The hotels I’m listing here are all possible for under $100/night: Best Western Camino A Tamarindo, Hotel Pasatiempo, Hotel Pueblo Dorado, Bw Tamarindo Vista Villas, Hotel Luna Llena, Hotel Tropicana - I’ve stayed here… bunkbeds… It’s totally fine for $80 or so/night.

Tamarindo Camping: Here’s the place: Tito’s Camping (they don’t have a phone) which you can find nearby the Hotel Capit├ín Suizo. The easiest thing to do is ask around when you get there. Camping on the beach in an unsecured area is a bit of a bad idea. There are plenty of sketch drug types hanging around on the beach and in town at night. You wont feel safe and your stuff won’t be safe. Avoid this unless you are a sketch drug type yourself.

Tamarindo Nightlife: Tamarindo has a raging nightlife. If you go out, you will surely end up at Babylon and Mambo. You can also check out the Monkey Bar at the Best Western, and the bar at the Hotel Pasatiempo. It’s easy to score drugs in Tamarindo if that’s your bag. dime bag.

Tamarindo Day Trips and Other Activites: Tamarindo makes a great home-base for surfers, eco-tourists, adventure seeker types, and anyone else. Surfers - organize a boat trip to Witch’s Rock and surf for a day, you won’t regret it. You can visit the nearby estuary, go to the rainforest - zip lines, canopy tours, horseback, etc.. Another great thing to experience here - watch newly hatched leatherback turtles make their down the beach and into the waves.

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