Where is the BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas located?
We are located right on the corner of Playa Tamarindo (Tamarindo Beach), where the town meets the Playa Grande Nature Reserve. The town is located right on the Pacific Ocean in the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica.
Should I choose to fly into the Juan Santamaria International Airport (CODE: SJO, San Jose, Costa Rica) or to the Daniel Oduber International Airport (CODE: LIR, Liberia, Costa Rica)?
This question really depends on how you would like to structure your Costa Rican vacation. On one hand, we are located only about an hour away from the Liberia International Airport. On the other hand, the San Jose International Airport requires a longer four hour drive to Tamarindo. The question, really, is whether or not you plan on having a relaxing vacation based directly out of Tamarindo, or if you are one of those travelers who wants to “do-it-all” during your vacation.
If you fly directly into the Liberia International Airport, you will be able to make it out to Tamarindo Beach right after your flight lands, therefore, you will only have to schedule in one full day of traveling into your vacation for arrival and one full day for departure. We suggest this type of vacation if you are not the type of person who likes to “day-hop” from one destination to another or if you are planning anything less than a ten-day vacation. In fact, we have found that once you are at the beach, you can basically just make it your base of operations for your entire vacation. Our new guests love planning day activities, while still having the gorgeous beach and bustling town to fill in the rest of their vacation time. Also, the close by “Rincon De La Vieja National Park” provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy hot-springs, rain-forests, and an active volcano, all reachable via a single day-trip, so they can get the Costa Rica rain-forest experience without having to waste valuable vacation time getting there! If you do want to spend some time in some of Costa Rica’s other tourism hotspots, we always suggest plan a three day loop to the Monte Verde Cloud Forest and to the Arenal Volcano and hot springs at the end of your vacation. That way you can end up right back at the Liberia International Airport without too much wasted travel.
If you fly into the San Jose International Airport, you will be more centrally located to almost all of Costa Rica’s Eco-tourism hotspots – The Volcano, hot-springs, and rain-forests in Arenal National Park; The Monte Verde Cloud Forest; and The Beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park; and the beautiful beaches in and around Playa Tamarindo. All of which are worth visiting for a couple days, but require at least a three hour drive from San Jose. Because of the amount of travel time in between each hotspot, we generally suggest that you plan ten to fourteen days. This should provide enough time for you to “do-it-all”. The typical route for the four hotspots starts in San Jose. Once in San Jose, most guests spend their first night in the city, then head to Manuel Antonio. On the way to Tamarindo, guests will generally stop for a night in Monte Verde. After Monte Verde, guests make their way out to Tamarindo to spend a few days enjoying the beach and all of its related activities. At the end of their stay, guest make their way to the Arenal Volcano, before heading back to San Jose.
Should I rent a car for my vacation?
Renting a car really gives you a lot of freedom for you vacation, the decision to rent a car generally depends on what type of vacation you are looking for. After all, renting a car for a week is a substantial vacation cost. If you plan of “day-hopping” from location to location, we find it to be much more convenient to rent a car, both because of timeframes (you won’t always be worrying about catching your next bus) and because of sightseeing (you can always pull your own car over if you see a bunch of monkey in a tree). Once again, the downside to renting a car is the cost (about $80-$120 per day once you include the insurance, and believe us, you want the insurance).
If you plan to make Tamarindo your home-base for your vacation, we have seen many rental cars collect dust for three or four days. Because Tamarindo is flat, pleasantly walk-able, and full of other transportation options, our guests find themselves regretting having rented that car for a week. Our hotel offers a private shuttle to and from your airport (both the Liberia and San Jose airports) and also offers a daily shuttle to different beaches around the area (also known as the “Beach Bus”). If you need to get somewhere quickly, taxi’s will take you anywhere in town with costs ranging from $4-$10.
How to you get to Tamarindo?
