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Tamarindo, Guanacaste

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Picture a tropical paradise and youíre likely thinking of somewhere that resembles Tamarindo, which is situated in Costa Rica along the north Pacific Coast. While some of Costa Ricaís beautiful beaches might be difficult to access, Tamarindo has made its roads tourist-friendly, so that all visitors can experience the beauty of this Guanacaste beach town. This destination is popular with tourists because of its modern development, like paved roads, but donít worry about it being too crowded or too commercial. There are so many activities for all types of people, that you wonít see everyone heading to one place and causing overcrowding. Of course, beaches can sometimes be crowded in Costa Rica, but youíll be too busy soaking in the bright sunshine and splashing around in the stunning turquoise water to care about sharing the beach with other happy visitors and laid-back Ticos.

Tamarindo is easier to get to than ever before; with development that includes not only paved roads, but also a bridge over the river. There are several options, depending on which airport you are coming from. You can get to Tamarindo in about four hours if you drive from the San Jose International Airport. If you donít have access to a vehicle, you can take a domestic flight from San Jose Airport right into Tamarindo's own airport. Flying is faster, of course, but driving can be an adventure that lets you experience the authentic countryside of Costa Rica. You can also fly into Liberia International Airport; it is even easier to reach Tamarindo through this route, in about 1 hour.

Tamarindo isnít a great spot to visit just because of its development. It is also a wonderland of adventure and has the serenity of a tropical getaway. This is a destination for anyone that is traveling through Costa Rica, from newlyweds to families.

Splash Around

Water is obviously the main feature of many coastal locations in Costa Rica, and in Tamarindo it certainly takes center stage. Whether you are looking to get into the water, or just skim the top of it, there is something for all types of aquatic lovers. Those looking to dive in the water can just head to the beach with a towel and have a day filled with fun swimming. Those that are more adventurous can rent scuba gear and spend the day exploring what is underneath the surface of the pristine water. Costa Rica is known for its diverse animal life so be prepared to see some amazing creatures!

If youíre not looking to get down in the water, there is always surfing, kayaking, sailing, and sportfishing fun to be had. Surfing is very popular on the shores of Tamarindo, and you can either get in on the fun, or just watch from the beach. This area is a good place for even novice surfers Ė the waves and the wind are known to be consistent, and arenít too harsh, so those with only some experience should still be able to navigate the waters. If you arenít experienced, you can always just sign up for some surf lessons. Tamarindo would be an unforgettable spot to learn the basics of surfing. If you are more experienced, you can sign up to take a surf trip that is customized for you.

There are always lots of sailing and kayaking tours available for tourists too. Those looking to get on a boat to fish are in luck as well. The offshore sportfishing in Tamarindo is known for its big pulls. The area is a hot spot for marlin, sailfish and many others.

Head Outdoors

While there is some amazing local food that may make you want to stay in and eat all day, or take a nap after a big meal, Costa Rica is a place where you have to get outdoors. In Tamarindo, visitors have their choice of activity, from horseback riding, bicycling and rafting, to hiking and golfing.

One of the most popular outdoor experiences in Tamarindo is the Marino Las Baulas National Park. Costa Rica is a country that believes in preserving the natural beauty of the land and protecting endangered animals, and this park does just that. This National Park is a protected area that serves as a safe place for the leatherback sea turtle population. They are able to use this area as a nesting site, without fear of being captured or having their eggs stolen. You can also see many other animals in the park, including over 150 species of birds.

Golfers have a different definition of paradise than some other travelers might, but Tamarindo can meet the expectations of golfers too. There are courses in this area that of course offer fairways that will stun, but also let golfers experience the local views and wildlife. That isnít something that most golf courses can offer!

Food and Dancing

Food is always exciting in Costa Rica, and Tamarindo offers some of the best dining experiences, available in the local restaurants. For those that are staying at a vacation rental that allows them to cook, there are also traditional local markets where they can do their shopping to pick up authentic Costa Rican flavors.

After a full, exciting day exploring the lands and waters of Tamarindo, you might be tempted to head in for the night as the sun sets. But the fun isnít over in Tamarindo! There are still lots of bars and discos open for you to have a drink and get down on the dance floor.
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Hi I am Javi the Frog the official frog of GoVisitCostaRica.com! Get the inside scoop on the best that Costa Rica has to offer with Javi the Frog's Pura Vida Newsletter (learn more)