Costa Rica in September & October: Save Some Green on Green Season Travel

Tamarindo sunsets during Costa Rica in September
Costa Rica in September and October can get a little (or a lot) wet. It can also be a great deal. Just choose your destination wisely!

So, you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica in September or October (also known as the green season)? And you’re also wondering just how much of a euphemism is “green season,” really? Are we talking sun-showers-and-rainbows season or daily-deluge season?

Costa Rica in September and October: How Rainy Are the “Rainiest Months”?

The answer is, it depends.

The very shortest answer we can give you is that Costa Rica’s green season (aka rainy season) runs from about mid-May through mid-November, and September and October are the rainiest months. (Don’t click away yet! There’s a but.)

BUT, “rainiest” depends on where you’re visiting – for example, Guanacaste province, home to Tamarindo and beyond, is the driest province in Costa Rica – and your rain tolerance. (More on that, in a moment.)

Before we can get into that, though, let’s talk about Costa Rican weather. When it comes to generalizing the country, we divide our weather into two basic seasons: the dry season (December-May) and the rainy/green season (June-November). Here’s how the 12 months break down, both weather and tourism-wise:

  • Dry Season (Dec through Easter): Sun, sun, sun! And, the highest prices of the year.
  • Shoulder or Mid-Season (Easter to mid-June): A great bang for your buck, with lower prices and a great chance of sun.
  • Summer Season (mid-June through mid-August): A mid-year peak, with prices just under the true high season.
  • Green Season (mid-August through mid-Dec): A daily chance of rain sends prices to their lowest points of the year.

Continue reading “Costa Rica in September & October: Save Some Green on Green Season Travel”

Discover 5 Hidden Beaches & 4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Waterfalls in Guanacaste

Casa Puros Dieces oceanview terrace
There’s always something to see, do, explore and enjoy in Costa Rica. Like Casa Puros Dieces’ dream-worth infinity pool and sun-drenched terrace, pictured.

You’re ready to travel again (or nearly so) and you’ve begun planning. It’s exhilarating. You haven’t done this in awhile. And oh, you’ve missed it! Now, you’re trying to determine the best time to travel to Costa Rica.

Now, you’re focused on the when. And the truth is, the best time to travel to Costa Rica is right now. Or tomorrow. Or next year. Whenever you’re ready. Whenver the beaches are sun-splashed and the waterfalls are roaring. Whenever adventure is in the air. Whenever you have the time. Because you’re going to want enough time!

Case in point: these five not-so-touristed beaches and four off-the-beaten-track waterfalls, which don’t feature in many guidebooks but do feature among our favorites. Because, Costa Rica is the kind of place that makes you want to walk a little further, explore a little more, see something that not everyone has seen.

We can help with that.

Continue reading “Discover 5 Hidden Beaches & 4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Waterfalls in Guanacaste”

Spotlight On: 5 Condo Community Rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo vacation outdoor activities sunset sailing
Our condo rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica offer access to some of the area’s best locations, amenities, and peace of mind

When it comes to vacation rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica you could call us experts. We’ve stepped foot in most of them and have added the best to our portfolio. So, it’s fair to say that we have our finger on the pulse of Tamarindo vacation rentals, the beach lifestyle, and what makes for a memorable stay.

We’ve learned many things over the years, and one of the most important among them is the benefit of community. We know – you’re wondering what community has to do with vacation? In Tamarindo, community equates to resort amenities. Community is convenience and access. It’s security and peace of mind.

Community means staying in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful things, in a beautiful locale. So, whether you’re just here for a visit or are a digital nomad looking to relocate the beach, Tamarindo’s condo communities offer the locations and amenities you seek, from strong Wi-Fi and beachside access to resort pools and secured parking.

Here are five of our favorite Tamarindo resort communities, ideal for both short- and long-term stays:

Continue reading “Spotlight On: 5 Condo Community Rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica”

8 Reasons to Plan a Last-Minute Tamarindo Vacation

best time to travel to Costa Rica by season

Pack your bags and get ready to go! It’s time for sun and fun, for footloose and fancy-free. That’s right: It’s time for a last-minute Tamarindo vacation. 

