Three things in Tamarindo you won’t find in the US

Living in Costa Rica there are many things I miss about the US. At the same time, I love Costa Rica for the many things that make it so different from the US.  Here are a few of my favorite things that I love about Tamarindo that I can’t find in the US.

— I love wine. My go-to is a spicy Spanish Tempranillo but I’m always interested in trying new varieties and blends. Wine stores in the US are dominated by French, Italian and California wines. In most wine stores barely any shelve space is given to Argentinean and Chilean wines other than a handful of Argentinean Malbecs given it’s rise in popularity over the past ten or so years. What I love about Tamarindo is that you won’t find the typical wines we see in the US. Here Argentina and Chile are the wine kings. In addition to the Malbecs you’ve probably had, you’ll find delicious Cabernets and Merlots from both Argentina and Chile. Have you ever heard of Carménère? It’s Chile’s signature grape, and a variety I had never seen in the States but you’ll find it here. The grape also carries an interesting story, which you can read about here.

— You’ve probably had Zico, Vita Coco, or one of the other popular brands of coconut water. People seem to really love this stuff especially after a hot yoga class. It’s good…or good enough until you’ve had the real deal. In Tamarindo you can get fresh coconut water all around town, including the beach. The coconut crew usually roams the beach with coolers full of coconuts that they will slice open and pop a straw in for you. You’ll be able to spot them shouting “pipas, pipas!” Pipa = coconut in Spanish.

— It seems everyone in the US gets their bikinis from Victoria’s Secret – am I right?! It’s definitely a love/hate kind of thing. Love ‘em because they’re stylish and hot, but hate ‘em because you’re bound to run into someone else in your same bikini and did I mention the quality and the many Janet Jackson-esque “nip slips.” Tamarindo has perfected the art of the handmade bikini. Not only are they super stylish and hot (hello cheeks!), the quality is great and they stay in place even when getting thrown around by the waves when surfing. Papaya con Leche and Del Toro are the best and I really love the upstairs sewing room at Papaya con Leche – make sure to check it out if you go.

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