It was about a 120 miles drive from Arenal to Tamarindo Beach, took about 4 hrs with a short detour in the town in Liberia. Not much to see there, but if you are only going to Tamarindo Beach you can fly there directly and save several hours driving. Good beach town, more on the younger crowd with a lot of cheap bars/restaurants. Since we aren’t the younger crowd, we ate pretty good with the highlight being an Argentinian steakhouse – Patagonia Argentinian Grill. Our AirBNB was in a better location than advertised – once we found the path about 2 minutes from the beach. And to top it off, beach clubs were free, just had to eat and drink to sit under a palm tree. Decent waves for body boarding – long ride and you don’t crash on your head. We had a couple of relaxing days, sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon.
One afternoon we drove north along the coast to Playa Flamingo – a peninsula with several resorts, including Margaritaville. We found a place that had just been refurbished to grab a snack and wait out a rain storm – Paradise Hotel. It had just been refurbished and we were pretty much the only people on their covered deck. The waitress suggested we also visit Las Catalinas another 20 minutes north – we did and found it was a Italian version of the Kentlands on the beach – and with a little research found it had one of the same architects.
On our last day, a lot of administration, COVID test, get laundry without a ticket, and a 6 hr drive back to San Jose. As part of the 6 hr drive, we had a ferry ride, nice break from the slow driving.