My first visit to Tamarindo was in the 1990s. It was a sleepy fishing village, dusty and almost deserted at certain times of the year.
Today, Tamarindo has morphed into the most “happening” destination in the area and is only 25 minutes north of Hotel Iguanazul.
There is certainly no shortage of activities there. If you are interested in fun at the beach, water sports, fine dining, nightlife and wildlife, Tamarindo is a worthy choice. This fun town is the host to many surfing competitions with the famous Witches Rock (pictured) and Playa Grande surf breaks right at your front door.
If catching a wave is not your “thing” you can snorkel, go sport fishing or just hang out and watch the action at the beach volleyball tournaments.
There is also a wide variety of restaurants and hotels that have been influenced by tourists who have made Tamarindo their home. As the most developed beach on the Nicoya Peninsula, Tamarindo has earned the nickname “Tamagringo”. Restaurants range from high-end cuisine to neighbourhood Costa Rican “sodas” and dining options including everything from organic menus to Mediterranean, Thai, Mexican, American, Japanese, International, Argentinian steak houses and more.
With all this development going on, Tamarindo can offer a wide range of accommodations from hostels and campgrounds to luxury hotels, resorts and upscale condominiums. There’s bound to be a venue that suits your budget and style.
And speaking of “styling”, Tamarindo has the best nightlife in the area consisting of an assortment of bars, lounges, nightclubs and discos that cross all kinds of cultural borders. Since this is a party hotspot, you may even catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two. Myley Cyrus, Mel Gibson, Queen Latifah and Woody Harrelson have all been spotted in this town over the years. Some have even built sprawling homes nearby.
Due to the diversity of the inhabitants of Tamarindo, there is always a variety of community events. You can find venues with live music of different genres to fund raisers for education, wildlife conservation and infrastructure improvement.
But if all this sounds a little too frenzied for your psyche, Marina Las Baulas National Park is only 12 km away and hosts one of the most prominent nesting sites for the Leatherback turtle. The park was first opened in 1990 and protects 1,100 acres of mangrove coastline and 54,000 acres of inland forest. The biodiversity of this park cannot be experienced in most of the world, so it is a must see if you are in the area.
If a rocking tour of Tamarindo and the Marina Las Baulas Park have completely exhausted you, then just head back to Hotel Iguanazul where you are welcomed by the laid back tranquility and soft sea breeze. Sunset and cocktail, anyone?
NB: Hotel Iguanazul has a service to get you to and from Tamarindo during your stay. Just ask at the front desk!