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One of the most common questions we get from visiting families is this: what are the must-do tours and activities in the Tamarindo area? Here’s our list of ideas for things to do with kids in Costa Rica.
Monkey Watching & Tamarindo Estuary Tour
The Tamarindo estuary tour is one of the most amazing (and affordable) tours in Guanacaste. It’s also one of the best places to see monkeys, crocodiles and mangrove birds. These guided motorboat tours through the estuary lasts between 1.5-2 hours. It is super relaxing, and the perfect activity for kids and wildlife lovers of all ages. Did I mention you’re practically guaranteed to see monkeys?
Ziplining & ATV tour combo
Ziplining in Costa Rica is legendary. Although may look dangerous, believe it or not it’s a safe and easy activity for kids, parents and even grandparents. How old do you have to be to zipline in Costa Rica? Well, official ages vary from company to company, but a general rule of thumb is that if you can walk and fit into a harness than you can zipline. I know people as young as 4 and as old as 90 who have strapped themselves in and gone for a ride. Combine this with an exhilarating ATV ride along Costa Rica’s beautiful back roads for an unforgettable family adventure.
Playa Grande Sea Turtle Nesting
Try your luck at witnessing an endangered leatherback sea turtle nest at Las Baulas National Marine Park in Playa Grande. This long stretch of beach just north of Tamarindo is one of the most important nesting areas in the world for this prehistoric-looking reptile. Leatherbacks are the largest sea turtles on the planet (they can be as big and heavy as a car!) and they nest here between the months of November to April.
Get your surf on with a professional lesson. Not only will an instructor take you to the best place depending on the time of day and tide, but you and the kids will get up on the board about 100x faster than if you tried to figure it out yourself.
Catamaran Sunset Tour
No Guanacaste beach vacation is complete without at catamaran sunset sailing tour. You’ll leave in the afternoon and go sailing, snorkeling and even kayaking if you’re so inclined. Unlimited booze is usually included for the parents, as well as snacks for the kids. Sometimes you’ll see dolphins or sea turtles depending on the season. It’s super fun.
Tamarindo Family Photos
The best way to remember your Costa Rica vacation is with professional photographs. Book an hour-long sunset session with Tamarindo Family Photos to get lots of candid, happy pictures of everyone tan and happy and having fun at the beach.
Mini Golf & Baula’s Pizza
Right in Tamarindo’s town center you’ll find a mini golf course right next to the most popular pizza joint in town. Go for a round of mini golf and then stuff your hungry kids’ faces with pizza at La Baula. At night, they usually have fire dancers that show up sometime between 7pm-9pm.
Kayaking is incredibly fun and relatively inexpensive. You can hire a guide to show you around, or just paddle around the bay and check out the island. Kayaking is also fantastic in Playa Flamingo and Playa Conchal.
*Full disclosure: the author of this blog is also the owner of Tamarindo Family Photos. I may be biased, but a family photo session is one of the best things to do in Tamarindo!