Halloween in Tamarindo – A Must!

Here comes October, and with it everyone’s favorite excuse to wear something crazy and act the part:  Halloween!  As a non-religious celebration with roots in ancient Europe, Halloween in Costa Rica wasn’t really a thing until tourism took the country by storm in the late 1990s.  Nowadays, with so much influence in Costa Rica from Europe and the rest of the Americas, even Costa Ricans are catching the Halloween party fever.

One of the ways that Halloween celebrations are different in Costa Rica from what they are in the United States is that children do not go trick-or-treating.  Halloween is more of a holiday for costumes and adult-type revelry.  No special foods (like candy) are associated with Halloween in Costa Rica.  Here in Guanacaste where Tamarindo is located, local Costa Ricans refer to Halloween as El Dia de Las Brujas (The Day of Witches).  That works, too. 

If you’re going to be in Costa Rica on Halloween, plan to be in Tamarindo!  The Halloween fun begins here at sunset, with happy hour at any bar in town.  Have some dinner at home in your Tamarindo Vacation Rental, or pick a Tamarindo restaurant, and then get ready for the show!  This sleepy little surf village comes to life on Halloween night like you wouldn’t believe!   There’s a party on every corner with live music, dancing, and prizes for the best costumes.

Photo property of Sharky’s Tamarindo

So where do Tamarindo locals get our Halloween costumes?  We make them up!  The creativity of Halloween-loving Tamarindo locals is stunning.  There’s no where here to buy or rent costumes or costume pieces, so lots of work goes into what you see out and about on Halloween in Tamarindo.  If you’re packing now for your Tamarindo vacation that includes October 31st, plan your costume and bring it with you!  If you amaze us, you just may win a generous cash prize!  It’s pointless for us to tell you where to go to party on Halloween because there’s a party everywhere.  It’s epic.  The whole town spends the night in full-on revelry.  You’re not going to one halloween party–you’re going to a dozen. You’re going to wander up and down the streets, stopping in here and there until your dancing shoes are worn thin. 

One special Tamarindo Halloween tradition is the Halloween paddle-out.  Local surfers with their boards gather on the beach on Halloween day in full costume to paddle out and catch some waves in their scarey gear.  


Halloween day paddle out

We’re especially happy to celebrate Halloween in Tamarindo because Halloween just happens to come at the end of what is our slow season.  We love the relaxed vibe of the slow season, the rain, the emptier streets, supermarkets with no lines, the cooler temperatures…but who are we kidding?  Everyone is happy when the lull is over and, starting in November, the town begins to fill up again and rains become more of a novelty.  

If Halloween isn’t your thing–if parties aren’t in your plans, or if you make a point of skipping Halloween, don’t despair–there’s still something in it for you:  you get November 1st!  November 1st is hands-down the best day in Tamarindo for an uncrowded early surf session because everyone else is sleeping!  Get up early and take a walk on the beach–you’ll have the whole thing to yourself.  The town will be yours on the morning of November 1st if you pass on the mayhem of Halloween.  Go out for breakfast and take in the peaceful, lazy vibe of sleepy Tamarindo.  

Is there anything better than not having to share the surf?

Either way, you win!

Contact us today about the availability of our Tamarindo Vacation Rentals and get that costume packed along with your bathing suit.


Pura Vida Sales Tax

Newsflash:  Even in the land of Pura Vida, hammocks, sloths, and umbrella drinks…the government can do things like passing new laws regarding sales tax.  And that is exactly what happened in Costa Rica in 2019.  You might not think a Costa Rica sales tax is a proper subject for a fun vacation blog, but we think you deserve to be informed as well as entertained, so check out this inside info on what to expect in today’s Costa Rica:  

Photo by Roberto Nickson

Costa Rican sales tax is referred to as IVA, which stands for Impuesto al Valor Agregado.  This tax itself is not new, although many things about the way it charged and reported are.  One thing that is new is that the 13% sales tax now applies not only to goods but also to services.  In the past, you would not have paid this tax on services like tours, transportation, or a private chef–but now you will, if the company that serves you is registered with the Costa Rican equivalent of the IRS.  

What’s not taxed?  Certain basic grocery items are tax exempt in Costa Rica, fuel is tax exempt, and medical services are tax exempt except if they are paid in cash.  Cash medical services are charged a 4% fee, but we’re counting on you not needing medical services during your vacation.

Hotel rooms and Tamarindo vacation rentals are taxed (not new) and meals in restaurants are taxed (not new).  Restaurants in Costa Rica are actually required to mark up their prices twice–they charge a 13% sales tax and a 10% service charge.  The service charge is not all bad news!  What it means is that your tip, or a part of it, is already included on your tab.  Tipping additional amounts was not a part of Costa Rican custom in the past, although in the places you’ll visit in Tamarindo, servers are used to receiving tips from happy customers.   Let’s say you buy a Tamarindo t-shirt or hop into an airport transfer shuttle van for 25$. If you don’t see sales tax added to the price on your receipt, this most likely means it is already included in the amount you’ve paid.

Photo by Maurits Bausenhart

It is possible that paying for things in cash could allow you small discounts in Costa Rica, but we don’t guarantee it.  This used to be the case across the board, but it is now only sometimes true.  A vendor who gives you a discount for cash is giving you back the difference of what s/he would have paid as a credit card fee if you had handed over plastic.  This is completely unrelated to the 13% sales tax, which you will pay the vendor and the vendor will pay the government either way.   


There you go.  A little bit of painless Costa Rican tax education to prepare you for your trip to Puravidaville, so that you’ll have as few unpleasant surprises as possible during your days in the sun.  Contact us now and let’s start planning. 


All You Need to Know About Sunsets in Tamarindo

The sun comes up and goes down no matter where you live, but in Tamarindo “Sunset” is an event!  Listen closely and you’ll hear locals ask each other, “Are you going to Sunset tonight?” or, “Were you at Sunset yesterday?” or say things like, “See you after Sunset.”  It happens quickly and quietly, but it’s an integral part of beach life in Costa Rica.  You’ll have the privilege of experiencing it yourself during your Tamarindo vacation. 

Because Costa Rica is so close to the equator, the sun sets quickly, and at roughly the same time all year.  The earliest sunsets of the year happen just after 5 PM and the latest of the year happen just after 6 PM.  For the sun to disappear over the horizon takes less than a minute, so if you want to watch it happen, pay attention. 

Here are some Tamarindo Super Sunset Facts to consider:

–In the dry season (January – April), sunset is beautiful.  The fiery ball sinks from a crystal clear sky into the horizon behind the sea, and darkness settles quickly.  It doesn’t take long at all after the sun is gone for the sky to dim enough that Venus is visible overhead slightly to the south. 

–In the rainy season (May – December), sunsets are a spectacular show that can last for an hour or more.  Why?  It’s not that the sun sets more slowly–the difference is that the clouds create a movie screen for a light show of colors that goes on and on as the angle of the light changes and the clouds themselves move.

–During the time of year with shorter days, the sun sets in the southwest.  Tamarindo is on the north-facing side of the Tamarindo Bay, which means that to watch the sunset into the ocean, instead of behind the point between Tamarindo and Langosta, you need to be on the north side of the beach, up on the hill, or in Playa Grande or Langosta.

