If you’re planning a Costa Rican vacation, getaway, or escape, you’re likely also wondering what to do in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste. Or rather, what, of all the many things you might like to do, you absolutely should not miss. Because there’s a lot you’ll do here, but much more that you won’t. (This is why we recommend a second, third, and tenth visit…)
And, while we’ve covered many of our favorite things to do in Tamarindo (more than once), we thought we’d share an updated list. Because there are never enough suggestions, are there? Plan well and then enjoy to the fullest!
Visit A National Park (or Three)
You’ve heard of Costa Rica’s stellar ecological reputation, but did you know that much of our success is due to exceptional conservation efforts? In fact, more than 25% of Costa Rica is protected within wildlife refuges, nature preserves, and private parks – an entire one-quarter of our biodiversity that can only be explored within our parks.
And so, we make our first suggestion: Carve out a day or two to explore the national parks that most spark your imagination. They’re rugged, they’re breathtaking, and they’re wildly different from the parks you have at home. And, did we mention, they’re a great deal at just $10 per person? Explore to your heart’s content!
Among our favorite (and closest) national parks in Guanacaste, you’ll find (in alphabetical order):
- Barra Honda National Park: Costa Rica’s subterranean national park, home to 70 million years of geological history that formed an underground cave system.
- Diriá National Park: A bit of a national secret, this park houses primary forest (rare) and tropical dry forest (rarer still) – both important wildlife habitats, including for our endangered species.
- Guanacaste National Park: A biologically important habitat bridge and a critical habitat for migratory/resident birds and Costa Rica’s big cat species, including jaguars and pumas.
- Las Baulas National Marine Park: Speaking of critical habitats for endangered species, this coastal park (located right here, in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste) houses important nesting beaches for the endangered leatherback sea turtle!
- Palo Verde National Park: A 45,000-acre wonderland and critical wetland habitat, home to 15 distinct ecosystems, some of Costa Rica’s largest bird populations, and other bucket-list species.
- Rincón de la Vieja National Park: Welcome to an active volcano and all its wonders, including boiling mud, hot springs, min-volcanoes, belching fumaroles, and more!
- Santa Rosa National Park: Home to both Costa Rican history and natural wonders, here you’ll learn about fillibusters and butterflies (an incredible 4,000+ species!) alike.
Enjoy the Nightlife in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste
Tamarindo lives by a motto – “surf, eat, and have fun” – and nowhere is that more evident than in our nightlife. You can literally go from the surf, into your favorite oceanside restaurant, and continue the evening from there!
When it comes to Tamarindo nightlife, this is the kind of place where you don’t really have to seek it out; it’ll find you. There’s always a restaurant, a bar, a club, or a beach party to enjoy! That said, we do have a few suggestions, including the Tamarindo Night Market, where you’ll enjoy live music, international food, and artisan vendors; Tuesday night salsa dancing at Utopia, home to merengue, salsa, and other beats; and Twilight at Pangas Restaurant, when the sunset glows brilliant and the twinkle lights come on.
Need more? Check out our guide to Tamarindo nightlife.
Explore the Pacific
It’s no secret that the Pacific Ocean is a big reason why you’re here: Coastal landscapes, soft sands, and sapphire waters beckon you to rest, relax, and enjoy all the ocean has to offer. And it’s all right here, in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste.
And there is so much to do (and much of it, on a budget!) that you could fill an entire vacation with just the Pacific. And with that in mind, here are a few of our favorite things:
- Surfing & SUP: Whether you’re renting a board or taking a lesson, the Pacific is a great place to test your skills and mettle on the waves. And don’t worry, there’s always a slice of beach and surf perfect for your skill level (whatever it may be)!
- Catamaran Sailing: One of our top musts, this is an experience worth the splurge. Book an afternoon sail and you’ll boat out to a quiet snorkeling and swimming spot before heading toward the horizon for one of the world’s best sunsets.
