Tamarindo, Costa Rica
While visiting my cousin in Los Angeles, I made a promise to myself that I would try to travel somewhere for my birthday every March (pisces girl, whoop!); international or domestic, it doesn't matter.
As March of 2015 approached, I found a flight deal for NYC to Tamarindo Costa Rica and I jumped on it. I would spend roughly two weeks in the country and one of my best friends Melissa agreed to tag along for the last half of the trip.
I spent the first week that I was alone at Witch's Rock Surf Camp. I would say that it is a great program for those who are new to surfing and while I did learn a lot and had very detail oriented instruction, I felt that more experienced surfers can save the money. If you don't mind sharing rooms, the program's base price is worth it since they provide all of your transportation to surf spots, accommodations, rentals, instruction, and breakfast. They also record videos and take photos of you surfing which is really nice since you can just relax and focus on your session. However, as an alternative, I did find a really great hostel to stay in and board rentals and surf photography are easy to find cheap with smaller local surf shops.
I had to stay at a place for two days while I transitioned from the surf camp to the hotel I would meet Melissa at, so I stayed at Tamarindo Hostel Resort; lovely staff, clean, and safe. They don't have lockers for your belongings but there is a safe at the front desk if you want to keep any items in there. I paid $20 USD a night for the shared dormitory style room. I booked using hostelworld.
Melissa Arrives! Part 2.
Once Mel came into town it was time for some rest and relaxation from my demanding surf schedule. We stayed at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. This was a great english speaking budget friendly hotel with nice decor and amenities. There is a large pool and bar area called the Monkey Bar (which also doubles as a popular club on the weekends so if noise isn't for you then avoid this hotel). It was clean and they provided breakfast in the morning (the best coffee). They are also a popular pick-up spot for tourist excursions. Another thing to mention is the distance from the hotel to the main beach is a bit of a walk. It is not super long but not short either and the roads to walk down are not well paved. We paid about $110 USD a night for a room with two double beds on booking.com.
You can't leave Costa Rica without doing a zipline tour. We booked a tour with Xplore Costa Rica going to the Vandara Hot Springs and Adventure. An action packed day of horseback riding, zip lines, a 3-course lunch, mud bath, and hot springs. We also squeezed in a super fun ATV tour with Arenas Adventures!
Tamarindo is a pretty tourist oriented and developed part of Costa Rica. I definitely plan to revisit the country's more remote surf spots and towns. On my must eat list is a place called Nogui's. Their pies are out of this world!
Until next time folks,