On the Mirror’s Edge | The Tamarindo Almanac
Real Estate Update
9 Fun Favorites for High Season
Designed for Perfect Moments
Tamarindo for the Holidays | We ? Tama
On the Mirror’s Edge | The Tamarindo Almanac
“When you stare at the sea, what do you feel? What swells up from your heart and fills your body to the very tips of your fingers? Because whatever it is that washes over your body, mind, and soul when you stare out at the wave, that’s what surfing will give you.”
— Juan, Lifelong Surfer
Tamarindo is — by almost any definition, stretch of the imagination, or opinion — a surfing destination. Between Playa Tamarindo, for which the town is named, and the nearby Playa Grande just a panga ride away, there are surfable waves within walking distance most days of the year. A glance along the beach, at the many surfers preparing, retiring from, or actively surfing, as well as a glance at the many, many surf shops and surf-themed bars along the strip are only further confirmation of an inarguable truth — we surf here.
And that simple statement — that we surf — is about as much as you’ll ever get two surfers to agree upon. You might not even get them to both agree that they are surfers, outside of the fact that — at one point in their life, they’ve wanted to, or tried to, or have, caught a wave on a big piece of plastic, wood, or fiberglass.
Some people would call Tamarindo a world-class surfing destination. Within a few hours drive (or boat ride) you can reach more than a dozen unique surf breaks, including iconic breaks like Roca Bruja (Witch’s Rock), whose name has worldwide recognition thanks to movies like The Endless Summer 2.
And yet for every loyal disciple of the waves of Guanacaste, you’ll find countless more who swear by the shores of South Africa, and Hawaii, of Indonesia and France, of Patagonia and Scotland and a thousand more from pole to pole, east-to-west, and every time zone, language, nation, and culture that has a coast.
They say you should never try to be all things to all people. But the ocean can be, and when it comes to surfing, oftentimes it is.
Just out on Playa Tamarindo, you could watch the waterline and see the dawn chasers sneaking in a few rounds before work, and then the morning surf lessons for students and visitors and anyone who can get out when the tide’s just right.
From the shade of the shore you could track the bold lunch surfers out in the heat of the day taking a break from the hustle and bustle, or the growing crowd out for afternoon and sunset, milking every last drop of evening light, and every last wave the day has to offer.
And every day, every hour, the tides, the breeze, and the whims of the ocean bring something different, from half-foot starter waves to the rare one-and-a-half overhead on the biggest days.
No one could call Tamarindo the perfect surfing destination. If you’re searching for massive big-wave surfing like the North Shore of Hawaii and the legendary Teahupo’o, or the everlasting longboard breaks like those in Malibu, Bali, Lafiténia, the waves here might leave you wanting.
But no one could call any surfing destination perfect, and for thousands and thousands, these waves — the ones in Tamarindo, and Playa Grande, and all around Guanacaste — are the best in the world, and they will bear no argument.
Ask every surfer why they surf, and you’ll fill a library of books that will never be complete. It would be a fool’s errand anyway, because if you ask them again a little while later the answer probably changed anyway.
After all, why do we live? Because of the fun, or the camaraderie? Because of the excitement and uncertainty? The challenge of growing more skilled, the joy of discovering something new, the ecstasy of chasing that perfect moment? To travel, for our health, to pass something on, or just fill the minutes until we die?
Because life is simply there to be lived?
To try to distill the heart of surfing, that essence that drives them out onto the waves, can be a fool’s errand. Yes, there are stereotypes and bars and fashion, and lifestyle brands and competitions and TV shows and countless websites and blogs and YouTube channels who all offer their own piece of what it means to surf.
And we can describe moments, yes. The first wave on a clear glassy morning. The last wave before the light fades beneath the horizon. The victorious peace after battling through a set to the break, and settling into the cool, welcoming water. The laid-back tension chatting just outside of the break with friends — impromptu or otherwise — while you wait for the next one. The burst of exertion, the point of no return, the crash of failure, and that incredible, never-old moment where all is right on the top of the wave.
