July 16, 2024

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Travel Groove

5 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is a very special place. This small town is located on the Pacific coast in the northwestern region of this amazing Central American country.

It is only a little over an hour from a major, international airport, the weather is usually perfect, and there are dozens of beaches and many fun things to do within easy driving distance.

It’s no wonder that people flock to the Tamarindo area from all over the world. It also shouldn’t be a surprise to you that this area is not only a popular vacation destination but that it is also an area that has become the adopted home of ex-pats from nations all around the globe.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, a place to relax, or a possible town to retire in the future in a tropical setting, Tamarindo has something for everyone, and it’s a place that everyone should visit at least once in his or her lifetime.

If you’re planning a trip to Tamarindo, you may want to learn a bit more about the area before you go – and you likely want to know about the best places in the area to stay. In this informative post, we’ll give you a bunch of great accommodations options – no matter what your budget.

Read on to learn all about Tamarindo so you can start planning your trip today!

TLDR: Our Favorite Accommodations in and around Tamarindo

Where to Stay in Tamarindo

There is plenty to do to fill your days during a visit to Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Whether you choose to spend your days relaxing, boating, surfing, horseback riding, hiking, viewing wildlife, shopping, or being pampered, you’ll want to stay near it all. Fortunately, there are dozens of hotels in Tamarindo and in the adjacent towns.

There are budget hotels, mid-range hotels, luxury hotels, and resorts, and although many are similar, Tamarindo hotels are all a little different from one another.

A hotel that a friend of yours loved may not be right for you, and you might love a property that someone else did not.

Therefore, it’s important to take your time when choosing your accommodations for this or any other vacation – the hotel that you select can make or break your trip.

Below, we have put together a comprehensive list of the very best accommodations options in Tamarindo.

Although Tamarindo itself is fairly small, when you consider the entire Tamarindo area, there are several different towns and neighborhoods to think about before you make your final accommodations decision.

Best Areas to Choose From in and Around Tamarindo

  • Best area for first-timers/tourists – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for budget travelers – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for luxury travelers – Playa Langosta
  • Best area for safety – Palm Beach Estates
  • Best area for families – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best all-round area – Playa Tamarindo 
  • Best area for food – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for adventures – The entire area!
  • Best area for seasoned travelers – Playa Grande
  • Best area for nightlife – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for older travelers – Playa Grande/Palm Beach Estates
  • Best area for unique experiences – Playa Langosta
  • Best area for access to the rest of the destination – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for shopping – Playa Tamarindo
  • Best area for romance/weddings/honeymoons – Playa Langosta
  • Best area for long stays – Tamarindo Inland
  • Best area for photographs – Playa Langosta or on any beach!

Playa Tamarindo

Almost everyone who visits Tamarindo does so with the intention of spending at least some of their time on the beach.

Therefore, it makes sense to choose accommodations that are close to the beach or that are right on it.

Many people want to be able to see and hear the ocean from their room, and want to have easy access to the beach on foot, so for them, staying on Playa Tamarindo – aka Tamarindo Beach – is wise.

Further, the area around the beach in Tamarindo is, without a doubt, the most happening part of town. There are many shops and restaurants along Playa Tamarindo and if you stay in this area, you can walk to everywhere you’d like to go, and you may not have any need for a rental car.

For people who want everything close and easy, staying near Tamarindo Beach in Tamarindo is a wise choice. Check out some of the following hotels in this area.

Budget Hotel

Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel
Front of a Room in Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

This hotel is just a three-minute walk from the beach and is in the middle of everything in Tamarindo. On top of that, it’s also very affordable and has something for everyone.

Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel has regular rooms and one and two-bedroom apartments; the apartments have kitchens. There’s also free WiFi, included breakfast, and a pool. This is one of the best-rated properties in Tamarindo and is really one of the very best options in town for all travelers.

