Tamarindo is truly a paradise filled with endless exciting activities, incredible nature and wildlife, and the perfect weather. If you like the sun and the beach, Tamarindo is the place for you. However, it can sometimes get a little warm being in the sun all day. Luckily, some of the best things to experience in the Tamarindo area are water-focused, which means not only will you be able to try something new and make new memories, but you will also be able to stay cool and refreshed at the same time. Here are a few of the best things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica that you can’t miss out on!
Learn How to Surf
A dive in the ocean is the ultimate way to cool down, so why not take a board with you while you’re at it? Of course, surfing is at the top of the list of things you have to try when visiting Costa Rica. The Tamarindo surf is especially well known because of the perfect calm waves and close proximity to everything going on in the town of Tamarindo. The sport runs through the town’s very veins, and you can’t leave without trying it! There are a plethora of surf shops so that you can rent boards or take lessons, depending on your skill level.
Most places are very affordable and filled with friendly staff that is extremely knowledgeable about surfing in the area. Make sure you try it out early on your vacation because it is more than likely that you will get hooked! It is always a shame when we hear about people waiting until the last day of their vacation to surf and wishing they had more time. And of course, in the water, you will be nice and cool. The water in Tamarindo is the perfect temperature to be refreshing but also warm enough that you can stay in for as long as you want! Just don’t forget the sunscreen. Surfing is the ultimate way to stay cool, get some exercise, and work on an awesome skill all at once!
Go on a Tamarindo Catamaran Cruise
What is better than sitting aboard a gorgeous catamaran sailing through crystal blue water with the wind in your hair and a cool drink in your hand? I’ll tell you: nothing. The Tamarindo catamaran tour is one of the most popular tours in the area to stay cool and experience a day unlike any other, and it is no wonder why. Aboard the Dream Chaser, you will enjoy unlimited refreshments, a delicious home-style buffet, a shaded main cabin, gorgeous secluded beaches, and some of the best service in town! The tour also includes snorkeling gear and stand up paddleboards for your enjoyment while the boat is anchored for a bit in front of a nearby beach. Whether you are traveling alone, with a significant other, a group of friends, or the whole family, the Dream Chaser is sure to please everyone!
The morning tour leaves from the beach at 7:45 am and is about 3-3.5 hours long. The Tamarindo sunset cruise option leaves at 12:30 pm and lasts about 5-5.5 hours so that you can see the sunset from the boat on the way back to the beach. Both are all-inclusive and are sure to be an experience you will never forget while enjoying the best thing to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica!
Try Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
The Pacific Ocean off the coast of Costa Rica is an absolutely gorgeous place to try snorkeling or scuba diving. The water is the perfect temperature to swim in all day, and it is teeming with interesting wildlife that is hard to find in other parts of the world. There are many companies that offer snorkeling tours with transportation included to and from Tamarindo. The beach in Tamarindo is great for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing, but in order to see the incredible life under the surface, it is best to get away from the people and further out into the depths of the sea. That is why most tours will take you to the Catalina Islands, where the water is crystal clear and the rock formations attract all sorts of sea life. There are options for morning or afternoon tours so that you can fit it in among all the other activities you might want to try.
Snorkeling is the perfect way to dip your toes into life under the sea, but if you want to take it to the next level, a dive is an awesome way to go. There are both discover dives for those who have never dived before or options for folks who already have their certification. With a discover dive, you will start in the pool learning about the techniques and then head out to the ocean on the same boat as the snorkelers. For those already certified, you will just be able to go straight out! Or if you have a couple of free days, you can even get your certification! No matter the route you choose, getting in the water and seeing what it has to offer is an incredibly unique experience.
Visit a Waterfall
You have probably seen some of the epic photos of waterfalls and natural swimming pools with bright blue water that are common all over the country of Costa Rica. While there are lots of options, one of the most popular and most accessible from Tamarindo is called Rio Celeste. Just about a 3-hour drive from Tamarindo, a day trip to Rio Celeste is well worth it. The large waterfall crashes into some of the most brilliantly turquoise water you will likely ever get the chance to lay eyes on. Named Rio Celeste for its similarity in color to the sky (el cielo), it gets its hue from a high concentration of volcanic minerals that are suspended in the water refracting light. Located in Tenorio Volcano National Park, you can check out the famous waterfall and blue lagoon, boiling mud pots fueled by volcanic gasses, the teñidero or stained river (a specific spot where the river runs blue), natural hot springs, and hiking. What more could you ask for? This place will take your breath away.
Since it is a little further north and inland from the coast, the weather there is always naturally a little cooler than in Tamarindo, so it will be a refreshing break. It is also a great place to swim! Experience the true Pura Vida and take in the beauty that this country has to offer.
Other fun waterfalls that are a little closer to and you can jump in for a swim is Cortez waterfall that is located in Liberia. With a small 5 minute walk you will be down to this gorgeous waterfall with a sanded area to relax in.
If you continue north you will reach Rincon de la Vieja. Here are several waterfalls located in Hacienda Guachepelin. You will need to pay a small fee since it is a national park and you can visit several of them from freezing cold ones with large falls to chill small ones where you can jump in and cool off. They are all gorgeous and worth it to see!
If the salt and sand aren’t your style, relax and stay cool at one of the many lovely pools around Tamarindo. One of the most beautiful pools ever is located up on the hill about 20 minutes outside of Tamarindo on the way to Playa Flamingo. It is a magical place called Mar Vista, which is a restaurant and bar featuring an infinity pool and a sweeping view of the ocean, with plenty of nice tables and lounge chairs to enjoy. The pool is free to access, they just ask that you spend a small amount (it varies depending on the time of year) on food or drinks while you are there using the facilities. The owners try to source local and sustainable ingredients in a farm-to-table concept, offering conscious and delicious dishes.
Overall, it is an amazing place to spend the day or go out for a nice dinner and watch the sun go down. And for the quality and views that you will get, it is not a big price to pay!
If you are looking for a nicer pool to take a dip in then head over to Las Catalinas. With a day pass, you can enjoy 360 unforgettable views with an infinity pool that feels like you go straight from the pool into the ocean (it even has fire coming from it at sunset).
There is also a fun beach and pool crawl called Sunday Funday that will take you out of town to see some of the gorgeous sites in Playa Flamingo. Everyone meets at Sharky’s Bar in Tamarindo for a little pre-party and then hops on a traditional American style school bus to head out to the coast. Get to know the other people on the tour and enjoy the music as you drive out of town to explore some secret spots. There are pool parties, DJs, and amazing views all afternoon. Wrap up by watching the sunset with new friends at a beach bonfire. This is sure to be an afternoon you will remember forever!
Clearly, the list of unforgettable things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica is lengthy. There are almost too many activities to choose from! We didn’t even have a chance to talk about the amazing Tamarindo sportfishing abroad Capullo, Jet Skis, kayak tours, and more. You will truly have the time of your life while staying nice and cool trying any of the activities on this list. So, what are you waiting for? We can’t wait to see you down here in paradise!