The new year brings a chance for new goals, new plans, and new experiences. It’s the time of year when we all reflect a little bit and make resolutions for what we would like to do differently in the year ahead. For some, that might mean hitting the gym more consistently or eating more vegetables. For others, it might be checking some new things off their bucket list! We are here to give you some suggestions and encouragement. Here in Costa Rica, the list of exciting new activities to try is endless. So, to start you on the right track, we highlighted a few of the top things to do in Tamarindo, the perfect place to start the year… bring it on 2020!
Take a surf lesson!
The very first thing we recommend trying on your trip is some surf lessons in Tamarindo. We like to get people started surfing early so that when they (undoubtedly) fall in love with it, they have the rest of their vacation to keep going at it! It is always sad to watch people do their first lesson on the last day of their trip and then they have to leave without being able to give it a second chance! Obviously, when you come to Tamarindo, surfing should be at the top of your list. It is a world-renowned destination. The bottom is soft and sandy, the water is warm and crystal clear, and there aren’t any rocks, reef, or currents to worry about. It is the perfect place to get out on a board! It doesn’t matter whether you have been surfing for years or if you are just starting out; the conditions are great for all levels. Iguana Surf can provide you with lessons and board rentals so that you have all the help and gear you need to have an absolute blast out in the water. There is a reason why people get to be so fanatic about surfing… it truly is a one of a kind sport. Nothing else can quite compete with the feeling of catching a great wave! So come see for yourself!
If you are an adventure junkie and enjoy a little bit of adrenaline, you will have a blast soaring high above the ground on our amazing zip-lining tour! With 11 lines that take you through the jungle, it is a one of a kind experience you don’t want to miss out on. Hang out with the monkeys and take in the amazing views of lush Costa Rica from a new perspective. This is a great activity to do alone, with friends, or even the whole family!
Try the Rincon De La Vieja National Park Combo Tour!
This is the tour that you came to Costa Rica to experience! This is one of Iguana Surf’s best-selling packages because it is a full day of adventure for an incredible price. You will try zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing, white water rafting, horseback riding, and end it all with a hot spring and mud bath. You will be transported to Rincon De La Vieja National Park, home to one of the volcanoes closest to Tamarindo and a gorgeous dry tropical forest. And the best part? A huge typical Costa Rican feast is provided for lunch and there are beverages and snacks along the way as well. This is the perfect one-stop-shop to get a day full of activities in and see some of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. Transportation is also included back to your hotel, and you are sure to arrive back home tired but in a really good way, having seen an incredible amount of the top things to do in Tamarindo all in one day.
Take a horseback ride at sunset!
Nothing is more picturesque than a majestic horseback ride as the sun is painting incredible colors across the sky and the waves are crashing into the shore. If you like riding horses, then this is a must. And even if you don’t, it is still a pleasant way to see the sights from a new perspective and try something new! This tour leaves out of Brasilito which is just about twenty minutes outside of Tamarindo, and you will ride horseback through the woods a bit to take in nature, follow some trails, and then follow the beach back as the sun is going down. It is a very relaxing and romantic way to spend an afternoon.
Spend the day at Langosta Beach or Playa Grande!
The beaches just south and north of Tamarindo beach are easily accessible by a walk to spend the day in a new spot and swim in or surf some new waves! If you walk south down the beach, you will come to a rocky point that you can walk right around during low tide or there is a trail to head over if you are there during high tide. It is amazing how much the look of the beach changes so quickly, and it is an amazing place to look for shells or just enjoy a nap since it is much less populated than the beach in Tamarindo. Playa Grande to the north does involve a quick boat ride to get to (because crocodiles live in the estuary…) so it is worth the 500 Colones (about $1) to get across. Once there, you can walk for as long as you would like until you find a nice spot to settle down. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sun! Grande is another fun surf spot if you want to bring boards along as well. Or if you just want to take a nice long walk, there is plenty to see and amazing views looking across the ocean back towards Tamarindo. This is a great place to catch the sunset as well! Just make sure you get on the last boat back across the estuary which leaves at 6 pm.
Check out the local Farmers Markets!
There are two amazing markets in Tamarindo that you can’t miss. On Thursday nights you will find the Tamarindo Night Market. The market runs from 6 pm – 9 pm 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 souvenirs if that is on your list.
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, and supporting what the amazing artists in the area are selling.
Enjoy A Night out on the Town
There is always something going on in the happenin’ town of Tamarindo. No matter the day of the week, you can probably find a party. And if you’re a girl and trying to get your money’s worthwhile going out in Tamarindo, hitting up the ladies’ nights is a must. It is ladies night somewhere almost every night, so you can really make it worth it if you want to! The drinks might not be incredible, but they will still do the job. Tuesday and Thursday are ladies night at Lizard, Wednesday is ladies night at Pacifico, on Fridays, there are free drinks for everyone at Crazy Monkey from 9-11, and Saturday is ladies night at Sharky’s! Sorry girls, there are no nights off in Tamarindo 😉 But no matter what, going out and dancing is always a blast. On Friday’s at Crazy Monkey, there is a DJ on one half and also a live salsa band on the other half. So if you want to dry your hand at some real Latin dancing, that is the place. Saturday nights are fun everywhere, and you can hop around from Lizard to Sharky’s, to Pacifico to see where you like the vibe the most. If the bars are not really your scene, earlier in the night there are options for entertainment as well.
At various restaurants and bars around town, there is almost always some kind of live music going on. The hostel and bar Oveja Negra has live music a few nights a week with an exciting and relaxed atmosphere, there are open mic nights at a few different spots if you want to take the stage and show off your skills, Bar Jolly Roger often has entertainment during dinner, and lots more. Check out the Swell Dealer, which is the local newspaper with info on all the happenings, while you are in town for an updated list of what is going on where!
This is just brushing the surface of everything that Tamarindo has to offer. On your trip to paradise, the last thing you will be is bored! From fun tours, surf lessons, and other daytime activities to try to the exciting nightlife and huge array of cultures, there is always something to see and do. So what are you waiting for? Make it one of your New Year’s Resolutions to come and see for yourself!