But even those incredible moments could only capture a sliver of what it truly means to surf, and an even smaller sliver still of what surfing means to those who venture onto the waves.
In your mind right now, you probably have a stereotypical surfer. Maybe they’re a sun-baked Hawaiian with long hair, or a Costa Rican with a twisted grin, or a sporty Francais so beautiful as to be unapproachable.
These archetypes, no matter how accurate they may or may not be, don’t capture the full picture. There is something that unites them with every learner who has flopped out on a beginner’s board, with every pro who has ever lifted high the trophies of competition, with every daredevil who has challenged the (maybe) hundred foot waves of Nazare and the open ocean.
What unites them all is a single moment, gazing out towards the ocean, eyes on the horizon.
Searching for something.
When you sit there in the waves, what you search for in each cresting whitecap — no matter the size or direction or backdrop or circumstance — is as personal as looking into a mirror, one that shows you the depths of your body, your mind, and your soul.
And in that brief moment as you turn back towards the shore… before you’ve paddled with all of your might, before you’ve risen and fallen, tried and failed, or captured that intangible ecstasy of riding another wave…
But in that moment where you turn from the ocean, where you turn away from searching every wave, to come alive and try to ride that magical mirror’s edge… that’s when you find it.
Whatever it is.
In Full Swing Ahead of the High Season!
The holidays are upon us, which to Costa Rica means the start of the busiest season for both tourism and real estate. Clear skies, warm temperatures, and no rain for months at a time acts like a beacon to visitors from colder parts of the world, and as the desire to be in Guanacaste skyrockets, so too does the desire to live here.
Based on the trends both in Costa Rican tourism and Costa Rican real estate, we’re expecting a high season like never before, and as we took a moment to celebrate the holidays with our team a few nights ago, we couldn’t feel luckier.
Helping bring dream homes to life truly takes a full team, and we’re thankful both for the wonderful people we get to work with as well as the inspired homeowners who we get to guide through the homebuilding process.
Looking forward to what the months ahead bring!
Gearing Up for a Busy High Season
As we mentioned briefly above, Costa Rica’s tourism industry typically reaches its peak between December and April, and the numbers for this year look even more promising for people in Tamarindo.
We’ve been tracking the continued growth of travel to Guanacaste throughout this year as it’s rebounded to — and then surpassed — pre-pandemic levels, and based on numbers for November and projections for the next few months, we’re expecting even more of an increase to come!
This matches with some of the buzz we’ve been hearing surrounding Costa Rica. National Geographic listed the country as a top destination for the coming year, travel has been growing fiercely in outdoor-focused destinations, and reasonable entry requirements into the country make Costa Rica a premier option for visitors.
And Homebuilding Going Strong in Senderos!
To start, we have a new design to share — “Where Dreams Take Flight”, by Scott Woods and his team at Tropical Studios.
“Premium Skyline Horizon.” That’s what we asked Scott and his team to design, and they delivered a home that elevates coastal living to the next level.
The whole listing for this 6 bedroom, 8 bathroom dream is available on our website, and it truly has to be seen to be believed!
And there’s progress moving on apart from new designs. On the front end of the design-build process, we have new homesite listings available for lot 17-E (“Above it All”), lot 19-E (“High Above It All”), and 23-E (“Mountain Views and Valley Views All Day Long”).
Elsewhere in the project we are underway on homes 3-E, 15-B and 3-D,, which seem to have a new facet every day. Below are quick takes from the beginning of December.
In addition, we getting close to delivering our first homes! We are working closely with owners and architects to finalize finishes and prepping punchlists on homes on 5-A and 2-B.
Hoping to Welcome You Too
Take a walk around Senderos and you’ll see the aforementioned few homes in the thick of construction, along with the continued progress of infrastructure teams as they begin to bring the roads, lighting, and utilities of Phase 2 to life.