From epic surf and long walks on the beach, to private ocean-view infinity pools and last-minute deals on condos, small villas, and large homes, we offer up our expertise, planning, and select vacation home – everything you need to get planned, get going, and get here. ASAP. Whether that P stand for tomorrow or next week. Welcome to your next Tamarindo vacation!

Reason #1: Sun, Sand & Surf

It’s the tropics and the weather is fine! The sun is shining (most of the day, at least!), the sand is warm, and the surf is excellent. The truth is, it’s always a good time to plan a Tamarindo vacation. So, why wait?

Continue reading “8 Reasons to Plan a Last-Minute Tamarindo Vacation”

How to Be Happier and Healthier in the New Year with a Costa Rican Vacation

Happy 2020!   The new year is here, and it’s going to be the best one yet!   As you’re making your plans for the year and thinking about how to focus on well-being, don’t forget that a Costa Rica vacation is one of the healthiest choices you can make.  Forget Disney World–come to the happiest country on Earth, where the air and water are clean, monkeys swing through the trees, and the sun shines 365 days a year!

Photo by Oliver Sjöström

When we say a Costa Rica vacation is a healthy vacation, we’re not making it up.  One of the world’s Blue Zones, where longevity is unusually high, is right here on the Nicoya Peninsula only a few miles from Tamarindo.  If being healthier than ever is one of your resolutions for 2020, coming to Tamarindo is the right way to get started. A Tamarindo vacation rental is the perfect way to relax with family and friends and get your healthy year started off the way you want to.  Here are a few of the reasons Costa Rica is good for you: 

1. It’s the Perfect Place to Unwind

Photo by Dean McQuade

The best thing you can do for yourself this year is unwinding and relax.  Stress ties your body and your mind in knots, and the first step to a healthy 2020 is letting go of your worries. Tamarindo, Costa Rica is the perfect place to do just that.  We have the beaches, the sun, the flora and fauna, the bars and restaurants, the health and wholeness spas, and the perfect Tamarindo vacation rentals to make this trip the one that points your year in the right direction.  

Tropical vacations are special because they are geared toward relaxation.  No matter what time of year you chose to visit us, you’ll enjoy warm weather, lush gardens, and warm ocean water. Leisurely sunset walks on the beach are an ideal and even romantic way to unwind.  Costa Rica’s laid-back atmosphere and favorite expression “Pura Vida” will quickly loosen the knots and help you unwind.  

Spectacular Tamarindo sunset

We’ll help you pick a Tamarindo vacation rental with what you really need to let the stress melt away: a hammock, a private pool, the sound of the ocean nearby, and a five-star concierge to make sure you have everything you want at your fingertips.

2. Sunlight is Good for You

Photo by Maciej Serafinowicz

Newsflash!  Direct sunlight is good for you!  Simply receiving sunlight can increase the vitamin D levels in your body, set circadian rhythms which improve sleep, strengthen your bones, improve your mood and mental health, make your heart healthier, improve your brain function and overall help you live longer.  You might feel better just thinking about it!  

Of course, too much sun in the middle of the day can cause sunburn which we don’t recommend, but human beings were made to be in the sun, so put that bikini in your suitcase and get on a plane!  It’s good for you! A hat and a light-colored long-sleeved shirt can cut down on the amount of chemical sunscreens you need to use on your skin, which is a healthy way not to get too much sun.  

3. Being in or Near the Ocean is Good for You

Photo by Limor Zellermayer

Historically, doctors often recommended that their ailing patients go to the seaside to breathe in the salty air absorb sun on their skin and bathe in the natural mineral salts.  Unfortunately, your health insurance probably doesn’t cover seaside visits–but maybe it should.  

Breaking waves fill the air with negative ions that purify the air and have an antidepressant effect in the human brain.  The fact that looking at the ocean relaxes you, and that being near it makes you feel better and immediately calmer is not in your imagination.  It’s chemistry. 