- Scuba or Snuba: Another worth-the-splurge experience, scuba (and its no-experience-required sibling, snuba) take you under the ocean’s surface to explore underwater worlds that will have you in awe.
- Ocean Kayaking: Take to the waves in a kayak built for the sea! You can paddle just for the fun of it or, if you’re more goal-oriented, set your sights on some of Tamarindo’s secluded beaches and out-islands.
Discover more of our favorite area activities, including those by sea!
Reserve a Beach Day
Speaking of the Pacific and your budget, it doesn’t get much better than spending a day on the beach. Pack your towel, grab a beach chair (ask if your vacation rental includes them!), and head out to your favorite slice of sand for a day by the waves.
As you enjoy the sun, bury your toes in the sand, and wade out into the ocean, be sure to save $1 or $2 for a fresh pipa, or coconut-encased coconut water, fresh from the tree and ice cold! It’s one of our favorite things on a warm Costa Rican afternoon.
And Don’t Forget a Relaxation Day
We know, we know – what’s the difference between a beach day and a relaxation day?
This is how we see it: On a beach day, you’re at the beach. On a relaxation day, you stay home! And by home, we mean your Tamarindo vacation rental, which is equipped with many relaxing accouterments that are best enjoyed on a long, languid, tropical day.
And speaking of your home-away-from-home, here are two suggestions for your upcoming getaway:
Where to Stay (and Relax) in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste
If we’re prioritizing relaxation and your Tamarindo experience, we’d recommend two of our favorites:
Tamarindo | 2 Beds | 2 Baths | Sleeps 6
Speaking of relaxation, what if your vacation home came not just with beach proximity, convenience (it’s walking distance to Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste), luxury finishes, and a touch of paradise, but also with a beach club membership?
Welcome to Ibis #8, a quiet condo that comes with that aforementioned, ultra-relaxing beach club membership. And not just any beach club, but Langosta Beach Club, complete with a full fitness center, Pilates and yoga studio, a French restaurant, a great bar with a spectacular ocean view, and a large infinity-edge pool looking out at the warm Pacific.
Tamarindo | 3 Beds | 2 Baths | Sleeps 6
Nicknamed “Bella Vida” – that’s “the Beautiful Life” – Sunrise 3 is a favorite for great reasons: It has Pacific Ocean views. The community has incredible amenities (and super relaxation opportunities). And this condo walking distance to everything!
That last part is important. Here in the land of year-round sun and pura vida, you usually have to make a choice: Do you want views or do you want convenience? Sunrise 3 defies the can’t-have-it-all trope and delivers both! Because, while you’ll have ocean views from your private terrace, you’re also in the heart of Tamarindo – no taxis, no Ubers, no asking for a ride… You can walk everywhere.
And then, there’s the community’s oversized resort pool, the ocean-view jungle terrace, and the incredible beach, which is located just a few steps across the street. Ahhh, paradise!
Ready to Choose Your Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste?
We know, the options can be overwhelming. But, as ever, we’re here to help. Cris is here to help.
Simply put: She’ll handle everything. All the logistics. Every reservation. Airport transportation. Tamarindo transportation. From A to Z and everything in between: When you book one of our Tamarindo vacation rentals, our in-house concierge will quickly be in touch.
She’s an expert in Tamarindo travel: Digging beneath the surface and reaching beyond the norm, Cris not only makes it her job to know Tamarindo, but to get to know you, too! She’s like a real-life guidebook who expertly overlays Tamarindo’s most iconic experiences and must-do adventures with your needs, preferences, and plans. What’s more, she’ll work with your budget. Any budget – really.
It begins with our welcome packet, which you’ll receive after you make a booking. It’ll introduce you to many of our favorite things, so have a look. Start building your wish list. And then, talk to Cris and let the fun begin. It’s part magic, part expertise. And, as we said, completely free. So go ahead, pick Cris’s brain! She can’t wait to hear from you!