Mid-Range Hotels

BoHo Tamarindo
Pool and Rooms in BoHo Tamarindo
Photo by Booking.com

BoHo Tamarindo is an adults-only property that is fresh, clean, and bright. Every room has a patio and looks out on a serene and inviting pool area.

There’s a spa on the property that offers all kinds of massages and other services. You’ll feel like you’re far away from it all while still being in the middle of everything – the beach is just 650 feet away.

Luxury Hotel

Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel
Cozy Lounge in Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel is one of the very nicest hotels in Tamarindo proper. It’s another adults-only boutique hotel so you can get plenty of relaxation and quiet restoration during your stay here as you look out upon the ocean and tropical garden views.

Breakfast, light lunch, and dinner are included with the cost of your room in the poolside restaurant that specializes in Asian, Mediterranean, and Central American cuisine. Enjoy the spa and wellness center during your free time, or relax in your room with free WiFi and air conditioning.

Vacation Rental

Jade Coast 2 Villa
Building and Pool in Jade Coast 2 Villa
Photo by VRBO

This property is in the middle of everything and sleeps eight to ten guests comfortably. You can walk everywhere from this spot and you’re also just steps away from the beach.

It’s close to the Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort which is well-known for being in of the best spots on Tamarindo Beach.

The house itself is over 3000 square feet and has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. The kitchen has everything you’ll need to cook for your group if you choose. The internet is fast and reliable.

Outside, you can relax around the pool in lounge chairs or throw lunch on the grill. There’s plenty of space for gathering but also spaces for privacy from your companions if you prefer.

Tamarindo Inland

Some travelers want to be near the beach on their vacation but they don’t wish to be right on top of it nor do they desire to be in the busiest and most popular areas.

Tourists who feel this way may prefer to stay a bit more inland. There are a lot of hotels of all kinds in Tamarindo that are not on Tamarindo Beach but that are still close to everything.

Getting to the beach from these Tamarindo hotels is generally quite simple; in some cases, you can walk there, and in others, the journey is simply a short taxi ride.

Further, many of the hotels in Tamarindo that are inland a bit have some fantastic, elevated views of the ocean that you’ll miss out on if you stay closer.

Budget Hotel

Hotel Mahayana
Wooden Rooms and a Small Pool
Photo by Booking.com

This hotel is inland, but not very far inland; Tamarindo Beach is just a five-minute walk away. The rooms in this property are air-conditioned and there is free WiFi everywhere. Relax at the hotel pool or pull up a stool and sip your day away at the poolside bar.

There’s a shared kitchen for you to prepare meals if you’d like, and you’ll also appreciate the laundry service if you’ve been traveling awhile.

Hotel Arco Iris
Chairs and Tables by the Pool
Photo by Booking.com

Hotel Arco Iris is a simple but comfortable, well-rated, warm and cozy property in Tamarindo that is only six minutes from the beach on foot.

It has a pool and tropical gardens and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean food poolside and breakfast is included. It’s far enough from town that you won’t be bothered by noise at night, but it’s close enough that you can walk there easily.

Rooms are on the smaller side but have balconies or patios so you can relax outside, which you’ll want to do most of the time anyway.

Mid-Range Hotels

Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel
Building and Palm Trees by the Pool
Photo by Booking.com

This adults-only boutique hotel is lovely. It’s an eleven-minute walk or short cab ride to the beach and is just 350 feet from the center of town.

The air-conditioned rooms are clean, modern, and beautiful and include flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and toiletries. The property’s gardens and pool are relaxing and wildlife visits frequently.

La Ramona Charming Hotel
Villas Surrounding the Pool in  La Ramona Charming Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

La Ramona Charming Hotel is bright and breathtakingly beautiful and is ready for you to take dozens of Instagram photos.

It’s an eight-minute walk from the beach, but there’s a pool, free parking, a garden, a terrace, a shared kitchen, and free Wi-Fi, so you may find that you just relax on the property some days during your stay. Most rooms are quite large. Breakfast is included, too.

