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Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Timmins ON
Level Contributor
12 posts
2 reviews
Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Are planning an 8 week extended stay in CR, mid January to mid March. Had originally considered Playa del Coco as our base but are now looking at Tamarindo. Seems there is alot more to choose from in terms of accommodation, especially with a bit of ocean view. Since we won't be renting a car, we'd like something that is central yet not too busy. The only negative we've read about Tamarindo is that it's over-developed. Can anyone elaborate or refute?

Edited: 05 September 2010, 23:34
Tamarindo, Costa...
Level Contributor
1,781 posts
1 review
1. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Both Tamarindo and Playas del Coco are both small towns. Tamarindo is the larger small town with 3 commercial streets. 8-weeks can be a long time, so you may want to stay in Tamarindo because it is a larger community.

If one considers a town over-developed when it has a good inventory of condos, villas, and hotels, then during this recession, it would be true of almost all of the vacation destinations in the world! It is also true that there has never been a better time to get a great deal on a place in Tamarindo, even during high-season. Tamarindo has small resorts, boutique hotels, all-inclusive resorts, even semi-inclusive condos and villas. Let me know if need advice on how to look for a deal on a condo or villa.

Another nice feature about Tamarindo is that you can easily stay here as most everything is within easy walking distance (less than 1 Kilometer). Tamarindo is also very central to other beach towns, where you can take a water-taxi or catch a shuttle bus.

Over-developed? Meaning too many people, too many cars, crowded restaurants... ? The restaurants are great, not crowded. Not that many cars, but the roads are primitive and so are the drivers, better to walk, enough people to know your in a town rather than a deserted beach, but nothing at all like San Diego beach on a Sunday afternoon.

Hard to answer the question without knowing more about what you expect.

Here is an orientation on Tamarindo with a video. Maybe seeing the town would also help answer your question.

tamarindocosta-rica.com/costa-rica.html

www.tamarindobeach.net

Don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Edited: 06 September 2010, 05:59
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

My buddy surfsponger is sold on Tamarindo but to me, it is over developed. There is a McDonald's there, for instance. I think it is crowded and expensive.

That being said - I also think it is a great place to use as a base for exploring the area. You can rent a condo or villa near town and just walk to town and walk around and there are a number of good restaurants. It is not difficult to visit several National Parks from Tamarindo as well as other beach towns. A trip to Nicaragua for a few days wouldn't be difficult.

As for spending 8 weeks there - I would think about this some more. Maybe you want to split up your trip into two or even three areas. It's not quick to travel around Costa Rica so using Tamarindo as a base for traveling all over the country won't work, really. However, I am sure you have your reasons for wanting to stay put for 8 weeks in the same place.

Playa Conchal...
Level Contributor
2,067 posts
85 reviews
3. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

No McDonalds in Tamarindo-but there is a Pizza Hut, TCBY, Best Western. Not saying this is a bad thing, but its not what some visitors are expecting!

I would definitely choose Tamarindo over Coco but it really depends on what you're looking for from your vacation.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,335 posts
119 reviews
4. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Agree with diver 77...depend what you are looking for...

roadadvisor from Costa Rica and in COSTA RICA!

Edited: 06 September 2010, 13:36
usa
1 post
1 review
5. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

My husband and I were in both Tamarindo and Playa Del Coco this summer and we would return to Tamarindo in a heartbeat. Great people, good food, easy to get around, beautiful nature and fun nightlife kept us happily occupied in Tamarindo for about 6 weeks. Basically the difference we observed is Tamarindo to us seemed a more adult/couples orientated place while Playa del Coco seemed to have a lot more family vacationers with younger children. Coco had less to offer for dining and nightlife and felt more isolated from the rest of the country. Tamarindo works as a pretty good base to explore out of.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,335 posts
119 reviews
6. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Of course I have nothing against my own people...but more costaricans around Coco Beach...and during weekends even more...and trust me we can make some noise!

roadadvisor

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Diver77 -- On a website about Tamarindo, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut were listed. After reading your post and giving this some more thought, I think the website probably listed what was available in Liberia, not knowing it's an hour away! Thanks for setting me straight.

Tamarindo
Level Contributor
26 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

One other thing, the Best Western is not the typical United States Best Western that you think of as a boxy hotel. It is a villas type venue surrounded by gardens up on a hill. The center piece is a pool with a waterfall which over looks Tamarindo Bay.

That pool is also one of the only hotel pools open to the public everyday.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,335 posts
119 reviews
9. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

I drove a group of surfers in one our mini vans to Tamarindo last week...they were staying at Best Western...they just love the place...they were giving some kind of upgrade and end up as they said in a huge kind of condo or apartment there...they just love it...and the views from there...incredible...

Hang loose...

roadadvisor

Playa Conchal...
Level Contributor
2,067 posts
85 reviews
10. Re: Tamarindo vs Playa del Coco

Quite right, the Best Western in Tamarindo is a great spot-very well run, nice views, great pool and bar. Perhaps I should have said previously that its these brand names that visitors are sometimes surprised to see.