Best Things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica in 2023
You will be delighted these best things to do in Tamarindo, Costa Rica in 2023, for couples, families and single travelers. Outdoor enthusiasts will be pleased with the numerous hiking excursions that will take you to places like Palo Verde National Park as well as the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano area where you can view spectacular waterfalls. You can take a thrilling zipline or ATV ride through the jungle and you can even experience horseback riding as well as a dip in volcanic mud bath. You can spend a day in Nicaragua viewing volcanoes and historic architecture or you can choose to go on an exciting white water rafting adventure. Wildlife tours are packed with several species of monkeys and you can enjoy world class deep sea fishing. And don’t forget about the beautiful beaches and all the watersport activities that range from scuba diving to snorkeling to surfing.
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Visiting Playa Tamarindo is one of the more popular things to do in Tamarindo for all types of travelers including families that want to soak up the sun while enjoying a plethora of watersport activities. The once little fishing village of Tamarindo has grown into a beach destination with over a mile of white sands that cover the crescent shaped beach area which is loaded with fun during the day and evening. While you are at Playa Tamarindo you will find plenty of space to lounge on the soft sands or you can choose to play one of the many beach games of volleyball or soccer that occur. Watersport activities are king at Playa Tamarindo with excellent swimming conditions, perfect winds for sailing, calm waters for kayaking as well as standup paddleboarding and let’s not forget about surfing. You will find lots of facilities from restrooms to beach bars that will help your day at the beach become memorable.
Taking an ATV tour is a superb thing to do in Tamarindo for adventure seekers who want to explore the surrounding jungle area without breaking a sweat. You will be pleased with the variety of jungle scenery you can see while you navigate your ATV on trails that penetrate the thick tropical landscape and the Nicoya Peninsula is also an ideal place for exploring beach areas that will have you maneuvering over sand dunes. These adventurous excursions are great for novice and expert riders as most ATVs are equipped with an automatic transmission for easier driving capabilities. As you travel through the lush landscape you can listen to your professional guide explain the fauna, flora and animal species that you are viewing. If you are searching for more adrenaline then include a thrilling zipline adventure that is sure to make the hair on your neck standup.
One of the most family-friendly things to do in Tamarindo that involves viewing the natural landscape with hundreds of native animals is to take a relaxing horseback riding tour through the jungle. These excursions are perfect for all types of horseback riders from novice to expert as you saddle up on a horse that is picked based on your riding ability. Most of your options will take you to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano area where you will enjoy a relaxing ride while you learn about the ecosystem of Costa Rica and watch monkeys, frogs, crocodiles and other species in their natural habitat. These tours include added bonuses for a day that is filled with adventure which range from soaking in a natural hot springs to ziplining through the canopy to tubing down a water chute.
Photo by dog4aday
One of the more adrenaline filled things to do in Tamarindo for families and adventure seekers is to try one of the many zipline tours. This assortment of excursions is perfect for travelers who want to spend the day flying through the canopy while watching hundreds of animals live in their natural habitat as well as viewing the incredible lush tropical landscape. You can choose from ziplines in the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano area, along the Congo Trail in Conchal, you can try the double cable system in Playa Negra or you can soar through the trees at Monteverde Cloud Forest. These excursions are ideal for adding more fun activities to you day that range from horseback riding to tubing down a river to exploring on an ATV to soaking in the Vandara Hot Springs.
Cruises and Sailing Tours
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Tamarindo for couples and families that want to have fun on the Pacific Ocean or float down a river viewing wildlife is to go on a cruise and sailing tour. There is a wide variety of excursions that are suitable for all travelers that range from a sunset sail to cruising through the jungle on the Tempisque River within Palo Verde National Park to sailing on a catamaran while watching the marine life swim in their natural habitat. Other options include dancing and dinner on a luxury style yacht where you can indulge in a 6-course meal with an open bar or you can add an interesting day of snorkeling that will have you swimming with turtles, dolphins and several species of rays.
Nicaragua Day Trip from Tamarindo
If you are ready to spend a day out of the country viewing incredible sites like colonial architecture, volcanos and a huge lake then the best thing to do in Tamarindo is to try the Nicaragua Day Trip from Tamarindo. During your full day excursion you will be delighted with your expert guide who will help crossing the border into Nicaragua as well as relaying interesting information of the places you will visit. Your first stop after crossing into Nicaragua will be at Catarina Volcano Outlook Point where you will have plenty of time to walk around the crater and revel in the panoramic views of the surrounding area. You will make a quick stop at the Masaya Artisan Market for souvenir shopping and a free Nicaragua style lunch before setting out to Masaya Volcano to view one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. From here you will travel to the 1524 colonial town of Granada City where you will see incredible historic architecture. Your last stop will be Lake Nicaragua where you will board a boat and cruise to Monkey Island. Now you can relax on the drive home while you savor the memories of the day.
