Enjoying the blue sunset in Tamarindo
Enjoying the blue sunset in Tamarindo

Tucked along the Nicoya Peninsula, Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is a small town with a big personality. Luscious greenery leads to crisp, clear blue waters and in an instant you're in paradise! Tamarindo is the ultimate tropical getaway, and I've enjoyed my time hopping through the area and zipping through the canopy. But if you're in a time crunch, there are a few spots that you simply cannot miss during your short stay here. Come along with me; I'll be your tour guide through the best places to visit during a Day in Tamarindo!

Crossing a River in an ATV near Tamarindo in Guanacaste
Crossing a River in an ATV near Tamarindo in Guanacaste

Surfs Up

Tamarindo is known for its great surf amenities and lesson opportunities, so there's no better place to hop on a board and cruise through a barrel. Whether you've never stood up on a surf board or you are perfecting the craft, Tamarindo's waves are consistent and the beach is pristine. The multiple surf breaks along Playa Tamarindo make it easy for surfers of all experience levels to ride the waves. There are many places to learn here as well, so novice riders can experience the thrill of surfing along Costa Rica beaches.

Sportfishing

Most of my favorite activities in Tamarindo are on, or in, the water! Sportfishing is hugely popular, and there are a variety of options to choose from. Since this is one of Costa Rica's sportfishing hot spots, you'll have the opportunity to cast a line for sailfish, marlin, tuna, dorado, roosterfish and snapper. It should come as no surprise that this world-class sport fishing location has a large fleet of boats, and both inshore and offshore trips available. There's really no better way to spend your morning or afternoon than aboard a boat in the Pacific Ocean! Just don't forget to slather on the sunscreen while you're out the rays are strong here.

Surfer at Playa Tamarindo
Surfer at Playa Tamarindo

Marino las Baulas National Park

Marino las Baulas is famous as a nesting site for Leatherback sea turtles that come to the sandy shores to lay eggs every year between October and March. This park consists of four beaches, mangrove wetlands and an expansive coastline, so there is plenty of wildlife to explore on your visit here. You can also catch a glimpse of raccoons, crocodiles, monkeys and 174 species of birds. During your visit here, be extra careful around the nesting areas, and pay attention to the markers that block of certain spots. While this national park is technically just north of Tamarindo, it's only a short drive away, making it very possible to visit during your 24 hours in the area.

Tamarindo Beach Sunset
Tamarindo Beach Sunset

Shop' til you Drop

After spending the entire day on the water, you may be in the mood for something low-key. I'm not one for shopping (I can't carry luggage very well), but the Tamarindo Garden Plaza is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs for yourself or family members. Spanning 12,500 square meters, this popular attraction boasts a tropical atmosphere complete with a koi pod with turtles and iguanas. Yep, here in Costa Rica, even the malls have wildlife! There is a wide variety of shops here as well as a spa, coffee shop and restaurants.

No matter where you go in Costa Rica, you'll want to stay there for more than 24 hours, but sometimes time only permits a short stay. These are some of my favorite things to do here, but there are plenty of other wonderful options as well. Please share with me your experiences and help other travelers explore the best nooks and crannies of Tamarindo. I hope I see you on your next trip to Costa Rica!


Fishing on the beach in Tamarindo
Fishing on the beach in Tamarindo