My time in Tamarindo was unique in that I was visiting for three weeks while volunteering through a program called workaway. Through this platform you volunteer in exchange for accommodation and meals. It was over these three weeks that I fell in love with the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.

Playa Conchal

Where to Stay

Stay: Dreamsea Surf Camp is where I called home for three weeks. I’ll be honest. The first morning I woke up there I was having immediate regret. I didn’t think that I was cut out for jungle living, cold showers, and howler monkey wake up calls. I forced myself to stick it out though and I am SO thankful that I did. My time in Costa Rica was among the most memorable of my life. Dreamsea provides comfortable “glamping” tents along with two meals a day, unlimited surfing, yoga, Spanish lessons, and partying. You quickly feel like family with the other volunteers and travelers. Price to pay to volunteer? Well, my job was to clean the toilets each morning. I know it sounds awful but if you consider that I spent 20 minutes cleaning in exchange for 3 weeks of bliss, it’s a pretty good deal. Don’t want to volunteer? No problem! You can stay as a guest and kick back and relax while you watch the volunteers take care of everything around you.

Dreamsea Surf Camp

Where to Eat

Eat: I was lucky to have home cooked meals at Dreamsea every day but there are some good restaurants and shacks in town to grab a bite at as well. Cool down midday with a smoothie from La Bodega. Craving American BBQ? Longboards is a fun gathering spot with good grub. Falafel Bar was also one of my go-tos while there. Costa Rica is one of the more expensive Central American countries so if you’re on a budget it’s smart to buy your smaller meals from the local supermarket. My lunches consisted of fresh mangos and bean paste. It sounds gross (and it kinda was) but bean paste on crackers filled me up for the day for just a few dollars!

Yoga costa rica

Where to Play

Surf: The number one reason to visit. Every day I posted up on Tamarindo Beach. It’s a perfect place for beginners. If you’re not with Dreamsea you can sign up for lessons with Witches Rock Surf Camp. If you’re more advanced or are looking for a less touristy beach, head over to Playa Langosta to relax and get your surf fix. Playa Avellanas is a great little day trip and doesn’t  have a town so it feels a little more secluded. The main attraction is the beautiful beach, great surf, and Lola’s- an awesome beachfront restaurant named after their resident pig (who’s about 600lbs!)

Playa Avellanas

Nightlife: Locals of Tamarindo are proud of their nightlife. Thursday is Reggae Night at Pacifico. Be prepared for lots of dancing and “rasta shots” with everyone in town. Sign up for the beer pong tournament at Sharky’s or hit a full moon beach party at El Be!

Excursions: Rincon de la Vieja- relax in hot springs, cool off in rivers, paint yourself with mud, jump off waterfalls in to blue pools. Rincon de la Vieja is a beautiful excursion for those who are adventurous or just want to relax. Playa Conchal- A sea shell beach and crystal blue waters create a perfect day trip from Tamarindo. Hop in a local boat to cruise the coast, go cliff jumping, and snorkeling.

Snorkeling Costa Rica

Tips:

  • Learn Spanish! Most of the natives in Costa Rica that I met speak English but it’s always fun to practice another language while traveling.
  • Loosen up. Costa Rica is all about salty hair, sweaty skin, and pura vida.
  • “PIPAS, PIPAS!” You’ll hear this all day on the beach from the locals who are selling fresh coconuts. Indulge! Nothing is better then sipping on a coconut on the beach. Don’t forget to pick a bottle of rum to make it taste just a little better.
  • When going to Tamarindo you can fly in to San Juan and take a cheap bus to Tamarindo. It’s a long travel day but is easy on the budget. You can get a little closer by flying in to Libera.

Slack Line Costa Rica

Sunset Costa Rica

Surf board

Cliff Jumping

Glamping

Tamarindo Sunset


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Travel Guide Costa Rica