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Tamarindo stretches along a 3-kilometre-long long beach. Across the estuary on the north side of the bay you will find Playa Grande, home to the National Park Las Baulas, and its Giant Leatherback Turtle. On the southern part is upscale Playa Langosta, with lots of rental houses. Tamarindo is small and everything is within walking distance.
Tamarindo weather is always nice and warm, and it is sunny about 365 days per year! In the rainy season it rains lightly for a few hours in the afternoon.
November is the start of the dry season, the rains have stopped yet everything is still green. At the end of December the offshore Papagayo winds begin blowing, and will continue to do so during January and February. The offshore winds keeps the temperature from getting too hot and it is great for the surf. In April the Papagayos stop, and Tamarindo becomes hot and dry. In May the first rains will arrive and afternoon showers will continue until the end of rainy season with the exception of the month of July. In September and October it can rain all day long, but usually not more than three or four days in a row. If a hurricane forms in the Caribbean it can cause rain storms called a Temporal. Temporals generally only happen later in the rainy season but they can cause major floods throughout Costa Rica.
Packing for Tamarindo is simple since it does not get cold. Shorts, T-shirts, sundresses and for the rainy season a thin long sleeved shirt ( it can get cooler at night) is enough.
Natur Air and Sansa Airlines offer daily flights into Tamarindo. More options (including international flights) are available to Liberia, about 75 minutes away by car.
Cars are available for rent both at the International Airport in San Jose (a 4 hour drive) as well as the International Airport in Liberia (a 1.5 hour drive). Most international car rental agencies are represented at the airports. It is best to book a car in advance.
Alfaro bus is a public bus service that leaves from the Coca Cola in San Jose. Grayline and Interbus offer private shuttles from San Jose.
Tamarindo is small enough that you can get everywhere by foot. Even Playa Langosta is just about a ten minute walk. There are a few places that will rent bicycles. To visit nearby beaches or other points of interest you can either book a tour, or rent a car at the many car rental agencies. If you head to some of the nearby beaches it is recommended that you rent a 4 wheel drive.
Tamarindo is an eclectic and multi cultural community, and therefore it offers an amazing variety of culinary options. There are over 40 coffee shops, restaurants, juice bars, cafes, bakeries and delis. There is even a delivery service that will pick up from a restaurant of your choosing and deliver it to your hotel.
Tamarindo likes to have fun which is reflected in its vibrant nightlife. The nighttime entertainment is about as varied as Tamarindo's restaurant scene. Bars, clubs and lounges offer dance nights, live music and DJs, some have karaoke, or games like ping pong and pool. Gamblers are in luck as there is a small casino, and several bars host poker nights. Like any tourist destination, use caution especially after drinking, and don't walk the streets late at night alone.
|Blue Trailz||Calle Principal contiguo Alamo Rent a Car||Hostel||86|
|El Sabanero Eco-Lodge||Canafistula Between 27 of Avril and Villa Real||Hotel||-|
|FT's Tamarindo||Main Road||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Pura Vida||Calle Guanacaste||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Brasilito||Frente la Mar 50 metros oest de la plaza||hotel||-|
|Hotel Mahayana||150m Nordeste del Hotel Pasatiempo||HOTEL||90|
|Hotel Flores||Playa Tamarindo across the street from Hotel Pasatiempo||Hotel||-|
|Jardin del Eden Hotel||1 cuadra al este y otra cuadra al sur del centro de Tamarindo||Hotel||-|
|La Oveja Negra Hostel||Calle Guanacaste, frente al Hotel Portofino||HOSTEL||90|
|Las Avellanas Villas||Avellana Av.||Apartment||-|
|Sunset Inn||Playa Langosta, 75mts east from Barcelo Resort||Guesthouse||82|
|Tamarindo Backpackers||Next entrance after Luna Llena Hotel, turn right,||Hostel||-|
|The Beach House||Tamarindo||Guesthouse||-|
|Pura Vida Hostel||Calle Guanacaste Cont. Rest. Stella||Hostel||-|
|The Chocolate Hotel and 5 Star Hostel||200 m east of Pasatiempo||HOSTEL||71|
|La Botella de Leche||300 meters from the beach Playa Tamarindo||HOSTEL||82|
|Pura Vida House||Paso Hondo||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Mahayana||150m noreste Del Hotel Pasatiempo||Hotel||-|
|La Montaña Ecolodge||Altos de Pinilla/Playa Avellanas||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Pasatiempo||500 metres to Diria Hotel Guanacaste||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Villas Macondo||Plaza Conchal||HOTEL||83|
|B&B Tranquilo||Road Villa Real - Santa Cruz, 11 km south Canafistula - private road to Los Altos De Eros||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas||Calle Principal Entrada a Tamarindo||Hotel||-|
|Tamarindo Beach Cabinas||Road to Langosta||HOSTEL||-|
|La Bruja Verde||Calle Guanacaste frente al gimnasio Tamarindo y an Playa Tamarindo||HOSTEL||-|
Tamarindo is a thriving tourist town, and skilled bilingual workers are always in need. However, in order to work in Costa Rica you will need to get a residency and a work permit. Tourists are not allowed to work.
It's easy to find internet access, and although you can still can find a lot of internet cafes, wifi is growing fast in the country. The further away you get from San Jose, the slower and more expensive it becomes when you are using an internet cafe. Wifi is generally free of charge at most places though and apart from off the beaten track parks, jungles and mountains, the connection generally is ok. Some internet cafés also offer international calls via either phone or IP using services like Skype.
See also: International Telephone Calls
There are plenty of phone booths around and you will get the best rate using a pre-paid international card (can often be purchased in internet cafés and other small stores). There is usually a connection fee making short calls extra expensive. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café. But making short calls using the domestic calling cards (you can make international calls using these but the denominations of the calling cards are quite small so your call will be short!) or the international calling cards available within Costa Rica (all from the government phone monopoly ICE) is the next best deal.
Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1,800 MHz GSM network. Note that the GSM phone systems in the United States and Canada use different frequencies and that travelers from there will need a "world" handset, such as a tri-band or quad-band phone, if you want to use your existing cell phone. If you want to use a local Costa Rica number, you can rent cell phone service, and of course anyone can buy a cell phone. If you have an unlocked cell phone (either one from home or bought in Costa Rica - all cell phones sold in Costa Rica must be unlocked), prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country. Try using companies like Grupo ICE under the Kölbi brand, TuYo Movil, Movistar and Claro.
Correos de Costa Rica (website in Spanish only) is the national postal services of Costa Rica. You can find post offices (correos) in almost any city and town and they are generally open from 7:30am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to noon on Saturdays. There are not that many mailboxes, so it's best to ask your hotel or go directly to the post offices. Services tend to be slow but generally reliable and on the whole cheap regarding letters and postcards. It costs about US$0.20 to the USA and Canada (taking about 1 week to 10 days), US$0.25 to Europe (about 2 weeks) and US$0.30 to Asia and Australia (3 weeks or even more). All in all, if you can try and arrange your mail from the capital San José as it's generally quicker from there. Small packages are also no problem, though take them to the post offices unpacked for inspection first! Otherwise, arrange things through private international courier services like UPS, FedEx, DHL or TNT.
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