Tamarindo is a great place to visit or live in for a variety of reasons. You can find many helpful blogs such as 10 feet traveling or my tan feet that breakdown things you need to know as well as referencing Trip Advisor for current hot spots. Instead of repeating what has been done (and done well), I thought I’d create a little “pocket guide” of how we did it:
Grocery Stores: Within walking distance is the Super Compro, Super 2001 and Automercado. Within driving distance is the Mega Super. After comparing prices I shopped like this: We hire a taxi for 5000c ($12CDN) to go to the Mega Super and back. This is where we stock up on all our paper supplies, soaps, cooking utensils, spices, sauces, PB and a few produce and meat items. Then I visit the Super Compro multiple times a week for produce, select meats, milk, eggs, etc and diapers. We found the best prices here for the daily stuff. When I need something specific spices, or sauces (ie, soy sauce) I visit the Super 2001 and then the Automercado. Coming across an occasional sale is a treat but for the most part grocery shopping in Tamarindo is expensive. Tips: Shop the Farmers Market / Feria on Saturday mornings. There is a local organic farming co-op that has great produces like kale, arugula, tomatoes, and fresh herbs at good prices. Also look for the vendor selling pineapples and mangos out of his truck, the fish vendor (A MUST) and the Crazy Cookie Lady for her gluten- free baked goods. You can also go to Pedro’s on the beach and buy fresh fish directly from him. Diapers: Super Compro often has sales on Huggies for $0.29/diaper – Mega Super can have the larger boxes priced at $0.25-$0.30/diaper and 3 pack of wipes for $11 (CDN)
Restaurants: Tamarindo has AMAZING food.. I have never had a bad meal here although it is pricy so budget wisely.
Family Favourites are:
- La Baula: Cheesy, thin crust pizza with a variety of toppings. It has a great atmosphere and an outdoor slide and swing area for kids. (They have 2 highchairs and 1 booster seat)
- Pantagonia: Mmmmm Steak. This is an Argentinean restaurant with a wide variety of options but their steak is the winner here served with homemade potato slices.. and their sangria ain’t bad either!!
- Bamboo Sushi: Coming from Vancouver my sushi needs are pretty high and Bamboo Sushi has a nice selection to satisfy my craving. A little expensive to go regularly, but as a treat this is a great place to eat with a zen like dining area.
- Pasta Casara Tamarindo: The perfect lunch meal – their empanadas are delicious and cheap $2.50CDN each. Try them all – I can’t pick a favourite. tip: You can also pick up these empanadas at Super 2001!!
- Cafe Tico: Great coffee, I recommend the Mocha Frio and breakfast sandwich made on warm homemade bread.
- Surf Shack: Fun decor with a great burger selection and play zone with a play area for the kids, and specials throughout the week like Free Fry Friday and Kids eat Free Mondays. These days may change, so check them out when you’re in town. (They have 1 highchair.)
- El Vaquero: Located near Witch’s Rock Surf Camp with a nice grassy space for kids to run around in while you sit at the picnic bench enjoying the sunset and Happy Hour bevy’s.
**Restaurants are changing here all of the time so a few of our other favourites are either closed or under new ownership right now.
Childcare: Reach out to Judy at Sunshine Babysitting for your daytime, nighttime, every day, once a week nannying needs .. she’s reliable and wonderful.
Surfing: We bought boards so we don’t have any solid tips for rentals. I will say it is cheaper if you rent from one of the places a little further away from the beach, but is obviously more convenient to not have to carry your board through town – especially those 8.2 boards!! Kelly’s has lockers where you can keep your stuff, Witch’s Rock has easy access to a shower AND beer at El Vaquero!!!
Accommodations: I can’t help you with this… I can’t help you because I don’t know what you want or need or how picky you are and Tamarindo has a spectrum of places and a spectrum of prices. Use AirBnB, FlipKey, reach out to rental agencies and if your utilities are extra expect to pay around $100/month for moderate A/C use. For perspective, it would take approximately 15 minutes to walk from A-B on the map below, and if you stay anywhere in this circle you are within 0-10 minute walk to the beach. If you are looking to stay between December and March book by August.
Shuttles to and From the Airport: You can book with Xplore Costa Rica or Tamarindo Transfer and Tours. Prices are about $90 for a private shuttle or between $20-40 per person based on occupancy of the shared shuttle. These company’s also offer Visa Runs if you are staying longer than 3 months.
There are many networking Facebook groups that can help you with more specific questions. Reach out and when you arrive make sure you check out all the great shops and events going on in the city. There is a great community here if you are willing to put yourself out there!!
Any questions? Ask Away!!