Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo

Old Jan 10th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo

If you had to pick Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo for the beach, which would it be? We are also going to the Osa Peninsula for the rain forest.
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 08:26 PM
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Depends on what you are looking for. Manuel Antonio has a lot of different things to offer where Tamarindo is more of just a surfer, beach area. Playa Hermosa just up the road from Tamarindo would be IMO a better choice for that area for pretty beaches. There are some very fancy, expensive places in the Tamarindo area and it is very nice but Manuel Antonio would be my choice for a more interesting place that would have something for everyone (except surfers, that is up the road in Jaco). There is also an airport in Quepos which could get you to the Osa rather than having to go back into San Jose. Tamarindo and other Guanacaste beaches are more difficult to get to and a lot further away.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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Yes, Tamarindo is a surfer town, somewhat chaotic with many souvenir vendors and inadequate parking, but the 4 kilometer white sand beach of Tamarindo is truly special. It has it all. At low tide you can explore the Indian Circles where the Indians used to trap fish by feeding them toxic manzanillo berries. Or you can bask in one of the many crystal clear tide pools. The kids love to check out all the little fish ponds left behind on the rocks. At high tide there is surf in several spots along the beach, some waves best for the avid surfer, others perfect for boogie boarding. Shoreline fishing is great fun, just go where you see the pelicans diving or the local kids throwing their handlines. At the estuary mouth is a strong current, but the rest of the beach is very swim-able as there is lots of beach with no rocks. At the end of the day the Tamarindo sunset is always stunning as the whole sky lights up in purple and orange. Whenever I get grumpy (yes even people in paradise can get grumpy) I head to the beach and come to my senses quickly.

BTW Tamarindo has a national airport with 9 fights daily from San Jose. Liberia's international airport has 3 direct flights a week from Atlanta and is one hour away from Tamarindo. Grayline has an airconditioned shuttle bus to Tamarindo from San Jose daily.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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We want to drive from Tamarindo to the caves that are 22 km n. of Nicoya. How far and how difficult is the driving?
Old Jan 12th, 2003, 11:30 AM
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go for Manuel Antonio...been to Tamarindo and didn't like it near as much
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 10:33 PM
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hard to answer w/o knowing what you're looking for. but generally i'd say manuel antonio is prettier, more interesting, & has more beaches to choose from. tamarindo has a higher concentration of young people.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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One significant difference between the two areas that no one mentioned is the topography and location of hotels. If you are going "for the beach" you should definitely be aware of that.

In Tamarindo, you can stay at hotels that are directly on the beach. Manuel Antonio is a series of hills so most hotels are located away from the beach, on the hills, with no direct access to any beach (they do have stunning views however). In MA you have to take a shuttle, bus or taxi to the beach from most places, in Tamarindo the beach is right there, even hotels located inland are within walking distance of the beach.

Ilka's description of Tamarindo is very accurate and the sunsets are truly beautiful there.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 02:43 PM
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Very different places. To put it plainly I suggest that if you are a beer drinker you want Tamarindo. If you want eco tour,fine dining and wine drinking go to MA!
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