The Top 5 Reasons I love living in Tamarindo
Writing down 10 reasons why I love living in Tamarindo – a small beach town in Costa Rica's Guanacaste region – would be easy. Unfortunately, it would probably be a short novel to write the details for 10 features of this town, so for now I'll stick to the top five. Over the past seven months, I've adjusted to a town I wouldn't have always thought was the right place for me. It's touristy and some of the downtown development can be initially off putting, but once you dig a little deeper, the value of living somewhere with a lively nightlife and close proximity to nature is priceless. Set against a strong and united community of friendly locals and international residents, these are just some of the reasons I am proud to call Tamarindo home.
Plenty of people praise Tamarindo for its nightlife and they're right. Every night when the sun goes down, a rowdy crowd of shaggy-haired surfers and dolled-up 20-somethings like to party until dawn at local bars and dance discos. But if you're anything like me and nightclubs aren't your scene (well, maybe once in a while!), Tamarindo offers much, much more when it comes to nightly entertainment.
One of the best things about living here is no matter the time of year – rain or shine – there is always something going on after-hours. From bingo nights that attract everyone from teens to senior citizens to open-mic nights each Wednesday at Hotel Pasatiempo (local bands draw faithful followers) I love that there is always something fun, new and exciting happening in Tamarindo.
2. Outdoor Life
Growing up in Vermont, I quickly became accustomed to creepy-crawling insects and scratches and scars from playing in the brush. The sort of natural living accessible here in Tamarindo reminds me of home in the best possible way. It's tough for exercise to feel like a chore when each day I can choose from activities: hiking, biking, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and more.
These outdoor activities also help glue the Tamarindo community together. There's a mutual love of adventure and nature - runners meet up with other runners and surfers carpool to local surf breaks. Living in nature and sharing it with people from around the world constantly reminds me how lucky I am to live here.
Tamarindo would be the perfect setting for a TV show. The town is a collective gathering place for all types of characters. Liberals mix with conservatives and Spanish-speakers share drinks and gestures with students from the States, all finding some common ground for laughter and a toast. The expatriates who landed here share an intangible quirkiness – some fascinating stories about what brought them to this beach town. The myriad answers are so different, but so rich, that it's easy for me to sit and listen to the stories of the old fisherman or bubbly blonde for hours on end. There's no better material in travel, writing or in life, than people and their stories and Tamarindo is full of this material. People wave and exchange friendly greetings as they walk down the street – and it's that sense of togetherness that makes me smile and feel at home each and every day.
4. It's the Best of Both Worlds
Tamarindo is a place of paradox. It's tranquil, yet touristy; developed, yet authentic and close-knit, but transient. Living here offers the best of both worlds. You can practice your Spanish with anyone, but you know you can switch to English in a pinch. There is a certain comfort knowing you share a bond with other residents from the United States and beyond who, like me, settled in Tamarindo. The center of town always echoes the sounds of the city – people chatting, bands playing and taxis driving – a reminder that here, you're never alone even if a two minutes walk down a side street brings you home to the jungle silence where the only sounds are cicadas whirring and the occasional bellow from a neighboring howler monkey.
5. Business Potential
The most successful people around here are those who noticed something missing and carved out their own niche in Tamarindo. There is endless potential to market yourself and your unique services and with the closest city about an hour away, there are always services and skills needed in town locally. Travelers with the right drive have given it a shot and generally, they succeed. Babysitting businesses, yoga studios, catering companies, freelancing and more are just some of the offbeat ways people make a living following their passion in Tamarindo.