10 of the Best Hikes Near Tamarindo

One of the best things about living in Costa Rica, in the province of Guanacaste, and specifically, in the town of Tamarindo, is our outdoor lifestyle. From surfing and swimming to finding our favorite routes to sail and the best hikes near Tamarindo, we love to constantly discover new and wonderful reasons to appreciate our home.

When it comes to that last bit – the best hikes near Tamarindo, Costa Rica – it could take a lifetime to explore them all. That’s because Tamarindo and the Gold Coast are well known for their outdoor activities and, as such, a hiking lifestyle has subsequently developed.

And all that means that there’s an embarrassment of choice. From dirt backroads and planned communities with miles of groomed hiking trails to national parks and private waterfall properties, we have hundreds of miles and dozens of official trails that you could tackle. But hey, you have to start somewhere! And with that, we offer 10 good starting points for great hikes near Tamarindo.

Grouped in terms of difficulty (easy to difficult):

Walks Around Town

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Varied

Hiking near tamarindo

As far as hikes near Tamarindo are concerned, if you’re looking more to walk (rather than get into a hard hike), then you need look no further than your own backyard! Tamarindo’s downtown is dotted with a number of walking and hiking trails, which climb up to lookout points and then down to the beach.

Many of our area peaks offer panoramic ocean views that sweep from Playa Langosta north to Tamarindo, the Tamarindo Estuary, and Playa Grande. You can also find everything from community hiking paths to extensive hiking trails at Tamarindo-area communities, including Hacienda Pinilla, Tamarindo Park, Senderos, and Ventanas de Playa Grande.

Rincón de la Vieja: Las Pailas Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 3.2 kms / 2 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

It’s no secret that Rincón de la Vieja’s is one of our favorite places. Home to 336 acres, 32 rivers and streams, tropical dry forest and cloud forest, and 9 separate but contiguous volcanic craters, the park sets itself up as a site of incredible sights.

There are two entrances, or sectors, but the closest (and our favorite) to Tamarindo is Las Pailas. Here, you’ll stroll past seasonal waterfalls, a mini-volcanoboiling mud pots (las pailas, of course!), hot springs (these ones are not for soaking!), steaming fumaroles, and other volcanic sights are truly a wonder to behold.

Llanos de Cortes Waterfall

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 0.5 kms / 0.3 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

Alternately known as “Llanos de Cortez,” Llanos de Cortés Waterfall is both one of our favorite hikes near Tamarindo and one Guanacaste’s most iconic waterfalls and sights. That’s because this wide, tall, rushing cascade is easy to access and spectacularly beautiful, even managing to churn out a fall during the dry season.

Note that, while this is considered an easy hike – or, even, an easy walk – you will have to climb up and down concrete steps: about five minutes down and as long as it takes to get back up! Once there, you’ll find this is a popular spot for picnics, swimming, splashing, and generally enjoying the scenery. We recommend you do the same!

Read more  Mankato Area Hiking Guide | Ready, Set, Go Get Your Hike On!

Reserva Conchal: Iguana & Venado Trail Loops

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Distance: 3.2 to 7.4 kms / 2 to 4 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

The community of Reserva Conchal grants its residents and guests access to its hiking trails, including Iguana, Venado (Spanish for “deer”), and a handful of unnamed paths.

As you walk into the scenery (and up a few steep spots), you’ll be on the lookout primarily for wildlife and scenic views. Several scenic overlooks extend over the Reserva Conchal golf course, the Pacific Ocean, and the panoramic, north-to-south coastline. As expected, you may spot white-tailed deer, birds, and even monkeys.

Las Catalinas

Difficulty: Easy to Hard

Distance: Varied

Hiking near tamarindo

The community of Las Catalinas is home to world-class hiking, running, and mountain biking trails that, for many, are a primary attraction to the community. The trails are divided into two established paths: multi-use trails and exclusive hiking trails that, together, run over 26.1 miles (42 kilometers).

There are many hikes to enjoy here, including the Punta Guachipelines Loop (moderate; 6.4 kms), Windy Peak Loop (moderate; 3.4 kms), Playa Dantita Loop (easy; 2.9 kms), Rim Perimeter (moderate; 9 kms), and the Atajo Loop (hard; 6.3 kms). In addition to spectacular views, you can enjoy birding, wildlife watching, and even solitude, despite the community’s popularity. 

El Llano

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.5 kms / 2.8 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

If you’re looking for a slice of peace and quiet, but don’t want to venture too far, then you’ll love the tranquility of El Llano, one of the least-traveled hikes near Tamarindo. Located about 10 minutes from Reserva Conchal, this loop trail sees only a few hikers – in other words, you could have it almost all to yourself! (There are also occasional trail runners and mountain bikers.)

This is a step into the backwoods of Costa Rica, where you can hike and explore scenery almost untouched by human development. And, while you won’t find much elevation gain (less than 100 meters), the path can be rugged, so lace up your best shoes and grab those hiking poles.

