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amyv Jan 20th, 2004 11:37 AM

Tamarindo Beach Polluted
I just read some very disturbing information on the message board. They say that horses ride up and down the beach and leave their "droppings" all over. This in turn has caused the water to have a high fecal bacteria content. It was not recommended for swimming in. My husband and I will be staying at El Diria next week and picked that hotel because it was right on the beach. Now we have to travel to another beach to swim and surf??? How far do we have to go to find a decent beach??

Iza Jan 20th, 2004 01:15 PM

I am not surprised to hear that - last time we visited Tamarindo I decided not to recommend it anymore as a good destination. It has become way too overdeveloped.
If you have a car, go to Playa Conchal and Playa Flamingo about 20 minutes north of Tamarindo. Both are beautiful and worth visiting. The roads are in good shape in that area. Playa Conchal is a good swimming beach and has some decent snorkeling as well. There are also some beautiful beaches south of Tamarindo but they are difficult to get to (Avellana and Negra). When you are in town ask if there is a boat service to those beaches that you could take (this would be much preferable over driving there, the roads are really bad). I read in the local paper in August of last year that someone just started that service.

Good luck!

Cakes Jan 20th, 2004 04:30 PM

When I was in Tamarindo a few years ago I did see a few horse on the beach, so I am not surprised either. And personally I was not too fond of the beach there, only because the rip currents can be pretty bad so swimming can be tricky. But the sunsets are amazing and the "town" of Tamarindo is pretty cool.

I am currently planning my fourth trip to CR and we've decided to stay in Samara. I have been doing some research and Samara, Nosara and Playa Carillo are blue flag beaches, meaning they are considered to be very clean. That being said, I wouldn't cancel if you are going to be penalized. Tamarindo has it's advantages and is a pretty spot. I don't know if you are renting a car, but like Iza said you could always drive to some other beaches if you are really concerned about the water in Tamarindo.

I hope you have a great trip!

dncee11 Jan 20th, 2004 06:10 PM

Another alternative to Tamarindo is just north across the estuary (but a 15 min drive) to Playa Grande which is roughly the beach between the hotels Villa Baula (most recommended) and the Tortuga, a distance of about a mile. There are numeous private residences scattered between these two hotels, many of which are for rent at times. There are 1 or 2 stores on the way in also. Playa Grande is an ocean-going turtle nesting ground for about 1-2 months during the year, I believe in the fall. Beautiful beach with some nice waves for surfing near the estuary outfall. At the right tide, you could easily swim from Tamarindo to Playa Grande. Good luck; we were at Tamarindo in 2001 and yes, there were several guys renting horses but the water seemed fine to us.

KatieS Jan 20th, 2004 10:52 PM

I'm so glad someone posted this information - it would have been extremely helpful to me before I went to Tamarindo. I just returned from my trip and spent 4 days in Tamarindo (at Hotel Pasatiempo). I went there mostly due to the rave reviews given to the town, the beach and especially the surf.

We arrived in Tamarindo at 3pm and headed straight for the beach, where we had to dodge zillions of horses trampling up and down the beach (my guess was for sunset rides). Horse droppings were everywhere, so much so that we dubbed the beach "Horse S*** Beach." To make matters worse, there is a swift wind that blows sands and the lovely smell of droppings all around.

Although Tamarindo is highly disappointing, the other beaches are fantastic. We went to Playa Langosta, which was a 20 minute walk (walking back during high tide involved crossing a rushing river, which was a small puddle in low tide) and to Playa Grande, which has been described already. Both were gorgeous. Playa Grande can be accessed by water taxi from Tamarindo and Playa Langosta can be reached on foot.

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