If you have ever heard anything about Tamarindo, you will know that this lively little town has a lot to offer. Let me tell you, the list of compelling reasons why living in Tamarindo, Costa Rica is the absolute best is long! Locals, expats, and travelers alike have a vast array of options when it comes to amazing activities, entertainment, food, scenery, community, and much, much more. In a typical day, you could wake up with the sun, head out for a walk on the beach, come home to some locally grown Costa Rican coffee and fresh fruit, get some work done from your computer either from home or at a coffee shop, maybe enjoy a little pool time with friends and family over lunch, and wrap up the day with a sunset surf session. Tamarindo is truly a jack of all trades located in the most beautiful place on earth!
Tamarindo is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, about four hours west from the capital city of San José, and just an hour south of Liberia, which both have great airports to fly into. The little town is nestled about halfway down the peninsula about three hours from the border of Nicaragua and conveniently close to a million beaches all along the coast.
Costa Rica has two main seasons: rainy season and dry season. Rainy season is from about May until October, with September and October being the rainiest months. The rest of the time, there might be a shower here and there, but it is still beautiful! Dry season is from November to April, and it is indeed very dry, hardly raining at all during that time. The average year-round temperature in Tamarindo is 83 degrees Fahrenheit. So basically, perfect.
Since Costa Rica is located close to the equator, the day and night are both about 12 hours long. Sunrise is usually around 5:30am, and the sunset is around 6:30 pm for most of the year. That means that you get to take advantage of the early light to get out for a beach walk or morning surf, and then enjoy the evening once the sun goes down, so it is the perfect temperature for having dinner and spending time with your loved ones.
Population and People
While the population of Tamarindo shifts depending on the season and tourism, there is an average population of about 7,000 people. This means that while it is big enough to have tons of opportunities and diversity, you will still likely see your friends while you are out and about and truly feel the small community atmosphere. There are many local Costa Rican people who live in Tamarindo, and there is also a growing international community of folks from all over the world who have fallen in love with Tamarindo and never left! You will meet people from tons of different countries, backgrounds, and walks of life that all share one thing in common: a love for living in Tamarindo and a desire to make it an amazing place for everyone!
There are a wide variety of jobs in Tamarindo, but the majority of people who have transplanted from other places have done so because they are location independent and have prioritized living in paradise while being able to work online. As many of us are discovering these days, more and more jobs can be done fully remote and I think I speak for many when I say I for one never want to go back to the office again! Whether you have been working remotely for a while or were just recently forced into it due to COVID-19, Tamarindo is the perfect place to continue your career. There are plenty of resources and infrastructure, so you will never have to worry about not having the tools you need to do your job, like reliable Wi-Fi and advanced computer technologies. And since there are many other like-minded people all doing the same kind of work, it is an amazing place to network. In a melting part of creative, adventurous people from all across the globe, the people you can meet and opportunities you can learn about are truly incredible.
Tamarindo has become a surf mecca over the years. Surfers from all over the world come in search of the perfect waves, and thanks to the year-round awesome weather, warm water, and consistent waves, surfers are seldom disappointed with their journey.
- At the main Tamarindo beach, just in front of the town, several breaks make for a fun day of surfing, for both beginning and advanced surfers. At the north side of the beach is the river mouth, which is another spot where long boarders tend to congregate.
- Just across the river mouth is Playa Grande, one of the most consistent waves in the region. This fast beach break is more for the advanced than the beginner although depending on the swell, it can be fun for all skill levels.
- Two of the country’s most famous surf spots are located nearby to Tamarindo. Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point are both known as some of the best surfing that Costa Rica has to offer. To reach these locations from Tamarindo, you’ll want to arrange a tour with one of the surf camps or tour operators as these locations are most easily reached by boat.
- Surfers in Tamarindo can head down just south of Tamarindo to Playa Langosta, which is always a fun spot and less crowded than the main beach in town.
- Continue a bit further south and you’ll come to Playa Avellanas. This beach break is fun during low or high tide and this is the spot to be if you’re looking to get barreled. There is also a spot a little further down the beach called “Little Hawaii” which is always worth checking out.
- And if you still haven’t found the perfect wave for you, Playa Negra a bit further south than Avellanas is considered to be one of the best waves in Costa Rica. Be aware though that Playa Negra is not for beginners, only advanced surfers should paddle out at this spot.