Come surf with us in Tamarindo!

For even more negative ion benefits, get out there in those waves and go for a swim or grab a board and catch some waves.  A Tamarindo surf lesson is not only one of the most fun things you can do in Costa Rica, it’s also excellent for the health of your brain.  Ever wonder why surfers are so laid back and happy?  

4. There Are All Kinds of Exercise Options

Photo by Jared Rice

It’s a pleasure to exercise in Costa Rica where the sun is shining and the weather is beautiful.  Forget the gym! Walk or run on the beach. Hike. Surf. Swim. Snorkel. Go kayaking or whitewater rafting.  Try a stand-up paddle board. Enjoy yoga in a shady open-air dojo, or on the beach in the cooler hours of the early mornings.  As your mind relaxes and your body strengthens, you’ll feel better and better with each day of your Costa Rica vacation.    

5. The Environment is Clean

Photo by Alexander Aguero

A Costa Rica vacation is a healthy vacation because our environment is one of the cleanest and greenest on the planet.  25% of Costa Rica’s territory is either a national park or a protected area. Imagine what that does for our air quality, the cleanliness of our water, and the health of our ecosystems.  The air pressure at sea level gives your blood cells an oxygen boost with every breath you take, so come get energized!  

6. Costa Rican Food is Healthy Food

Enjoy a meal like this at Nogui’s Restaurant in Tamarindo

You are what you eat, and an obvious product of Costa Rica’s clean environment is clean food.  It’s easy to eat healthy and be healthy in Costa Rica. Organic farms all over the country make chemical-free meals something you can find almost anywhere, and most towns have local farmers’ markets.  You won’t want to miss our Saturday farmers’ and craft market here in Tamarindo!

Traditional Costa Rican meals are comprised of rice, beans, corn tortillas, simple salads, and a protein–usually chicken, fish, or beef.  Eat a variety of these items, mixed with a variety of fresh tropical fruits, fresh cheese and eggs, and you’ll be amazed by how wonderful you begin to feel.  

We have the Tamarindo Vacation Rental you need for your vacation

2020 is going to be your best year yet.  Contact us now and let us help you get started planning your healthy vacation to Costa Rica.  Start 2020 off right!

Tamarindo Vacation Rental of the Month: The Sunrise Condo Collection

Our Property of the Month to start the year out is located in the heart of Tamarindo and is a standard favorite for family vacations.  The Sunrise Condo Collection is comprised of 5 different vacation rentals of Tamarindo that, individually or as a multi-location unit, bring you the best Tamarindo has to offer.  Before we explain what’s special about each of the Sunrise Condos we offer, have a look around the property in general:

The Sunrise Condo Collection is waiting to bring you your next vacation!

It’s right in the center of town.

A Sunrise condo or set of condos is the right choice for anyone who wants to truly experience a slice of life in Tamarindo because the Sunrise Complex is right in the center of town.  Check out the map and you’ll see what we mean. Bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and the beach are just steps from your door at Sunrise. 

It’s right across the street from the beach.

In Tamarindo, you can’t get any closer to the beach than the Sunrise Complex.  It’s location directly across the street from the warm golden sand places you steps from the water.  Are you a surfer or a beach-lover? Then your ideal vacation rental condo is at Sunrise! Sit on the terrace of your Tamarindo vacation rental after a busy day of fun in the sun, and listen to the soothing sounds of surf breaking on the sand. 

Sunrise is located right across the street from the beach!

It is fully gated and off the street.

The Sunrise property is a safe place for your family and your rental vehicle.  A single entrance point is monitored by a guard service 24 hours a day to make your vacation worry-free.  

It has an amazing pool and common area.

Sunrise’s 4-story buildings are located around a giant internal common area with an oversized child-friendly pool and a sunny area for lounging.  The pool features a separate shallow section for Sunrise’s smallest guests and an interactive waterfall feature that provides hours of family fun.  

Pool area with waterfall

Many of the units are ocean-view.