Luxury Hotel

Mother Earth Vegan Hotel
House with a Pool
Photo by Booking.com

If you live a vegan lifestyle, then you’ll love this unique property. It’s an eighteen-minute walk to the beach, but you can easily catch a cab there if you’d like.

The hotel restaurant offers plant-based cuisine and the on-site pool is full of refreshing saltwater.

There are daily yoga classes and an excellent spa that offers massages, reiki, sound bathing, facials, and more. You’ll love this beautiful, high-end property; it’s pleasing in so many ways.

Vacation Rental

Casa Alegria
Building and Pool in Casa Alegria
Photo by VRBO

Casa Alegria is a property that you’ll want to book if you want to enjoy great views with privacy that is in the hills above Tamarindo Beach.

This home has an incredible infinity pool that you’ll want to spend all your time in – the sunsets you’ll view from it are out of this world. Inside, you’ll find five bedrooms and four and a half baths – this property sleeps twelve – a kitchen, a dining room with a table for ten, huge windows, and more.

There’s even a golf cart that you can rent for trips into town. You’ll want to rent this home time and time again.

Playa Langosta

Playa Langosta is not a part of Tamarindo but it is immediately adjacent to Tamarindo Beach to the south. Because the two towns are touching one another, it’s nearly impossibly to know for sure when you have crossed in or out of either one – they just flow together.

Playa Langosta sticks out into the water a bit and Punto San Francisco, a spot worth visiting for some great photo opportunities, juts out to create the bottom edge of Tamarindo Bay.

Playa Langosta Beach is actually not in the bay at all but rather on the south and west side of Punto San Francisco; it’s a quieter, less busy beach that some visitors prefer.

If you’re looking for accommodations that are on or are just steps away from the Pacific Ocean but that are not right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Tamarindo proper, then you will likely love Playa Langosta

Mid-Range Hotel

Sueno del Mar Beachfront Hotel
Charming Wooden Inspired Room
Photo by Booking.com

Sueno del Mar means “dreams of the sea” and what a fitting name for this lovely little beach hotel. Rooms are air-conditioned and have free Wi-Fi; apartment rooms come with kitchenettes.

You’ll be two minutes from the beach here and you’ll walk past the pool and through tropical gardens to get there. There’s an on-site bar for your cocktail needs, and a tour desk to help you plan activities.

A store and restaurant are about a third of a mile away and a five-minute cab ride will take you into Tamarindo’s town center.

Luxury Hotels

The Coast Beachfront Hotel
Building Front and Pool of  Coast Beachfront Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

The Coast Beachfront Hotel is a great property if you want to do some of your own cooking because every room has a kitchen. It’s also just five minutes away from the beach.

The front desk is open twenty-four hours a day and the concierge desk is excited to answer your questions. The pool is large and so are the rooms. Breakfast is included daily.

Capitan Suizo Beachfront Boutique Hotel
Wooden Villa
Photo by Booking.com

This beachfront property is not only on the beach, but it is also on the border of Tamarindo and Playa Langosta so you’ll get the best of both worlds. Capitan Suizo is family-owned and operated and has been in operation since 1992.

It’s nestled among the trees and you can look out upon the ocean from the pool and from many of the rooms.

There are a wide variety of rooms to choose from – from regular rooms all the way up to four-bedroom suites – and they’re all special and memorable. The onsite El Barco Restaurant is great, and so is the spa. You can’t go wrong with this place.

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel
Charming Single Bed Hotel Room
Photo by Booking.com

As you can see, many of the most luxurious Tamarindo hotels are in Playa Langosta and the Cala Luna Boutique Hotel is another one of them that you should consider if you’re looking for a high-end experience.

This is one of the best luxury hotels in the area. It not only has some of the nicest rooms and most beautiful gardens around, but it also has easy beach access, free yoga and exercise classes, a fantastic restaurant, friendly staff, and more.