Favorite Sunset Spots in and Around Tamarindo

Noguis Restaurant

Noguis is Tamarindo’s oldest bar/restaurant.  It’s beachfront location in the center of town is an ideal spot to watch a Tamarindo sunset.  Nogui’s serves 2 x 1 drinks during their happy hour that goes from 4:30 to 5:30.  This is important to know because at some times of year the sunset is after 5:30, but happy hour at Noguis is a happy hour at Noguis.  After the sun goes down and your glass is empty, take a look at the menu and stay for dinner.  Noguis has been serving fresh seafood and Costa Rican specialties since the 1970s.

El Chiringuito

El Chiringuito is another excellent Tamarindo beachfront location to watch the sunset.  Happy hour lasts from 4:30 to 6 PM, during which time domestic beers are 1000 colones ($2) and certain well drinks are 2000 colones ($4).  Chiringuito often has live music during sunset and offers an incredible view of the bay.  Their snack menu has lots of yummy treats that go well with your sunset drink.  El Chiringuito is also an excellent dinner choice.  If you like seafood or a good hamburger, look no further.  Their tuna tartare and the octopus kabab are two local favorites you really need to try.

El Vaquero

El Vaquero is a lively beachfront bar on the north end of Tamarindo, which means it’s favorite during the time of year when the sun sets furthest to the south.  El Vaquero has sunset drink specials every day and often presents live music.  If the tide is high, you watch surfers catch waves as the sun goes down, being as El Vaquero is located in front of Tamarindo’s most popular surf break. 

Langosta Beach Club

2 x 1 cocktail specials are Langosta Beach Club’s way of celebrating the sunset.  This is one of Tamarindo’s classiest spots to enjoy a beach day and the sunset.  A day pass at the beach club includes use of the pool, whereas the restaurant and bar are open to the public any time.  It may come as a surprise, considering the name of this beautiful beach club, that it is not located in Langosta, but on the south side of Tamarindo beach.  This is the quieter side of town, with less foot traffic, less chaos, smaller waves, and a more relaxing atmosphere.  Enjoy dinner at the beach club if you’re hungry after the sun goes down.

A Sunset Cruise

Here’s an idea for something different:  Take afternoon snorkeling and sunset cruise.  Several catamarans and a sailboat anchored in the bay offer afternoon tours that end as the sun sets in Tamarindo.  You will never forget the peacefulness of watching sunset from the boat as you skim over the waves towards the little lights twinkling on along the coast. 

Snacks and an open bar are included on the boat, so it’s essentially a happy hour that lasts all afternoon.  When the dingy drops you off on the beach as night falls, you’ll be happy, tired, and ready for a Tamarindo evening of relaxing or dancing the night away.

Playa Grande

How about sunset on the other side of the bay?  Playa Grande lies along the north side of Tamarindo Bay and faces south, making it an excellent sunset choice all year–especially when the sun sets to the south.  Playa Grande is part of the Las Baulas National Marine park, which means that it’s essentially untouched and undeveloped.  You’ll need at least 30 minutes to drive there, so plan ahead and leave in time not to miss the show!  There is a small village by the beach in Playa Grande where you can have a sunset drink and day for dinner if you’re enjoying the laid-back vibe.

Langosta Beach

Langosta is Tamarindo’s sister beach to the south.  You can walk to Langosta along the beach when the tide is low, but you’ll want to make sure that it’s still going out when you start your trek. If you lose track of time and the tide is coming in, you could have an interesting walk back to Tamarindo!  Langosta takes only a few minutes to drive to from Tamarindo.  Bring something cool to sip on and have a seat in the sand.  You’ll enjoy the energy of the ocean as it crashes over Langosta’s lava rocks with more energy than what you’ll notice in Tamarindo.  Langosta has several restaurants that can hook you up with a fantastic dinner after the sun goes down. 

Tamarindo Vacation Rentals

Last but not least!  One of the best places in town for you to enjoy Tamarindo sunsets just the way you like them is in our vacation rental homes and villas.  Get your snack plate and cocktails ready because the sunset from the privacy of your own luxury villa is something you’re never going to forget.  Here’s a glimpse of some of our best sunset Tamarindo vacation rentals:

Casa Costa Blanca

7 bedrooms, up to 24 persons

Casa de Luz

8 bedrooms, up to 23 people

Casa Ventanas

5 bedrooms, up to 12 people

Lomas del Mar
4 bedrooms, up to 8 people

Puesta del Sol
6 bedrooms, up to 16 people

Puros Dieces

8 bedrooms, up to 20 people

Villa Atardecer

4 bedrooms, up to 10 guests

And after all this talk about sunset in Tamarindo, what do you know?  It’s that magical time of day!  We’re headed to the beach to watch Mother Nature’s show and you’re invited to come join us!


Costa Rica Vacation on a Budget – 7 Tips for Saving Money

You work hard to save money for your Costa Rica vacation—how to make it stretch after you arrive?  Once upon a time, Costa Rica was a popular shoestring budget destination, but not anymore!  Depending on how you roll, a Costa Rica vacation can cost you as much as a vacation anywhere else in the world. 

So let’s say you want to come to Costa Rica but you don’t want to break the bank.  Can you do it?  Of course!  Here are some tips to help you stretch your vacation dollars further than you thought possible. 


Photo by Camilo Ayala

COME IN THE GREEN SEASON

The single most important choice you can make if you want to experience Costa Rica on a budget is to visit in the green season.  When is the green season?  Now!  May through early December is Costa Rica’s green season, and prices for plane tickets, lodging, car rentals, and some tours are lower.  You’ll find the lowest prices in September and October when there is the highest chance of rainy days, but don’t let that dissuade you!  The chances of you having an entirely rainy vacation are so slim that you’d be silly to let that cause you to miss the discounts!

Another clue: avoid holidays.  Although American Thanksgiving, for example, is in the green season, it sees a notable price spike.   If you want to pinch pennies, immediately cross off Christmas, Easter, New Year’s, etc. Watching airline prices will probably give you an idea of what to expect as far as vacation prices in general.

STAY IN A VACATION RENTAL

tamarindo vacation rental
Sunrise #14 is a 3 bedroom 2 baths located in the center of town for $140 a night ($23 a person per night).

Of course!  One way to save lots of money is to book a Tamarindo vacation rental instead of a hotel.  Economy vacation rentals are high quality, more comfortable than hotel rooms, and they have the thing that is going to be your biggest money-saver: a kitchen.

Vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes.  If you’re traveling alone or with a friend or partner, look for a one-bedroom or a studio rental.  Groups of up to 20 and 30 can book entire villas and mini-resorts.  Obviously, the larger properties cost more, but you’re also splitting them between more wallets, so don’t forget to take that into consideration.  If you’re a family traveling with children of any age, a vacation rental, as opposed to multiple hotel rooms or all being crammed into what is essentially a bedroom while you’re supposed to be relaxing, is the obvious choice.

COOK AT YOUR VACATION RENTAL

You’ve got that kitchen—use it!  Get to the grocery store and stock up.  You don’t have to spend your whole vacation in the kitchen in order to avoid spending a mint in restaurants.  Staples like coffee, milk, fruit, eggs, bread, pasta, vegetables, and even Costa Rica’s national beers are not expensive.

