Where to Stay
Stay at Blue Trailz or La Oveja Negre. These aren’t party hostels but are more conducive to meeting other travellers than the others.
Where to Party
Each night a certain bar has the party for tourists. Just try to talk to someone working at the hostel. Many nights it is either Aqua Discotheque or Sharky’s. These are fun places but definitely not next level like the bars in Bocas Del Toro, San Juan Del Sur or Utila. Also expect to meet a different crowd- a lot of the tourists are not backpacking through Central America, but are travelling with family or on school break for a week. Backpackers tend to avoid Costa Rica in general because it is way more expensive than all other Central American countries. Tamarindo gets a party reputation from travel guides because the streets are littered with drug-dealers and prostitutes but don’t expect a backpacker haven when you get there.
During the Day
Has pretty good surf, but the beach is packed with kids and beginner surfers, which can make it a frustrating place to hang out. Food is also really expensive in the city and expect to see a lot of families with their kids. I wouldn’t recommend this place to party-seekers, but for those that like a grimier scene, this place could be good.