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Just back from Tamarindo

Ontario
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Just back from Tamarindo

Happy to answer questions.

Mike

Cahuita, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

A big question that comes up about Tamarindo seems to be safety. Did you feel safe? Does crime seem to be an issue?

How did you like the beach? Was it crowded? Was it clean?

How is the nightlife?

Where did you stay? would you recommend it for others?

did you take part in any activities or go on any tours? How did you rate them?

Ontario
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2. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

Felt perfectly safe.

Never left anything unattended but never felt I was being targetted either.

The beach was fabulous. Busy but nothing like "mexico" busy, near the Witches Rock Surf Camp. Just south of the town where we were, virtually empty even on weekends, and the Xmas week is a "busy week" for them.

Spotlessly clean. Much cleaner than Mexico, Dominican Cuba etc. Also tidal, so very firm sand just below the high water mark. Easy walking/jogging. Even firm enough for bicycles.

We were just south of the town. About a 5 minute walk along the beach. I would recommend the location but not the particular unit we were staying in.

We rented a car for the week. The company was waiting for us at the airport and we had no issues. Gave us the freedom to go where and when we pleased. We were planning an excursion to Rincon de la Vieja. Driving ourselves (family of 4) saved us $200 on transportation costs which meant we had a car to bob around in for $260 for the week. Probably less out of the busy week. No problems driving. Off the main roads, you are on dirt roads so speed drops from av 60km to av 20km.

We did Hacienda Guachipellin Combo Tour. A good day. 20/21yr old kids loved it. Takes 2 hours at least to drive from Tamarindo. Don't expect less. Also, you will be driving back in the dark. The day ends around 5pm.

We went to Lola's on Dec 26. Sadly, the restaurant was closed but it is a nice spot. 45 minute drive, mostly om dirt roads.

Seems to be a price war on Surf Board rental. $8 per day seems to be the current going rate.

Restaurants were generally OK. Avoid the ones that are attached to the Diria hotel unless you like "all inclusive" bland food.

We didnt do the night life. Thought the kids might but they chose not to so I have no idea. I think the town gets its second life at around 1130pm each night.. Perhaps it is less safe at night, I wouldn't know.

FYI, this is not a real Costa Rica experience. Tamarindo is a surfing town, filled mainly with expats and holiday people. We had a fabulous week and we will go back to Costa Rica but likely not Tamarindo.

One highlight was sunsets at the beach by the Barcelo Langosta resort. You could walk, but we cheated and took the car 3 days! Great tidal pool for playing in there too. If you are a surfer, the waves here seemed to be way more challenging than the beginner surf in town.

Hope this helps

Mike

3. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

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Removed on: 06 January 2013, 18:35
Edited: 06 January 2013, 18:35
Cahuita, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-6630122.html

I guess everywhere has its issues. Certainly, Puerto Viejo has a drug problem but then Chicago has the worse heroin problem in the USA. I think that if you aren't mixing with drug users or trying to buy illegal substances; it isn't an issue.

Thanks for the really detailed information Mike. Sorry your useful thread has been hijacked by a completely unrelated issue! Any particular restaurants you would suggest trying?

Playa Conchal...
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5. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

@solo - do you really think people want to know about your drug habits?

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

Thanks, MikeinCanada, for your great feedback on Tamarindo. Having been there a few times myself, I think your description is "right on."

Glad you had such a good time!

Ontario
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7. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

We ate out for lunch most days and dinner in at the condo most nights. We did La Baula for pizza which was fine but really poor service. Langosta Beach Club for lunch was our favourite spot. Breakfast at Noguis was another good choice. We didn't expect nor wish for a gourmet experience in Costa Rica. If that's what you are looking for, you may be disappointed.

I was never asked if I wanted drugs. Perhaps that happens after 1130pm. The beach vendors were few and far between and a polite smile and No Gracias was all that was needed. Every Costa Rican I met was friendly and seemed relatively content. Not a single Time Share shark to be seen.

This was a very different experience than other southern destinations. We were not "bothered" by anyone and felt perfectly safe. No cops walking around armed to the teeth nor armed security guards at resort entrances which seems so common now elsewhere. Felt like we went back to a better time. No complaints.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

Thank you Mike...very nice for your impartial post and answers...GRACIAS

We all live in a no perfect world...but also we like to live in a world with respect and love...thank you SIMON for your great wise words...

Sarita...I´m with you...really sad...

roadadvisor

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

My Gosh, you cant even mention the crime issues in a place on the forum? Amazing...

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,869 posts
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10. Re: Just back from Tamarindo

Sorry this is not the Thron Tree...is TA and we do love and respect our country...we all know is not a pefect country...but are ways to mention things and are ways to trash things...

roadadvisor