Surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica's North Pacific

Whether you are a surfing enthusiast or traveling with one, Costa Rica’s North Pacific is still one of the best places for surfing and a quiet retreat. The pura vida (pure life) lifestyle, which is slow and easy, still exists in this part of Costa Rica.

Most vacationers who are heading for water sports including surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and body surfing fly or drive into the town of Tamarindo. Tamarindo is close to the beautiful beaches of Playa Langosta, Playa Avellanas, and Playa Grande. Some locals call this place Playa Tamagringo because of the popularity that attracts lots of North Americans and Europeans. Some are long-term residence while others are just vacationing.

Tamarindo is perfect for beginners and experienced surfers. You can rent surfboards for about $20 a day or about $120 per week. Surf lessons are available for beginners, intermediate or advanced surfers. One to check out is Kelly’s Surf Shop

Here is a video of Tamarindo by Tamarindo Costa Rica:

How do you get there?
Two major international airports serve Costa Rica today. San Jose International Airport in the capital city of Costa Rica and Liberia Airport in the North Pacific. Through Travelmath’s calculator, you will find 20 airlines serve San Jose Airport and 11 sites are found for your air ticket reservation.

Direct flights are available through United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta from Miami, New York or Dallas to San Jose International Airport. Visitors who are heading to the surfing town of Tamarindo in North Pacific have two options. Either take Sansa Airlines ( or Nature Air ( for a short flight in small planes from San Jose to Tamarindo. A one-way fare is about $89.

The ride is scenic and if you do not like puddle jumpers (small commuter planes that seat around six to twenty) your next option would be to drive. Renting a car is easy in San Jose but the road condition in Costa Rica is different from the United States. Prepare to go on dirt roads, potholes and depending on season, some roads may be filled with rainwater. For your planning and research, we make available seven recommended booking sites for car rental.

Liberia’s Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport is closest to the ‘golden coast’ of North Pacific and the closest airport to Tamarindo. American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta fly here as well.

Buses are available from Nicaragua to Liberia, Costa Rica through Tica Bus.

Where to stay?
If you are looking for very low priced accommodation, Hostel Tamarindo Backpackers offers $10 per night for a mix-shared dorm.  This place comes with free WiFi and reasonably priced laundry services.

For a boutique hotel and villas, Cala Luna Playa Langosta is one of the best in the area. The rooms and villas are eco-friendly, the owners from Belgium used mostly natural Costa Rican materials and recycled materials. Take a look at the gorgeous pictures of the hotel on hotels website.

Cala Luna has two restaurants, spa facilities, free WiFi, shuttle service, breakfast and free parking.

When to go?
Costa Rica has two seasons, rainy and dry. The main rainy season is between May and November in the North Pacific. The most expensive time is during peak season, in the month of December, January and April.

Other activities besides surfing and water sports
Costa Rica is known for ecotourism, which means there are miles and miles of natural beauty, animals roaming in the wild and extreme biodiversity in this land.

One of the most popular activities for visitors is canopy tours, that is zip-lining through flora, fauna, and getting a birds eye view of all creatures in its natural condition. For those who prefer not to have an adrenaline rush, hiking is another way to be in touch with the natural environment of Costa Rica.

Some visitors travel to Tamarindo and the North Pacific for a quiet retreat and yoga lessons. It is believed that yoga done in the quiet environment and natural beauty of Costa Rica could get our body in touch, and in harmony with nature.

Of course the combination of beautiful beaches and sunsets of Tamarindo will give you a new definition for living in the moment.

For information on airfares, hotels and flight time please check Travelmath’s calculators.

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