Set in Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo is a dreamy coastal escape with long white-sand beaches known worldwide for surfing. It's idyllic for relaxing and offers several adventures, including snorkeling or diving in the nearby Catalina Islands, boating through the famed Tamarindo Estuary, and exploring dense wetlands teeming with wildlife. To make your visit a bit more cultural, try visiting a traditional hacienda and learn the secrets behind the region's rum-making techniques.

Getting Oriented

The coastline of Tamarindo.

You'll find Tamarindo in Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province, just north of the Nicoya Peninsula. Tamarindo is known for its idyllic setting, with white-sand beaches, turquoise surf, laid-back vibes, and lush greenery. You'll find some of the world's best surfing here, plus rich biodiversity, thanks to its jungles, mangrove estuaries, and wetlands. Enjoy adventures like kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Or make your visit a bit more cultural by conversing with the locals at a family-owned hacienda and learning how to make the region's famous rum.  

Get Active in Tamarindo

Tamarindo is the perfect place for an active adventure in Costa Rica. Just in this one small area, you can boat through mangroves, surf at one of the best breaks in the world, scuba dive (even as a beginner), snorkel in the reefs, and more. 

Tamarindo Mangrove & Estuary Boat Tour

Boating through the mangrove

The Tamarindo Estuary, part of Las Baulas National Park, is a nesting spot for leatherback and Pacific green turtles. Explore this unique landscape on a boat tour. You'll board the open-air boat at the mouth of the river, then glide along lush waterways as your guide points out native wildlife, including monkeys, fish, butterflies, and colorful fish jumping out of the water. You'll stop at several points along the journey to get a closer look at Guanacaste trees and a wide variety of birds. Learn more

Kayak & Snorkel in Tamarindo Bay

Enjoy the beauty of Tamarindo Bay by kayaking and snorkeling through its pristine waters.

Tamarindo Bay is the epitome of a dreamy beach scene. Explore this natural beauty in the best way possible: by kayaking and snorkeling through Tamarindo Bay! You'll start by paddling along the protected shore down to the crystalline waters and white-sand beaches of Capitán Island. Take a break for snorkeling and discover the coral reef below teeming with marine life. Read More

Surf Lesson at Tamarindo Beach

Develop all the skills necessary to catch some waves with a one-on-one surf lesson.

The scenic Tamarindo Beach is an ideal location to learn how to surf. One-on-one lessons help you develop the skills you'll need quickly, and, in no time, you'll be standing on your board, catching waves, and surfing! A surf lesson at Playa Tamarindo means you'll be gliding through the waves with professionals, as this is one of Costa Rica's and Central America's prime surfing spots. Read More

Scuba Diving in the Catalina Islands

Even beginners can scuba dive in the beautiful Catalina Islands.

With maximum diving depths and times suitable for beginners, even those without any experience can enjoy this scuba diving excursion in the Catalina Islands. Although they don't look like much from the surface, this group of 20 volcanic islands is teeming with marine life, making it a world-class diving destination. You can see giant manta and devil rays, sea turtles, parrotfish, moray eels, and more, plus possibly hear the humpbacks singing! Read More

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Get Cultural

Although Tamarindo is all about water sports and the area's rich marine life, there are opportunities to chat with locals and learn more about the culture.

Wetlands Boat Ride & Rum Tasting at Hacienda El Viejo

Explore Guanacaste's wildlife-rich wetlands and learn about the area's rum-making culture.

No trip to Central or South America is complete without visiting a family-owned hacienda (ranch). At Hacienda El Viejo, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy fresh fruits, local coffee, and a gorgeous boat ride through the ranch's private wetlands. Then, head back to the hacienda to discover the area's rum-making traditions, enjoying cocktails to end this unique experience. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Tamarindo Itinerary

Tamarindo's idyllic beach escapes.

Tamarindo is ideally located near many of Costa Rica's best regions. The area pairs well with the Nicoya Peninsula to the south, Monteverde to the east, and the vast volcanic region, including Arenal National Park. You can see all that in under one week. But to determine how many days to truly spend in Costa Rica, consider if you'd like to combine north and south. You can keep the north going and tack on San Jose or Tortuguero with just another day or two, but if you'd like to extend your trip south, consider two weeks in Costa Rica.

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that feature experiences in Tamarindo: