Friday, February 17, 2012

Tamarindo Day 1

from Google Earth
I could feel my heart pounding--only $180 for round trip airfare to Costa Rica?? We've been used to paying in the $500-$600 range, so this seemed too good to be true! The only "catch" was that we had to fly into Liberia which is located in the northern part of Costa Rica--too far for us to drive down to our property. But how do you pass a deal like this up? So, Gary and I scooped up the tickets and made plans to check out a different part of the country.

We decided to stay in Tamarindo (also known as TamaGRINGO) which is located on the Nicoya Penisula on the northern Pacific side of Costa Rica. We knew it would be touristy and totally different from where we will be settling in, and actually were a little apprehensive that it would be too Americanized and rowdy for us. Thankfully we were pleasantly surprised. It seems to have a good mix of surfers, tourists, and locals. It is busy, but it was great people-watching, and it never seemed crowded. I'm sure there's quite a nightlife going on there, but since we were back at the hotel each night before it got too dark, we didn't have to navigate through all of that.

Hotel Sign
View from our room

 We stayed at a wonderful little hotel called Casa Bambora. It's a small place with 5 apartments that the owner rents out. Each has a kitchen and, best of all, an ocean view! The hotel is located on a hill within walking distance to downtown and the beach. It was fun to talk with the owner (an American who has lived there 20 years now) and some of the other guests--most of which were from Canada.

View from the hotel patio area
After getting settled in, and asking about walking directions to the beach and downtown, we decided to head out and do some exploring. Unfortunately the directions got a little bit mixed up in our heads, and we took the long way there, including quite a bit of back tracking and head scratching. We did get to see some great scenery along the way at least--Smiley. We finally made it into town and headed straight for something to eat since we hadn't eaten since early that morning.
At our table

Chicken with a pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, carrots, and mashed taro. It was delicious!

From our table, we had a great view of one of the main streets.

Another view from our table.

After dinner we walked the town a bit more, picked up a few groceries, then headed back up the hill before it got dark since the major up-hill part was a dirt path with no lights. Once back at the hotel, we went up to the roof to watch the sun set. It was a great day!


  1. Where did you find such an awesome air deal??? I am definitely enjoying your blog...we are planning a 3 months trip to Costa Rica 2013 Mar-May
    Our plan is to work 9 months & live abroad 3 months.
    Airfare is usually the budget killer for a family of 4 so I'm always trying to figure out where to find good deals.
    Excited to see your journey progress.

    1. Hi Joleen,
      Thanks for the nice comments on my blog! We definitely were lucky on the airfare. I follow a lot of Costa Rica-themed blogs and facebook pages, and someone mentioned the airfare deal. I just HAD to get it!! Another thing we use is It will help track airfare for you and alert you when the prices go down. I don't think it catches everything, but it will help. Also look up prices during the middle of the night. Sometimes that helps! We are going again in April with our family of 5, and got another great deal (although not as good as $150 round trip) by doing it that way. I envy you being able to spend 3 whole months there. What a great experience! Will you be staying in one spot or seeing the whole country?