The only thing that could make your vacation better than a Sunrise condo across the street from the beach is if the home offers an ocean view as well.  And many of our units do! Imagine waking up in an ocean-view bedroom or sipping your first cup of coffee while checking the surf. You can do this and more at Sunrise.

You can walk anywhere.

From Sunrise, everything in Tamarindo is within walking distance.  Nothing makes your vacation relaxing like being able to keep it simple, and Sunrise is the premier place for un-complication.  Save your rental car for trips to other beaches like Flamingo or Avellanas, and enjoy Tamarindo on foot.  

You can reserve multiple units for larger groups.

Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo offers you five different units within Sunrise, so feel free to invite everybody!  Extended families and groups of friends love to vacation together at Sunrise where each family unit has its own home away from home, but there is plenty of space to be together.  

Sunrise is just the beginning!  Get out and explore. Photo by Maja Novak

Our concierge service is yours.

Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo offers you Tamarindo’s premier concierge service.  We’re the long-time local experts on Tamarindo’s best tours, activities, and transportation options, and our guests at Sunrise get to enjoy our five-star service.

Now that we know you can’t wait to pick the unit for your Costa Rica vacation, we’re ready to unveil the choices:

CASA BELLA VIDA – Sunrise #03

3  bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 6 guests

Sunrise 03

Casa Bella Vida has all the best of Sunrise wrapped into a small package.  This compact and affordable vacation rental is perfect for small families. The kitchen and living area are fully equipped with everything you’d expect in a Tamarindo home away from home, and in Casa Bella Vida, you’ll enjoy an ocean view from the terrace and from the master bedroom. One of the home’s two full baths is a private bath in the master bedroom.

OUR TAMARINDO –  Sunrise #14

3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 6 guests

Sunrise 14

Our Tamarindo is our other small-scale Sunrise complex condo.  In Our Tamarindo, the terrace overlooks the sun deck and the resort pool.  You’ll enjoy the natural light that pours through the windows and sliding glass doors into every room of the house.  The kitchen, dining area area, and living area are a single comfortable open space where you and your family or friends will enjoy time together planning activities and then re-living them at the end of each day.  Our Tamarindo has the perfect simplicity of bringing you everything you need in a compact three-bedroom space. 

CASA SOL Y LUNA – Sunrise #31

3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 8 guests

Sunrise #31

Casa Sol y Luna is our Sunrise condo that celebrates the sun and moon.  This simple three bedroom unit follows the layout you’ve already seen in the previous Sunrise units we’ve featured, with the difference that this one has additional sleeping space available.  A bunk bed in one of the guest bedrooms turns that room into a favorite with the youngest members of your party!


3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 8 guests

Sunrise 04

The Sunrise Penthouse is our top-shelf choice for small vacation rental condos in Tamarindo.  This oceanview penthouse is a corner unit on the top floor of Sunrise. The terrace the opens from the living room to the ocean breezes overlooks the pool area, Tamarindo rooftops, and the blue pacific horizon.  Our favorite thing about the Sunrise Penthouse is the ocean view from the master bedroom. This is the best view for the best price in all of Tamarindo. The other thing that sets this bright and beautiful condo apart from others like it is the additional sleeping available on the sleeper couch in the living room.  The more, the merrier–and the Sunrise Penthouse has room for everybody!


5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 12 guests

Sunrise 28

If you’re ready to pull out the stops and enjoy a five-star luxury vacation in the center of Tamarindo Beach, then only our two-story 5-Bedroom Penthouse will do.  This home is the crowning jewel of the Sunrise Complex. Vaulted ceilings, Roman columns, an interior balcony surrounding the living area on the second level, and multiple outdoor terraces make our Five Bedroom Penthouse spectacular.  Here, you’ll enjoy all the Sunrise Complex amenities, but the private ocean view jacuzzi sundeck with a wet bar and dining table is going to capture your imagination and steal your heart.  

Contact us right away about our Sunrise Condo Collection.  We’ll help you make the reservation you need to get the new year started with a smile!

Calling All Electronic Music Lovers: YOU WANT TO BE IN COSTA RICA IN JANUARY 2020!