We are a quick, one-hour drive from Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport. Should you decide rent a car and drive on your own, exit Liberia Airport, and drive 1.2 miles to the main road and turn right. Continue driving and pass the towns of Guardia, Comunidad, Palmira, Filadelfia and Belén for approximately 25 minutes. When you arrive to Belén, turn right at the Gas Station. You will pass by Santa Ana, Cartagena. When you arrive in Huacas (approximately 14 miles, or 25 minutes, after Belen) turn left towards Tamarindo. Drive approximately 10 minutes until you see a sign in the small town of Villareal that indicates a right turn to Tamarindo. Turn right at this intersection and follow the road another five minutes into the town of Tamarindo. Once in Tamarindo, just look for the BEST WESTERN sign – we are located on the left hand side of the road. The drive from Liberia’s airport to the BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas is approximately an hour (32 miles). As an aside note, we have an affiliate hotel – The BEST WESTERN Camino A Tamarindo Hotel – located just outside of Huacas on the right hand side of the road (about 10 minutes up the road from us and off the beach). We have had a couple of guests make the mistake of pulling into this hotel instead of us, just pay attention to the name of the hotel after the BEST WESTERN.
If you choose not to rent a car and drive from the airport, just give us a call or write us an email and we will make sure to set up a private, air-conditioned shuttle for you.
We can also arrange a Transfer for you from San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport. That drive is approximately 5 hours. If you prefer to drive yourself, start by going towards Guanacaste on route #1, exiting left out of San Jose’s Airport. You will travel approximately 74 miles from San Jose, passing by San Ramon and Esparza before you will arrive at Limonal. Once in Limonal, turn left at the Shell Gas Station following route # 18. Approximately 18 miles from the intersection you will arrive to El Puente de la Amistad, which is a big bridge with red holding cables. Cross that bridge. Approx 30 minutes (11miles) driving from the bridge you will get to route # 21, please turn right. Go towards Nicoya, approximately 46 miles from the intersection with route #18, pass through Santa Cruz. IMPORTANT. You will see a sign when you get to Santa Cruz that says Tamarindo 30 km. Do not turn there. That is a bad road. Continue on the main road until you get to Belen (19 miles from Santa Cruz).
Once in Belen, please turn left at the Gas Station towards Tamarindo on route # 155. You will pass by the towns of Santa Ana and Huacas. At Huacas, approximately 14 miles (25 minutes) turn left towards Tamarindo. Drive approximately 10 minutes until you see a sign before the town of Villareal that indicates a right turn to Tamarindo. Make that right turn and drive into Tamarindo itself. Once in Tamarindo, just look for the BEST WESTERN sign – we are located on the left hand side of the road. The drive from San Jose to the BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas is approximately an four hours.
We would also be happy to arrange a 35 minute flight for you from San Jose to Tamarindo Airport on one of our national airlines, either Sansa Airlines or Nature Air.
What is a good length of time to stay in Tamarindo on my vacation?
Tamarindo Beach makes for a great home-base during your vacation – especially if you are here for surfing. Most of the surfers who stay with us will stay here the entire time, making daily excursion to the many different surf breaks conveniently located near the hotel. If they want take a day off of surfing, we will set up a couple of day excursions for them. This type of vacationer generally stays about a week to ten days with us. If you are jumping around Costa Rica, people generally plan to stay three to five days here, allowing them to visit a couple different local beaches, try out some of our amazing restaurants, possibly even taking a surf lesson!
While in Tamarindo what is there to do?
Tamarindo is full of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. From surfing lessons, to snorkeling, to zip-lining through the forest’s canopy, to a sunset sailing cruise, to simply enjoying a beautiful walk on the beach, you will always find something fun and exciting to do here in Tamarindo. We also have many fine restaurants in town, including the Crazy Monkey Bar and Restaurant. Feel free to ask our reservations department for more information about Tamarindo, after all, we all live here.
Do I need to know Spanish when coming to Costa Rica?
The answer to this question is really yes and no. It really depends upon what you are planning to do here in the country. For example, most businesses based on tourism, like the BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas, have fluent English speaking personnel that will be able to assist you with whatever you need. The only time that you really need to speak Spanish is when you travel to more rural parts of the country, and even then, you will probably find someone to help you with some basic translations. The bottom line is that Costa Rica’s main industry is tourism, because of this, the country has emphasized the importance of learning English in all of its more recent high school graduates.
What is the currency and how much cash should I bring?
