Have you heard of Tamarindo? It’s in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, the west coast / Pacific Ocean. We were there last week for an awesome little “vacation”! We had an opportunity to pet sit for friends in exchange for a stay at their beautiful home – right in the heart of this quaint little beach town. Even though we aren’t super fit or tan and didn’t walk around with surf boards everywhere – we still fit in – because pretty much the whole town is tourists. Everyone speaks English. Everyone takes the American dollar. Playa Tamarindo (the beach) is known for surfing, and the town itself is sprinkled with good restaurants and lots of touristy shops. We traveled there by bus, which worked out great.
What did we do while we were there? Well, it was really a “work-cation” for us – so we both put in some good writing hours each day. But when we weren’t working, we had a blast walking the beach, visiting shops, eating (you know, one of our favorite past times) and a few other things.
One afternoon when we were walking home, we were treated to some Howler Monkeys. They were running along the man-made monkey crossing above the street. I just LOVE that the monkeys actually use these (before these, they crossed from tree to tree on electrical wires!):
And, ok, I know you were waiting for the foodie part, so here we go…
El Vaquero is on the beach – an outdoor beer garden. Greg was slightly dismayed to see only TWO beers that they brewed, so he tried them both – he really liked the Gato Malo. Have a beer here, but have dinner elsewhere (Liz – you were right!).
Café Tico is a teeny little coffee shop with excellent coffee and pastries.
Patagonia has two places in town – one is Argentinian seafood, and the other (where we went) is Argentinian grilled meats and schnitzel. It was so good – we really loved this place. Also they had really good margaritas AND they were 2 for 1.
Sharky’s was great for beer and bar food – good burgers, wings and fries! This frozen green smoothie was so healthy – mango, mint leaves, lime juice… (OK, technically called a “mango moito” but whatever):
The Green Papaya is a little Taco Bar, tucked down a side street. They have these cool swings at the bar outside that we had to try. We just had a drink here to check it out (no happy hour deal so drinks were a bit more and they weren’t out of this world or anything, but the swing was great!):
La Baula. This place…. had the best pizza, hands down. We ate at night after sunset, the ambiance was amazing and service was good. Greg had the meat lovers with salami, pepperoni, ham and proscuitto. I could only eat a couple slices of mine (it was so decadent and cheesy – with mozzarella, slices of parmesan and gorgonzola!), but we had left overs for the next day.
Oh, any negatives on Tamarindo? Well, since you asked… it was really hot there. The house we stayed in was blissfully air conditioned, but every time we stepped outside we were instantly covered in a glistening layer of sweat. All the restaurants were open air, and if we ate out anytime during the afternoon, there were flies swarming our food, which made the experience pretty miserable. It took us a while to learn that we needed to eat out AFTER sunset instead of before. We found 2 bats and 4 baby scorpions in the house that Greg took care of (how did I handle? Fine, actually. These weren’t tarantulas, you guys…). We also found a tick on one of the dogs that Dr. Greg handled like a pro – glad he’s technically the pet-sitter and not me.
One more positive to add – it was so hot and dry, that wet clothes hung out on the line dried super fast. Also – my hair after a shower (no hair dryer needed!).
All in all it was a fantastic little getaway, in a place that is completely different than Grecia. Thanks Liz & Jason for giving us this opportunity!
PS – Looking for my book – click here!
PPS – Looking for my Arm Candy – click here!
PPPS – Want to hear what the “howl” from a Howler Monkey sounds like? This is when we were having a drink right on the beach one late afternoon, and all of a sudden there were tons of monkeys above us in the trees:
That’s all for now, peace out! — Jen