Tamarindo & Area
Tamarindo is a small town in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and a meca for the surfing community, sun worshippers, and anyone looking for the whole package of activities, dining, and good vibes. With its long coastline of pristine beaches and warm, turquoise waters, it's no wonder why Tamarindo has become a popular destination for expats and travelers alike. Located approximately one hour away from the Guanacaste International Airport, it's easy to get to, making it the perfect spot for a Costa Rican vacation. Whether you're looking to surf, explore the nearby rainforest, or just lounge in the sun, Tamarindo is sure to provide you with the perfect escape. In Tamarindo you will find a vast assortment of rastaurants, bars, surf shops (that offer surf lessons, renting, buying, or repairing surfboards), as well as a few of the major Costa Rican banks, many supermarkets scattered around, tattoo shops, souvenir shops, tour companies, and car rental agencies. The neat thing about Tamarindo is that with the exception of one restaurant (Subway), you won't find big American restaurant chains in town. If you came here to eat KFC and Pizza Hut maybe you came to the wrong place, but rest assured you can find a variety of fried chicken and pizza restaurants almost everywhere if thats what your're craving (Pollolandia, Rico Rico Pollo Becker, Pizza Roma, Pizza Express - to simply name a few in the area).
If being in the heart of Tamarindo isn't your thing, there are other very good options, such as Playa Langosta. Playa Langosta is a very small, upscale and laid back community located right on the edge of Tamarindo. Many expats can be found here, and there are also a few wonderful small boutique resorts as well as a larger all inclusive resort (Occidental Tamarindo). You will also find a small assortment of restaurants in the area, and can easily order a taxi or shuttle to get you into Tamarindo and surrounding area as needed. My wife and I spent several years staying in Playa Langosta and feel in love with the Cala Luna Boutique resort. It is located right close to the beach, is a very small property with various room types, from regular king suites to luxurious bungalows with private pools. They offer an incredible restaurant that features locally grown vegetables (from their own garden), as well as a beautiful assortment of menu items. The property also features a poolside lounge where they will make wonderful craft cocktails to a simple local beer. This property is simply amazing.
If a larger resort and all inclusive is more your style, the Occidental Tamarindo should do the trick. It is located right next to the beach, has several in-house dining options including buffet style breakfast, lunch, dinner (if efficiency and simplicity is preferred). The hotel also has a beautiful pool, and offers nighttime activities / shows. There is something for all ages.
The great thing about staying in Playa Langosta is that it is super quiet, yet close enough to all of the action of Tamarindo that when you want to be immersed in the busy beach vibe of Tamarindo, you can very easily get there for a couple thousand colones, or use a hotel provided bicycle, walk, or rent a golf cart.