You’ll still choose to eat some of your meals in restaurants, of course, but if you make that the exception instead of the rule, you’ll find that you spend a lot less money than you would have otherwise. 

Photo by Evan Wise

Many vacation rentals have a patio with a grill.  There’s an option for getting out of the kitchen without having to pay restaurant prices.

AVOID FOREIGN CASH WITHDRAWAL AND DEBIT CARD FEES

If you’ve been to Costa Rica in the past, you remember the days of “pay in cash and get a discount.”  That’s still the case, but it’s certainly not as common as before.  With Costa Rica’s new electronic tax reporting system, it’s not as lucrative for businesses to choose to overlook cash income in their reporting, so cash discounts are fewer. 

We’re bringing this up because now you can pay with credit cards almost everywhere in Costa Rica.  MasterCard and Visa are the favorites, and many businesses accept many others.  Your credit card won’t charge you a fee for international use, but your debit card probably will so keep that in mind when you pull out the plastic.

Tamarindo and all other popular tourist destinations have ATMs that will give up to $400 per day (in the 20s) but you will pay per withdrawal.  Save a few dollars on your vacation by bringing cash from home, and using your credit cards whenever you can.

A word to the wise regarding cash:  Your hotel room or Tamarindo vacation rental has a safe.  USE IT.

TAKE BUSES OR SHARE RIDES

Take public buses or share rides.  We know—the problem with public buses is that they take forever to get anywhere and they can be very hot.  Also, they’re not great for traveling with a lot of luggage.  But If you’re traveling light and you have the time to indulge your curiosity, take the bus.  You’ll get where you want to go with money left to spare, and you’ll have had an off-the-tourist-grid cultural experience that will make you way cooler than anyone else you know who has been to Costa Rica. 

Ridesharing can be a great idea, also.  Taxis in Costa Rica are priced to serve tourists who have no other method to get places, so they are not a great way to keep costs down.  Chat with other budget travelers that you meet along the way, and see if anyone else has the same Costa Rica bucket list as you do.  You’ll definitely need cash for taxis and buses, so be prepared.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

This might seem like an odd addition to a list of how to save money but think about it.  Be smart.  If you get your wallet or your passport stolen—or your computer or your favorite pair of shoes—your vacation is going to take a sharp downward turn and you are going to spend money sorting it out. 

Use the safe.  Keep bags, backpacks, and purses on your person at all times.  Do not hang anything on the back of your chair (seriously). Do not put your backpack on the floor beside you without the strap wrapped around your foot.  Do not leave ever anything in a rental car that is going to be out of your sight.  Do not fall asleep on the bus.  Do not walk away from your stuff on the beach. Do not leave your bag at the table when you go to pay the tab or use the restroom.




Are we trying to scare you?  Sort of.  Costa Ricans are honest, friendly, and helpful people. No one is going to run up to you and snatch your stuff out of your hands.  But petty theft is common here, and leaving your belongings unattended is a clear sign to devious minds that you don’t really need or want what is in that bag very much.  Dead serious.  Save money by not having to replace stuff.

EAT AT “SODAS” AND STICK TO LOCAL COSTA RICA FOODS

When you decide it’s time to grab a meal out, or if you decide that cooking on vacation is an oxymoron, there’s still hope for saving money in Costa Rica.  Look for any establishment called a “Soda” and you’ll be on the right track. 

A “soda” has not actually got anything to do with soda!  Back in the days before tourism took Costa Rica by storm, any small restaurant or diner that did not serve alcohol was called a “soda.”  Sodas serve Costa Rican dishes and Costa Rican versions of international dishes (note: if you are Italian, please do not order spaghetti at a soda!), fruit drinks, and of course soda!  Nowadays you may also find beer at some sodas, although you should not expect a full bar.  For a full bar, you’ll need to find, obviously, something called a “bar” or something called a “restaurant.”  In Costa Rica’s traditional past, a “bar” served alcohol and little snacked called “bocas.”  A “restaurant” offered a full menu and also served alcoholic beverages.  A “soda” served food and drinks without alcohol.  And so.  There’s your history lesson as well. 


At sodas, you’ll avoid spending a lot of money on things that, for as normal as they may seem to you, are considered delicacies or specialty foods, here. Cheese, for example, is not cheap in Costa Rica, which makes pizza, not the most economical choice—especially artesian pizza with real mozzarella and prosciutto crudo.   Sushi is expensive.  Paella.  Corona beer.  Heineken.  Wine is imported from North America, South America, or Europe, so you won’t be saving money on that.  At sodas, you can get all kinds of “casados”—traditional Costa Rican plates that are balanced meals based on rice and beans with a protein of your choice and plenty of vegetables.  You can get salads, simple sandwiches, chicken soup and often fried chicken.  Try a whole fried fish with a side of salad and fries at a soda.  It’s the Costa Rican specialty that you’ll want to take a selfie with before you dig in!

With these 7 things in mind, you’re ready to visit Costa Rica as a financially savvy explorer.  Contact us now and let’s get started making your vacation plans!


The Perfect 7 Day Costa Rica Vacation Itinerary from LIR

So many amazing experiences await you in Costa Rica that deciding what to see and do during your 7 day vacation can be overwhelming.  Luckily you have us, the local Costa Rica experts, to make practical suggestions and give you an idea what to expect. 

The first thing to decide, in planning your 7 day vacation, is which airport you’ll be flying into and out of. Costa Rica, although it is a small country, isn’t known for its speedy road travel.  Roads are generally small and congested in urban areas, and often unpaved in rural areas.  If you want to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer, you’ll either have to stay longer than 7 days or come back! 

We’re die-hard fans of Guanacaste, so the perfect 7 day Costa Rica vacation itinerary, in our opinion, begins at the LIR airport in Liberia.

Day 1

Arrival Day

The big excitement today is landing in Costa Rica and getting that beautiful stamp in your passport, so we don’t recommend trying to add more travel to what you’ve already done.  You’ll be landing in Liberia in the afternoon or evening, so on a perfect vacation, you wouldn’t spend any more time on the road than you have to. 

We recommend taking a taxi, a shuttle or a rental car from LIR to Playa del Coco for your first night.  Playa del Coco is a beautiful beach with a lively town that is located about 30 minutes from the airport.  Before you know it, you’ll be strolling barefoot on the warm sand, watching the sunset, and exploring the restaurants in search of your first Costa Rican dinner.  Enjoy a little Costa Rican nightlife before you turn in, but make sure to get plenty of rest because tomorrow is a busy day of fun in the sun!

A typical Costa Rican plate.  Photo property of travelexperience.com

Day 2

A Day in Playa del Coco and surrounding areas

You have lots of options of how to spend the day in Playa del Coco.  One choice is to do nothing but enjoy the beach: walk, swim, bask, and enjoy some meals in complete relaxation with no schedule and no obligations.  Not a bad way to start a vacation! 

Another choice is to book a sportfishing excursion or take a surf trip to Witch’s Rock and Ollies Point on Day 2.  Both of these things begin in the early morning, so you‘ll want to contact our concierge ahead of time to make sure your boat is booked for you before arrival. 

