Exploring your brand-new home is an exciting adventure to embark on after relocating to Costa Rica. The good news is that Costa Rica’s natural beauty is incredible – from national parks and cloud forests ideal for nature lovers to active volcanoes and beautiful beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean Coast, natural treasures abound here.
You can also enjoy an array of fun activities
like horseback riding, trekking through the lush jungle, and exploring various other natural wonders while hiking, kayaking, or trying your hand at a wide range of water sports in the turquoise water.
Lots of intriguing destinations are located in the beautiful region of Guanacaste
, the place you’re now fortunate to call home. Here are some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful attractions, easily reachable from Tamarindo.
Admire the Beautiful Beaches of the Pacific Coast
Let’s start with the obvious. Costa Rica’s Tamarindo area is known as home to some of the country’s and even Central America’s most impressive beaches. If you’re seeking postcard-like beauty, pure white sand, and turquoise water, this is the place to explore.
The most popular Pacific Coast white sand beaches in the region include Tamarindo Beach, Flamingo Beach, Playa Langosta, Playa Grande, Playa Avellanas, Playa Conchal, and the so-called Pirate’s Cove.
Pirate’s Cove is less known and as such it guarantees a lack of tourists and absolute peacefulness. Located only 45 minutes away from Tamarindo, this little-known gem of a beach is very scenic and isolated – the perfect spot for a romantic sunrise or sunset walk. It’s a great choice for nature lovers and those who like to stay away from fellow tourists.
Playa Tamarindo is known and loved by travelers due to its abundance of fun and popular activities. Sunset sailing along the Pacific Coast is a definite must-do. If you’re into water sports, try snorkeling, diving, and, of course, surfing.
Explore the Monkey Park Foundation
The Monkey Park Foundation needs to be on your bucket list if you’re looking for unique Costa Rica experiences. Even if you’re not an avid wildlife lover, you’ll be touched by the story of this incredible Costa Rica sanctuary.
Open every day, the park offers both guided and individual tours. This is the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with animals that have been rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into nature.
The non-profit organization was set up back in 2009 and over the years, its mission has expanded. You’ll learn about the efforts undertaken to stabilize the population of monkeys, and you’ll see howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and numerous other amazing creatures. Jaguars, macaws, sloths, and many other magnificent animals reside in the park.
A guided tour lasts about two hours. It’s a good idea to reserve a guided tour in advance and check out the foundation’s recommendations in terms of clothing and gear.
Try Sport Fishing from Flamingo Marina
Sport fishing from the Flamingo Marina in Costa Rica offers anglers an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most renowned fishing destinations. Located on the country’s beautiful Pacific Coast, the Flamingo Marina is a haven for fishing enthusiasts seeking thrilling encounters with a wide variety of fish species. With its pristine blue water, abundant marine life, and professional fishing charters, this coastal gem promises an exhilarating adventure for anglers of all levels of expertise.
Flamingo Marina is particularly famous for its deep-sea fishing opportunities. Anglers can venture out into the blue water in search of trophy fish species such as marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, dorado, and roosterfish. The calm waters surrounding Flamingo are known for their year-round abundance of these magnificent fish species, making it a prime location for big game fishing. The thrill of hooking into a powerful marlin or sailfish and engaging in an epic battle of strength and skill is an experience that anglers cherish for a lifetime.
The Flamingo Marina boasts a fleet of well-equipped fishing charters captained by experienced and knowledgeable guides who possess an intimate understanding of the local fishing grounds. These expert captains are skilled in the art of locating the best fishing spots and are dedicated to ensuring that every angler has the opportunity to reel in their dream catch. They provide top-of-the-line fishing gear, tackle, and bait, ensuring that anglers are well-prepared for a successful day on the water.
Discover Everything San Jose Has to Offer
If you’re moving to Costa Rica, you’ll eventually get to spend some time in the capital of San Jose. A perfect weekend destination, San Jose is situated about 160 miles from Tamarindo. Costa Rica’s capital offers a lot of exploration opportunities, which is why a single day spent there may not be enough. Here are some fun things to do in San Jose:
Obviously, this is a small glimpse of all the fun and inspiring places you can visit in San Jose. Depending on personal interests and budget, there are lots of other exploration opportunities you may want to research (and sometimes even book) in advance and partake in during your San Jose stay.
- Go for a stroll along San Jose’s Avenida Central
- Visit Costa Rica’s national theater in the heart of San Jose and admire its outstanding architecture
- Have fun at San Jose’s central market
- Visit some of San Jose’s most prominent museums: the Jade Museum, National Museum, and Gold Museum are must-visit spots
- Relax in San Jose Parque La Sabana
- Indulge in the sweetness of Sa Casa Del Cacao chocolate factory
Witness the “Arribada” in the Ostional Wildlife Reserve
The Ostional Wildlife Reserve in Costa Rica is a haven for nature enthusiasts and turtle lovers alike. Nestled along the country’s Pacific coast, this protected area is internationally recognized as a crucial nesting site for olive ridley sea turtles. Within the reserve, visitors have the incredible opportunity to witness the captivating spectacle of sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, creating a breathtaking natural phenomenon.
