Tamarindo: The (not so) hidden side of Costa Rica
Well known by the locals and visitors to Costa Rica, Tamarindo is a beach town with that “pura vida” lifestyle...where you can come surf and enjoy one of the many beautiful sights you will ever experience in this country.
Tamarindo is on the North Pacific coast of the province of Guanacaste. It is a 1.5 hour drive away from the major airport of Liberia and about 4.5 hours away from San Jose international airport. During my ride there I made multiple stops in the little towns along the way...which was pretty awesome. I got to see the changes in topography from moutain views to valleys and finally reaching the ocean. Of course I had to try the local foods as I made my way there...which wasn’t terrible at all.
When I got to Tamarindo I was able to go straight to the hotel Diria found right in the middle of town, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and numerous entertainment options. When you go, check out this cool shop “Guana” right on the main road...with items made exclusively in Costa Rica.
($275 a night, in Junior suite ocean view)
($45 for men's shirt at Guana shop)
One of the activities that I chose was horse back riding (of course on the beach), to watch the famous sunset of the pacific. This sunset was incredible and these pictures don’t do any justice...you gotta go check it out for yourself. Of course you can also go on ATVs and even surf lessons right in front of the hotel.
El Diria Hotel had this indigenous feel with many sculptures placed throughout the hotel. Decorating the walls were gorgeous painting by local artists (available for you to take too) and painted stucco walls of a mustard yellow. The water was the main attraction with the pool right in the middle of the lobby, wrapped by the suites (which reminds me, get a junior suite with ocean view)
The nights are perfect for opening the balcony doors and listen to the ocean as you fall asleep...what else can you ask for?! Ok maybe a guaro sour (the liquor of Costa Rica) and a beach side massage which I had waiting for me the next afternoon.
Another pretty cool thing was easy access to other beach towns like Flamingo, Langosta, Brasilito (as pictured below) and Conchal beach that are near by...and get some pretty cool souvenirs. I bought some local wood to make 2 side tables back in the States. I recommend staying at least two nights in Tamarindo first, then go and adventure through the other beaches.
Not only was this getaway fun and exciting it was also affordable (hotel pricing under all photos). Enjoy life...have fun and like the Ticos say “pura vida”
BONUS: Chifrijo de camarones (shrimp bowl)
This was a delicious little bowl I had in Tamarindo. According to the locals it's normally made with pork but because this is a beach town, they made it for me with shrimp and I made it at home when I got back. It's pretty easy to make all you need is the following ingredients:
- rice (2 cups)
- black beans
- 1lb of shrimp
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 2 sweet pepers
- 1 bunch of cilantro
1. cook the rice in a pot with water.
2. heat up the beans for about 10 minutes until they soften
3. cut the veggies into little pieces
4. add some olive oil to the pan
5. add the veggies so they simmer for about 3-4 minutes
6. add the shrimp and let it pink up
7. put it all in a bowl and enjoy!
It's really that easy!