Actually, anyone in their right mind wants to be in Costa Rica in January, but if you are a lover of electronic music, you want to be HERE.  In January 2020 back-to-back electronic music festivals are going to rock Tamarindo – BPM Costa Rica & Ocaso Festival in Tamarindo.  You want to make plans right now because our Tamarindo vacation rentals are filling up and every day that goes by locks more dates on our calendar.  

Ocaso Music Festival: photo property of Periodico Mensaje Guanacaste

The first festival is the Ocaso Underground Music Festival, from January 9-13.  DJs spin electronic and techno house, one performance at a time, at various locations — poolside, beachside, and in the jungle…all night long.  You don’t want to miss this amazing festival at one of Tamarindo’s most beautiful times of the year.

The BPM Festival, from January 15-19, brings us 5 more days of underground house and electronic music in and around Tamarindo. This is your chance to surf, snorkel, sail, take canopy tours, visit waterfalls, explore cattle ranches and volcanoes while knowing every night is a guaranteed amazing party!

Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo has 5 of our favorite Tamarindo vacation rentals that are still available in January: 

Casa Moana

Casa Moana: 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths

Casa Moana is a beautiful modern home for up to 10 people.  This brand-new vacation rental home is centrally located in Langosta just down the road from Tamarindo and is created with ecology in mind.  Solar panels on the home’s roof provide all of the electricity, 10-foot sliding glass doors create cross-ventilation, and recycled water keeps the green areas rich and healthy through the dry season.  Enjoy the music festivals with your family and friends, and enjoy knowing that the only footprints you leave will be on the sand.

Casa Moana is comprised of a sunny open common area that includes the kitchen, an immense single-slab dining table, and a living area with a flat-screen tv.  This space opens, through sliding glass doors, to a sun patio with loungers, a private pool, and a small table for morning coffee or a poolside cocktail. The master bedroom has a full en-suite bath, and the other 2 bedrooms share a gorgeous full bathroom with skylight. These 3 bedrooms are located on the first level of the home.  An exterior stairway from the pool patio leads down to a lower-level independent space where a multi-purpose room overlooking the community’s garden area includes a private bed/bath suite.  

Casa Xanadu

Casa Xanadu: 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths

Casa Xanadu is an unforgettable Tamarindo vacation rental villa with an absolutely breathtaking view of the Tamarindo Bay, the Las Baulas estuary, the vast expanse of Playa Grande, and the mountains that line the coast. This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home is perfect for the escape artist that enjoys being surrounded by nature in an amazing private setting while still having all the benefits of a lively beach town just moments away. This is an ideal home for a group of friends who want to lay back, relax, and enjoy the electronic music festival in style.

Bright living spaces, a full kitchen and laundry, luxurious bedrooms and a wide breezy patio set with your own private infinity pool dropping off into the Pacific make Casa Xanadu a dream destination. All rooms focus on the incredible view and surfers need not move a muscle to check the conditions. 

Pueblo Colonial 3

Pueblo Colonial #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

Pueblo Colonial #3 is part of a small gated Tamarindo complex.  The villa offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms that can sleep up to four adults. It is fully equipped with kitchenware, linens, towels, AC and Wifi. At the center of the Pueblo Colonial complex is a beautiful private pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens. 

The location of Pueblo Colonial is perfect.  You can easily walk into town within five minutes or relax at home and rest up for the night of dancing to jungle beats. Never before has a music festival in Tamarindo living been so easy and affordable.

Villa Paloma

Villa Paloma: 2 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths

Enjoy the music festivals in a laid-back tropical style at Villa Paloma.  This comfortably furnished and brightly decorated 2-bedroom condo sets along a quiet street just a few minutes’ walk from the beach in Playa Langosta.  This is the ideal place to kick back, relax, surf, walk the beach, lounge by the pool and enjoy the vibrant music scene you came to experience.

Villa Paloma is forms part of a luxury condominium complex called Villas Guapinol. Lush tropical gardens are cared for by a dedicated staff, and a crystal clear resort pool with an ample sun terrace is waiting for you in the private garden behind the condominiums.  On the street side of the complex, a gated parking area is monitored by a security guard.

Casa Catalina

Casa Catalina:  5 bedrooms, 5 baths

The view of Tamarindo Bay from Casa Catalina is literally breathtaking.  Set at the top of a seaside hill 330 feet above the sand, there is no other property that affords a view of the ocean or the sense of serenity present here.  Beyond the terrace, the infinity-edge pool and the property’s tropical garden, the earth drops away, leaving you suspended in a dream-like panorama of sky and sea.

There’s no more beautiful spot to enjoy the days you spend in Tamarindo resting so that you can dance the night away at Ocaso or the BPM festival in Costa Rica.

Up to 16 guests can sleep at Casa Catalina.  The master bedroom includes a private bath and is furnished with a king sized bed.  Two guest bedrooms, one with a single queen sized bed and one with two queen sized beds. The guest bedroom has a private ensuite bath and the second guest room has a bathroom right across the hall. There are 2 brand new Casitas, one with a King bed and a pull-down Queen bed and the other one with a queen bed and a pull-down queen bed. Each casita is fully equipped with a private bathroom, kitchen, and small balcony. The lower casita also has its own private pool.

Let us know if we can help you reserve your vacation rental with us at Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo. Dont wait too long or they will all be rented!

Planning Your Winter Holiday Vacation in Tamarindo

You may still be trying to think up a last-minute Halloween costume or wondering how many pies to make for Thanksgiving, but the truth is we have another thing to add to your to-do list:  Get your year-end holiday Costa Rica vacation on the books! It’s time! Christmas in Costa Rica and Costa Rica New Years are unforgettably fun and fill up fast, so don’t wait until you’ve finished your second helping of turkey to get busy making plans.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

Whether your winter celebration revolves around Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, another religious tradition, or simply the kids’ winter break from school, it can be a big deal to decide to spend it in Costa Rica instead of with Grandma and the cousins.  It’s also, as you either know or will soon find out, not the cheapest time to visit Costa Rica. But it might be the most beautiful. It might be the most fun. It might be the only time you can actually pull off getting away for enough time to make it worth the ticket price.  We’re here to let you know what to expect and to assure you that spending your holidays in Costa Rica is the right choice.

Holiday celebrations are about being together, so it’s logical that rather than a hotel, you’ll want to book a Tamarindo vacation rental, a Langosta vacation rental, a vacation rental in Hacienda Pinilla, or a Flamingo vacation rental.  Luxury homes in all of these areas come in many shapes and sizes, but they go fast so don’t wait.  

Is there a better place for a holiday vacation than this vacation rental in Tamarindo?  Impossible.

Tamarindo is a lively beach town that is the hub of activity in the area.  The vast sandy beach is excellent for surfing and swimming, there are more amazing restaurants than you can possibly eat at, and the year-end Tamarindo nightlife will keep you dancing till the sun comes up.  Langosta, located on the south end of Tamarindo, has a quieter, lazier vibe, but is literally 5 minutes down the road from Tamarindo.  The surf is heavier, the beach is rockier, the nights are quieter, and the December sunsets are even more stunning in Langosta than in Tamarindo.  If you choose a Hacienda Pinilla vacation rental, you’ll be 15 minutes outside of Tamarindo in a 5-star gated community. You’ll have access to the beach club, the fitness center, and the miles of pristine beach that offers spots for surfing and swimming.  All the fun of Tamarindo is easily accessible from this more remote, peaceful location. If you choose a Flamingo vacation rental, you’ll be about 30 minutes north of Tamarindo where the coastal mountains drop down to the white sand.  Flamingo beach known for its stunning scenery and is popular among fishermen for its deep-sea charters.

So what are the winter holidays like in Tamarindo?  Well, it’s not winter here, that’s for sure! Depending on where you live, this year’s Christmas dinner may be the first one you eat wearing a pair of shorts.  You’re going to leave behind cozy evenings by the fireplace, hot tea, snow boots, all boots, fleece jackets, and sleigh bells in exchange for a winter holiday celebration with sunscreen, flip flops, umbrella drinks over ice, monkeys in the trees and sand between your toes.  What’s not to love?  

