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Tamarindo, Guanacaste

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Located along the north Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Tamarindo is one of the most easily accessible beach towns in the region. Boasting crystal clear turquoise water and pristine weather, Tamarindo is one of the most popular tourist destinations for good reason. Paved roads lead travelers to the tropical paradise in Guanacaste. As one of the most developed towns in the region, Tamarindo has a little something to offer everyone. Whether a family is in search of an adventurous getaway or a couple is looking to relax on their honeymoon, this town has the amenities and serenity of several other destinationsin one locale. Tamarindo may be a hot tourist destination, but it still boasts a traditional laid-back Tico atmosphere. The sprawling beach makes even the most crowded days relaxing.

Outdoor activities

From top-notch beaches to an abundance of aquatic sports to world-class golfing, Tamarindo offers plenty of outdoor activities that will appeal to most anyone - young or old. Surfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking and scuba diving are just a few of the opportunities for fun in Tamarindo. However, it is important to say informed about swimming conditions here because the rip tide can get harsh and the bottom of the ocean floor is rocky in some areas. Surfing and windsurfing are great here for both experienced enthusiasts and novices.

Surfing and Playa Tamarindo are synonymous as this tiny surf town known for its nice waves and favorable wind directions, so if you know how to handle a surfboard, this is one of the best places to stay. Playa Grande, which is separated from Tamarindo by the Rio Matapalo, is an ideal spot for both novice and expert surfers, and it has the most consistent waves in the area. El Estero is popular among long boarders, and Playa Langosta is ideal for experienced surfers. Playa Langosta is a 15 minute walk south from Tamarindo, and it sits at the mouth of the river. There are several places to take surf lessons or go on a custom surf trip, many of which caters to each individual's needs, interests and budget.

Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica's sportfishing hot spots, and is known for its world-class fleets and offshore fishing. The waters just off the coast of Tamarindo are filled with marlin, tuna, roosterfish, snapper, mackerel, grouper and sailfish, among others.

Golfers will also rejoice in Tamarindo, as there are beautifully designed golf courses that feature stunning fairways - many of which give you a perfect viewing spot to check out local wildlife. Looking for something a little bit more exotic? Consider an ATV tour that heads onto off-the-beaten paths through the tropical rainforest, under the forest canopy or along the beach. Horseback riding, rafting and bicycling are popular activities (and modes of transportation) here.

Marino Las Baulas National Park

The Marino Las Baulas National Park is one of the country's most important nesting sites for leatherback sea turtles. Located just south of Tamarindo, the park spans about 445 hectares of mangroves and coastal waters – the perimeters of the park also extend 12 miles into the Pacific Ocean in order to protect against poachers. This park is populated by more than 170 bird species and a diverse variety of animals. Marino Las Baulas is a must-visit location during the nesting season, although it is necessary to have a guide to get to the beaches as there are strict policies to protect the safety and habitat of the turtles.

Dining and Nightlife

Tamarindo has become a popular destination for tourists, so it's no surprise there is plenty of dining and nightlife available here. With more than 40 restaurants, bars and discos in the area, it's not hard to find a great place to eat or spend the evening out on the town. Tamarindo also has traditional local flavor down pat with its outdoor market, traditional bakeries, pottery stores, an art gallery and nearby spa.

Getting to Tamarindo

Most travelers will land at the San Jose Airport, which is about four hours by car to Tamarindo. Newly paved roads and a bridge over the Tempisque River make the trek easier than ever, and give travelers an opportunity to experience the Costa Rica countryside. However, an even easier way to get here is by flying into Liberia International Airport or to fly from San Jose to Tamarindo Domestic Airport, which is located just outside of the town.
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