I have always wanted to visit Costa Rica so we decided to take a short trip there. We departed Los Angeles at 12:00 PM and arrived in Liberia at 6:30 PM. I hired a driver to pick us up. From research I found most rides cost $80 from Liberia to Tamarindo. Based on reviews from Trip Advisor I hired Sebastian from Sweet Costa Rica www.sweetcostarica.com to pick us up at the airport. After clearing customs we got our luggage and walked outside of the airport and Gaston was standing there with a big sign with my name on it. We loaded in the van where they offered us water and beer. After an hour-long drive we reached the condo that we rented on Airbnb. The condo was located at Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort. We had a lovely 2-bedroom, 2-½-bath condo. The property is very nice and has lovely pools. We prefer the beach so we spent most of our time across the street at the beach, which is 1 block from the condo.
My Verizon plan charges $10/day to use my phone and iPad so I stopped at a phone accessories store to purchase a sim card for my iPad. It cost $12 for 2 gigs of data--much cheaper than paying $10/day for the travel pass deal through Verizon. I don’t have their address but their number is 8536-0714.
Our first night we walked around a little bit and ended up at Gallo Fino for dinner, where they had wonderful roasted chicken and really great ceviche.
The next morning we went to the beach across from our condo. They rent 2 chairs and an umbrella on the beach for $15, and they also offer massages on the beach ($20 for 30 minutes or $30 for 1 hour). It was lovely.
Our second night we ate at Dragonfly, which is walking distance from our condo. It is an outdoor restaurant and we had empanadas and filet. It was very good and reasonably priced.
We walked across the street in the morning to the Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort where they have a buffet breakfast for $20. It was great, but they start clearing everything away at 10:00 AM, so get there early.
For dinner we went to Patagonia Argentinian Grill. We really enjoyed our steaks (I had the skirt steak, and it was very flavorful). The empanadas were very good, as well. They had a flute player playing during dinner. Be sure to make a reservation, as this place gets very crowded. Before dinner we stopped at El Be Club for a cocktail on the beach. They had a saxophone player playing which added to the lovely atmosphere. We stopped at Johnny Tamarindo for live music on the beach, and they have a ping-pong table you can play, as well.
We had breakfast at Breakfast Grinds (casual place upstairs)…by day it is Breakfast Grinds and at 2:00 it changes restaurants to Jolly Roger (they are known for their wings).
For dinner we ate at Pangas Beach Club, which is located right on the beach and has the most beautiful view. Get there in time to watch the sunset and be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. I had a really nice Wahoo Carpaccio and the Volcanic Rocks where you cook your own meat on a volcanic rock that is pre-heated to 500 degrees. It is served with 3 sauces. I really enjoyed it.
I wanted to experience zip lining in Costa Rica but didn’t want to spend 4 hours driving there from Tamarindo, so we hired a driver (Henry at www.TripnTaxi.com 506 8631-1727) to take us on a day excursion. Hacienda Guachipelin is a private hotel/working ranch near the El Rincon de la Vieja National park. You can purchase a one-day adventure pass, which includes zip line, horseback riding, mud baths, and tubing. The cost for a day pass is $89; however, I hired Henry for the day and he charged us $135/person for transportation and the day adventure. We decided to skip the horseback riding and tubing. We thoroughly enjoyed the zip line, and then afterward we took a mud bath where they painted the mud on us and once it was dry we went into the river and then soaked in the mineral springs. They had a buffet lunch that was included in the package. We finished the day early so we headed back and had Henry drop us off at Playa Conchal. This is an absolutely beautiful beach with very calm waters. Instead of sand, there are a bunch of shells. They have people there that you can buy drinks from and you can also pay to rent a tent covering so you can have shade.
For dinner that night we went to Seasons, a Mediterranean restaurant. The ambience was very nice and you sit alongside the pool. The food was marvelous. I enjoyed the sashimi dish and the filet in a rosemary sauce. Service was great. After dinner we walked to the Night Market, which occurs every Thursday night from 6-9. There are booths set up with food, drinks, and crafts. Very lively atmosphere.
The next day we hired Henry’s company to take us to the Westin Golf Resort and Spa, Play Conchal. They offer a $99 per person day pass, which includes all food and drinks and use of the facilities. We really liked the beach there and this was a way for us to enjoy the day at the beach and still have access to food and drinks. Henry’s company charged us $25 each way to take us there from Tamarindo. Not only did we eat and drink all day but on the beach they offer $20/hour massages….guess who got a massage? It was lovely. There were also a lot of monkeys in the tress, and we saw some iguanas. It was a great day.
That night we had Dinner at El Coconut. They have a very large menu. The ambience is very nice and the owner was wonderful--very warm and welcoming. We both enjoyed our meals and they had this amazing guitarist named David Sosa playing during our dinner…it was really nice.
In the morning we walked to Pico Bistro for breakfast. It was a very nice air-conditioned room with glass walls right on the beach. Lovely setting and very good food.
We love music and discovered Tony Putaggio, who is an amazing guitarist in Costa Rica. We were lucky enough to see him play at Longboards one night and the Wave restaurant another night. If you have the opportunity to see him you really should….he is a master at what he does.
Our last night we had dinner at La Pachanga Restaurante Pizzeria. This is an Italian restaurant where they make their own pasta. It was amazing. The pasta was so soft and fresh. The portions are large, so if you go there early on in your vacation, you can take leftovers home.
This was a short trip and we only visited Tamarindo, so I look forward to returning and exploring more of Costa Rica.