If none of these ideas move you, let’s get you booked in for an adventure day at the nearby Diamante Eco Adventure Park.  This amazing adventure center is about 30 minutes from Playa del Coco and has an enormous activity menu for you to choose from.  Take zip-line canopy tour, visit the animal sanctuary, go horseback riding, take an ATV trek, try out a stand-up paddleboard or a sea kayak…  You’ll have so much fun you won’t want to leave.

At the end of your second day, no matter how you’ve spent it, get out and see the town of Playa del Coco because tomorrow you’re going to hit the road again.

Day 3

Travel to Second Destination:  Arenal Volcano

You can’t come to Costa Rica and not visit the Arenal Volcano.  Arenal, located near the town of La Fortuna, is Costa Rica’s most active volcano and one of our most-visited spots. It will take you a few hours to get there, so you should plan to leave Playa del Coco either in the morning or in the early afternoon.  Take your time, enjoy the scenery, stop for snacks and to take pictures.  You’re on vacation, so please don’t stress out about getting there as fast as you can.  The journey is part of adventure.

There are lots of hotels and vacation rentals in the Arenal area, and we recommend you choose one that has a view of the volcano.  You might pay more, but there is a very good reason for this, and it’s worth it.  The volcano’s cone, being as it spouts steam into the cool air xxx feet above sea level, is often surrounded by clouds.  Your best chance of seeing Arenal’s stunning cone is in the wee hours of the morning before dawn (hint: set your alarm.  seriously.) or soon after sunrise.  Get a room with a view and prepare to be amazed.

Because of the neighboring active volcano, natural thermal mineral pools and baths are everywhere in Arenal.  Your hotel may have hot springs on the premises, our you may pay an entrance fee at one of the dozens of thermal spas you’ll find.  The one thing you don’t want to do is miss them!  When you get to Arenal, check into your hotel, explore the area a bit, find some dinner, and slip into a natural thermal pool in the cool mountain air of the tropical night.  It rains a lot in Arenal, and the hot springs are even more spectacular in the rain!

Day 4

A Day in Arenal

Costa Rica, although it’s known for its beautiful beaches, is a very mountainous country with diverse microclimates and a strong cattle farming culture.  This is your day in the mountains, so take advantage of it in every possible way.  The area is packed with Arenal tour and adventure options.  You can hike the volcano, take a guided jungle horseback ride through the foothills, visit animal sanctuaries and butterfly gardens, visit orchid farms, hike to waterfalls for a chilly swim (sorry, no thermal waterfalls), take zipline canopy tours…

The day will go by faster than you can imagine and before you know it, the night will be falling over the volcano again. 

Try a new spot for dinner and try a different thermal spa, because no two are the same, and after one night in the deliciously warm waters, the only thing you’re going to want to do is to go back.

Day 5

Travel to the Third Destination:  Tamarindo

Time flies when you’re having fun.  It’s already Day 5 of your 7 day vacation, and today the best part starts: you’re coming to Tamarindo!  Get up, have some coffee, and get on the road early because the beach is calling and your Tamarindo vacation rental is waiting. 

You’ll be in Tamarindo by lunchtime, so you have the whole afternoon to check out the town, walk the beach, go for a swim, catch some afternoon waves if you’re a surfer, maybe grab a Tamarindo surf lesson if you aren’t, and be ready to chill by the time you see the sun sinking close to the horizon.  Sunset in Tamarindo is a daily event that no one misses.  Join the locals on the beach or enjoy it from the privacy of your vacation rental if you’ve got a view like the one at our home Villa Atardecer. 

Every night is Saturday night in Tamarindo, so whether you like late nights or early nights, walk around town after dark and check out the fire dancers, catch some live music, and listen to the mix of languages in one of Costa Rica’s most vibrant melting pots.

Day 6

A day in Tamarindo

Hope you didn’t stay up too late last night because Day 6 is your day in Tamarindo!  What do you want to do?  Surf?  Ride a zip line?  Take an ATV tour of the beautiful backcountry?  Go sportfishing?  Be lazy all morning and then take an afternoon sailing cruise with snorkeling, food and drinks included?  Try stand up paddleboarding?  Kayak to the Captain Island in Tamarindo Bay and explore its desolate marine beauty? 

We know, we know–it’s hard to decide!  Our concierge is the expert at vacation planning and can help you determine the best picks for your group, family, or personal interests.

The important thing is, as always, not to miss the sunset.  Because Costa Rica is so close to the equator, the sunset happens quickly.  When you see the sun near the horizon, this is not the time to grab a quick shower or make a cocktail if you don’t want to miss the moment the orb sinks below the horizon.  The most beautiful sunsets happen during the rainy season when the sky is full of clouds that act as screens, prisms, and reflectors, creating a kaleidoscope show that can go on for almost an hour after the sun itself is gone.

Day 7

Hasta Luego, Costa Rica!

Day 7 is departure day.  Depending on what time your flight leaves Liberia and what time the tide is high, you might be able to squeeze in an early surf or an early boat tour of the Las Baulas Estuary National Marine Park that creates Tamarindo’s north border.  You could also go for a morning swim in the ocean, a beach walk, or a hike up one of Tamarindo’s hills to a lookout point. 

tamarindo surf lesson
Photo by Leonardo Pinero

As you’ve done some traveling this week, you now understand why you want to make sure to leave for the airport in plenty of time.  Make sure you’ve gotten everything out of the safe in your Tamarindo hotel or vacation rental before you hit the road, and remember not to pack that bottle of Guaro in your carry-on. 

We hate to see you go, but now that you know where we are and how much of Costa Rica you still would like to see and experience, we’re pretty sure we’ll see you again. 

Won’t we?


Guanacaste Day – July 25th

La Anexión de Guanacaste!

Guanacaste is one of seven provinces in Costa Rica that offers gorgeous beaches, national parks, volcanoes, & more. This year marks the 195th anniversary of the annexation from Nicaragua.

On July 25, Costa Rica celebrates one of our favorite holidays:  Guanacaste Day!  This holiday’s Spanish name, La Anexión de Guanacaste, explains what the day commemorates–the day the province of Guanacaste officially became part of Costa Rica. 

What was is part of before?  Well, nothing.  During Central America’s colonial period, it was not divided into the countries that we know today, but into territories, all governed by different officials in Spain.  When independence from the Spanish crown was granted to Central America in 1821, territories began forming partnerships and countries took shape.  To the north of Guanacaste, this small peninsula that we know and love today as the home of Costa Rica’s best beaches, had 3 main municipalities at the time: Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Liberia (which was called Guanacaste and which eventually gave the province its name).  To the north of the peninsula, territories united to form Nicaragua.  To the east of the peninsula, territories united to form Costa Rica.  In 1824, Guanacaste’s municipality voted and the majority voted to become part of Costa Rica.

Guanacaste and Costa Rica are lucky to have each other!  It’s been a match made in heaven.  Costa Rica has been good for Guanacaste because of the peace and political stability it has enjoyed.  Guanacaste, although it didn’t have much impact in the early years of this happy marriage, has exploded in importance to Costa Rica in the last 40 years as tourism has shifted into the spot of Costa Rica’s # 1 breadwinner.  Guanacaste’s beaches, the waterfalls, the volcanos, the national parks that have been created, and the vibrant nature everywhere you look bring thousands of visitors to Costa Rica every year.

