Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s original surf towns with a long sweep of golden sand and excellent beginner surf conditions. The town is nowadays a busy little tourist town with several mid to large hotels bringing package tourists but still has some merit for the more independent minded traveller.
Tamarindo is a great option if you want to have some relaxed beach time with a pleasant enough little town to wander into each night with good restaurants, a craft beer bar and cafes to satisfy hop and bean fans alike and a gelateria to keep kids happy.
Tamarindo bay contains Tamarindo Beach and Playa Grande. Playa Grande picks up more swell and is suited for intermediate and expert surfers. Tamarindo is more protected from prevailing swells which makes it perfect for beginners and intermediates happy with a mellow summer wave. Both beaches offer their best surfing upto 3 hours either side of high tide. At low tide there is very little swell on Tamarindo and it is ideal for swimming.
In terms of accommodation, Hotel Capitano Suisso is our favourite option in Tamarindo. Offering mid / boutique level accommodation, the hotel has a charming relaxed atmosphere and lovely gardens and pool. It also has the best location in town, with a beach front location in a secluded spot down the quiet end of the beach. It is far enough from town to be nice and quiet but near enough to be an easy walk in the evenings. Cala Luna is another lovely option, arguably more upmarket than Capitano Suisso, but we prefer the location and feel of Capitano Suisso. In particular, the pool at Capitano Suisso is large, light and spacious with views to the Ocean.