And for our sales team, a flurry of site visits, inquiries, and scheduled visits speak to a busy, busy high season. Along with a big wave of closings and home-starts earlier this month, we’re hearing from our friends around the area much of the same — Tamarindo real estate is going to be hopping this high season, and we hope you can be a part of it.
If you’d like to learn more about Senderos, including where to find us, how to visit, and how to bring your dream home to life with us, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 Tama Favorites Ahead of the High Season
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: there’s no bad time to be in Guanacaste. But when it comes to wondering which part of the year most closely resembles the classic ideas of paradise — well, the high season from November to April just about does the trick.
There’s a reason the town is always full these few months, and if you’re coming to visit soon or planning your grand escape from colder weather when January rolls around, we’ve put together 9 of our favorite things about enjoying the high season.
Walking the Streets of Tama
Town curls along the shore of the Tamarindo estuary and then hugs the soft sandy beach of the eponymous Playa Tamarindo, and the first of our favorites is to simply stroll along the sidewalk enjoying what Tama has to offer.
Colorful street stalls, inviting restaurants and beachside bars, and the ebb and flow of beachgoers all contribute to a vibrant, lively atmosphere every time you take a walk in Tama.
Try Your Hand at Surfing
As we explain later in this month’s newsletter, Tamarindo is an excellent surfing destination, with dozens of breaks within a short drive, including some iconic spots known around the world. But before you’re ready to brave the overheads at the primal Roca Bruja and Ollie’s Point, you’ll find a break for all ages and skill levels right off of the beach in Playa Tamarindo.
Surf schools abound for those looking for lessons, but with most board rentals costing a few colones less than $10 a day, it can be just as tempting to grab a board, paddle out into the surf, and try your hand at learning by doing.
And for the more experienced surfer, the swells get a bit bigger across the estuary on Playa Grande, which is just a hop, skip, and a rojo (the price for a panga ride) away.
Play a Round at the Local Golf Courses
Beautiful clear skies, luscious green courses, the afternoon ocean as a backdrop, and all capped off by a tasty beverage by the pool or the beach — need we say more?
And with a pair of award-winning courses just a short drive away from downtown Tama at Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal, you’ve got plenty of greens to aim for during Costa Rica’s rainless season.
Experience the Wild World On Our Doorstep
The vast rolling greens that you see from your terrace in Senderos isn’t just a backdrop, it’s part of the incredibly vibrant and diverse natural world that surrounds us, including Las Baulas National Park, the Tamarindo Estuary watershed, and thousands of acres of protected and rejuvenated forest.
Estuary tours, guided hikes, turtle nesting viewing, and even just getting out to explore are all a blast during this time of year, and as the foliage slowly thins over the course of the season you have a chance to see some magnificent wildlife in full view.
Kick Back on a Catamaran Cruise
A big theme while spending time in Tamarindo is that for every adventure in the heart of Costa Rica’s wild side, there’s some accompanying, well-earned rest and relaxation. And when it comes to enjoying an afternoon on the waves, we can wholeheartedly recommend a catamaran cruise.
One of our favorite providers is Playgrounds, whose state of the art vessel, excellent service, and fully stocked snack and drink bar combine to offer a home base aboard the waves like few others. Their morning and evening tours are both excellent adventures, but there’s something truly special about getting a premier, front row seat to Tamarindo’s legendary sunset over sea.
Explore the Local Markets
Tamarindo welcomes tourists at all times of the year, but what separates Costa Rican tourism from many beach destinations is the fact that these towns still have a grounded character.
Visiting the markets around town is a great way to understand that even though Tama constantly welcomes visitors from all around the world, there is still a strong, thriving local community.
Whether you’re at local ferias chatting with farmers from down the road while you pick up organic produce, buying fresh-caught fish straight off of the boat, perusing local art, or enjoying the snacks and street food of local markets, you get the unfiltered Costa Rican flavor.