Colorful Tamarindo sunset

Being a Catholic country, the majority of Costa Ricans celebrate Christmas at this time.  Houses are decorated with the colorful lights and decorations you will recognize, and artificial Christmas trees are common in homes and businesses.  You’ll probably even come across a valiant Santa Clause or two, wearing a very hot red suit and full white beard, who is willing to take gift requests from lines of children while sweltering an absurd amount of fabric. 

Restaurants you’ll find in Tamarindo and the surrounding areas where our Tamarindo vacation rentals are located will offer traditional Christmas menus on that special day.  Costa Rican holiday season foods are completely different than the ones you’re used to: tamales (very different from the Mexican version) are the most common tradition, with fire-roasted pork, stewed chicken with vegetables, and arroz con pollo being other favorites that often appear during celebrations.  

Ironically, considering the fact that the first winter holiday has religious origins and the second one (New Year’s Eve) doesn’t, in Costa Rica Christmas Eve is the night for partying wildly with your friends, and New Year’s Eve is a night to stay home with your family and see in the new year together.  How about that? But never fear, those traditions stop where the tourist industry begins, and do we have the New Year’s Eve party for you! On New Year’s Eve, Costa Rica’s coast explodes with midnight fireworks. Tamarindo, from one end to the other, is one giant fiesta during the entire week between December 24 and January 31.  Buckle up. This is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never danced in the streets or on the beach before, you will now.

Photo by Simon Infanger

It’s time right now to get busy planning your New Year’s vacation in Tamarindo!  Here are the questions you need to get started:

  • How many people are in your group?
  • Do you want a vacation rental close to the action, in the center of the action, or distanced from the action?
  • Do you want your trip to include nights in any locations other than Tamarindo?
  • Which ones?
  • Will you need a rental vehicle

These are the questions you need to answer in order to get started–to get lodging and transportation in the books before it’s too late.  Questions about airport shuttles, tours, and which restaurants you want to be sure to try are things you can think about later after your primary reservations are made.  

Photo by Robert Nickson

Contact us today with your ideas and questions.  We can help you sort out anything you’re unsure of and help you design an unforgettable start to 2020 here in Tamarindo!

Halloween in Tamarindo – A Must!

Here comes October, and with it everyone’s favorite excuse to wear something crazy and act the part:  Halloween!  As a non-religious celebration with roots in ancient Europe, Halloween in Costa Rica wasn’t really a thing until tourism took the country by storm in the late 1990s.  Nowadays, with so much influence in Costa Rica from Europe and the rest of the Americas, even Costa Ricans are catching the Halloween party fever.

One of the ways that Halloween celebrations are different in Costa Rica from what they are in the United States is that children do not go trick-or-treating.  Halloween is more of a holiday for costumes and adult-type revelry.  No special foods (like candy) are associated with Halloween in Costa Rica.  Here in Guanacaste where Tamarindo is located, local Costa Ricans refer to Halloween as El Dia de Las Brujas (The Day of Witches).  That works, too. 

If you’re going to be in Costa Rica on Halloween, plan to be in Tamarindo!  The Halloween fun begins here at sunset, with happy hour at any bar in town.  Have some dinner at home in your Tamarindo Vacation Rental, or pick a Tamarindo restaurant, and then get ready for the show!  This sleepy little surf village comes to life on Halloween night like you wouldn’t believe!   There’s a party on every corner with live music, dancing, and prizes for the best costumes.

Photo property of Sharky’s Tamarindo

So where do Tamarindo locals get our Halloween costumes?  We make them up!  The creativity of Halloween-loving Tamarindo locals is stunning.  There’s no where here to buy or rent costumes or costume pieces, so lots of work goes into what you see out and about on Halloween in Tamarindo.  If you’re packing now for your Tamarindo vacation that includes October 31st, plan your costume and bring it with you!  If you amaze us, you just may win a generous cash prize!  It’s pointless for us to tell you where to go to party on Halloween because there’s a party everywhere.  It’s epic.  The whole town spends the night in full-on revelry.  You’re not going to one halloween party–you’re going to a dozen. You’re going to wander up and down the streets, stopping in here and there until your dancing shoes are worn thin. 