Cerro Barra Honda

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 7.6 kms / 4.72 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

Read about Barra Honda National Park and you’ll come away with this takeaway: The vast majority of the park’s riches are underground, where shifting tectonic plates maneuvered ancient coral reefs and soft limestone to create a subterranean cave system.

You’re not here for that… this time! Instead, hit the park’s above-ground trail loop, which climbs a steep mountain and curves around two cave entrances – only one is open to the public and, if you plan to enter, you’ll need spelunking gear and a guide – and heads on to incredible wildlife opportunities, forest, and scenic overlooks to the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Colorado, Chira Island, and more.

La Leona Waterfall

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4 kms / 2.5 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

La Leona Waterfall is located on private property, so you’ll have to pay to access this one. Luckily for area residents, you can drive to the entrance a pay the minimum $30 (as of 2022) fee for a guided hike – and a guided hike is, indeed, necessary to get you through the rocky river terrain that leads to the waterfall.

It’s worth it. La Leona is literally carved out of (and into) a cave; if you didn’t know it is a natural creation, you’d swear Walt Disney had had a hand in its fantastical creation. Here, baby-blue waters spill over the smooth cliff and into the swimming hole beneath, making for incredible scenery and an even more incredible experience.

Playa Danta to Playa Penca

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 11.1 kms / 6.9 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

For the beach junkies among you, this coast-to-coastal hills hike takes you scrambling around rocky points between Playa Danta, Playa Pan de Azúcar (Sugarloaf), Playa Prieta, and Playa La Penca, before heading into the scenic hills above.

You’ll want to start at low tide – otherwise, you can’t get around the rocky outcroppings between the beaches – so be sure to check tide charts! The hike back takes you over dirt roads and, when possible, onto the Las Catalinas trail system (above), before wending back to Playa Danta.

Diriá National Park Trail

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 7.2 kms / 4.3 miles

Hiking near tamarindo

This out-and-back trail wends through Diriá National Park, something of a best-kept-secret, as far as hikes near Tamarindo and Costa Rica national parks go. It mostly comes down to the park’s remoteness (though it’s just 80 minutes from Tamarindo!), because its sights are incredible, extending to primary forestpremontane rainforest, and tropical dry forest, one of the world’s rarest and most endangered ecosystems.

Read more  10 Breathtaking Hikes to Take in Costa Rica

The park’s trail takes you into the tropical outback: wild, untamed landscapes and rustic paths that give you a glimpse into untouched Costa Rica. You won’t find many tourist trappings but you will find relative isolation, great views, old-growth forests, and abundant wildlife.

Live Here, Hike That: Planning to You Call Tamarindo Home?

Calling Tamarindo and Costa Rica home opens up a whole new world of possibilities to hike, experience, and explore.

Helping you get from today to tomorrow – from dreams to setting down roots in paradise – just happens to be one of our fortes. At Blue Water Properties, we are happy to help you in any way we can. We can talk about locations and costs of living, schools and, yes, our favorite hiking spots. We can refer you to residency attorneys or other sources of information, and share our own experiences and lessons learned.

As a company and as people, we thrive on relationships and promise the fastest communication and best services in the industry. And that begins with lots of information. We are happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction, even if you’re only in the beginning phases of planning your future move.

We’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate, from condos and homes to land and businesses for sale. So, go ahead – try us. Give us a chance to show off our expertise – and wow you with the possibilities! We look forward to it.

— Update: 06-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article 10 Breathtaking Hikes to Take in Costa Rica from the website tamarindobeachinfo.com for the keyword hiking near tamarindo.

You came to Costa Rica for the waves, we get that, so did we. But there is so much more to Costa Rica than the coast. Costa Rica’s highest point of elevation is 3,820 meters (12,533 feet) that’s just under the elevation of Mount Owen in the Teton Range of Wyoming. Costa Rica might not be a frontrunner when you think of great hiking destinations, but it should be. Trekking the rain and cloud forests by foot, climbing waterfalls, and scaling volcanoes are all possibilities when you visit Costa Rica. Keep reading to learn about 12 of our favorite hikes in the country!

Hiking near tamarindo

1. Rio Celeste Waterfall & Tenorio Volcano

This hike is just a stone’s through from WRSC in Tamarindo! Located in Guanacaste, Rio Celeste is renowned for its gorgeous blue water! Guided half day hikes will take you to natural hot springs around the volcano park. Full day hikes are a bit challenging and can be up to 5 miles but are well worth it. They offer the chance to see the beautiful Rio Celeste Waterfall on the way down from the volcano.