Meet the Marine Life (However You Prefer)
For all the talk of Costa Rica’s vibrant tropical forests and iconic terrestrial wildlife like sloths and howler monkeys, the country’s incredible diversity of aquatic animals can be overlooked. But Guanacaste is quietly a great dive destination and is renowned worldwide for its excellent sport fishing.
So whether you prefer to get to know the local marine life behind a regulator and mask (at destinations like the Catalinas Islands, Bat Islands, or other local favorite dive spots) or behind a rod and reel, the ocean awaits!
Visit the Surrounding Beach Towns
If you ask us, Playa Tamarindo is one of the most beautiful, enjoyable towns on earth. There’s a reason we chose to live here! But when it comes to the many beautiful beach towns of Guanacaste, you can’t go wrong.
Almost every playa you visit in the surrounding area — whether it’s Avellanas, Negra, Brasilito, Flamingo, Piratas, or many more — has its own unique little town or community to explore. A day trip to the areas around Tamarindo reminds you exactly why so many have chosen to make Guanacaste their home.
Embrace the All-Important Pura Vida
In a recent newsletter, we explored the concept of Pura Vida, and what it means to live in Costa Rica. And while Pura Vida isn’t something you can chase after and capture, you can certainly find it during a beautiful day in the height of the Costa Rican high season.
Whether you’re lounging on a terrace reading a good book at midmorning, finding a great spot for a bit of local coffee, enjoying fresh fish and good conversation along the beachfront during the day, or just watching the colors change from anywhere you’ve got a breeze and a refreshment…
As long as you’re relishing every moment, you’re embracing Pura Vida!
Ready for a Visit?
There’s a lot to discover down here, and you can spend a lifetime exploring the world around us and never quite see it all. But if you’d like to get started embracing the lifestyle that has already drawn so many thousands to make their homes here, you can reach out to us at email@example.com. We do our best to point you in the right direction!
Hope to see you soon.
Designed for Perfect Moments
In the past, we’ve discussed how tropical architecture has to be adaptable and versatile, whether you’re talking about the design, the materials, or the user experience.
And it’s true! We believe a home should be just as enjoyable during an afternoon aguacero as during the first rays of dawn, or just as enjoyable during a high season sunset as a peaceful green season night.
But even though we tend to believe homes should fit all seasons and occasions, it wouldn’t do the designers or dreamers justice if we didn’t discuss some of the absolute ideal moments. Those occasions in which conditions, company, and comfort all come together to bring homes to their absolute zenith.
We’ll touch on just a few in this article.
The sunsets in Costa Rica can be hard to describe, even in pictures. They’re a time of incredible beauty, peace, and stillness, and maybe most incredibly every single one feels different. Sometimes you get burnt oranges, other times candy-like purples and pinks, other times vibrant blues and reds and greens, and sometimes you can even see all three in the same sky when the clouds are just right.
And while you can’t go wrong watching a sunset from the beach, or the bow of a boat, or the mountaintop trails, some homes are just built to perfectly embrace this magical time of day.
Expansive outdoor living space, panoramic windows, and unobstructed views are a great start, as are infinity pools and terrace dining. With homes like these, it can be hard to convince yourself you ever need to go anywhere else for sunset.
Tamarindo is known for being as exciting after dark as it is during the day, thanks to an excellent set of restaurants, bars, breweries, dance clubs, and other nightlife. It’s part of what makes Tamarindo such a hub compared to the very beautiful but slightly quieter neighboring towns.
And when you’re living in a town that everyone wants to visit, some homes truly embrace entertaining in the evening, with open-air living areas, luxurious outdoor dining rooms, and a combination of starlight and warm lighting that creates a rich, enjoyable atmosphere for any evening occasion.
High Season Home Base
There’s a lot to do in Tamarindo. Surfing, hiking, biking, beachtime, fishing, diving, sailing… and much much more. And on a vacation that’s full of life and activity, it’s always nice to have a place that’s just as enjoyable for a brief moment of solitude as for sharing lively afternoons by the pool.