Just about a 3-hour drive from Tamarindo, a day trip to Rio Celeste is well worth it. The large waterfall crashes into some of the most brilliantly turquoise water you will likely ever lay eyes on. Named Rio Celeste for its similarity in color to the sky (el cielo), it gets its hue from a high concentration of volcanic minerals that are suspended in the water refracting light. Located in Tenorio Volcano National Park, a $12 entrance fee means that you can check out the famous waterfall and blue lagoon, boiling mud pots fueled by volcanic gasses, the teñidero or stained river (a specific spot where the river runs blue), natural hot springs, and hiking. What more could you ask for? This place will take your breath away and I am willing to bet it just might be one of the prettiest waterfalls you will ever see.
Rincon de La Vieja National Park:
Rincon de La Vieja is another easy 2-hour drive from Tamarindo and it is filled to the brim with amazing things to see. Rincon de la Vieja is a pretty big volcano, so that is obviously a must. You can hike and climb all around it and even get up close and personal. There are a variety of trails and camping options where you can explore the jungle, check out the wildlife, and take in all of the beauty. There are also two places where you can see geothermal activity like boiling mud pots, similar to what can be found in Yellowstone National Park! There are also a number of activities in the area like zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing, white water rafting, horseback riding, and even hot springs and mud baths. This park is a great one-stop-shop to see some of the best of what Costa Rica has to offer. Head out for the day or make a weekend of it!
Have you ever wanted to check out a labyrinth? What about the largest labyrinth in the world? (No, I’m not kidding!) If you have, you are in luck. And even if you haven’t, this incredible masterpiece is worth everyone’s attention! La Senda is a magical place located on a two and a half acre farm in Santa Rosa, just about 15 minutes away from Tamarindo. An expert in energy work, Sergio Salas, oversaw the creation of the labyrinth around two energy centers found in the middle of the forest, close to an indigenous sanctuary. The labyrinth is almost 2 miles long and has more than four thousand cacti. Walking the labyrinth takes about an hour and the energy-charged zone provides a unique and memorable relaxing and positive energy re-charging experience. The property also has an organic farm and offers other activities such as wellness retreats, farm-to-table dinners, horseback riding tours, and cooking classes. Visitors can also enjoy delicious meals prepared with organic ingredients grown on the farm. There are also a number of events going on at La Senda, from wellness retreats to music festivals. Be sure to check out what is happening and take advantage of this unique place!
Las Catalinas is like a little slice of heaven that can be found about 45 minutes outside Tamarindo to the north. Walking among the buildings, it truly feels like you are walking through the alleyways of Europe, and it was designed to be that way. Less than five years old, Las Catalinas is the result of investors that had the idea to create some old-world charm in a paradise setting. This beachfront little town has shops, hotels, and restaurants, walking paths, and water fountains. One thing you won’t find is cars. The town is car-free and designed to be enjoyed on foot! While it is largely a hotel (the perfect place for your family and friends to stay when they come to visit you in paradise), Las Catalinas is also perfect for just an afternoon visit! There is a beachfront restaurant called Limonada that has all kinds of great options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grab some food and then walk down to the beach, Playa Danta, to catch some rays and play in the waves. There is also a place where you can rent equipment like paddle boards or surfboards, so you don’t have to bring any of that with you when you come!
For a fun activity (and awesome grocery shopping!) without leaving town, check out Tamarindo’s two amazing farmer’s markets. On Thursday nights you will find the Tamarindo Night Market. The market runs from 6-9pm and is located in a square behind the Tamarindo Gym. You will find food from all over the world, handmade jewelry and other goods, delicious drinks, live music, and often other fun pop up performances like a fire show or some magic. The night market is always a lively time and completely free to visit, but also a great stop for dinner or to get a few drinks.
The Saturday morning farmers market is just as incredible. A few of the same vendors will likely be there, but with more options for fresh produce, spices and oils, amazing coffee, more handmade goods, and even a smoothie bowl truck. There is nothing better than starting off your morning with some acai and a fresh coffee and maybe a pastry, supporting what the amazing artists in the area are selling, and stocking up on food for the week that is straight from the source!
You have probably heard the phrase “Pura Vida” before. It is sort of the unofficial slogan of Costa Rica, with a whole slew of meanings. Hello! Pura Vida! Goodbye. Pura Vida! How are you? Pura Vida! Thank you. Pura Vida. Everyone you will meet in Costa Rica is indeed, very Pura Vida and will make you want to be so as well. People smile and wave when they pass one another, wait for monkeys to cross the street first, love to share their food and drink with others, and take turns out on the waves. The Pura Vida or “Pure Life” is truly a lifestyle that the people of Costa Rica take very seriously. It is something uniquely magical that you will just have to come experience for yourself in order to understand! All this and more make living in Tamarindo, Costa Rica a truly amazing experience. We can’t wait to help make it a reality for you! Contact us for more info!