The highlight of visiting the Ostional Wildlife Reserve is witnessing the mass nesting event known as the “arribada.” During this extraordinary occurrence, thousands of female olive ridley sea turtles arrive simultaneously to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of Ostional. It is an awe-inspiring sight to behold as these ancient creatures emerge from the ocean, navigating their way ashore with determination and grace. The sheer number of turtles is astonishing, and the synchronized nesting process is a testament to the incredible instincts and reproductive strategy of these magnificent creatures.
To ensure the preservation of the nesting turtles and their fragile eggs, access to the Ostional Wildlife Reserve during the arribada is strictly regulated. Visitors are required to join guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides who are well-versed in sea turtle biology and conservation. These guides provide invaluable information about the nesting behaviors of the olive ridley turtles, the significance of the arribada, and the ongoing efforts to protect these endangered species.
Beyond the mesmerizing turtle nesting event, the Ostional Wildlife Reserve is teeming with natural wonders. The pristine beaches, surrounded by lush coastal forests, provide an idyllic setting for exploration and relaxation. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the shores, enjoying the serenity of the area and marveling at the diverse array of flora and fauna. Birdwatching enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of avian species that call the reserve home.
Touch the Clouds in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
If you’re looking for a weekend destination in the heart of Costa Rica, step into a mystical world at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, located in the country’s central highlands, about 3 hours from Tamarindo. This biodiverse paradise is famous for its unique ecosystem, where clouds blanket the treetops, creating a surreal and enchanting atmosphere. Explore the reserve’s extensive trail network, marvel at the incredible plant and animal species, and experience the thrill of walking among the clouds on hanging bridges.
Follow the network of well-maintained paths that wind through the reserve, leading you to discover an astonishing array of plant and animal species. Admire the delicate orchids, mosses, and ferns that thrive in the moisture-laden environment. Keep your eyes and ears open for the calls of exotic bird species, such as the resplendent quetzal, as they flit through the canopy.
One of the highlights of the reserve is the opportunity to traverse hanging bridges suspended high in the treetops. Walk among the clouds, gaining a unique perspective of the forest and its inhabitants. The bridges offer breathtaking panoramic views, allowing you to fully appreciate the grandeur and untouched beauty of the cloud forest
See a Volcano in Arenal Volcano National Park
Located about 125 miles from Tamarindo, Arenal Volcano National Park beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts with its awe-inspiring landscapes and captivating volcanic activity. This iconic destination offers a unique blend of thrilling experiences and serene natural beauty.
At the center of the park stands the majestic Arenal Volcano, a towering stratovolcano that has become an iconic symbol of Costa Rica. Keep an eye out for volcanic activity, such as smoke billowing from the volcanic crater, showcasing the dynamic forces of nature.
One of the highlights of visiting Arenal Volcano National Park is the opportunity to soak in natural hot springs that are fed by the volcano’s geothermal energy. Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters, enveloped by the surrounding rainforest. These therapeutic springs offer a rejuvenating and tranquil experience, allowing you to unwind and embrace the serenity of the park.
La Fortuna Waterfall is another majestic natural wonder nestled within the spectacular Arenal Volcano National Park. Cascading down from a height of 70 meters (230 feet), this breathtaking waterfall is a sight to behold. The crystal-clear turquoise waters plunge into a refreshing pool below, inviting visitors to take a dip and immerse themselves in the natural beauty that surrounds them. The journey to the waterfall involves a scenic hike through the park, where hikers can admire the diverse flora and fauna that call this region home.
Arenal Volcano National Park is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Embark on exhilarating hikes through the park’s network of paths, leading you to stunning viewpoints and hidden waterfalls. Zip-line through the treetops, traverse hanging bridges, or go horseback riding, immersing yourself in the natural wonders and adventure that this region offers.
Honorable Mentions and Additional Popular Tourist Destinations
Needless to say, Costa Rica has so much more to offer. Depending on how much time you have available, you can plan an array of additional trips and popular activities from Tamarindo. Some of the most intriguing spots to visit, apart from the ones mentioned above, include:
Keep in mind that some popular activities like watching sea turtles can be enjoyed during certain times of the year. So, if you’re planning to visit a nature park or you’d like to explore a certain aspect of Costa Rica’s nature, make sure that the intended visit date is suitable and optimal for the intended activity.
- Visit the fishing town of Playas del Coco
- Go to Volcano Brewing Company to savor some of the most delicious local brews