Yes, the rumors are true. Tamarindo is the place to be if you want to experience some world-class surf breaks. Surfers from all over the world come in search of the perfect waves, and thanks to the year-round warm weather, balmy water, and consistent swells, they are seldom disappointed with their journey. The surfing culture is a big part of life in Tamarindo, and visitors and locals alike can always be found out in the water.
Right in town, the beach break is fun and accessible for everyone. There are also other nearby spots like the river mouth, or just a little further north there is Playa Grande, which are great options for more intermediate or advanced surfers. There are plenty of other breaks within driving distance from Tamarindo as well, so you will certainly not be bored.
For access to any of the surf breaks, Tamarindo the perfect spot to make a home base, with a plethora of nice hotels, restaurants, bars, and other activities to try while you are not surfing. Tamarindo nightlife is another big attraction for folks coming for a visit. It really comes to life once the sun goes down – there is something going on every night of the week. If you are looking for somewhere that you can both surf and party, this is the place for you. So if you aren’t too tired from spending the day out in the water, take to the streets and meet some fun new friends! Here is a little Tamarindo guide to the best spots for good deals, friendly faces, and some nights you will never forget.
Right across from the beach and right upstairs from the Iguana Surf shop, you will find Jolly Rogers. Once you stash your board at the shop, just walk upstairs in time to have a nice cold beer and enjoy the sunset. Every day for 15 minutes at 5:15 beers are just $1, so it is the perfect place to kick off the night. Sip fast to get a bang for your buck! Guaranteed that there will be a fun mix of surf instructors, surf campers, locals from around town, and visitors to keep the vibes high. They also have good bar food if you are hungry, featuring 24 flavors of wings, yummy fries, and other options for vegetarians.
El Vaquero is another fun spot for sunset, and it is located right on the beach. There is often live music there, from 4-7pm and they also have happy hour specials. The views of the sunset are fantastic, and the people are great as well. They also have a full food menu and a lot of things are cheaper during happy hour.
As the evening goes on, one of the most popular spots that people move to is La Oveja Negra. This hostel, restaurant, and bar always have a lively vibe, and there is also a pool table if you want to get your game on! This is also a popular spot for live music or open mics, so there is bound to be something going on no matter what night of the week it is. Pro tip: the nachos are also to die for – don’t order them unless you want to (accidentally?) eat the whole pan. Or they are great to share between two people! If nachos aren’t your thing, you truly can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and you get a 2 for 1 cocktail deal when you purchase a dinner item.
If it is Thursday, the Tamarindo Night Market is the place to be. It is an incredible mix from vendors from all over the world for everything from food and drinks to handmade trinkets. There is always music or other interesting shows that create a fun ambiance. The market runs from 6-9pm and is a perfect place to grab some food and drinks you can’t find anywhere else in town before heading out for the night.
Dinner and the first few drinks are the first steps. But since going out in Tamarindo doesn’t really start until 10 p.m. or even 11 p.m., there are a few smaller spots that are fun to hang out at before the dancing begins.
Rumors is a great place to head first. This fantastic little bar has some of the best electronic music in Tamarindo. It is perfect to get another round of drinks, dance, and chat before heading out. But it is also poppin late at night… If you stick around or come back later, you will see the party spilling onto the street from the doors. The sultry beats pouring out onto the streets have everyone swaying and in the zone. There is also no cover so you can come and go as you please!
Sharky’s is also a fun spot to go a little earlier on, but don’t be afraid to finish your night there either. There is usually some kind of ladies night or drink deal going on, and you will probably be thrown a free Jell-O shot or two. On Sundays, Sharky’s holds a beer pong tournament that draws locals and tourists alike. It is just $10 per team to play and you get to drink all the beer you use in your game, so grab a partner, think up a creative name, and get your pong on! On Tuesdays, Sharky’s has karaoke night which is always a hoot. Whether you can sing or not, don’t be afraid to get up there and show Tamarindo what you’ve got. You will also be rewarded with a free shot if you sing! Sharky’s also does not have a cover.
Lizard Lounge is another fun spot at any time of night, and they often have drink specials or free drinks for ladies as well. It is smaller and allows for a more intimate partying experience but don’t let that deter you, as this place is loud and vying to go all night long. There is usually a fun mix of classic club hits and reggaeton. No cover!
For probably the most classic club experience in Tamarindo, you definitely need to hit up Pacifico. On Wednesday it is ladies night, Thursday is reggae night, and Saturday is Saturday so that is where everyone usually ends up. You can get painted with glow in the dark body paint if you would like, partake in some free shots, and dance the night away until they close. There are two dance areas, plenty of seating, and lots of bar space for a vivacious setting. Things don’t usually start happening until about 11 PM, so be sure to hit up some of the other venues on this list before peeking your head in here. There is a small cover charge after 10 pm.
On Friday nights, Crazy Monkey is the spot, and this open-air club has lots going on. If you are not sure what you are in the mood for, then Crazy Monkey might just be your spot. On one side of the club, there is a live salsa band in full swing. People dance energetically and salsa in such a mesmerizing way that you will want to jump in and join the fun. On the other side of the bar, you will find yourself situated right under the stars, dancing the night away to some of your favorite club hits. DJ’s spin until late here, mixing a large variety of party tunes. The best part of it all is that there is an open bar for every attendee from 10-11, so the bar area will be crowded during that time. There is a small cover charge but it is worth it!
There are almost too many options when it comes to Tamarindo nightlife. Be careful – people often have way too much fun and have a hard time leaving. But while you are here, take advantage of everything Tamarindo has to offer. You will be able to surf all day and dance all night! What more could you ask for? We will see you soon!