Tamarindo : Costa rica

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What it's Like to Retire in Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a town on the north Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It like to refer to itself as the Noth Pacific Gold Coast. According to Wikipedia it is located in the Province of Guanacaste. The district has a population of 3,525, although the town itself is about 500. The main transport and commercial centre in the region is Nicoya, one of the oldest settlements in Costa Rica.There is a significant international expat population who come for the beaches, views, and Central American charm. But it can swell to 5,000 people or more during the tourist season and during special holidays. The main attractions are surfing and eco-tourism. Playa Tamarindo is a long beach, with excellent waves near the mouth of the estuary. Currents can be strong, especially on a falling tide.  For more on retiring to this paradise see our Retirement Guide to Costa Rica.

Playa Grande beach is also where the Leatherback Turtle comes to lay its eggs. The leatherbacks take over the beach from November to April, digging their nests up to one meter deep, lay their eggs and cover the pit with sand, and return once again to the sea.

Photo of beach courtesy of Wikipedia and Mariordo.


Where to Retire in Tamarindo and Home Prices

There has been a fair amount of developer building in this area. Tamarindo real estate communities such as the Tamarindo Preserve, Diria and La Perla appeal to the luxury buyer. There are also  complete luxury resorts such as the Marriott and Reserva Conchai. If you search on real estate for sale in Tamarindo you will find a wide range of condos and homes for sale, starting in the $40s for very small units. Luxury 2 and 3 bedroom units with views are widely available in the $200's and higher.


What is special about Tamarindo

Ecotourism and surfing, along with beautiful beaches. Costa Rica is a stable county both politically and economically. The bird watching and nature viewing are extraordinary. There are laws protecting against excessive development and encouraging protection of the environment.


What is not special about Tamarindo

The beaches in the area are generally clean and recent efforts by the government and local business organizations are proving themselves. Unfortunately, the area has become a boon to developers who have cut corners and not installed proper infrastructure including black water treatment.


Who will like retirement in Tamarindo

People looking for a laid back expat lifestyle near the beaches and mountains will like it here. There is a significant expat population from around the world.


Local economy is driven by

Tourism, particuarly eco-tourism, and construction are important to the economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

It is warm in this Central American country year round. The rainy season is usually Sept through November. The climate is slighter cooler at altitude.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a tourist destination there are many restaurants to choose from. Nature viewing is the high culture here.



Other than petty crime it is not a problem. Many expats live in gated communities or buildings for security and peace of mind.


Medical facilities

There are some local facilities for routine and emergency care, but for more serious matters one will have to travel to a major city.



Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste is the most accessible location along the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica with an airstrip. Scheduled daily bus service to and from San José, as well as surrounding communities, is available. There is also a paved highway from San José. The average time from San Jose to Tamarindo is 5 to 6 hours depending on traffic.


Valuable Links

Tamarindo Real Estate

Dominical Real Estate

Potrero Real Estate


What people are saying about Tamarindo

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Facts about TAMARINDO
  • State: CR
  • Environment: Coastal,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 0-20,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): Less than $100,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Culture Index: <80 (Very low)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: No
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

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