One special Tamarindo Halloween tradition is the Halloween paddle-out.  Local surfers with their boards gather on the beach on Halloween day in full costume to paddle out and catch some waves in their scarey gear.  

Halloween day paddle out

We’re especially happy to celebrate Halloween in Tamarindo because Halloween just happens to come at the end of what is our slow season.  We love the relaxed vibe of the slow season, the rain, the emptier streets, supermarkets with no lines, the cooler temperatures…but who are we kidding?  Everyone is happy when the lull is over and, starting in November, the town begins to fill up again and rains become more of a novelty.  

If Halloween isn’t your thing–if parties aren’t in your plans, or if you make a point of skipping Halloween, don’t despair–there’s still something in it for you:  you get November 1st!  November 1st is hands-down the best day in Tamarindo for an uncrowded early surf session because everyone else is sleeping!  Get up early and take a walk on the beach–you’ll have the whole thing to yourself.  The town will be yours on the morning of November 1st if you pass on the mayhem of Halloween.  Go out for breakfast and take in the peaceful, lazy vibe of sleepy Tamarindo.  

Is there anything better than not having to share the surf?

Either way, you win!

Contact us today about the availability of our Tamarindo Vacation Rentals and get that costume packed along with your bathing suit.

Pura Vida Sales Tax

Newsflash:  Even in the land of Pura Vida, hammocks, sloths, and umbrella drinks…the government can do things like passing new laws regarding sales tax.  And that is exactly what happened in Costa Rica in 2019.  You might not think a Costa Rica sales tax is a proper subject for a fun vacation blog, but we think you deserve to be informed as well as entertained, so check out this inside info on what to expect in today’s Costa Rica:  

Photo by Roberto Nickson

Costa Rican sales tax is referred to as IVA, which stands for Impuesto al Valor Agregado.  This tax itself is not new, although many things about the way it charged and reported are.  One thing that is new is that the 13% sales tax now applies not only to goods but also to services.  In the past, you would not have paid this tax on services like tours, transportation, or a private chef–but now you will, if the company that serves you is registered with the Costa Rican equivalent of the IRS.  

What’s not taxed?  Certain basic grocery items are tax exempt in Costa Rica, fuel is tax exempt, and medical services are tax exempt except if they are paid in cash.  Cash medical services are charged a 4% fee, but we’re counting on you not needing medical services during your vacation.

Hotel rooms and Tamarindo vacation rentals are taxed (not new) and meals in restaurants are taxed (not new).  Restaurants in Costa Rica are actually required to mark up their prices twice–they charge a 13% sales tax and a 10% service charge.  The service charge is not all bad news!  What it means is that your tip, or a part of it, is already included on your tab.  Tipping additional amounts was not a part of Costa Rican custom in the past, although in the places you’ll visit in Tamarindo, servers are used to receiving tips from happy customers.   Let’s say you buy a Tamarindo t-shirt or hop into an airport transfer shuttle van for 25$. If you don’t see sales tax added to the price on your receipt, this most likely means it is already included in the amount you’ve paid.

Photo by Maurits Bausenhart

It is possible that paying for things in cash could allow you small discounts in Costa Rica, but we don’t guarantee it.  This used to be the case across the board, but it is now only sometimes true.  A vendor who gives you a discount for cash is giving you back the difference of what s/he would have paid as a credit card fee if you had handed over plastic.  This is completely unrelated to the 13% sales tax, which you will pay the vendor and the vendor will pay the government either way.   

There you go.  A little bit of painless Costa Rican tax education to prepare you for your trip to Puravidaville, so that you’ll have as few unpleasant surprises as possible during your days in the sun.  Contact us now and let’s start planning.