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Tamarindo Advice

Windsor, Ontario
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Tamarindo Advice

My wife and I are planning our first trip to Costa Rica in April this year. We normally stay at 4/5 star all-inclusive resorts, but are looking to try something new and exciting. We are thinking about staying at the Diria in Tamarindo and dining at the local restaurants. We are planning on surfing, zip-lining, seeing the volcano and any other fun things we come across during our 7 night stay.

How big is Tamarindo?

How safe is it at night?

How is the night life?

Is Tamarindo a good first time place to visit in Costa Rica?

Is there any better all around places to stay in Tamarindo than the Diria (a nice pool is important)

Any advice would be appreciated!!!!

Tamarindo, Costa...
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1. Re: Tamarindo Advice

Tamarindo is on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica and is about 1-mile long. It is the largest of the small beach towns in the area, yet smaller than the ones in the Central Pacific area, closer to San Jose, like Manuel Antonio or Jaco.

It's a safe town at night as long as a visitor stays away from buying drugs or long walks alone on the beach at night.

There is a lot of nightlife, but again the places are not the size of those in Central Pacific. This is more of a community-style vacation where you'll get known and feel connected in only a few days.

Tamarindo was the first place I visited and I've been here for over 12 years.

The Diria is an excellent place with plenty of good restaurants within easy walking distance, as is the entire town. They have a large beautiful poolt. More info about Tamarindo is below:

http://www.tamarindocosta-rica.com/

Edited: 22 February 2011, 02:37
Madison, Wisconsin...
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2. Re: Tamarindo Advice

My husband and I came down to Costa Rica in 2005 and loved it so much that we bought a condo there! (Sunrise condos) In fact, I'm going down tomorrow! My parents have been coming since the 1980s and always stay at the Diria, and while our condo was rented out, we have stayed there too. There are actually 2 beautiful pools - one on the ocean side of the street, and one across the street, which has a swim-up bar and tends to be less crowded. I don't think you will think the Diria is as luxurious as you are used to - the rooms are nice, but nothing fancy. Breakfast is included and is wonderful. Think the best part of the hotel is it's location on the beach. We go there for a drink many nights at sunset, even when not staying there.

To me, Tamarindo is really small - you can walk all of it. At night it is safe, but stay off the beach north of the circle - that is common knowledge there. I'm not big on night-life. We usually head home after dinner, so I can't help you there.

Tamarindo is a great place to visit, but there are gorgeous beaches all up and down the coast. We love driving up to Flamingo. And of course, there's ultra fancy at the 4 Seasons, further north.

If you go inland, be sure to check out Tabacon, at La Fortuna. The hot springs there are amazing!!!

Enjoy, and I hope you love it as much as we do!

Jan

Ellicott City...
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3. Re: Tamarindo Advice

I just got back from my first trip to Tamarindo this week, so my memories are fresh in my mind. I normally go someplace warm for a week in the winter, like the Caribbean or Pacific, so I also have something to compare Tamarindo to.

First I have to applaud your choice of not going all inclusive. I think half the fun of vacation is to get out and try the local fair. Unfortunately, Tamarindo's restaurants are not that good. Nibanna's is excellent, and Seasons is very good, but every other restaurant we went to was disappointing. The food has a tendency to be served cold or overcooked, and is not any better than what you would get at an all-inclusive or a cruise. I pretty much gave up on getting a decent bottle of wine. The best warm vacation place for food I've found would be the French side of St. Martin.

Safety is the other real issue, although I never had any problems; nothing was stolen and everyone I met was very nice. But there is a sense of danger to the place. Most resorts/B&B's are surrounded by a 10 foot fence (mine was also topped with an electric wire). We were told to take a cab home at night, but most times we went to get a cab, some cabbie offered to sell us drugs. While it isn't as bad as Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, safety is not one of Tamarindo's selling points.

On the positive side, the beach is about the best beach I've seen. It is wide, and the perfect consistency for walking. There are plenty of shade trees, if you want to get out of the sun, and the opportunity to see howler monkeys in the trees above your head is a real plus in my book.

There is also a more to do in and around Tamarindo than most places I've been to. With all the surfing, zip lining, Volcanic Mud Baths, and jungle river boat trips, you could easily stay amused for much longer than a week.

Windsor, Ontario
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4. Re: Tamarindo Advice

Thank you all for your replies. How good is the location of Tamarindo to get to the zip lining, hot springs, volcanoes, etc (driving time)? Also, since Tamarindo is a small town, is it the best place for a first visit or do you have any other suggestions?

We are looking to do as much as we can while we are there and experience costa rica. We're so used to resort style vacations that this one has us out of our comfort zone!!

Appreciate the help!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Tamarindo Advice

If you like to visit a nice volcano..Arenal is the one...but is about 4 hours and 30 minutes each way from Tamarindo...better stay overnight...

Rincon de La Vieja is a lot closer maybe 2 hours and 30 minutes...nice mud hot tubs...great scenery...cloud forest...

roadadvisor

encinitas,calif.
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6. Re: Tamarindo Advice

my vote is capitan suizo. its beautiful. the bungalows are nice and private with outside showersthe regular rooms look nice as well. balconies upstairs of downstairs they have an area for you to sit privately.. nice chairs to sit in outside. beautiful pool. the restaurant is vernice. the breakfast that comes with the price of the room very good. we stay there every year and love it. i think the staff is very nice and helpful. they set us up with a whole day adventure. zip line, lunch, horseback riding, mudbaths. the van picked us up early in the morning and we returned in the evening. great hotel.

Tamarindo
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7. Re: Tamarindo Advice

Tamarindo is close to two canopy tours that I know of. Cartagana Canopy and the one that Pura Aventura uses. They both will pick you up at your hotel. Buena Vista Lodge at Rincon de la Viejo has a wonderful all day execursion that includes a Jungle Walk, Horseback Riding, Canopy Tour, Hot Springs, Natural Sauna, Waterfall, Water slide, and Mudbath, including transporation and lunch. You can ask about this tour at your hotel. It's a great deal.

Fort Worth, Texas
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8. Re: Tamarindo Advice

You may want to consider looking into a villa rental. We also have done the AI's and upscale hotels in the past. But I really couldn't find the right "fit" in Tamarindo. Really good selection of condo's/villas; leaves plenty extra cash for the excursions.

Windsor, Ontario
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9. Re: Tamarindo Advice

Thank you all for your help! We ended up booking the Diria in April. We are really looking forward to our first trip to Costa Rica!!!!!

Wisconsin Rapids...
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10. Re: Tamarindo Advice

You will love Tamarindo. We got back about a month ago. We did the ziplining, river rafting and it was 1 1/2 hours one way drive but that was part of the experience. Well worth it. Town is small and we felt safe. Usually back to our condo around 9 p.m. Off the beach at about 6 p.m., after sunset, then back to condo, shower and clean up, out to eat and couple drinks, back to condo 9 p.m.. The nightlife starts pretty much around 10 or 11 p.m. A lot of nightclubs or clubs with bands but never styaed out to check it out.