And, it’s right on the ocean. This is a very special accommodation that is on the expensive side, but which is well worth every penny.

Vacation Rental

Villa Oasis at Cerca del Mar
Pool in Villa Oasis
Photo by VRBO

This spectacular home on the Playa Langosta Beach has everything you could ever want and need; you’ll be amazed at the vast amenities offered by this three-bedroom property.

It was designed in Moroccan style and you’ll love the rich red, yellow, and orange decor throughout. The kitchen is modern and great for cooking meals for your group.

Tropical gardens surround the home and pool and the outdoor shower area will take your breath away. You can see the ocean from the upstairs bedrooms and indoor and outdoor fountains will lull you to sleep each night.

Palm Beach Estates

As Playa Langosta is the southern edge of Tamarindo Bay, Palm Beach Estates is a neighborhood that cradles the bayside just to the north of the official town of Tamarindo.

This is a quiet area. Although there are many resorts and hotels in Palm Beach Estates, they are spread out a bit and most have gardens and many trees between them.

This neighborhood may seem like it’s on a peninsula and in a way it is, the Pacific Ocean is to the west, but to the south and east of Palm Beach Estates is the Playa Grande inlet and estuary. The fact that salt water and fresh water meet here draws much wildlife to the area.

If you’re looking for a serene vacation with many animal sightings, then you’ll love Palm Beach Estates. However, keep in mind that unless you take a boat across the estuary, you’ll have to drive north first to get to Tamarindo to the south – there’s no bridge, so there’s no other way.

Budget Hotel

Hotel Cantarana
Compact Hotel Room
Photo by Booking.com

Hotel Cantarana is just 150 feet from the beach and is a quiet property in a tropical setting. It’s thirty minutes from Tamarindo’s town center but the journey is quick and easy.

This hotel has a restaurant onsite that serves international and local cuisine, and there is a spa offering massages as well. Rooms are air-conditioned and have balconies or patios that overlook the pool and gardens.

Mid-Range Hotel

The Grateful Hotel
Grateful Hotel Pool
Photo by Booking.com

Do you like The Grateful Dead?

If so, then you can’t miss this Grateful Dead-themed property that is owned and operated by Deadheads and that is visited by Grateful Dead enthusiasts from all over the world!

Rooms are bright and colorful. There’s a bar and restaurant on-site and you can expect live music almost every night.

Best of all?

The beach is only a two-minute walk away.

Vacation Rental

Casa Baula
Pool and Accommodation in Casa Baula
Photo by VRBO

This house was featured in Conde Nast Traveller’s Vacation Villa issue in October 2021 and with good reason – it’s beautiful and perfect for groups of up to six.

The three bedrooms are spacious and comfortable and so are the common areas. The pool area is spectacular and luxurious.

The house is located directly on the beach and since the family who owns it uses it regularly, it feels more like a home than a rental. Don’t miss this place.

Playa Grande

Playa Grande is north of Palm Beach Estates along and is the northeastern rim of Tamarindo Bay.

This area is also known as Salinas and it is considered to be one of the best places for surfing in the world. People come from all over to play in the waves and relax on this beautiful beach.

The Playa Grande beach is also a popular beach for nesting leatherback sea turtles and, as a result, it is a protected area. Like the beaches in Playa Langosta and Palm Beach Estates, the beach of Playa Grande is part of the Las Baulas National Marine Park.

You can still use the beach in all of these areas, you just have to be respectful of the wildlife there, as you should be anywhere in Costa Rica anyway.

The town of Playa Grande is an upscale area that has been developed and settled by ex-pats; you’ll find many living here full time alongside visitors, hotels, and rental properties. You’ll find abundant wildlife here and several notable shops and restaurants.

Life moves at a slower pace in Playa Grande than it does in Tamarindo – which is about thirty minutes away – but there’s still plenty to do and enjoy.

