In the summer of 2018 we spent a week in Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Normally it is very rainy in the summer there, but every year there is a short dry period called the veranillo de San Juan, or “little summer.” If you manage to hit it at the right time, the weather is hot but relatively dry and quite tolerable for summertime. The timing went well for us and we only had rain for one of the days we spent there.
Located in Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo is a surfer town, and with strong pacific waves it draws surfers, expats and other visitors from around North America and beyond. There are many restaurants, bars and travel services throughout the town and English is widely spoken there.
Next to the town is an estuary (Estero de Playa Grande) that carries the water from the nearby river into the Pacific Ocean. With did a boat tour up the river to see the Costa Rican wildlife.
The iguanas were shy at first, but the boatman threw some pineapples towards the shore and they quickly came out.
The highlight of the day were the crocodiles. This fellow decided to check us out after relaxing on a sandy area by himself.
With Tamarindo facing west, the sunsets are spectacular, and they didn’t disappoint during the week we were there.
Back in town, we enjoyed swimming and day trips to nearby towns and beaches. Arenal volcano is not too far from Tamarindo and can be done as a day trip from there, as can many of the eco-parks, adventure activities and jungle treks.
There was a steady influx of tourists but the town never felt too crowded. In Tamarindo American dollars are preferred to Costa Rican colones in many of the shops, although both are accepted. Depending on the store, change might be given in colones. English is widely spoken in the town and we ended up having a relaxing week there–getting good weather during the rainy season certainly helped!