Costa Rica // Guanacaste //

Playa Tamarindo

Perennially popular Tamarindo stretches for a couple of kilometres over a series of rocky headlands, and attracts surfers and holiday spring-breakers. Sprawling and occasionally snobby, TAMARINDO village boasts a decent selection of restaurants, a lively beach culture (think beautiful young things parading up and down the sand) and a healthy nightlife, at least during high season. Many come here to learn to surf – indeed, the gentle breakers are an ideal training ground – or simply to laze on the beach, which is undeniably gorgeous. Tamarindo is the least Costa Rican of places, with locals completely outnumbered by tourists and expats. Even by its own trendy terms, the village is booming, with small complexes of shops springing up in the concrete mini-mall-style favoured hereabouts, while internet cafés, flashy restaurants and estate agents colonize the centre of the village, as foreigners rush in to snap up their plots in paradise.