The province is also a producer of rice, sugar, livestock & more. The Ticos from this province are called Guanacestcos which are countrymen and woman that are known for their local dishes cooked in large clay ovens such as; rosquillas, pozole, cajetas, tamal asado, arroz de mais and more. They work on their fields herding cattle, growing crops and more. The folk music is a key part of their culture with famous songs such as “Punto Guanacasteco” which is played at festivals, topes, bullfights and more.

Guanacaste Day

All of Costa Rica celebrates Guanacaste Day, but of course, it’s a favorite in Guanacaste!  Schools, banks, and government offices are all closed on Guanacaste Day, and almost every town in Guanacaste–from the largest to the smallest–holds some type of celebration.  Traditional foods like tamales are prepared in giant cauldrons over open fires, cheerful marimba music is played on street corners, and bull riding entertains the crowds.  Traditional dance troupes of all ages in white outfits with multicolored scarves perform the traditional dances of Guanacates, with wide skirts swooshing and cowboy hats tossed in the air. 

As Guanacaste Day fades into night, plenty of beer, guaro, and rum are flowing.  Every town that holds a festival hooks up the speakers and the dancing starts!  What’s not to love about a celebration day like this? 

Speaking of Guanacaste, have you noticed that the word doesn’t sound very Spanish like “Costa Rica”, “Tamarindo”, and “Pura Vida”?  That’s because it’s not Spanish.  The word “Guanacaste” is a Nahuatl word (think Aztec)that refers to a type of tree.  Guanacaste trees grow throughout Costa Rica’s dry forest regions–especially in…Guanacaste! 

guanacaste tree

Guanacaste trees are everyone’s favorite shade tree as they can grow to a tremendous size.  They’re the ones you see notice dotting the pastures on your ride from the Liberia airport to Tamarindo.

“Guanacaste” means “tree with ears.”  So what’s that all about?  The seed pods of the Guanacaste tree resemble ears.  These pods emerge in the dry season while most of the tree’s leaves are down, giving these giant trees the appearance of being hung full of ears as if they were ornaments.  Indigenous cultures used Guanacaste seeds for food and also to make soap, but that’s ancient history.  Today in Tamarindo you can find earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry or decorations made of the beautiful variegated seeds.

So enjoy today & celebrate the beauty Guanacaste has to offer. We are lucky to have this gorgeous province part of Costa Rica! Contact us for more information on local celebrations and more!


9 Healthy Food & Activity Picks in Tamarindo

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back from your Tamarindo vacation refreshed, invigorated, and healthier than you were when you left home?  It isn’t difficult, and in Tamarindo it’s fun, delicious, and can be inexpensive.

photo by Max Rovensky

Four Healthy Things to Do

1. Go to the beach!

Newsflash:  the beach is healthy!  Measured amounts of direct sunlight are fabulous for you, flooding your body with vitamin D, making you feel happy and giving your immune system a kick in the pants.  And don’t just lie in the sun–walk.  Tamarindo Beach, from end to end is about two miles long, so put on your hat, get out the door of your Tamarindo vacation rental, and go for a walk or a jog.  The beach is the world’s best free gym!  Tamarindo Beach, specifically the south end of the bay, is safe for swimming.  You can rent a stand-up paddle board or kayak and visit the Captain Island or just go exploring the bay. 

tamarindo vacation
photo by unsplash

Surfing, of course, is a fabulous exercise.  Take a Tamarindo surf lesson if it will be your first time on a board, or rent a surfboard from one of our local shops and catch some waves.  Where and when it’s best to surf in Tamarindo depends on the swell direction and how the sand bars are formed on at any given time, but it’s generally a mid to high tide break.  Surf at high tide, walk at low tide, and you’re sure to leave Costa Rica happier and healthier than when you got here.

2. Hit the gym

There are several gyms and fitness centers in and around Tamarindo.  Being a transient community of visitors, of course you don’t need to buy a monthly membership–just show up and pay for the day.  Tamarindo fitness centers are not expensive, offer quality equipment, are air-conditioned, and feature a variety of classes like yoga, spinning, Zumba, and more.  Trainers are on duty in Tamarindo’s gyms to provide you the guidance you need. 

Depending on where you come from, Tamarindo’s climate can be too warm for you to be able to enjoy fitness activities, but the gyms are comfortably cool.  Visiting in the rainy season?  Get your workout in no matter what the weather.  If you train hard at home and don’t want to lose your rhythm on vacation, Tamarindo is a great choice of destination for you. 

photo by Form

3. Do yoga or Pilates

Tamarindo is a favorite destination of practitioners of all types of yoga. There are traditional indoor studios with classes throughout the day and evening, and there is yoga on the beach in the mornings and late afternoons.  Tamarindo yoga and Pilates instructors offer open group classes and private sessions.  If your vacation in the tropics a destination travel occasion like a Tamarindo wedding or other special group celebration, have the yoga or Pilates instructor come lead private classes for you and your friends/family at your Tamarindo vacation rental

4. Get a massage

Just like your options for yoga and Pilates, you can enjoy a Tamarindo massage and other spa services either in a five-star spa, on the beach, or in your vacation rental.  Experience the health benefits of relaxing massage, melting away any worries that came with you on vacation, or book an appointment for a deep tissue therapeutic massage.  Massage therapists in Tamarindo come from all over the globe, speak a plethora of languages, and are trained in a wide variety of styles. 

In addition to a massage, have a body wrap or scrub that will refresh your skin, or a Costa Rican all-natural facial with cacao or avocado.  Read over the spa menus of Tamarindo spas before you even leave home to get an idea of what kinds of health-enhancing spa treatments are available for you here in paradise.

photo by Taylor Simpson

Three (among dozens of) Health Tamarindo Restaurants

photo by Jez Timms

1. Pura Vegan

If your way of being healthy is to eat vegetarian or vegan, you’re going to love Pura Vegan.  This delightful little spot inside of the open-air food court called El Mercadito is a favorite of Tamarindo locals–vegan and omnivores alike.  Their giant salad bowl is to die for, the spicy curry you can’t have just once, and their french fries with vegan cheese sauce made from cashews is nothing short of unbelievable.  Everything on the menu is under 10$, and the portions are more than generous. 


Photo property of Pura Vegan, Tamarindo

2. Pangas Beach Club

Pangas Beach Club’s menu is an especially healthy menu because all of Pangas’ plates are crafted with fresh locally-sourced ingredients.  Pangas serves lunch and dinner all week, and brunch on Sunday mornings.  Fresh fish and salads, custom crafted cocktails, and seared grass-fed beef are some of Pangas Beach Club’s signature offerings.  

Great food in Tamarindo is easy to find, but at Pangas Beach Club your options are nothing short of excellent.

pangas

Pangas Beach Club will amaze you with exquisite, healthy options

3 .Green Papaya

Green Papaya, just off the beaten path but close to everything, is another healthy eating option that deserves a mention.  Green Papaya calls itself a taco bar, but it’s really much more.  Their salads, tacos and burritos made with home-made tortillas, ceviche, and other menu options are fresh, generously served, and very reasonably priced. 

One of the most unique things about Green Papaya is that in the outdoor dining area, some of the seating is on swings suspended from the roof beams.  Kids love this, and–we have to confess–grown-ups think it’s pretty awesome too.  Fun is healthy, so don’t miss out on any of it.