The currency in Costa Rica is in Costa Rican Colones. For the last couple years the exchange rate has hovered around 500 Costa Rican Colones to $1 United States Dollar. Almost all locations accept dollars, but most do not accept $50 dollar bills, $100 dollar bills, or slightly damaged bills. Conversely, almost all locations accept credit cards, but about half of them charge a surcharge for credit/debit cards. We generally suggest bringing a small amount of spending cash (about $200-$300 per person) for tips, gifts, etc. You can charge all other activities, your stay, and food bought at our bar and restaurant to your credit card, and, here at the hotel, we will not charge a surcharge for its use. Traveler’s checks are safe, but end up being a hassle to use, because, in most towns, only banks redeem the checks.
Do you take Credit Cards?
We accept American Express, Visa, and Master Card
What should I do with my valuables?
Each room has an electronic safe. Although we trust all of our employees, we always suggest that you keep your valuables locked. It is not necessary to keep your physical passport on you at all times, so keep it locked in the safe as well. In Costa Rica, you are allowed to carry a copy of your passport when shown in conjuction with another form of ID (for example your driver’s license). Just make sure the copy includes your photo page, your signature page, and the page that shows the stamp given to you by Costa Rica’s Immigration Officer upon arrival to the country.
What else should I bring to Costa Rica?
This really depends on what you plan on doing. We always suggest the following when coming down here:
- Ample Sunscreen (the “Sports” versions are better because you won’t sweat them out)
- Insect Repellant (we are in the tropics, and we do have mosquitoes)
- A pair of tennis shoes (great for hiking, zip-lining, or other adventurous activities)
- A pair of sandals or water shoes (great for when you are walking around town)
- A hat and a pair of sunglasses (the sun does get pretty bright down here)
- A swimsuit (we hope this one is a no-brainer)
- A light pancho or water-proof jacket (if you are travelling into the mountains, there’s a reason they call it the “RAIN”forest)
- A laptop or I-pad are optional (we have two free, internet connected computers so you can still get your facebook fix)
- A camera (the water-proof / water resistant cameras are better, once again “RAIN”forest)
- Your Passport (there are some rumors that you can travel to certain countries without it… Costa Rica is NOT one of these)
- Any other documentation you need to get back into your destination country (True Story: we had a Canadian Citizen with permanent residency in the United States forget her green card at home, the US would not allow her back into the country without it)
If I’m planning on a surf vacation, should I bring my own board?
Unless you are one of those surfers who are more attached to their board than their girlfriend, we suggest you unstrap that umbilical cord of a leash and save yourself the hassle (and the cash) of bringing down your own board. Nowadays, the airlines will charge you $50-$150 per board each way, so it makes a lot of sense to rent a board down here for a week (weekly board rentals generally run you about $100). If you are one our awesome return customers, we also offer you free board storage so you can bring down your board and store it with us for next year’s excursion.
How much should I tip?
Tips are optional, at the discretion of guests. All restaurants and bars, automatically include a 10% gratuity in your bill, so calculate your final cash tip accordingly.
What is the weather like?
Tamarindo’s weather is fairly consistent year to year. Of all the zones in the country, our area has the highest count of sunny days per year and has one the country’s lowest rain falls. An average day’s temperature hovers at about 26°C (86°F) in the shade and around to 32°C (94°F) in the direct sun. Don’t worry about heavier clothes, because, even with our refreshing evening breeze, you will not end up needing a jacket. Our “rainy” season generally consists of sun all morning until about 2:00 in the afternoon, when we get about an hour or two of rain. The rain generally clears up for sunset, and stays refreshing until the end of the evening.
What kind of electricity does the hotel have?
110V with standard North American outlets.
Do you have Internet connections in the hotel?
The hotel has wireless connection service in every room and in all public areas.
Does the hotel have laundry service?
Yes. Each guest room has a bag for guests to use for their dirty laundry. Simply bring the bag to the front desk between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and clean laundry will be returned to you in 24 hours. The charge can be applied to the room.
What is the water quality in Tamarindo?
Most of the public water in Costa Rica is potable. The BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas is connected directly to Tamarindo’s public water system, so by law, our water must be potable. With that being said, you must always be aware of locations that do not have a public water connection. This especially applies to some of Costa Rica’s more remote locations, because they depend on their own private well systems for water. Sometimes these water systems are not properly treated or maintained, so as a golden rule, when in doubt, drink bottled water.
What is the availability of medical attention?
Tamarindo has a number of both private and public medical centers. The town also includes 4 pharmacies and an emergency response service, just in case.