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Costa Rica in last week of July - Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo?

Costa Rica in last week of July - Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo?

Old May 20th, 2021, 08:30 AM
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Costa Rica in last week of July - Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo?

Hi all,
We are visiting Costa Rica week of July 20th for a week and a half and heard we might get lucky with a break in the rain for a few days. We are spending 3 days at Arenal and then heading to the beach. Manuel Antonio seems more "Costa Rican" than Tamarindo, which also looks beautiful, but we're told Tamarindo might have better weather this time of year.

We have 5 "beach days" so theoretically could pop in the car up to Tamarindo if the weather is depressing in MA. We are two easy travelers and will likely book a hotel in both locations and cancel one once we get closer to the date. We want a little culture, maybe a day of sightseeing, and then mostly just to chill at the beach, maybe an evening or two out on the town.

We're fully vaccinated if it makes any difference.

So what say you, should we try for good weather in MA, or just head to Tamarindo? Thanks in advance.
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Old May 23rd, 2021, 07:53 AM
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Well, neither has much in the way of "culture" whatever that is. Tamarindo is definitely drier but the water is rougher. However if you are just beach walking/sitting that wouldn't be a factor. Swimming off of Manuel Antonio should be possible some mornings even in wet season, it is likely to rain most days but usually not all day every day . I would decide based on how nice a place you can get for your budget, including is there a view from a covered patio? Much of the hotel stock in MA is not on the beach. You might get a view from the ridgeline.
As far as meals, Costa Rican food is pretty simple. The best food I had was at hotels with included dining options and even that wasn't fantastic. Or buying my own fish and cooking. The pineapples are the best!

If you decided on Tamarindo is it an option to fly out of Liberia? That might tip me in favor of T.

Last edited by mlgb; May 23rd, 2021 at 07:57 AM.
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Old May 23rd, 2021, 10:25 AM
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I really like Manuel Antonio - it has good open air restaurants, gorgeous views, and lots of wildlife like monkeys and sloths. In July they have what they call the little summer, and you sometimes get a break in the rain. We've been in July and just got afternoon rains, but it is unpredictable. Both Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo are pretty Americanized. Lots of people call Tamarindo Tamagringo. Tamarindo will have more surf culture, party atmosphere than MA. We like Tulemar Bungalows if you decide on Manuel Antonio.
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