Two Healthy Places to Buy Groceries

1. The Saturday Farmer’s and Craft Market

If you’re in Tamarindo on a Saturday morning, by all means do not miss the Saturday Market!  The Saturday market is a great place to stock up your fridge with organic produce, fresh organic meats, fresh fish, homemade bread and pastries, kombucha, and organic wines. 

tamarindo market
photo by hotchicksing

You can also get in on artisan chocolates and spices, family farm coffee, local honey and much more.  Need gifts?  You can support Tamarindo artisans by purchasing handmade clothing, paintings, sculptures, organic personal products like skin cream and sunscreen, and jewelry.  When you support local farmers and artisans you not only create health for yourself, you create health for the community around you.  Tamarindo says Thank you!

2. El Almacen/La Bodega

El Almacen is a small organic market in Tamarindo, and La Bodega is the adjoining cafe that prepares and serves organic breakfasts and lunches.   You can pick up organic ingredients for the meals that you or your Tamarindo chef will prepare in your Tamarindo vacation rental, or enjoy the treats they prepare right there in La Bodega.  El Almacen is also a great place to grab unique and healthy gifts to take home for the family and friends that you want to share a piece of Costa Rica with!

Photo by Leon Liu

Contact us today for assistance with planning your healthy Tamarindo vacation!


Featured Property of the Month: Puesta del Sol

Our featured property this month at Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo is Puesta del Sol.  This brand new Tamarindo vacation rental property combines elements of a home and a hotel into a unique hybrid of common and private spaces. Six private cabins sleep up to 16 guests at Puesta del Sol, making this property a favorite for special event occasions like weddings, retreats, and reunions. 

tamarindo vacation rental

Puesta del Sol sets on the top of a Tamarindo Bay hillside overlooking the town, the bay, and the magnificent Pacific sunsets from which the property derives its name.  The property affords a breathtaking 300-degree view of Playa Grande to the north, Tamarindo to the west, Langosta to the south, and the endless rolling green hills of Guanacaste disappearing into the east.  As the day progresses at Puesta del Sol, the panorama changes according to the angle of the light, ending with a sunset show you will never forget as you watch it from the infinity pool, the breezy patio, or your room’s private terrace.

The common areas at Puesta del Sol

The heart of Puesta del Sol is its common area, with six private sleeping cabins set in a semicircle around it.  A spacious living/dining room with sliding glass doors on three sides and a full bar and kitchen at the other end is far above and beyond what you’ll find in most rental homes.  

tamarindo vacation rental

What you really have at Puesta del Sol is your own mini retreat center.  The infinity pool that lies along the beach-view side of the common space is surrounded by a sun terrace and comfy cushioned loungers that you can place in the sun or shade according to your preference. 

Whether you’re a family group, a corporate retreat group, a wedding party, or a bunch of friends on vacation together, you’ll love the way at Puesta del Sol, you can cook and eat together, leave the sliding doors open so the kids can play in the pool while you mix cocktails at the bar, or stretch out on the couches and watch a movie together. 

The Bedrooms

Private cottages house the bedrooms at Puesta del Sol.  Four of the six bedrooms have one king-sized bed, and two of them have two queen sized beds.  These queen rooms are perfect for families or for roommates who prefer to have their own space. 

tamarindo vacation rental

Each bedroom has its own spacious en-suite bath, and a patio with quaint wooden rocking chairs.  You are going to love the time you spend sitting on the patio taking in the breathtaking view.  No matter which direction your room faces, the view is amazing.  Wake up in the morning, wander over to the kitchen, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and then tiptoe back to your patio to soak in the beauty of the beginning of the new day.

Why Puesta del Sol

Why choose Puesta del Sol for your Tamarindo vacation rental?  One great reason is privacy.  Puesta del Sol is literally at the top of the hill.  You won’t have to worry about traffic because no one but you is climbing up that far.  This means, of course, that you will absolutely need rental vehicles to get you back and forth from the town and the beach, but the rather adventurous bumpy ride takes only a few minutes.

Another reason to choose Puesta del Sol is that it’s one of our newest properties.  Everything works perfectly, and the property has the crisp modern feel that is hard to attain with older properties that were originally built as single-family homes. 

tamarindo vacation rental

We think, though, that even more than the privacy Puesta del Sol offers or the pristine condition of the property, you’re going to want to stay there because of the view.  Seriously.  “Breathtaking is a word that gets thrown around a lot and over-used, but wait until you stand on the pool terrace in front of Puesta del Sol where the hillside drops away from your feet and leaves you in the sky.  See if the feeling of space around and even under you doesn’t make you catch your breath and reach for something to hold onto.

Why Tamarindo

If you’re coming to Puesta del Sol, that means you’re coming to Tamarindo–so there are two things to be extremely happy about!  Tamarindo is Costa Rica’s premier Pacific coast beach vacation destination, and you’re going to love it.  The beach is great for swimming and surfing, and it’s a sandy beach with only a few rocky areas, so you can enjoy long low-tide beach walks. 

tamarindo surf lessons

The town of Tamarindo is only about 30 years old, which means that you’ll find an established community with lots of new and vibrant activity.  You’ll hear languages from every continent on the planet being spoken on the street and have the chance to choose between Tamarindo restaurants that offer Costa Rican traditional food, Italian restaurants, Indian, middle-eastern, North American, Argentinian, Venezuelan, French, and Asian cuisine.  The nightlife begins as the sun sets between 5 and 6 PM depending on the time of year, and continues until the wee hours of the morning.  Live music is everywhere at sunset and during dinner time.  Fire dancers entertain on the beach and in the streets, and as the hours pass, DJs keep the energy flowing. 

What to do during your visit

Tamarindo is Guanacaste’s Activity Central, so don’t forget to plan some down time into your days, or you’ll need a vacation from your vacation when you get home from Puesta del Sol.  Our Concierge is an expert in planning group packages, so give us a profile of who’s coming, and we’ll give you some suggestions to consider. 

tamarindo zip line

Go surfing, or take Tamarindo surf lessons if surfing isn’t already your thing.  Get out on a fishing boat, a catamaran, or a sailboat and experience the ocean.  You can go hiking, horseback or mountain bike riding, and visit one of our dozens of national parks.  Visit an active volcano, ride a Tamarindo zipline, go whitewater rafting or tubing, and watch sea turtles nesting in Las Baulas National Marine Park.  You’ll want to leave time to enjoy the beach, of course, and you’ll want to experience the sunset hour on this villa’s pool terrace watching the colors of the sky and sea change, blend, and fade into starlight.

Contact us to learn more about reservations.


The Perfect Costa Rica Family Vacation

It’s finally summer–exactly what you’ve waited for all year!  Now is the time to enjoy sunny days, long evenings, and pack the kids up and spend some quality family time together.  It’s not too late to get in on our last-minute specials and bring the gang to Costa Rica!  Once a destination only for adventurous backpackers and surf safaris, Costa Rica has evolved into a top family vacation destination.  

Families come in all shapes and sizes, but the great thing about Costa Rica is that although it is a small country, it has something for everyone.  We’re the local experts on Costa Rica family vacations and will help you tailor your trip to fulfill everyone’s expectations.  


