Escape to Tamarindo Costa Rica

Hey there! It’s your favorite expat here to talk about Tamarindo – a little slice of paradise nestled along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Now, historically, Tamarindo was just a quiet little fishing town with a few boats and a whole lotta flora and fauna. But then, in the ’70s, some gnarly surfers stumbled upon this undiscovered gem and recognized the epic waves just offshore.

And let me tell you, Tamarindo caught its big break when it starred in the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II. That flick attracted a cult-like following of surfing nomads and nature lovers who were all about that pura vida lifestyle. And before you knew it, Tamarindo was the place to be, baby!

But it’s not just about the surf and beaches, folks. Tamarindo is located within one of the world’s five “Blue Zones” – areas where people regularly live to be 100 years old and in good health. And it’s no wonder why – with the highest calcium content in the country and a diet based on rice, beans, and maize, the locals are living their best lives.

And if you’re worried about amenities and infrastructure, fear not! Tamarindo has got you covered. There are three banks in town, a local hardware store, and even a couple of shops offering printing, faxing, scanning, and copying services. Plus, you’re only an hour away from the airport and a paved road makes getting around a breeze.

Should I Retire in Tamarindo?

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Don Mango, retirement sounds boring!” But hear me out, because Tamarindo, Costa Rica has got it all.

First off, let’s talk about the town itself. It’s got that small town charm where everyone knows your name, but also plenty of spots to enjoy some peace and quiet. Plus, the hot and dry climate means you’ll get plenty of sunshine to work on that tan, with some tropical showers to bring out the colors of the local flora.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty: the cost of living. Tamarindo won’t break the bank, with a monthly budget of $2,000 to $3,000 for a couple. And if you’re looking for luxury, they’ve got that too. The only real pricey items are electricity and imported goods, but hey, you can’t have it all.

But what really makes Tamarindo stand out is the sense of community. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with locals, retirees, digital nomads, and surfers from all over the world. And don’t worry about feeling like an outsider, because newcomers don’t stay new for long. Plus, there are plenty of Facebook groups and a local newspaper to keep you in the loop.

Now let’s talk about the wildlife. Howler monkeys and lizards are just part of the daily sightings, with tropical birds adding their own soundtrack to the mix. And if you’re looking to explore, everything in town is just a short walk away.

But what about healthcare, you ask? Well, there are local clinics and pharmacies, with a 24/7 clinic just a short distance away. And for all you foodies out there, there are plenty of grocery stores and farmers’ markets to get your fix.

And let’s not forget about the activities. Whether you want to surf, hike, fish, or just lounge on the beach, Tamarindo has got you covered. And at the end of the day, you’ll be treated to a beautiful sunset over the Pacific coast.

Retirement in Tamarindo, Costa Rica may not have a secluded, deserted beach, but it’s got everything else you need for a happy and fulfilling retirement.

So Where Should You Live in Tamagringo?

Hey, you’re thinking of moving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, huh? Well, you’ve got options, my friend! You can go big with an ocean-view mansion or keep it cozy with a condo or apartment. But let’s talk prices, shall we? A North American-style three-bedroom pad or condo just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the beach can cost you around $275,000. If you’re cool with a two-bedroom spot, you can snag one for around $200,000. Not bad, right?

But, hey, if you want to live it up in the heart of town or up in the hills with breathtaking ocean views, you might need to open that wallet a bit wider. And here’s a pro tip for you – watch out when browsing online for real estate in “Tamarindo,” because some sneaky realtors will list properties in nearby towns like Villareal and Huacas and still say it’s in Tamarindo. Don’t fall for that one!

But let’s say you’re not ready to commit to buying just yet – no worries, my friend. There are plenty of vacation rentals available in Tamarindo that’ll let you test the waters before you dive in. Just check out local rental companies or listings on Airbnb and VRBO. And if you want to save some cash, try visiting during low season after Spring Break/Easter through early June or late August through mid-November for the best rental rates.

Now, here’s the best part – Tamarindo is super walkable, so no matter where you live, you’ll be just a short stroll away from the beach and the town center. It’s like having your own slice of paradise within arm’s reach.

Medical Care you Ask?