Hiking Tour of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park
A superb thing to do in Tamarindo for adventure travelers that want to combine exercise with fascinating geologic features, wildlife and the lush tropical landscape is to book a Hiking Tour of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Your full day adventure includes a scenic drive through the Costa Rican countryside until you reach Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Once at the park you will follow an expert naturalist from the Rincon area who will explain the fascinating sights you will see as you embark on a moderate hike that is suitable to all skill levels. During your hike you will be thrilled with viewing the wildlife in their natural habitat as well as numerous geologic features like mini-craters, mud pots and fumaroles. After hiking you will get a chance to take a quick swim at the Oropendola Waterfall before indulging in a Costa Rican style lunch. When you are re-energized you will travel to Rio Negro where you can relax while sitting in a natural hot springs or inside a fantastic volcanic mud bath.
One of the more popular things to do in Tamarindo for families who are looking to spend time in the lush tropical landscape that is home to hundreds of animals is to take a wildlife tour. You will be pleased with the variety of places you can visit such as Palo Verde National Park, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park and the Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge. During these excursions you will have the opportunity to watch howler and spider monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and hundreds of brightly colored birds. Other options include taking a boat cruise down the Tempiesque River or you can even walk during the evening at Salve Terra Park. There are several add-on options to help make for a memorable day that includes horseback riding, snorkeling, rock climbing and ziplining.
White Water Rafting
If you are searching for a day filled with adrenaline while viewing the lush tropical landscape then an ideal thing to do in Tamarindo is to plan a white water rafting tour. Your heart will be thumping as you paddle through the several Class III and IV rapids you will encounter while conquering the challenging Tenorio River. These excursions combine an excellent opportunity to view some of the most incredible tropical landscape in the country as well as seeing a volcano or two. Most of these tours all day tours are family friendly and are a great way for families to bond together while paddling down fascinating chutes of churning water. There are several add options you can include to make for a superb day which include ziplining, rock rappelling or taking a volcanic mud bath to help your body relax.
One of the best things to do in Tamarindo for families who are seeking to explore the Pacific Ocean is to try a snorkeling tour. You will be thrilled with these excursions that are ideal for beginners or experts who want to watch incredible marine life in their natural habitat. Many of the tours include more than one stop where you will jump in the water and swim with turtles, dolphins, eagle rays and you might even spot a non-threatening species of shark. While you are on the boat you can enjoy a different vantage of viewing the lush tropical landscape of the coastline as well as relax and soak up the sun. These underwater excursions include plenty of instruction as well as safety tips for novices and more advanced snorkelers will like the opportunity of watching hundreds of new species of colorful tropical fish.
When you are interested in exploring the underwater world that exists in the Pacific Ocean then a great thing to do in Tamarindo is to take a scuba diving tour. There is an excursion that is ideal whether you are a novice or PADI certified. For first timers you can try an introductory tour that will teach you the basics of equipment, safety and scuba diving etiquette before you jump into the crystal clear water. There are excursions for people looking to complete their PADI certification and there are excursions that help you complete your advanced open water diving. If you are already PADI certified you can discover the underwater world around the Catalina Islands with a one or two-tank dive that is sure to leave lasting memories when you are surrounded by dolphins, turtles and manta rays as well as hundreds of colorful tropical fish.
Rio Celeste and Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour from Tamarindo
When you want to get outside in nature for a little exercise and see some of the most beautiful tropical landscape in the world then a great thing to do in Tamarindo is the Rio Celeste and Llanos de Cortes Waterfall tour from Tamarindo. This all day adventure starts with complimentary hotel pick-up service where you will be transported to Llanos de Cortes Waterfall in Bagaces. After a quick 10-minute hike you will have the opportunity to swim below the cascading waterfall or just relax on the surrounding sand. Then you will drive to Rio Celeste and set out on a moderately difficult hike along the banks of the river. As you are hiking your tour guide will inform you of interesting facts about the different ecosystems that exist in Costa Rica. The highlight of the hike is when you reach the convergence of two rivers where you will witness an intense change in the color of the water to an amazing turquoise color. After your hike you will be transported to another portion of the river where you can take a final swim for the day. From here your excursion concludes with drop-off service to your hotel.
One of the most popular things to do in Tamarindo for all types of adventure travelers is to take a surfing lesson. You will be delighted with the wide range of surfing experiences that are perfect for novices to experts. The Pacific Ocean coastline provides ideal conditions for learning how to surf from basics like paddling, choosing a wave, standing up and finally carving the breaks of water as they flow to shore. You have the choice between private or group settings which allows for instructors to take more time with you as they teach you the tools of the trade. Most lessons last 1 to 2-hours and includes all the necessary gear you will need for an exciting time on the water and if you want a more in-depth look at the surf culture lifestyle you can sign up for 4 or 7 day camp experience.