Photo by Kizoa Team

Planning your Costa Rica family vacation is going to require you to make some choices.  Costa Rica is full of amazing things to see and do, and you aren’t going to be able to see or do it all in one trip. Decisions can be tough, but fortunately, we’re here to give you some guidance and pertinent recommendations.

Our first recommendation for the best family vacations in Costa Rica is to divide your trip of 5 to 10 days between no more than two places.  Too much shuffling around takes the restfulness out of the experience for parents, and can be overwhelming for the kids.  If you’re able to get away for 10 or more days, you can up the number of destinations to three, but we really don’t recommend trying to see the whole country in a little time as possible.  Delve deeper into fewer places and have a much more profound and delightful experience.

Destination 1 of 2:  The beach!

guanacaste beaches
Tamarindo beach. Photo property of crsurf.com

Of course one of the two stops on your trip is going to be a beach!  The beaches are what makes Costa Rica famous, and there are more beautiful beaches here than–but if you will allow us to make a recommendation, our top pick is Tamarindo.

Tamarindo beach is gorgeous, it’s family-friendly and safe for swimming, surfing is good, there are lots of grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies, and of course, there are our Tamarindo vacation rentals.  We are the local experts in family fun because we live here too, are raising our families here, and are confident in our ability to help you make great choices and have a fabulous time!  

If you’re set on Costa Rica’s Carribbean coast instead of Guanacaste, visit Tortuguero and watch the sea turtles nesting or swing to the south and take a few days at Cahuita and Puerto Viejo.  Cahuita national park is famous for its giant coral reef and the marine life it houses. 

Kid-friendly beach activities:

This list varies according to the ages and personalities of the little ones, but we generally  recommend surf lessons, half-day fishing trips and/or an estuary boat tour.  In Tamarindo, for example, surfing is safe for children.  Our surf instructors are trained and experienced, and many of them have taught their own little ones to surf!  If your child can swim and is comfortable in the water, Tamarindo’s sandy gentle beach is the perfect place to give surfing a try.  Half-day fishing trips are another fun option for kids of all ages.

 A whole 7-hour day on a fishing boat can be overwhelming for anyone besides hard-core fisherman, but everyone can enjoy getting on the boat in the early morning and speeding out to sea for a few hours of trolling, watching for dolphins, and reeling in fish.  Half-day tours are usually back by lunch time when everyone is ready to be out of the sun for a few hours!  The estuary boat tour takes about two hours and is available according to the tide schedule.  Birds, monkeys, colorful land crabs, and sleepy crocodiles are the attractions on this beautiful boat ride into the estuary that is Las Baulas National Park.  

Destination 2 of 2:  The forest!

Photo Credit: National Geographic

For the second destination on your family vacation in Costa Rica, pick a cooler, higher place in the shade of Costa Rica’s tropical dry forest, rain forest, or cloud forest.  The most frequently-visited picks are the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloud Forest.  Both places are fabulous Costa Rican forest choices–you can’t pick the wrong one.

The Arenal area, due to volcanic activity, has hot springs and warm geothermal pools that your family can enjoy together.  Monteverde has a dense rain and cloud forest with swinging bridges suspended over revines and canyons that will take your breath away.  Combined with a few days and nights at the beach, a visit to either of these places will make for the best family vacation in Costa Rica.

Option Off-road:  La Carolina Lodge

A unique mountain experience in Costa Rica is La Carolina Lodge.  La Carolina functions off the grid.  Dine by candlelight, eat meals created with foods that are grown on the farm and cooked over a wood fire, and sleep in rustic but luxurious cabins that are built out of locally grown and harvested wood.  Hiking to the Rio Celeste waterfalls, swimming in the river, horseback riding, and relaxing in the hot tub are favorite activities at La Carolina.  After a great night’s sleep, get up early and your family can help the farm hands milk the cows!  

Kid friendly forest/farm activities:

Don’t leave Costa Rica without taking your family on a zip line canopy tour–that’s everybody’s favorite!   Hikes are something families of all ages can enjoy, along with visits to animal refuges and butterfly or hummingbird gardens.  If your youngsters are old enough to enjoy horses, don’t miss this opportunity to ride with a guide who can help you notice and appreciate the plants and animals along the leafy trails. Adventure centers exist throughout Costa Rica that make family vacation planning easy by offering packages that can be modified to include a day of your family’s favorite activities all in one location.  

Costa Rica family vacation Do’s and Dont’s, provided by your vacation experts:

1  Don’t try to do everything.

You can’t do everything fun or see everything amazing in Costa Rica in one vacation.  If you try to pack too much into your vacation, you’ll run yourselves ragged trying to have fun.


This vacation rental home’s pool has a built-in water slide!

2  Do plan some down time.

Don’t forget that your vacation rental will have a pool your kids will want to play in, and don’t miss the miss joy of a beach walk together or a lazy afternoon in the hot springs or jacuzzi while you’re in the mountains.

3  Don’t bring the kitchen sink!

Costa Rica has first-world pharmacies and American-style grocery stores, so it’s not necessary to try to bring everything you could possibly need.  You may pay more than you’re used to for a tube of after-insect-bite cream or Junior’s favorite breakfast cereal, but so what?  You didn’t come on vacation to save money.  You came to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and take things as they come.

4  Do pack sunscreen and insect repellent.

Now there are two things that you are for sure going to need, and you can buy them cheaper at home than you can here.  Throw some extra in the bag. If you don’t need all of it, sunscreen and insect repellent are excellent gifts for the local friends you make during your vacation.

5  Do limit technology/screen time for yourself and your children.

Just a thought.  Parents have different ways of addressing the challenges presented by technology in the hands of youngsters, and you are the expert on your own family.  But consider making your family vacation in Costa Rica an experience of limited screen time and unlimited adventure, interaction, and attention to your surroundings.  You can all get back on line when you get home.

Contact us today and let’s get busy on your vacation plans!


How to Find the Perfect Vacation Rental in Tamarindo

The idea of booking a vacation rental property, sight unseen, in a foreign country can be intimidating, especially if it’s a country or a destination you’ve never been to.  Are you going to be able to find it?  How can you be sure the place is going to be what it looks like in the pictures?  How do you know which one to pick?  If you’re a seasoned traveler, you already know the drill, but there’s a first time for everything including your first vacation rental in Costa Rica. 

Here are some ways to break down the decision-making process and of course some practical suggestions of Tamarindo vacation rental property perfect fits.

Vacation rentals in Tamarindo come in all shapes and sizes, and so do travel groups.  How many people are you traveling with?  Is it you and your significant other?  You, your 5 best friends, their spouses, and their kids?  Are stairs ok?  Do you prefer to be near a golf course?  A surf break?  Do you like center-of-the-action vacations or restful away-from-it-all vacations?  Come up with some answers to these questions before you start shopping to help you narrow it down.

Then the next filter to get through it price.  How much do you want to spend?  Are you attracted by pocket-friendly options, or is this the trip for which you’re going to pull out all the stops and live like royalty?  Vacation rental prices range based on distance from the beach and lots of other factors like how new and chic the place is (or isn’t) and what kinds of amenities it includes.  All of the Vacation Rentals of Tamarindo properties have the standard package:  a/c, wi-fi, cable tv, linens, towels, equipped kitchens, a washer and dryer, a pool…so don’t think that by “pocket-friendly” we mean you have to bring your own pillows!  We’re the industry trendsetters in our area and all of our vacation rentals are top-shelf.

