Your Complete Guide to Paradise
onging for surf, sun, and sand? Hop on a flight to Liberia, a western Costa Rican hub that’s an hour-and-a-half from the cute beach town of Tamarindo. Here, you can join bikinied surfers in catching breaks, or stroll with the combers ambling along the two-mile Pacific strand.
You’ll stay a ten-minute walk from town at Cala Luna, a 41-room hotel with myriad design schemes (thatching! seashell-fringed lamps!) across the street from the beach (doubles from $295). Or the also-beachfront Hotel Capitán Suizo, which is right on the water (doubles from $165).
On your first morning, arrange an excursion with Arenas Adventures. You might spend a few hours revving an ATV through the thick of the rain forest—spotting howler monkeys, eagles, tropical birds, and iguanas—before emerging onto one of southern Tamarindo’s isolated beaches. You could also take surfing or wake-boarding lessons, rent a kayak, or traverse the rain forest canopy via zip-line (one-hour ATV tours from $39 per person). Recover back at the hotel by lying on the golden sand, then head into town for a tamarind margarita and sunset-viewing at Nogui’s Sunset Café, Tamarindo’s oldest restaurant—established 1974 (Tamarindo Circle; 506-2653-0029; appetizers from $3). Dinner is grilled lobster and salade niçoise at Nibbana Beach Bar & Restaurant, where the tables are in the sand, tucked between palm trees (entrées from $15).
On your last morning, get up early to snag a beach chair at Le Beach Club, where you can sunbathe and sip mimosas before brunching on buttery shrimp or whole red snapper at Copacabana (Tamarindo Blvd.; 506-2653-0872; entrées from $12). And hey, order a caipirinha or two—it might make your departure seem a little less dire.by