Miravalles Crater and Waterfalls from Tamarindo
When you are ready to combine the beautiful natural scenery of a volcano, numerous waterfalls and an invigorating geothermal hot springs then a superb thing to do in Tamarindo is to book the Miravalles Crater and Waterfalls from Tamarindo tour. Your full day excursion starts with free pick-up service from your hotel where your expert tour guide will drive you through the Costa Rica countryside. At your first stop you will unwind with a quick dip in the water under a cascading waterfall. As you continue your guide will inform you of the sights within the natural landscape until you reach Miravalles Volcano. Here you will get a chance to hike through the only walkable crater in Costa Rica where you will have the opportunity to relax in an invigorating geothermal and mineral rich volcanic mud. After you indulge in a Costa Rican style lunch you will hike through jungle canopy over a series of hanging bridges where you will view up to three separate waterfalls. Your excursion concludes with a relaxing commute back to your designated hotel.
When you want to get away to a beautiful white sand beach that offers superb lounging areas and big waves then the perfect thing to do in Tamarindo is to take a drive to Playa Avellana also known as Little Hawaii to the Ticos. Located 30-minutes south of Tamarindo along the Pacific Ocean coastline, Playa Avellana can be somewhat challenging to find because the road turns to dirt after Villa Real. Once you arrive at this secluded beach you will be pleased with the laidback surfer atmosphere that exists. Playa Avellana is a haven for surfers with five well known surfing areas offshore that include perfect waves for all types of surfers from novice to expert riders. El Parquero is ideal for beginners and El Palo has right and left breaks which are perfect for more experienced surfers. The northern most part of Playa Avellana boasts the nickname of Little Hawaii and attracts hundreds of expert surfers throughout the year. When you visit Playa Avellana you can indulge in a cold beverage or lunch at Lola’s where you will be greeted by Lola the resident 800 pound pig that roams the beach area.
Photo by dog4aday
If you are interested about the conservation efforts of animals within the Guanacaste region of the Costa Rica then the best thing to do in Tamarindo is to plan a trip to the Monkey Park. Located 11-miles from Tamarindo in the town of Portegolpe, the Monkey Park is a non-profit organization that takes pride in their rescue, rehabilitation and release practices that have helped save numerous species of animals from monkeys to owls to porcupines. The Monkey Park is a perfect place to view current conservation methods to help restore the number of critically endangered animals of Costa Rica. When you arrive you can visit exhibits that feature animals such as an ocelot, the American crocodile, yellow naped amazon parrots, black handed spider monkeys and scarlet macaws. Other animals you can see include black river turtles, mantled howler monkeys and spotted paca. Besides the animal exhibits you can stroll through the butterfly garden where you will spot hundreds of seasonal butterflies that travel to area in a tranquil and magical setting.
When you are ready to fulfill that dream of a quality fishing experience on the open waters of the Pacific Ocean or a tranquil spot along a river then the perfect thing to do in Tamarindo is Kingpin Sportfishing. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula in Tamarindo, Kingpin Sportfishing boasts state-of-the-art fishing vessels that will help you spend a relaxing and thrilling day of fishing. You will be surprised at the quality of year round fishing opportunities you can find around this area of Costa Rica with wahoo, dorado, tuna, marlin, sailfish, grouper and snapper swimming in the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean as well as the inland water ways of Costa Rica. Kingpin Sportfishing offers a bi-lingual crew that will keep you fishing throughout the day and will be assisting you with all of your needs from selecting equipment to what baits to use to locating schools of fish. Kingpin Sportfishing has a variety of packages available that range from fly fishing to deep sea fishing and from half to full day excursions which include lunch as well as beverages.
Tamarindo Farmers Market
When you are interested in mingling with the local Ticos and filling your refrigerator full of fresh food then an ideal thing to do in Tamarindo is to plan a trip to the Tamarindo Farmers Market also known as the Tamarindo Feria. Located in the parking lot of Alfaro bus station adjacent to the El Pescador Restaurant, the Tamarindo Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. and is organized by Tamarindo’s Association of Integral Development which uses the proceeds to support community projects. Once you arrive at the Tamarindo Farmers Market you will be pleasantly surprised at the organic fruits and vegetables that you will be able to purchase directly from the grower. There is an abundance of fresh fish for sale to help make your dinner menus complete and you will find numerous food trucks with prepared foods. Other items you will find at the Tamarindo Farmers Market are locally made natural health products, handmade chocolate treats, soaps, cheeses, baked goods and several hand crafted souvenirs that range from driftwood art to paintings to jewelry.