Following, we explore 6 types of luxury vacation rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and give some examples from our fantastic menu of homes:

1. Small, Simple, Conveniently-Located

These are the condos that are otherwise known as budget-friendly.  They’re great for couples, families with small children, travelers on a shoestring budget, or folks who want to spend their vacation dollars out exploring, not sitting around a fancy house. 

Sunrise Penthouse

Located literally across the street from the beach in the center of Tamarindo, you won’t find a better spot for a better price.  This 2-bedroom condo is located on the 4th floor of the Sunrise complex which includes the coolest pool in town, the easiest beach access anything within an affordable price range, secure gated parking and oh yeah—the view!

Villa Paloma

This affordable 2-bedroom condo in Langosta sleeps up to 6, is conveniently located, has secure parking, access to the resort pool, and offers a sundeck on the roof of the complex.

2. Small and Modern-chic

So let’s say you don’t want a big place, but you’d like it to be sleek and modern.  We have those vacation rentals too!  You can get some of the big-ticket modern design elements in a new or newly-redesigned vacation rental without having to spend big bucks.  These places are great to get into with your best friend or two or three.  Enjoy gourmet meals and cocktails on the patio or rent some boards and go on a surf trek to Avellanas or Playa Negra. 

La Perla

Our condo at La Perla offers 3 bedrooms and sleeps up to 8 people.  Each unit in this recently-completed elite complex occupies a corner, displaying fantastic ocean and hillside panoramas in every room.

Las Mareas Villas

These 3 and 4 bedroom villas in central Tamarindo sleep from 6 to 12 guests.  The ultimate in minimalist modern design, natural textures and materials, and European attention to detail make these villas a vacation rental choice that is a cut above the rest.

3.  A Sprawling Villa for Your Destination Wedding or Other Event

We’re suddenly at the other end of the vacation rental type spectrum:  huge mansions and villas for 20 or more guests—yes we have them!  Costa Rica is a favorite pick for couples planning destination weddings, for yoga and meditation retreats, corporate retreats, family reunions…all of the above.  These properties are the places dreams are made.  From beach front mansions to luxury hilltop mini-resorts, these are your dream homes and they make your special event unforgettable for everyone in attendance. 

Casa de Luz 

This property is truly beachfront!  Just steps behind the high tide line in Langosta, Casa de Luz is a stunning place for weddings, yoga retreats, surf trips, or whatever it is that brings your group together.  It’s one of our most eco-friendly properties, too, and sleeps over 20 people.

Casa Puros Dieces

How about an 8-bedroom Bali-style home for 20?  That’s Casa Puros Dieces!  This is one of Tamarindo’s top event venue choices because of its laid-back design, amazing ocean view and individual suite bedroom layout.

Casa Costa Blanca

Of course, you want your event destination to be Casa Costa Blanca.  This Hacienda Pinilla beachfront home has 7 bedrooms, sleeps up to 24, and includes all of the amenities of Guanacaste’s premier golf/surf resort.

4.  Classified by Activity: Golf Resort and Secret Surf Spots

Many people wisely consider the types of activities they most enjoy when they are shopping for vacation rentals.  If you’re the outdoorsy type who enjoys golf, surfing, mountain biking, or tennis, if you love peace and quiet but don’t want to be completely isolated from restaurants and night life, you might want to browse the vacation rental options in Hacienda Pinilla.  From giant event-venue type homes to condos for single families, Pinilla has got something for everyone.  Golfers and experienced surfers have a look at these amazing spots:

Rebecca

This where the fun begins!  Casa Rebecca, with 4 bedrooms for up to 12 people, is a sleek new vacation rental home located in Hacienda Pinilla.

Villa Bonita

Hacienda Pinilla offers not only mansions, but also luxury condos like Villa Bonita that are more affordable than larger properties but still include all of Hacienda Pinilla’s amenities.

5. The Beach House!

Or let’s say it’s got to be a beach house.  Of course.  Who wouldn’t want to base their Tamarindo vacation in a beach house?!  Some of our biggest and best beach houses are the ones you caught a glimpse of in the “event venues” category, but there are other properties on or very near the beach.  Your beachfront vacation rental is the perfect way to enjoy early morning walks, peaceful sunsets, easy access to surf spots and still have all the comforts of home.  Families with children love beach houses because being right on or very near the beach simplifies everything!  You don’t have to pack everybody and all the trappings into a car every time you want to go out, you just open the door and there you are.  You can even hire a chef to do in-home meal prep for you so that everybody in the family gets a break.  Imagine how much fun that would be!

Hacienda del Pacifico

Hacienda del Pacifico is a 4-bedroom beach house for 8.  Spend lazy afternoons here by the pool and cool tropical evenings listening to the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach on the other side of the trees. Your direct beach access is just outside your door.

Casa Tranquila

Here’s a quintessential beach house that is outfitted with every luxury.  Casa Tranquila has 4 bedrooms and sleeps up to 8 guests.  No other Tamarindo vacation rental beats this one for beachfront location!

5. The View to Die for + Modern Luxury

Consider this:  a totally sleek modern vacation rental property built for the view.  Imagine floor to ceiling glass along the coast-facing side of the home, simple lines, comfortable furniture inside, an infinity pool outside, and in every room the unbelievable panorama of Tamarindo’s turquoise horizon where it meets the sea.  This is what you get in our modern mountainside homes.    These properties are located in Tamarindo just above the hubbub of the busy street, but are still only minutes away from the sand. 

Compass house

The photographs of Compass House speak for themselves.  Yes, this is a real vacation rental home in Tamarindo and yes it really looks like that.  The house has 8 bedrooms and sleeps up to 16.

Lomas del Mar

Lomas del Mar offers an amazing view of the all of Tamarindo, Playa Grande, and the Las Baulas Estuary in between.  Chic and modern, there are 4 bedroom suites for up to 8 and a pristine infinity pool.

6.  The View to Die for + Old-School Beach House

This is truly unique category of home is something you won’t find just anywhere—it’s a Tamarindo specialty!  Once upon a time, instead of stainless steel, pale marble and minimalist aesthetic, there were terracotta tiles, almond wood ceiling beams, and artesian-created ceramic sconces.  In homes like these, you can lose yourself the timeless charm of the quintessential tropical beach house and the breathtaking view of the sky, sea, and rolling jungle hills.  These hillside beach houses offer every amenity and form part of Tamarindo’s history.  Stark modern vacation rental houses are everywhere—in every vacation destination all the world over—but if you love luxury mixed with the local fingerprint and a sense of place, one of our ocean view beach houses is the place for you.

Casa Leo Loco

Casa Leo Loco is perched above Tamarindo and is one of our favorite classic hilltop beach houses.  There are 6 bedrooms for up to 12 guests, a multi-level infinity pool, and stunningly landscaped grounds.  Imagine the sunsets!

Casa Catalina

Casa Catalina is one of Tamarindo’s original beach houses.  It is set so high on the hill and offers such a dizzying view of the bay that on a clear day the Catalina Islands are visible in the distance.  Your group of up to 16 is welcome here in the home’s 5 bedrooms.

As you can see, the perfect vacation rental in Tamarindo is here waiting for you.  Contact our team of experts and make your reservation today!

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