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The house of Surf

Guanacaste’s House of Surf takes its name from a tropical tree, one that produces a sweet and sour, sticky candy.


Up until just a couple of decades ago, Tamarindo was simply a small village of fishermen.  That is, until those fisherman began to notice how the big waves, which they struggled to take their boats out against, were attracting a new species of visitors.  A type that came with long and colorful pieces of wood under their arms.


At first, only a few adventure seekers were aware of this “secret paradise”, but with time the secret spread throughout the planet and the influx increased dramatically.   So much so, that it suddenly became a constant parade of surfers coming and going. 



Then, one day, many of those that came decided to tear up their return tickets and thus the town began to grow…


It turned out that it wasn’t only the Tamarindo fruit that was sticky. Tamarindo, the town, developed a sort of magnetic effect that enticed all those who came to return, and others to simply never leave.



Little by little, the first hotels, restaurants and shops began to emerge and not much later all the other services that tourists and residents desire followed suit.

Today, Tamarindo (Tama to the locals) is one of the most dynamic and progressive coastal towns in Guanacaste, and during the last decade Tama has become renowned as one of the most desirable vacation destinations in Costa Rica.


This colorful and multicultural community has the relaxed atmosphere of a tropical coastal town.  This, added to its ample light sand beach, an influx of good-looking people and an active nightlife, closely resembles the typical idea that people conjure as “the tropical destination of their dreams”.

Within the same bay to the North and to the South of Tamarindo are Playa Grande and Playa Langosta.  These beaches are of worldwide biological importance as this is where the Leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs.  Near Tama, you can also find Diria, a small though formidable Wild Life Refuge that nature lovers deeply enjoy.

The estuary that divides the bay and separates Tamarindo from Playa Grande also serves as an entrance to the mangroves and the great variety of fauna that populates them.

While the surf has been the main growth engine of Tamarindo, there are several other attractions that have accelerated its growth through tourism development.  Beyond the large variety of land tours available, Tama offers just about any aquatic activity imaginable, with especially great conditions for sport fishing.


Today the town has everything, from small B&Bs to large hotels.  From restaurants that offer typical local food to those that are very refined.  The town boasts art galleries, craft shops, a movie theater,  spas and practically any service or benefit of a large city. Tamarindo is also famous for its dynamic nightlife, with an abundance of bars for all types and tastes and casinos in the surrounding areas.



What is there to do in Tamarindo?


In Tamarindo, the days are as long as the variety of things to do.


Surf: In Tama the ocean is generous and offers waves for both the experienced and the novice.  All you have to do is cross main street and you are at the beach, where you will find moderate waves ideal for beginners, while just a little to the North, Playa Grande and its powerful waves await the more experienced surfers. 



Sport fishing:  Besides being a surfing paradise, the conditions are ideal for sport fishing. In the last decade Tamarindo has become famous for the record sized catches of large fish such as Tuna, Marlin and Sail Fish.


Day on the Beach:  The beach life is very dynamic.  The extensive fine white sand beach coupled with the abundance of sunny days makes this beach one of the most frequented in Guanacaste.


Mangrove tour:  A tour in the estuary that penetrates into the mysterious mangrove forest is a special experience where one can observe the incredible diversity of birds, reptiles and mammals.


Golf course by the sea: Golfers can enjoy two nearby golf courses: one at Reserva Conchal designed  by Robert Trent Jones and one at Hacienda Pinilla  (in the picture), designed by Mike Young.


Diriá Refuge: This wildlife refuge protects the last portion of cloudy tropical forest of the Nicoya Peninsula. The refuge also protects the birthplace of 3 important rivers.  In this refuge you can observe howler and whiteface monkeys as well as see deer, coatis, tepezcuintles or opossums, amongst many others. 


Las Baulas National Park: This is one of the largest breeding grounds in the world for leatherback turtles. They arrive from October through March to lay their eggs and births can be seen from December through May.  



Sailing, horseback riding, snorkeling, diving and kayak tours are just some of the many other activities that can be enjoyed in the area.

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utopia magazine and travel guide

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Transportation guide 

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