Hiking near tamarindo

2. Santa Rosa National Park

Another hike close to Tamarindo, the Santa Rosa National Park and all of her hiking trails are located in Guanacaste! Hike through the dry forests and keep a lookout for wildlife. Then make your way to the gorgeous white sand beaches. The National Park has the world’s only fully protected beach for nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. These adorable sea turtles hatch between August and November, so if you’re lucky you may get a chance to see them. The beaches of Santa Rosa are also known for their surf breaks, so score some waves while you’re there!

Hiking near tamarindo

3. Heliconia Hanging Bridges

If you’re looking to find rainforests without leaving Guanacaste, Heliconia Hanging Bridges is for you! Heliconia is a private reserve located near Tenorio Volcano National Park. The hanging bridges offer a unique birds-eye view of the 140 acres of rainforests below, as well as the town of Bijagua and Lake Nicaragua!

Hiking near tamarindo

4. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is completely worth the two-hour drive from Guanacaste! As one of the world’s most revered biological sites, people travel from all over to walk along the two miles (3.2 kilometers) of hanging bridges overlooking the Costa Rican countryside. In addition to the spectacular aerial views of mountains, coffee fields, forested lands, and grazing pastures, Monteverde is home to one of the world’s largest butterfly exhibitions, and the world’s third largest private insect collection.

Read more  Hiking in Stowe VT: 11 Best Stowe Hikes

Hiking near tamarindo

5. Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to Guanacaste’s largest Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, and has a trail for every level of hiker! Explore thermal hot springs, fossilized lava flows, bubbling mud pots, and plenty of waterfalls! The Las Pailas loop is a 2-mile trek that will take you through the gorgeous geothermal landscape. If you’re looking for a more challenging trek, try the 5-mile trail that leads up to the crater. The slopes of the crater are the only place where the Rock Wren Bird can be found. Guided hikes can be arranged through the national park.

Hiking near tamarindo

6. Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park sits on some the country’s most pristine coastline and has hiking trails for all skills and ages! The main trail of the park is accessible from the gate and is mostly flat, sandy, and easy going. The main trail offers access to many of the park’s beaches. Guided hikes are offered by naturalists who can point out all of the park’s wildlife. For the more adventurous hikers, the Cathedral Point Trail, a roughly mile loop around the park’s ridged landscape offers spectacular views of the coast. While the trail is short, it can be steep at points.

Hiking near tamarindo

7. Arenal Volcano Park

Arenal Volcano sits at an elevation of 5,479 feet. That’s over a mile high, roughly the same altitude as the greater Denver area. The National Park is open daily from 8 am – 3 pm, so plan accordingly. There are over 7,114 acres of land where you can hike amongst old lava flows, dense rainforests, and classic Costa Rican wildlife. You can book a guided hike through the national park so that you are sure not to miss anything!

Hiking near tamarindo

8. Los Angeles Cloud Forests

A popular route for bird watchers, the Los Angeles Cloud Forest trail offers access to over 250 bird species. Part of only 2.5% of the world’s remaining cloud forest, the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve is ideal of bird watching, hiking, and exploring! The typical hike is approximately 2.5 miles long and can be made into a guided hike.

Hiking near tamarindo

9. Bajos del Toro Waterfall

Accessible from the El Silencio Cloud Forest Lodge, the Bajos del Toro Waterfall Hike is a brief trek with stunning views. The hike itself only takes about 15 minutes from the lodge, but hikers will get a glimpse of the canyon and massive Bajos del Toro Waterfall.

Hiking near tamarindo

10. Corcovado National Park

If you’re looking to explore Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity, look no further! National Geographic has named Corcovado National Park, located on the Osa Peninsula, the most biologically intense place on the planet. Corcovado contains 13 different ecosystems with a healthy diversity of endangered species, such as Jaguars, Red-backed Squirrel Monkeys, Harpy Eagles, and Baird’s Tapirs. Since 2014, all guests must be accompanied by a guide, but that can be done through the national park or in the Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez areas.

Hiking near tamarindo

11. Chirripo y Cerro Pelado

Cerro Chirripó is the tallest mountain in Costa Rica clocking in at 12,533 feet (3,820 meters) above sea level. This hike isn’t for beginners, with some brave backpackers opting to stay overnight. Along the rugged terrain expect to see a unique ecosystem found only at highest elevations in the tropics. On a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Cerro Pelado is located in Cañas, Guanacaste and is comprised of eight private properties totaling nearly 500 acres of land. To reach the peak of the mountain, be prepared to climb the first kilometer. From there, it’s another three-kilometer walk to the base of the peak.

Hiking near tamarindo

12. Carara Biological Reserve

If you’re in search of adventure near the capital city, check out Carara Biological Reserve! Located just west of San Jose, the reserve is known for holding one of the last remaining wild scarlet macaw populations. Guided tours can be arranged of the area, which is recommended so that you’re able to see all the wildlife the reserve has to offer!

The post 10 Breathtaking Hikes to Take in Costa Rica appeared first on Witch’s Rock Surf Camp.


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