Costa Rica – Day 2: Tamarindo Beach

We awoke up super-early at around 5am and made some delicious Costa Rican coffee. YUM – it was SO good! Afterward we took a walk on the beach around 6am. It was really pretty that early in the morning.

Tamarindo Beach Sunrise

It was warm, the tide was coming in and the waves looked inviting so we decided to throw on our swimsuits, grab the boogie boards and go for a swim. A swim in the ocean before 7am? SURE! Tamarindo swimmingAnd it was AWESOME! The water wasn’t hot or cold. For me, it was just right this is certainly rare. I could swim in this water for as long a I wanted! In addition, the bottom was all soft sand. Very, very few rocks and no seaweed or other squishy, icky things to step on. Amazing. Ruthann had told us she and her husband had traveled to beaches all over the entire world, but they only invested in the best one — THIS one. And now we had the pleasure of enjoying it too. Plus, boogie boarding was a total blast! In this video I respond to David’s, “Are you having fun?” by saying I am age 5, going on 6 – lol!

I was laughing and having so much fun trying to catch waves and ride them all the way into shore. Yes, at 7:30am. It was so exhilarating to catch one! I was acting like a total little kid, much to David’s amusement.

We worked up quite an appetite so we headed in, cleaned up and jumped in the car to find some breakfast. We drove out to the nearby peninsula and dined in the open-air pavilion restaurant at Cala Luna, a boutique hotel. Breakfast was delicious. David was mad because I asked him to wait to eat until I took a picture of his meal. Lovely face, that guy.

Cala Luna breakfast

As we finished up our meal a few neato looking blue magpie jay birds showed up and one of them actually stole an empanada from one of the tables and flew away with it! David got a picture of one of the magpies. Such a neat looking bird! It had a really long tail and Gonzo-like feathers on top of his head.

Blue Magpie Jay

The check arrived and we were shocked that our huge breakfast was only $30! We happily paid and headed out to drive/explore the rest of the peninsula.

Back at Casa Cook, we had the pleasure of meeting Marie, the wonderful young woman who handles all the reservations, activity arrangements and other heroics for the guests. We also got to meet her fantastic rescue doggy, Lilly, who accompanies her at work every day. She adores people and especially loves to play fetch. She’s a sweetie and so cute!

Lilly at Casa Cook

Ok, I digress… Since we were in one of the surfing meccas of the world, we kindly asked Marie to arrange a surfboard rental for David. We also requested a zip line adventure for us both. As we chatted away, I happened to look out the window and was surprised to see this iguana chowing down on the greenery!

Marie told us it was a small female. Small?!?!?

After a short bit we bypassed said iguana and headed to the hammocks that hung in front of our cabina to chill for a while.Hammock Casa Cook



Note the yellow band on David’s ankle in the pic above. You’ll likely see these bands on our ankles and wrists in many of our photos. They are called BugBands and they repel mosquitos, which are especially prevalent in Costa Rica during the rainy season. They actually worked well! We also brought insect repellant that had DEET in it but we never had to use it, thank goodness. Between Casa Cook fumigating their grounds for mosquitos and the strong breezes from the ocean, we did pretty well keeping the buggers at bay. We were thankful, considering we very much wanted to avoid getting Dengue Fever, a terrible virus spread through mosquitos in tropical areas of the world.

Itching ( 😉 ) for more adventure, David and I headed out to the beach at low tide. It exposed tons of lava rock over at the peninsula, totally ripe for exploring!


Low tide Tamarindo

We had fun checking out the craggy lava rocks that supported so much sea life… small fish, crabs and other cool shellfish.

Back at Casa Cook, Marie stopped in to let us know that we could go pick up David’s rental surfboard at Langosta Beach Club, two doors down. Stoked, we walked right over to get it. There, Nikko hooked David up with a good board, waxed it and even gave David the rest of the wax. The whole process was easy, quick and convenient. Nice! More to come on surfing adventures.

Next we did a bunch of fun stuff… swim in the pool, have a nice lunch in our cabina and walk on the beach again. After that, we decided to go for a drive to find Playa Conchal. After a half hour drive, some on sketchy roads, we thought we got there. Due to the fact that the “road” essentially turned into a beach.

Almost Playa Conchal

We later discovered that we didn’t quite make it! We should have continued driving on the beach to actually reach the destination. Next time, darn it! We heard there were awesome views and lobster rolls there.

Back “home” David wanted to do some sunset surfing. Yay, I was finally going to see him surf!

Casa Cook Surfing

surfing casa cook



Not great pics, I know but I was so happy to witness and have photo-proof that David does indeed surf. It’s true!

Being out in the water was so pretty during the sunset.

sunset casa cook

After playing in the ocean until dark, we went inside, cleaned up and made ourselves a ridiculous dinner. David made Cup-O-Noodle and I made microwave Mac-n-Cheese, both made with hot water from the coffee maker. This, you may have guessed, made our food taste like coffee – LOL – so redic. We laughed but also made up for it by noshing on yummy cheese, salami and crackers (and a nice cabernet for me).

That night we had crazy-huge thunderstorms. It rained SO hard but we were thankful to be cozy, safe and dry in our little cabina. We sat in the dark with our dining room chairs facing out toward the window to watch the lightning light up the ocean and beach. David was able to catch a little of it on video.

Tomorrow we learn about the havoc all that ‘rainy-season’ rain caused to the area. (None to Casa Cook, thank goodness!)



4 thoughts on “Costa Rica – Day 2: Tamarindo Beach

  1. I visited Tamarindo in 1999. Wrote a novel loosely based off my adventure. Told myself I won’t go back until it gets published. Still tweaking it and still sending out queries. Thanks for posting this. Brought back many memories.

    1. Very cool, Nic! I checked out your blog. Is your cover image of Tamarindo? It’s a great shot. Also, perhaps going back will be the catalyst for getting your novel published. 😉 Go!!!

  2. For the most part, yes! From the airport in Liberia to Tamarindo, the roads are paved. However, the main road turns to dirt just outside of town as you drive toward the peninsula. It’s VERY pot-holey, deep, muddy, rutty and honestly, a mess. We were thankful to have a 4×4 to get through those sections!

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