When we speak of the Province of Guanacaste here in Costa Rica, we normally think of some of the best beaches of the country, the sunny weather, the blue ocean and the surfing. Well, all of these factors are found at the famous Tamarindo Beach, one of the best beach destinations of Costa Rica.
Tamarindo Beach is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, on the North Pacific Region of the country, and is very popular locally and internationally for its high traffic of surfers that come to catch its great waves. Speaking of surfing, there is also a large amount of surfing schools along the beach… so if you’re not a surfer and want to learn how to, then you will not have a problem finding a teacher. This area is known for having some of the largest waves on the pacific side of Costa Rica; some of these waves can reach anywhere from 8 to 10 feet in height. Tamarindo has 2 main breaks that are recommended for advanced pro-surfers; there you are more than likely to catch waves that range up to 12 feet in height. This town is also known to have very important surf competitions, where professionals from all around the world come to compete and show off their skills; but aside from the surf competitions, skim boarding and bikini contests are also very popular in the area. Basically if you are a pro, an amateur or just simply surfing aficionado, this is a great spot to come and hang out, catch some waves and enjoy the view.
One of the most important things that take place in this area in the month of October is the Tamarindo Beach Marathon, an event that is just as important to us as any major marathon around the world. The race is done on the beach as well as on paved roads, and it runs through the towns of Tamarindo, Brasilito, Matapalo and many more. The main competition is a 42-kilometer race, but half marathon races take place from 5km to 30kms. This is not only famous because of the actual event, but because of so many great athletes from all over the word who come to race; we normally have people coming from Africa (Mostly from Kenya and Ethiopia), Europeans, Asians (Mostly Asia Pacific), North Americans, Central Americans, South Americans and many locals that come from all corners of Costa Rica. The main reason why this race takes place in Tamarindo is not only because of the fact that it’s such a popular tourist attraction, but because of the beautiful mountain and beach views that you get while running in the area.
In and around the Tamarindo Beach area there are many things to do, including adventures like zip lining tours, white water rafting tours, ATV tours, horseback riding tours or one day action-packed tours that include several adventure activities in one single day, like the Guachipelin Adventure Park, the Buena Vista Adventure Park, among others. There are also many ocean activities available too, like snorkeling tours, diving tours, fishing tours and the king of all activities of this area: surfing trips. From Tamarindo Beach there are also nature tours available at the National Parks of the Guanacaste Province, including the ones at the beautiful volcanoes of the region (we highly recommend to visit the volcanoes of Guanacaste, those are the highlights of most visitors vacations).
Some important points of interest can be reached from Tamarindo on one day tours; these are some of these places:
Miravalles Volcano: There is not direct access to the summit of the volcano itself, but there are many activities offered on its outskirts, such as nature walks in the rainforest, horseback riding, hot springs, waterfalls viewing, volcanic activity observation, zip lining in the rainforest (this is the closest zip lining in the rainforest that can be done from Tamarindo), mud baths, etc.
Arenal Volcano area: Arenal is considered as the “must visit” destination of Costa Rica, the number of activities to do there are endless, being the most popular the Arenal Hot Springs.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park: The Park itself is one of the best places for the observation of volcanic activity in Costa Rica at a close range and is also a good place for nature walks. On the outskirts of the volcano, there are many parks where several activities can be done in one single day (activities include adventure, nature, relaxation, etc.).
Palo Verde National Park: A boat tour can be done here to observe wild life of Costa Rica, such as crocodiles, white faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, iguanas, basilisks, lots of bird species, among many others.
Barra Honda National Park: Spelunking can be done at the caves of this national park.
Santa Rosa National Park: Tours are done here to observe nature and to learn about the history of the national monument located in this park.
Tenorio Volcano National Park: This places is mainly for the observation of nature, many rainforest walks are done here, including one over hanging bridges. But the main attraction is the famous “Rio Celeste” (Blue River), a place where the visitors can observe how a river turns from clear water to blue color water because of the minerals of the volcano.
Monteverde: This is the closest place to Tamarindo where the tourists can observe the unique cloud forests of Costa Rica. The list of activities in Monteverde is endless, being the most popular the Monteverde Hanging Bridges.
Ostional Wildlife Refuge: This is by far the best place for the observation of turtle nesting and turtle hatching in all Costa Rica. The season is between June and October.
Roca Bruja Surfing Spot: This is one of the most amazing surfing spots, featuring the famous “Roca Bruja”, a huge squared rock formation that is isolated in the ocean and very close to the beach!
Papagayo Gulf: There are many beautiful beaches of Costa Rica located on the region that can be visited, being the most famous “Playas del Coco”.
Conchal Beach: This one is considered as the most beautiful in all Guanacaste; the beach is made out of millions of fragments of seashells.
This is Tamarindo Beach at a glimpse, filled with amazing views, many activities and beautiful people. But don’t take it from me, come down to this lovely area and you will for sure fall in love!