Budget Hotel

Sugar’s Monkey
Room with Tow Beds
Photo by Booking.com

Sugar’s Monkey not only has a cool name but it’s also a popular property that you’ll just love.

The pool and garden are welcoming and pleasant and the rooms are stylish and modern. The restaurant offers fresh, local food, and breakfast is included. Surfers, especially, will really like this place and its vibe.

Mid-Range Hotel

Hotel Rip Jack Inn
Wooden House and Staircase with Lights
Photo by Booking.com

Hotel Rip Jack Inn is a highly rated property that has everything you’ll want and need at a great price. The rooms feature tropical decor, thatched roofs, and wooden furniture and the pool and gardens are a great example of the perfect tropical vacation setting.

Some suites and bungalows include kitchens and there’s laundry service on-site. The hotel restaurant is excellent and there’s also a bar. You can spend your days at the pool or you can walk over to the beach in just a minute or two.

Vacation Rental

Casita Linda Vista
Spacious Room
Photo by VRBO

This small bungalow is perfect for couples. It only sleeps three in one bedroom, but it has a full bath, a kitchen, a dining area, and a deck with garden and forest views.

It’s just steps away from the beach and is very private. You can expect to see wildlife on this three-acre property and you’ll be close to the restaurants in the village of Playa Grande, too.

Getting Around the Tamarindo Area

It’s easy to get around this area and most places in Costa Rica without a car, although many people choose to rent one anyway. There are car rental providers in Tamarindo or you can pick one up at the airport when you fly into Liberia or San Jose.

Rental car insurance in Costa Rica can be expensive, is required, and is not always included when you make your reservation, so be sure to budget around $20 more a day than the price you see when booking when you rent online in advance.

If you don’t want to rent a car, that’s okay too.

In Tamarindo proper, you can walk everywhere you wish to go, and there are plenty of cabs and ride-sharing options if you’re feeling lazy or require transport for any reason.

If you choose to stay up in the hills above town, you might be willing to walk down to the beach, but you might choose to take a cab back up to your place when you’re done for the day.

Many people in Tamarindo use golf carts to get around and you can rent one from many providers in the area. These are allowed on local roads, but be alert and aware.

Most drivers of any vehicle are careful, but you’ll be less visible in a golf cart – especially around turns and blind curves. Take your time and be cautious, no matter what form of transportation you choose.


What’s the best time of year to visit Tamarindo?

Tamarindo is lovely all year round; you can’t go wrong at any time of year.

Guanacaste is the driest part of Costa Rica, so even during the rainy season – May to November – you will be able to enjoy sunny beach days almost every single day, with maybe just a little rain in the afternoon.

December to April is summertime in Costa Rica, so it may be very hot; if you’re heat-sensitive, you may want to avoid those months, but many people choose those months to visit to get away from colder weather elsewhere in the world.

Is Tamarindo good for families?

Yes! Tamarindo is a great place to visit for people of all ages. You’ll find plenty of activities for to the little ones in this area including ziplining, animal watching, horseback riding, fishing, and more.

Of course, almost every child loves spending time at the beach and swimming in the ocean or in a pool, and there will be plenty of opportunities for doing exactly that anywhere you choose to stay in this area.

Besides spending time at the beach, what other activities should I try in the Tamarindo area?

Many people spend their entire time in Tamarindo visiting the area’s beaches and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!

However, if you’re looking for a bit more action and activity, there are lots of options for you. Tamarindo and other surrounding towns have lots of bars and restaurants and shopping areas for you to try and to explore.  

If you’re looking for more active and adventurous activities, there are plenty of those, too! For travelers who want to be out on the water, you can go boating, fishing, parasailing, paddleboarding, or take a surfing lesson.

On land, you might take a wildlife tour, go ziplining, take a guided horseback ride, visit the nearby national parks, or hike to a waterfall. The possibilities are endless and there is truly something for everyone near Tamarindo!

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