Probably one of the most famous beaches in Costa Rica and not without reason. It has a pretty and extensive beach renowned for its sunsets. Tamarindo is highly developed (although not literally - there are no high rise buildings), and you will find several top end hotels here. There are also a couple of cheap hostels although you will probably pay amongst the highest prices in Costa Rica for this type of accommodation here.
Tamarindo is basically made up of a road that goes along the beach and one other road that runs perpendicular to it where you will find mid-range accommodation. There are several outlets offering surfing lessons, and other activities. The strip is full of boutique stores, souvenir shops, restaurants and jewelry street sellers.
Tamarindo has been featured on 'Wild On' which gives you some idea of the nightlife. There are several bars to visit, certain of them are dominated by a young American crowd, but these can be avoided by those of more mature years! At Spring Break time it can be full of 18 year olds on their first vacation away from home. We can leave the rest to your imagination.
It can be a good place to base yourself if you get easily bored as there are always lots of people and activity. While at the same time you can get around to other areas. The road is not great, however, a new one is being built. It is well served by public bus and there is also an airstrip.
Popular with the young crowd, lots of surfers and spring breakers, also sociable couples, and families with children of all ages.