Well, hate the break the bad news, but lets be real here… medical care there isn’t quite as robust as what you might find in other towns. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a few clinics, doctors and dentists in town, but if you’ve got something serious going on, you’ll need to take a drive to Liberia for treatment. They’ve got a big public hospital there that’s only open to legal residents, so don’t go planning on faking your way in unless it’s a true emergency. There’s also a private hospital downtown if you prefer that sort of thing. But if you need some specialized care, you might want to live a bit closer to San Jose where the big medical centers are.

Now, let’s talk about something a little more exciting, shall we? Water sports, baby! If you’re a fan of getting wet and wild, Tamarindo is the place to be. Surfing is a big deal there, and it’s the perfect spot for beginners with nice, gentle waves along most of the beach. If you’re a seasoned pro, there are some bigger breaks to tackle as well. You’ll find loads of surf schools lining the beach with boards and instructors ready to help you out.

But wait, there’s more! Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are also super popular, so there’s something for everyone.

So, You’re a Foodie…

Now, for a town with a population of only about 4,000 people, you might not expect to find a variety of food options. But let me tell you, Tamarindo has it all! The Italian expats in town have brought their A-game with some amazing wood-fire pizza at La Baula. And if you’re in the mood for some Middle Eastern fare, check out Falafel Bar for a delicious gyro or falafel sandwich. They don’t skimp on the ingredients, trust me.

But if you’re craving some American-style barbecue, head on over to LongBoard BBQ. They’ve got the best smoky sauce around, and their pulled pork sandwich with a side is only five bucks. Can’t beat that!

Now, if Asian cuisine is more your speed, Wok and Roll has got you covered. From Korean bibimbap to Vietnamese pho, they’ve got all the popular dishes. And of course, they’ve got sushi too!

But the food scene in Tamarindo doesn’t stop there. You’ll also find ceviche, gourmet sandwiches, Mediterranean, Asian fusion…the list goes on and on. And let’s not forget the beachside restaurants and bars, perfect for catching a beautiful sunset while enjoying a meal or a drink.

Speaking of the beach, it’s the heart of the community in Tamarindo. Sunset is peak time for a reason. It’s a celebration of sorts, with people walking their dogs, surfers catching one last wave, and impromptu soccer games happening on the sand. And of course, cocktails are always on the menu. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends or make new ones.

How to Get to Tamarindo

Now, let me tell you something about getting to Tamarindo – it’s a piece of cake! You can fly in from North America, Panama, or Europe through the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia. This place is so new and shiny that it opened in 2012, and it’s already been expanded in 2018 to handle all the flights coming in. And once you land, it’s just an hour taxi or bus ride to Tamarindo, with regular service available. Or if you’re feeling fancy, you can snag a door-to-door shared shuttle transport for 20 bucks through the Tamarindo Shuttle.

Now, if you’re coming in from Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose, the trip by bus is around four to five hours and costs less than $10. Or, if you want to splurge a bit, you can opt for shared van or shuttle transportation that’ll cost you anywhere from 37 to 60 bucks per person, depending on the company you choose. Or hey, why not rent a car and have an adventure on the way to Tamarindo? All the major rental car companies are there for drop-off.

Can I live on Pennies a Day?

Man, if I had a nickel for every time a gringo asked if Costa Rica is cheap… so let’s talk about the cost of living. While you may find a lower cost of living compared to other coastal North American towns, let’s be real – the influx of North American and European expats in recent years means that the cost of living has gone up here too. But don’t worry, my friend – you can still enjoy plenty of modern amenities like high-speed internet, fancy restaurants, and posh condos. It all depends on your lifestyle.

If you’re living the simple life, you can keep your monthly budget low. But if you want a car and enjoy the finer things in life like eating out and imported goods, then you could easily spend between $2,000 and $3,000 a month. And let’s face it – the closer you want to live to the beach and town, the more you’ll pay for housing. But hey, those locations are highly sought after, because who doesn’t want to live in Tamarindo without a car? And if you’re willing to go further out of town for more affordable housing, just remember that you might have to buy some type of vehicle.

Whether you’re a relaxed retiree or an ambitious digital nomad, Tamarindo has got something for everyone. It’s the perfect spot for reinventing your life with a daily dose of sun, sand, and a tropical ocean breeze. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there, sipping on a cold one and soaking up the good life. Cheers, my friends!