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The businesses listed here have a history of quality service to people on vacation in Tamarindo Costa Rica. Please send us your comments about any business listed here, and we will be happy to pass the good word along.
General Recommendations for Travel to Tamarindo and Langosta:
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Time of Year to Visit Tamarindo- There are two distinct seasons in Guanacaste: dry and rainy. The weather is dry from late November through early May. December and early January typically have nice breezes blowing. The plants will be yellow and not in full bloom to conserve water during this time.
The rain starts in mid-May and typically occurs in the afternoons with sun in the morning from May through August. There is usually a two week period in July where the rain stops, often called the "Little Summer of San Juan." In September, October, and early November, the rain may come down at any time of day. Sunsets are definitely the best during rainy season, when the clouds are moving out to sea and the sun reflects off of them.
Some visitors prefer rainy season due to the beautiful foliage and less people, while others prefer dry season for the constant sun. First time visitors should probably avoid September, October and early November.
Electricity in Costa Rica- Electrical outlets in Costa Rica are the same current and style as found in North America, 110V. Those bringing electronic devices from these countries do not need to bring adapters. However, electrical spikes are common due to the poor service provided by the electrical company. Thus, we recommend that when you bring laptops, ipods, and other portable electronics, you plug them into a surge protector, not directly into the wall.
Water in Costa Rica- Water in Tamarindo and Langosta is safe to drink. Some visitors prefer bottled water due to better taste, but you will not get sick from drinking the water.
Costa Rica Souvenirs- There are a few cool things that you can purchase in Costa Rica to bring back to your home. Clay pots are available in many sizes. They are made with beautiful designs on the outside. Some are simple designs and other depict nature. Costa Rican handmade jewelry is another option. There are some excellent jewelry designers in Costa Rica. Coffee is also an excellent choice. A favorite of the CPM team is 1800 blend, which comes in a brown bag. There are plenty of great choices available in any supermarket. Your friends from home will be amazed by how good Costa Rican coffee is.
Food in Costa Rica- Costa Rica does not have a strong culinary tradition, but a popular plate is the Casado, a marriage of rice, black beans, salad, choice of meat, and usually plantains. Gallo Pinto, a mix of black beans, white rice and spices, is a popular breakfast dish. Generally fish and other seafood dishes are excellent as the catch is fresh. Steaks are not as good unless imported. Fruits are extremely fresh and there are many tropical varieties you probably have not tried that make good smoothies: Tamarindo, Guanabana, Cas, Marakuya, etc.
Dollars versus Colones- Many visitors ask if they need to change dollars for colones. The answer is no. You can pay with dollars anywhere you go, although you may get change in colones. Check the Banco Nacional web page for the current exchange rate.
Traveler's Checks- Travelers checks are not generally accepted outside of banks, and there are about 10 ATMS in Tamarindo that take debit cards from abroad, so you may want to skip bringing traveler's checks with you.
Costa Rica Exit Tax- If you are leaving Costa Rica via either international airport, there is a $26US exit tax that is payable in cash in US dollars, colones, or VISA (other credit cards not accepted). You can also pay the exit tax from some banks like BAC San Jose, but generally the lines to pay it are less than 5 minutes, so it's probably not worth the hassle.