Tamarindo Services & Facilities
Tamarindo has many amenities you would find in a larger city including supermarkets, pharmacies, clothing boutiques and hardware stores, but there is one exception - no gas stations. One is slated to open a few miles away in the near future. Currently, the closest gas station is 15-minutes away in the town El Llano. You can access all of the following services and facilities within walking distance or with a short cab ride to the nearby town of Villareal. ($4 each way).
Several pay phones are scattered throughout Tamarindo. International/Prepaid calling cards and local SIM cards used in unblocked U.S. or local cell phones can be purchased at local pharmacies or supermarkets. Local cell phones can be rented for about $10 a day or purchased ($40 and up).
There are two Internet cafes equipped with public computers in Tamarindo. Each charges around $1 per hour and offers high-speed connectivity. Many hotels and hostels offer Internet access in their lobbies and some include free in-room WiFi. Visitors can also bring a laptop to a cafe or restaurant as nearly all offer password-protected WiFi to customers.
The closest post office to Tamarindo is just under three miles from the center of town in Villareal. A taxi costs around $4. If you’re looking to ship something, there is also a Mailboxes Etc., on the way to Villareal, but higher prices make the extra distance worth a trip to the post office. Villareal Post Office, road to Tamarindo, Villareal. Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (2653-0676).
The Tamarindo Police Station is located on the main road to Tamarindo about 400 yds. (365 m.) before the Best Western Hotel. Police primarily patrol the beach and can be helpful in case of emergency. Fuerza Publica, Tamarindo Police Station, Tamarindo. Open Mon.-Sun., 24 hours. (2653-0283 or 911 for emergencies).
Tamarindo has a small airport located near the Diria Golf Course. Sansa Airines and Nature Air offer regular domestic flights to San Jose and other destinations. The trip to San Jose takes about 50 minutes and one-way tickets range between $60-$120. Tamarindo Airport, road to Tamarindo. (8840-1803).
Travelers flying in from outside the country arrive at the Liberia International Airport, where they can take a shuttle to Tamarindo for about $20 to $40. It’s best to call ahead and reserve a shuttle to avoid any hassle at the airport. (Airport: 2668-1178; Shuttle: 2653-1326).
Banks & Financial Services
There are approximately four banks in Tamarindo: BAC San Jose, Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Nacional and Scotia Bank. Each offers exchange services and 24-hour ATM machines. Most ATMs dispense both dollars and Costa Rican colones and many bars and restaurants have machines on-site. BAC San Jose, Plaza Conchal (2653-2133); Banco de Costa Rica (2653-1852); Banco Nacional, across from the Diria Hotel (2653-0366) and Scotia Bank in the Tamarindo Heights Shopping Complex next to the Automercado on the road to Tamarindo (2653-3802).
Western Union’s person-to-person money transfer services are also available at the local Western Union office in Plaza Conchal. Note: This is a good option if your wallet is lost or stolen.
Tamarindo has three main supermarkets: Super 2001, Super Compro and Automercado. There are also several smaller grocery stores are also sprinkled throughout town. Farmers usually sell fresh fruits and produce on the side of the main road. A taxi to Automercado, which offers the biggest selection and overall best quality, costs around $2. Super 2001, across from Pacific Park Condominiums (2653-0935); Super Compro on the side street next to Plaza Conchal (2653-1410) and Automercado in the Tamarindo Heights Shopping Complex (2653-2414). Note: Supermarkets close early on Sundays.
The nearest public health clinic is a 4-minute drive from Tamarindo in Villareal. In an emergency, the closest hospital is located in Liberia - an hour away by car or ambulance.
The Pacific Emergencies private clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Doctors usually charge $60 per walk-in visit, but bilingual emergency medical technicians are on call 24-hours a day. (2653-2001, Emergencies 8378-8265).
The closest public health clinic to Tamarindo is the EBAIS, a 15-minute drive from town. The clinic offers free or low-cost walk-in visits (check with your insurance company) and 24-hour ambulance and emergency services (2653-0736).
There are two private hospitals in Liberia: Clinica Biblica and the San Rafael Arcangel Medical Center. There is also a public hospital in the city. Clinica Biblica (2667-0892); San Rafael Arcangel Medical Center (2666-1717); Liberia Public Hospital (2666-0011).
If traveling with your pet, there are several vets near the Villareal intersection - a ten minute drive. Tuanis Vet (2653-4119); Cavallini Veterinary Hospital (2652-9009, 2653-0180) and Veterinaria Carvajal (2653-0796). All located in Villareal.