While Tamarindo offers a variety of activities that cater to locals and tourists alike, there are a some little-known “insider secrets” that are not obvious to short-stay vacationers. Ask any tour group in the area what there is to do, and they will ramble off a list of volcano tours, zip lining treks, and all-day catamaran parties. Don’t get me wrong, all these activities are worthwhile and will stoke your sense of adventure, but if you are looking to stay local, save some green, and find your own adventure, this 3 part series will aid you in your search.
With each part of this series, we will give some free activities, some almost free activities, and some fun, affordable activities that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Enjoy.
~Hike Mirador Mountain~
Located within the town of Tamarindo, Mirador mountain is one of the highest points in the local area and offers stunning sunset views for those willing to make the climb. From atop the mountain, spectators can see the entire bay of Tamarindo, Captain Island right off-shore, the Las Baulas National seashores of Playa Grande, and a the mountainous terrain leading up to the shore. Not to mention, a perfect place to check the swells! From WRSC, reaching the outlook point takes between 20-30 min.
Tip: Catch a taxi to the gym at the base of the mountain to begin your ascent.
~Hunt for Beach Discoveries in Playa Grande~
The long stretch of untouched beach directly to our north is known as Playa Grande. Aside from having some of the best quality, most consistent waves in the country, Playa Grande (also part of the Las Baulas National Park) can offer some of the best beach discoveries in the surrounding area. When the tide drains low and much of the hidden beach is exposed, seashells, driftwood, and all kinds of aquatic crustaceans are exposed.
Tip: Time your adventure around low tide. The estuary is much lower and easier to cross. Or, you can pay 1$ for a boat taxi to chauffeur you across.
Need a quick fuel-booster halfway through your surf-sesh? Not a problem! Taco Star, located on the beach in Playa Grande, has been serving hungry surfers for the past decade, and continues to do so today. Conveniently located in the main parking lot of Playa Grande, Taco Star sells fresh-fruit smoothies, home-baked treats, and yes…tacos. All reasonably priced between about $2-$5
Tip: Forgot your wax? Taco Star also sells fresh sticks of wax for $2.
If you have been to Tamarindo, then you most likely know (or at least have heard) the Pipa Guy. Walking the Tamarindo streets everyday with his blue cooler filled with coconuts, the Pipa Guy attracts customers with his megaphonic voice that traverses the entire town. If you’ve never drank the water straight from a fresh coconut, then you are in for a pleasantly delicious surprise. Aside from the enjoyable flavor, studies suggest that coconut water has significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic (anti-clot formation) effects. Check out his youtube video!
Tips: Really like the Pipa Guy? Witch’s Rock sells custom “Pipa Guy” T-shirts.
Fun and still affordable!
Located on the south side of the Tamarindo circle, Nogui’s beach front restaurant is a popular option for grabbing a drink, relaxing with friends, or watching the sunset over Tamarindo Bay. Although there are other similar beachfront restaurants nearby, Noguis has one item that characterizes them from the rest; the pie… For about $4 a slice, you can choose from Banana, Coconut, Apple, or Chocolate pie that will surely put you in a flavor-induced comatose.
Tips: Try the Banana..