5-DAY Tamarindo, Costa Rica | South America ITINERARY

Tamarindo is a town in the Guanacaste Province, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It’s known for beaches with strong surf, like Playa Tamarindo and Playa Langosta. To the north, Playa Grande beach is a major nesting site for huge leatherback turtles, and forms part of Las Baulas National Marine Park. The mangrove-lined estuary of Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge protects animals such as howler monkeys and crocodiles, per Google.

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Must do, must see, must try:


While these little guys are cute, they are not sweet. Watch your valuables when these little thieves come near.


While they look like bananas, they are just a cousin. This fruit is typically cooked and fried and served with everything.


The national liquor made with sugar cane. Try a shot of the lightly sweet drink, goes down like vodka.

The 5-Day Tamarindo Itinerary


Hotel: Jardin Del Eden Boutique Hotel (Adults Only, $$); Hotel Captain Suizo ($$)


Plan your trip between mid-November through August for ideal weather; try for September through March to see Leatherback turtles or June through October to surf great waves


Do not rent a car. Rely on hotel drivers or attraction drivers to take you to where you need to go. Have local currency for tips and for water taxis.


Language is Spanish but being a tourist spot, locals generally speak English well

Currency: Costa Rican Colon (CRC); if your exchange rate here


Tamarindo in Costa Rica attracts thousands of visitors each year. Besides the lush jungles, Tamarindo offers delicious food, tons of outdoor activities and a friendly, welcoming and safe environment with a price point that will keep your wallet happy.

Day one

Afternoon flight; setup a car beforehand to take you to the hotel

4 PM - Check in to the hotel and unpack, wonder around and take in the sights

Clean up for dinner

7 PM - Fancy dinner at La Plumeria, the hotel restaurant ($$$, Local)

Head down the street to El Be ($, Beach Club) for local drinks – the mojito's are the best

Day Two

6:30 AM - Breakfast ​and grab some extra snack foods like apples, oranges, crackers for later in the day

7 AM - Full day of fun on the Guachipelin Adventure Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo; time spent is 12 hours, $135 

  • Highlights include zip-line tour, horseback riding, tubing down the river – hot springs, volcanic mud bath and a full buffet lunch

  • Bring with You: A waterproof bag (see Travel Necessities for my favorite) or backpack, sunscreen and a towel

7 PM – Enjoy a beach front dinner at Matapalo, a hotel restaurant

Grab some gelato at Venezia

Day Three

9 AM – Breakfast is free, so take advantage of it

  • Are you a yogie? Take part in the free beachfront yoga session (Monday, Wednesday & Saturday at 8:30 AM), confirm this at the front desk

Stroll down the beach to Langosta Beach and take a gorgeous walk to a little volcanic rock tide pool

Relax by the pool; have a snack, but don't fill up for before lunch

12:45 PM – Afternoon Sailing & Snorkeling Tour; time spent is 6 hours, $87

  • Get ready for snorkeling, swimming in the ocean and lazing on the boat with the bonus of a 5-course lunch and open bar

  • Other Day Options: sport fishing, deep-sea finishing or golf driving range

6 PM – Return to the hotel and clean up for dinner

7 PM – Enjoy local cuisine at Gallo Fino, a hotel restaurant

Day Four

6 AM – Early breakfast and grab snacks just like before

7:15 AM – Palo Verde National Park Riverboat Cruise; time spent is 6 hours, $120

  • Experience Costa Rica’s wildlife as you enjoy a 2-hour riverboat cruise through the National Park and watch for white-faced monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles alongside the boat

  • Tour includes lunch

1 PM – Return from the excursion and clean off, then head to the beach or rent a day-bed cabana at the pool

  • Things to Do: take a surfing lesson​, get an outdoor massage or paddle board out to the marina 

Shop down Grand Diria  Boulevard and have lunch at one of the many restaurants here

6 PM – Clean-up for dinner

7 PM – Enjoy a slice of pizza at Nari, a hotel restaurant

Day Five

9 AM – Breakfast and then head to the pool or beach

  • Try paddle boarding or something you haven’t done

Clean up and check out from the hotel; set up a taxi to take you to the airport

Goodbye Costa Rica. Head home.

helpful links
Travel a GO-Go

Use the Google map on the left to get a lay of the land and see all the fun spots that you'll visit. Download the free PDF by clicking the icon below to have this itinerary at your finger-tips. 

How to Use the Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner to view the layers (days, points of interest, route).

If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Map account. To view, open your Google Maps, click the menu button "Your Places", select the map and it will open. 


Great place for the family. You're close to everyone but you can still do your own thing and relax. My family and I ventured to Tamarindo after family friends recommendations and it did not disappoint. I fell in love with the culture. Everyone was so friendly and there was not a language barrier. Even though I had wanted to practice my Spanish, most everyone knew English.


In addition, there was so much to see and do, eat and drink, and then finish it all on the open beaches. The zip lines through the jungle with howler monkeys just hanging out and watching the crazy humans, hilarious! Loved, loved, LOVED this town and am looking forward to returning. 

Favorite Moment: The monkeys, hands down. On the riverboat tour to see alligators, the captain beached the boat in the bush of trees and started making clicking noises as he peeled a banana. Thuds started hitting the top of the metal roof of the boat, and then a little monkey face peered over the edge. We got to hold banana pieces in our hands and the monkeys would take and eat them. So cute and what a 'wow' moment.

Least Favorite Moment: Deep sea fishing and finding out I get motion sickness on the open water. Then to top it off, I didn't catch a thing so that was disappointing. 


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