Tacos in touristy Tamarindo

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After a 16 hour flight, I finally landed in Costa Rica. This country has been on my bucket list for years, and I am beyond excited to be here. I am on a one month journey around this green, wild, exotic, paradise of a country. Right now it is high season in Costa Rica and the climate is hot and dry. My plan for this month is to travel down the westcoast, starting off in the Nicoya Peninsula.

As I am writing this my first week has come to an end. During this week I have made my way from Liberia Airport to Tamarindo.

Tamarindo is Costa Ricas top surf and party destination, welcoming backpackers and holiday tourists from all over the world. It is the most developed beach on the Nicoya Peninsula with plenty of shops, restaurants, hostels, bars and five star hotels.

The beach in Tamarindo is long, wide and beautiful. Here you will find surfers, families and Ticos(locals) enjoying the sun and the warm, turquoise water. Like most touristy beaches you will also find sunbeds, umbrellas and people selling various items on the beach. The beach is perfect for anyone who would like to learn to surf. With small, mellow waves and warm water you can learn to pop up with or without help from the many surf schools in town.

The amazing thing about Tamarindo, besides the colourful sunsets you will see every night, is the delicious food. I did not know that I was going to experience food like this in a small surftown in Costa Rica. Being vegetarian, it is sometimes difficult to find good food when traveling. This was certainly not the case in Tamarindo. I followed my lonely planet guidebook of Costa Rica and went to a restaurant they recommended called Green Papaya. This hidden gem is tucked away from the main street, and not the easiest to find. But make sure you look for it, because the tacos and tortillas they serve will blow your mind! If you are feeling thirsty, try their homemade lemonade.

My next meal turned out to be even better. Following my LP book I went to Falafel Bar. This little middle eastern bar/cafe served the best falafel I have ever had. I also tried their delicious homemade hummus and Pita bread roasted in garlic. The owner is super friendly and the vibe is chill.

In a country like Costa Rica, wildlife surrounds you and is present everywhere. Waking up in the morning to the sound of monkeys. Watching and listening to the amazing varieties of birds. Squirrels playing and jumping from tree to tree and huge lizards sprinting through the grass and scaring the tourists after dark. I am blown away by the number and variety of animals, even in a touristy place like Tamarindo. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this country has to offer.

For a first-timer to central America, Tamarindo was a great way to start off, but as I moved further south I realized that this peninsula and this country has much more to offer. To me Tamarindo felt like a lesser developed Kuta Beach, a little too touristy and missing the local charm that I have been reading so much about.

Do: Buy a coconut on the beach, helps you hydrate and tastes damn good!
Rent a big surfboard and have fun in the warm water.
Eat at Green Papaya or Falafel Bar.
Watch the sunset while having a drink at one of the restaurants on the
beach.