Having the privilege to visit Costa Rica since 2004, and actually live full-time in Tamarindo for 3 years, we’ve had the fortune to visit some amazing places within the country. Listed below are some favourite spots you might enjoy discovering for yourself. Most of these adventures are best accomplished with a rented car or through a tour guide/adventure company. Others are closer in, and can be accessed via taxi or even shuttle bus.
Llanos de Cortés waterfall, just south of Liberia. Close in, easy walk to the falls, off the “tourist track”. Article from the Tico Times on the adventure.
- Rio Celeste, and accompanying lodges. Hiking in this stunning rain forest, with thermal waters coloured a deep turquoise hue. A dramatic different environment than the dry heat of the beach. Article from the Tico Times on the location and a lodging option. We enjoyed the Celeste Mountain Lodge, with delicious meals. If you stay at the CML, don’t miss the hike across the road – almost a private enchanting trail. It’s a good afternoon pre-amble to the Rio Celeste hike if you arrive later mid-day or later in the afternoon. I’ve also heard good things about the Hideaway Hotel.
- Rincon de la Vieja park. A closeby volcanic region, where you’ll find hiking among the volcanic activities; as well as adventure lodges featuring zip lines, horseback, hot pools, mud baths, tubing… fun for all ages.
- Lake Arenal and Tabacon Hot Springs. The area features some excellent hiking, the hot springs resorts, a beautiful lake, fishing. While near La Fortuna, don’t miss the falls hike. I’ve enjoyed climbing Cerro Chato from the La Fortuna side, a healthy trail lined with stunning tropical flowers and trees. Hopefully it’s a clear day if you try this hike, though you’ll enjoy it regardless.
- Las Catalinas. A newer community with exciting mountain biking and hiking trails. A great place for paddleboarding. The community is home to triathlons, and other competitions. Mountain bikes and Paddleboards are available to rent.
- Nicaragua trip. Best bet is to use a transport company (Tamarindo Tours and Transfers) to get you to the border, then utilize local taxi to your destination. May I suggest you avoid trying to drive yourself.
- Lola’s at Playa Avellanas. An easy morning or afternoon lazy day at this popular beach bar. Excellent food, and stunning beach. At of this writing, there is a shuttle bus that leaves from Neptuno Surf (in front of Sunrise Condos) on a regular schedule.
This linked Guanacaste map provides a high level view of the entire Guanacaste Region to assist you with planning your adventures.
More to come.