The best family homes do both excellently, balancing a welcoming spot for everyone to hangout between adventures around Tama while also providing a quiet space to rest and relax while taking it easy. Add in the seamless blend of indoors and outdoors that is so characteristic of Senderos and Tamarindo architecture, and you have a perfect high season home base.
Peace and Quiet
And the final of these four perfect moments is the priceless peace and quiet you can find in the minutes in between. For those of us who live and work in Costa Rica, or split time between Tamarindo and other parts of the world, there’s something incredibly powerful about getting to step out on your terrace into the silent beauty of the natural world around you.
We live in an increasingly busy and interconnected world, and punctuating it with adventure is certainly a way to get away from the hum and drum of daily life. But when it comes to the healing, restorative power of doing absolutely nothing… well you can find it here too.
The key to these homes is careful consideration of personal and private spaces, of visual and sound distractions, of the surrounding nature. Whether it’s a private terrace, a pool to find some peace, or a pocket garden, everyone who lives here can point to a personal favorite spot in their home to take stock of the world and relax. And we couldn’t do that without carefully done design!
The Right Moment for You
Costa Rica is well-known for its biodiversity, but even more we like to think of this wonderful country as a place for an incredible diversity of experiences as well. We’ve touched on four here, but as each homeowner we’ve had the opportunity to work with will tell you — there are many more to embrace and emphasize.
If you’d like to see all that Tamarindo has to offer, we’d love to help, and we’re always here to help you turn those favorite moments of yours into the concept for a dream home. Just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tamarindo for the Holidays | We ? Tama
The holiday season is coming in Costa Rica. Most of the time, December is mostly notable as it’s the high season, when the breeze from the northeast ushers in 4-5 months of nonstop sunshine and perfect beach weather.
But even though December marks the start of what can seem like a 5-month summer vacation, and even though life in Costa Rica can seem a bit like an endless holiday, you can definitely see the arrival of some familiar holidays!
Tico Traditions for the Holidays
The biggest end of the year holiday in Costa Rica is Christmas, or Navidad, which has some differences from the North American Christmas some people might be familiar with. Stockings, candy canes, and snowmen are pretty much out the window — after all, it has never snowed in Guanacaste and likely never will.
Instead, the atmosphere combines a brightly colored festive atmosphere of dancing, good food, and parades with a few more traditional experiences based on the historical Catholic tradition.
Throughout the month, families will gather to cook tamales (wrapped in banana leaves in Costa Rica), to be eaten throughout the month, and festivities cultivate on Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena. Midnight mass, big traditional dinners with families, and gift exchanges all happen on Nochebuena in Costa Rica.
A Tropical Twist on Holiday Classics
But that doesn’t mean that santa hats and the arrival of old St. Nick haven’t made their way down to the Guancaste coast. They’ve just adapted to the tropical climate!
For example, you’re likely to spot surf-bars covered in Christmas lights, red-and-white swimsuits, antlers on an ATV, sandmen, and a Christmas-colored chiliguaro shot or margarita walking around Tama. Jackets and hot cocoa? Less likely.
Even the arrival of Santa has taken on a Costa Rican twist. For local celebrations, Santa tends to show up on a horseback, a jetski, or even via a paraglider — because there’s no reindeer or sleighs for thousands of miles!
And it’s not just Christmas that’s seen tropical adaptations. Tamarindo is home to people from dozens of different countries and countless different cultures, so whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the solstice, Chinese New Year, or any of the many other winter holidays, you’ve got a good chance of finding someone bringing it to life with a Costa Rican twist.
Hope to Share It With You
No matter what you’re celebrating — even if it’s just a break from work or an escape from the cold — we think you’ll enjoy it in Tamarindo. And if you have any questions about great places to celebrate, or how to make your holiday in Tamarindo a bit more permanent, reach out to us at email@example.com.