What to do, what to do in Tamarindo? Tamarindo attracts all types of tourists, especially surfers from all around the world. BUT, before I divulge the local tips on surfing in Tamarindo, let’s talk about Mother Nature. One of the best ways to see Costa Rican wildlife in Tamarindo up front and center is in the Tamarindo Estuary.
The Northern part of Tamarindo starts at the Tamarindo Estuary. This 1,200 acre mangrove estuary is part of one of many Costa Rican national parks. (Fast Fact: 25% of Costa Rica’s landmass is protected land and in total there are 26 national parks.) The Tamarindo Estuary is home to five different type of mangroves.
Its winding canals are home to ospreys, herons and kingfishers in addition to howler monkeys and coatimundis…the Estuary’s most renowned and mysterious creature is the American Crocodile, which can reach up to 10-feet (3 m.) in length and weigh between 40 and 500 pounds (18 and 226 kg.). The mangroves provide a safe spawning site for many fish and other marine animals. Trees include the acacia, carob, mahogany, Tamarindo and Guanacaste.
There are several options to tour through this beautiful wildlife habitat: small panga boat, SUP, or kayaking. Interestingly enough, it only took me two and a half years to do a boat tour through Tamarindo’s Estuary! Your hotel or any local tour operator in town can help arrange a tour, or you can directly book a panga tour right on the beach where the Estuary starts (cost is about $20-$30 a person and tour lasts ~2-3 hours).