Practical Aspects

Beaches

Ask about rip tides—depending on the weather/currents, there can be rip tides on many beachesl. Often, there are signs in front of the beach when there are strong currents/rip tides.

Be careful—the sun is really strong! use sunblock, even in the shade and to drink a lot of water.

Cars and fires are prohibited on all beaches.

Currency and credit cards

You can use US dollars everywhere, including for gratuities (see Tipping/gratuities). Most bodegas, restaurants and grocery stores take US dollars. At the check-out, ask how much the amount is in US dollars and they will calculate it for you. Your change is usually in Costa Rican colones. Most places also take credit cards, even the small stores.

If you want to exchange money, Euros or dollars, do it at a bank in Tamarindo or Santa Cruz. The rates are better than at the airport. You’ll need your passport.

In the smaller villages, they may not take US dollars, so it’s always good to have some colones.

Emergencies

The nearest public hospital: Santa Cruz  (30 minute drive); Private hospital: Liberia (1h30 drive)

Medical: In Tamarindo (30 minute drive).

Gas stations

The nearest gas stations are in Tamarindo (30 minute drive) or Santa Cruz (30-minute drive). We never let our car get below ¼-full of gas… just in case!

Groceries

You have several options for groceries;

  • Supermarket at Junquillal. They have a larger selection, including meats and vegetables.
  • Automercado in Tamarindo. This is about a 30 minute drive and is equivalent to a large US-style supermarket.
  • MaxiPali in Santa Cruz. It also has a large selection of groceries, as well as a pharmacy.
  • Rancho Avellanas in Pinilla (20 minute drive), has fresh dairy products: milk, cheese and yogurts (cow and goat).
  • Fish trucks for fresh fish will come directly to the villa.
Local markets

Every Saturday, there are local markets in Santa Cruz (typical, mostly vegetables and fruits) and in Tamarindo, (food and crafts).

Pharmacy

The closest  is in Tamarindo or in Santa Cruz. You can get basic pharmacy items at the Supermarket at Junquillal.

Restaurants

There are several good local restaurants a short drive. We can make reservations for you and give you driving instructions.

In Junquillal

  • TATANKA : Italian specialties, salads, pastas, pizzas…
  • GUACAMAYA : Lots of choice, for all tastes…
  • MUNDO MILO : Continental dishes
  • CASA PELICANO : private meal by German chef under reservation only.

In PLaya Negra

  • LA VIDA BUENA, excellent Local and continental dishes, pizza.
  • Café PLAYA NEGRA specializing in Peruvian dishes.
  • LA VENTANA, for breakfast and lunch, natural foods.
  • TACO JALAPENO, excellent tacos.
  • LATINO, typical Costa Rican food.
  • VILLA DEEVENA fine French dining. Considered to be one of the top 5 restaurants in Costa Rica.

There are also several very good restaurants in Tamarindo.

Security

It’s a good idea to put a copy of your passport in the safe in your room. In general, only carry the amount of cash you’ll need, or some of your credit cards, when you’re away from the villa.

Don’t leave anything of value in your rental car. It’s best not to leave anything in sight that might be tempting.

Taxis/transportation

If you don’t have a car,we can help you with organizing a taxi or hired transportation, depending on how far you’re going.

A mini-bus with a driver (can transport up to 10 people) is available.