10 Facts About Life in Tamarindo
John Travolta’s character in Pulp Fiction said it best: “It's the little differences.” That’s true. The world has shrunk. You can get your clothes laundered, buy an IPhone, and order a “Quarter Pounder” from McDonald’s just about anywhere. Most things that once made the corners of the world unique have receded into kitschy shops where souvenirs are sold. It seems you have to hunt for culture these days.
This got us thinking… how is Costa Rica different? Sure, volcanoes, sloths, monkeys, and huge exotic birds… but how ‘bout everyday life? Here’s a quick list of ten-ways life in Tamarindo, Costa Rica is different.
1. You will slow down. “Manana” does not mean “tomorrow. Usually it means “not today.” In general, everything takes a little longer. This might sound bad. It's not. Costa Rica will force you to slow down. Once you get used to it you’ll wonder what was all the rushing about?
2. Mornings are for exercise. Even during the green season, the days start with sunshine most days. For this reason, most are in the habit of getting after the morning, just in case of rain.
3. Produce is cheap. It can be purchased for a fraction of what you pay at home. Processed food, however, is not cheap. Again, Costa Rica will steer you towards a healthier lifestyle. (There's no McDonald's in Tamarindo.)
4. Best to eat off the street. Well, not literally. Residents of Costa Rica know the best deals are from street vendors, including really good honey. For $25.00 you can fill your fridge with a week of fruits and veggies.
5. Rent is cheap. Average rent in Los Angeles, CA: $3000 per month. Tamarindo? $1000-1500. You can spend more, sure, but if you just want a place to stay while you build your dream home, you can do it cheap.
6. There are about 12-hours of daylight. Every day. This close to the equator the sunset and sunrise don't shift much. Days end around 5:30 pm with an awesome sunset, and most residents make a point to watch as many of them as possible.
7. You could see whales. There are two Humpback Whale migration seasons: December through March you can see them headed south, and August through October they go north.
8. The “day” starts at sunrise: 6:00 am. It’s against the law to make disruptive noise before 6:00 am. Don't be surprised to hear the egg-truck clambering down your street at 5:59 am. With only 12-hours of sunlight, you’ll be grateful for the wake-up.
9. People smile and say “hola.” Where most of us come from people keep their heads down to dodge unwanted attention. In Costa Rica, not acknowledging a passerby is downright rude. It’s okay... You can be friendly.
10. Coffee pours from the faucet. Practically. The culture of coffee is so strong that Seattle called to complain. Kidding. That said, it is very common to drink coffee all day, or at least make a fresh pot around 3:00 pm. It’s so good we dare you to turn down another cup.
Of course we could probably list 100-ways Tamarindo is different. True, it is unique, but in many ways similar. And why not? Tamarindo is mutlicultural and Costa Rica is an international country: diverse, and home to many foreign businesses. It’s come a long way from its humble heritage as the banana factory for the world. Oh, you can still find banana farms, but you can also find your McDonald’s “Quarter Pounder with cheese,” or “Cuarto con queso.” Not bad for a country that uses the metric system.
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While my computer is still running here, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for your help during our stay.
When we first came to your office, we were in dire straights and in desperate need of assistance. Andrea was extremely compassionate, spoke with candor, and had a "can do attitude" that was of immense help.
In addition, Andrea has put us in contact with Steve, with whom we are working, preparing to view a little property that might be just what we are looking for at this particular time.
In addition, having gotten to know Andrea personally as well as professionally has been our great pleasure. I wanted to let you know what a tremendous asset she is to your company. She is a great treasure -- a one in a million.
We had so much fun at Buena Vista. Thanks for arranging that with Memo.
I also want to say many thanks for all that you have done. We have enjoyed Costa Rica and I have found you so helpful with everything and a pleasure to deal with that it was a very stress free vacation. When I do come back here hopefully you will still be doing what what you do.
Our last couple of days will be spent enjoying the sunshine and eating at great restaurants. Sincerely,
Laurel and Tony,
The both of you were fantastic with us throughout the property search and purchase process. As we had mentioned, two other attempts to find thorough, attentive, responsive agents to work with in Tamarindo were failures. I expect that we are more work to deal with than many others as we asked a lot of thorough and analytical questions and expected responses to all of them. You two never failed to deliver. The organization and execution of our condo shopping trip in January was excellent and the fact that you two devoted 2 full days to us, around our schedule, to get this deal done was key to our success. The selection of properties that Laurel planned out, including a few places above and below our target zone helped us to refine our interests. We truly appreciated your interest in our success. This could easily have been very stressful for us, and yet, it wasn’t. Thank you very much.
As a side note, when we walked into the Coldwell Banker office randomly with no appointment in November had we not found your office staff patient and accommodating from the start we would have simply walked on to the next agency. Your staff deserves special mention for getting us interested in the agency to begin with.
We will give you some advance notice before we make our first trip down so that we can plan to get together for lunch or dinner. We are tentatively planning on somewhere in the last 2 weeks of May, as soon as our son gets out of school for the summer.
We are- UNHAPPILY- home safe. Would much rather be back in Tamarindo. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING you did to make our stay a joy ! We look very much forward to seeing you on our next trip to Costa Rica. PURA VIDA !