15+ Must Do Activities in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

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Welcome to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, where the sun, surf, and adventure never stop! This bustling beach town is a hub for travelers seeking an active and exciting vacation. From surfing and snorkeling to zip-lining and hiking, there’s no shortage of activities to do in Tamarindo. So, let’s dive into the best things to do in this vibrant town.

Hit the Beach.

Playa Tamarindo

The beach is the main attraction in this coastal town, so be sure to set aside plenty of time to enjoy the scene. Playa Tamarindo is a beautiful 1.5 mile stretch of beach. The northernmost end of the beach is the widest and most popular area, and where you’ll find beach chairs to rent and plenty of surfers to watch!

Explore Tamarindo’s beautiful neighboring beaches as well, like Playa Langosta, Playa Avellanas, and Playa Grande. Each beach offers its own unique charm and atmosphere.

Learn to Surf.

my son surfing in Tamarindo Costa Rica
My son at his first surfing lesson!

Surfers come from all around the world to catch the waves in Tamarindo. So this is the perfect place to test your skills with a surfing lesson. Trust me – if I can do it, anyone can. Don’t believe me? You can read all about our family surfing lesson (and recommended surf schools) here.

Sunset Sailing

boats in the water at sunset in Tamarindo

Experience the beauty of Tamarindo’s sunset from the sea on a sunset sailing excursion. Tours range from laid back romantic vibes to complete party boats, so there’s something for everyone. Enjoy drinks and snacks while watching the sky turn into a canvas of pinks, oranges, and purples. Or take a dip in the ocean for some sunset snorkeling!

Horseback Riding

horses on the beach in Tamarindo
Horses at Playa Tamarindo

You might be surprised by the number of horses you’ll see on Tamarindo Beach. You’ll find plenty of tour guides on the southern end of the beach who will be happy to take you for a leisurely ride up and down the coast.

Or for a more serious horseback riding adventure, you can book a trail ride at Diamante Eco Adventure Park.


ziplining at Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Get an adrenaline rush on a zipline tour – one of Costa Rica’s most popular activities. There are several places around Tamarindo to try ziplining, but I recommend taking a short excursion to Diamante Eco Adventure Park. They have several ziplines of various sizes, including their famous Superman zip line! And when you’re done, you can check out the animals in their animal sanctuary.

ATV Tours

my husband and son on an ATV at Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Explore Tamarindo’s rugged terrain and hidden gems on an ATV tour. This is a great activity for those looking for a more adventurous experience. While you’ll find many tour companies that start their ATV tours in town, I recommend heading to a place like Diamante Eco Adventure Park where you can ride on proper ATV trails.


woman doing yoga on the beach

Tamarindo is also a hub for yoga enthusiasts, with plenty of yoga studios and retreat centers offering daily classes and workshops. Or just grab a pose and hit the beach at sunrise – you will be in good company.

Eat Something Delicious

breakfast at Tamarindo Diria Hotel

We’ve travelled all around Costa Rica, but are always surprised by just how good our meals are in the little town of Tamarindo. It’s a fantastic place for fresh seafood and amazing beach views. Or check out the Tamarindo Market – a sort of outdoor food court with just about every kind of meal you can think of.

Go Deep Sea Fishing

fishing poles on a boat

Take a fishing tour and try your luck at catching some of the region’s famous fish, like dorado, sailfish, and marlin. The best way to experience fishing here is on a fishing charter like this!

Kayak to Isla Capitan

woman kayaking near the estuary

Rent kayaks and explore this secluded island just a half mile off the coast of Playa Tamarindo. It’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beautiful scenery too! The best way to do this trip is with an organized group like this from Native’s Way.

Join a Pool Crawl

If you’re looking for a party crowd, check out one of these pool crawl tours that will take you hotel hopping to some of the hottest spots on the beach. And the best part – a bus driver takes you around so no one has to worry abut driving!

Take an Estuary Boat Tour

boat in the estuary in Tamarindo

Explore the nearby river and protected wildlife estuary on a boat tour. You can spot local wildlife like crocodiles, howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans! Be sure to plan your tour at low tide for the best chances of spotting a crocodile. You can read my review of our own estuary tour here.

Grab a Beer at Volcano Brewing Company

Volcano Brewing Company in Tamarindo

As far as I know, Volcano Brewing is the only craft brewery in the town of Tamarindo. And you can’t beat the vibe with it’s beachfront location right in the midst of all the surf shops. Grab a burger and a Witch’s Rock Gato Malo (dark ale) and catch some live music.

Night Turtle Nesting Tour

turtle on the beach in Costa Rica

Tamarindo is home to some of the most important turtle nesting sites in the world, making it a popular destination for turtle nesting tours. Visitors can witness the incredible sight of giant sea turtles arriving on the beach to lay their eggs.

These tours are usually done at night when the turtles are most active, and visitors are often accompanied by a guide who can provide information about the turtles and their nesting habits. Check out my full review of our turtle nesting tour.

Taste Homemade Chocolate

making our own chocolate at Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Costa Rica is famous for two things – coffee and chocolate – both of which come from the native cacao plant. Do be sure to try both while you’re in town. If you visit Diamante Eco Adventure Center, you can check out their cultural experience where you get to try your hand at making your own chocolate.

Or if you want to stay closer to town, you can visit Reina’s Chocolate for some quick samples or spend a few hours at their Chocolate Boot Camp!!

Pitch in at a Beach Cleanup

my son at a beach cleanup in Costa Rica

Why not take some time out of your vacation to give back to the local community? A beach cleanup is a fun and simple way to chip in, while enjoying the beautiful beaches. Check out the Clean Wave – an organization that holds regular beach cleanups all throughout Costa Rica – and see if they are hosting any events during your visit.

Tamarindo offers a little something for everyone, from adventure lovers to sun seekers!

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