Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Mexico & Central America (
-   -   Where in Guanacaste? (

scottm880 Feb 18th, 2006 09:36 AM

Where in Guanacaste?
My wife and I are driving to Guanacaste after a 3 night stay at the Arenal volcano. Any advice on where to stay? We are a young couple looking for a lot of activities during the day and good food at night. We do not surf, but we plan on snorkeling at least once. We were thinking of Playa Grande or Tamarindo but welcome any and all advice on other towns that would be fun. My only worry about Playa Grande comes from the fact that people say not to drive after there enough to do in Playa Grande after 5:30 to spend 4 nights there? Thanks - Scott

shillmac Feb 18th, 2006 09:43 AM

Hi Scott,
I know what people say, and it is probably best not to drive after dark. Once you are accustomed to the road conditions and who and what you may find sharing the road (or sides of the road) with you, you can probably not worry too much about venturing out after dark. We do it with caution in areas that we know well.

Probably for what you are describing, the Tamarindo area would be best. You get a full range of nice beach locations within 30 minutes, up to Playa Conchal, Playa Brasilito, Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero, Playa Penca (if I said it right, always confuse it), Playa Pan de Azucar (Sugar Beach). And, of course, as you said, Playa Grande.

There's also Playa Negra and Playa Avenellas nearby. Lots of great area to explore. . .excellent food in several restaurants up and down this area. In Tamarindo, I'm not up on the latest good restaurants, but know there are many. Brasilito, you must try Camaron Dorado on the beach. Flamingo, Marie's rotisserie chicken is great and the shakes! There is also a Stella's restaurant in both Tam and Flam. . .excellent food.

Have a great time!

scottm880 Feb 19th, 2006 12:42 AM

Shillmac - Thanks for the tips! We have decided to stay in Tamarindo... just outside of town.

The food tips are especially appreciated. We're trying to find a cooking class, but haven't found any reasonably priced ones yet. Again, Thanks!

shillmac Feb 19th, 2006 05:13 AM

If you do get out and explore north of Tamarindo, and up to "the end of the road" at Flamingo, take the dirt road toward Playa Potrero just outside of Flamingo "proper", just before the curve. There is a little bakery and sandwich shop that is very good. It will be on your right as you travel toward Potrero, and caty-cornered across from Bahia Potrero hotel.

In Playa Brasilito (it's such a funky little town and you can walk down the beach about 5 minutes--or drive--to Playa Conchal), you can also try The Happy Snapper or Perro Plano. As for Conchal, it is one of the prettiest beaches in Costa Rica, but the Paradisus Playa Conchal all-inclusive hotel makes it impossible to access that great beach without walking up from Brasilito.

I hope you and your wife have a great time. You are staying in a couple of great areas. Are you flying in and out of Liberia?

guanacaste Feb 19th, 2006 09:54 AM

try &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt; <b> PLAYA HERMOSA</b> &lt;/a&gt; or my favourite &lt;a href=&quot;;&gt; <b> PLAYA OCOTAL</b> &lt;/a&gt; both are less than 30mins drive from Liberia aIRPORT.
&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt; <b> PLAYAS DEL COCO</b> &lt;/a&gt; has good inexpensive hotels and is a good base for the above beaches but it's a fishing village so the sea isn't great for swimming

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:18 AM.