Tamarindo – The Epitome of Costa Rica’s Pura Vida

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  • Author Mark Martigan
  • Published March 21, 2018
  • Word count 942

While the literal English translated version of "Pura Vida" is "pure life", the most accurate and equivalent of this common Spanish phrase is nothing but life. This gives a peek in the spirit of lifestyle in Tamarindo Costa Rica as it is a commonly used phrase there. It describes perfectly the natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere that has long attracted tourists and retirees alike to this Latin hub. Tamarindo offers that small-town vibe where everybody knows your name despite an increase in popularity.

Located on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Guanacaste region, Tamarindo Costa Rica is reachable after less than an hour away from an airport by paved roads. It is not only the most accessible city in Costa Rica but also the most developed.

Tamarindo's Outdoor life

Living among nature is a perk of living in Tamarindo. Indoor dining is rarity here and at some restaurants, this is not even an option. Shelter from the rain is always available, but even the rainy months don't prevent Tamarindo residents from relishing the outdoor life. You will no longer dread exercising when everyday there is a range of physical activities to choose from: biking, surfing, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and much more.

Tamarindo is definitely a haven for outdoor adventure aficionados and nature lovers. The town boasts its rich biodiversity, with many species of birds, monkeys, marine animals, and reptiles. It is also home to and Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge. The latter is a 1,000-acres protected forest where mangroves and estuaries astound visitors. Canoe tours offer a close-up and personal observations of all sorts of fauna and flora life. Nearby Tamarindo are the Parque Nacional Barra Honda and the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional wildlife reserves.

Tamarindo's climate

Tamarindo has one of the warmest and driest climates in Costa Rica. The land is privileged to have direct sunlight nearly every day of the year. It has a wet and dry season. Tamarindo, however, receives much less rainfall than its Caribbean neighbors due to its location on the Pacific Coast. Even during the "rainy" season from May to October approximately, it is rare to spend a day without sunshine. Temperatures are consistent throughout the year, fluctuating between 80F and 95F. The humidity is higher during the dry season, lasting from November to April. Around February is usually a great time for sailing and windsurfing due to the high winds.

The wet season is a lot cooler, with the highest amount of rain falls in June, September, and October, with a more moderate period in between. Costa Rica's flora and fauna show their most gorgeous forms during this season. The wet season provides the most attractive conditions for surfers and while there might be some storms, hurricanes are not a peril. This is because of Tamarindo's location on the Pacific Coast.

Tamarindo's beaches

One of Tamarindo's greatest assets is its beaches. It was not until the 1970s when some curious surfers set foot in this undiscovered beach town and recognize the incredible surf break that exists just offshore.

There's Playa Tamarindo, which is centrally located and bordered by a mecca of beach-side restaurants and bars. This wide sandy beach is a great place for swimming and surfing. Heading North there is Playa Grande, a white sand beach that lies just across the Rio Matapalo. This river hosts a large mangrove forest where waterfowl and a rich diversity of animals call home. The beach is also the hub for some of the world's best surfing and the host city for several international surfing competitions.

Heading South there is Playa Langosta, which hosts another white sand beach. Even more mangroves and wildlife flourish there in the brackish waters where the Rio San Francisco meets the Pacific. These beaches and estuaries make up the Las Baulas National Park. This is the place where the world's biggest leatherback turtle comes ashore to lay its eggs.

Where to live in Tamarindo

There is a range of options when it comes to real estate purchase, included low-cost condos with ocean view and family homes in Tamarindo. An exclusive 3-bedroom condo five minutes driving from the beach can be had for under $200,000, 3-bedroom home with a private pool next to BBQ and terrace for $280,000. These items are great rental income opportunities for potential real estate investors in Costa Rica. Don't have the commitment to buy a property yet? There is also a plethora of vacation/residence rentals, ranging from two-bedroom condos to tropical contemporary house for around $1,000 a month. This is the opportunity to try out living in Tamarindo before making it a permanent home or to have a place to visit for a month or two.

Just like most places around the world, the closer you want to live to the beach and town center, the higher the housing would be. These locations, however, are often highly on top of the list of many house seekers, because generally, many people enjoy the ability to live in Tamarindo without a vehicle. To live in affordable housing, the locations are often further out of town, meaning you might need to buy some sort of transportation. Tamarindo is a very walkable town. No matter where you live, the town and the beach will only be in 10-15 minutes walking distance.

From its beautiful scenery to its options for adventures on a daily basis, it is the pura vida life with the right amount of modern conveniences. What more could one ask for?

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