Tamarindo resonates with the vibrant energy of a true beach town, brimming with almost boundless dynamism, vitality, and a dedication to absolute fun. In fact, the town’s motto literally proclaims, “surf, eat, and have fun!” It’s no wonder that Tamarindo is such a popular choice for remote workers seeking a true beach experience. And that’s exactly why we’ve created this guide to Tamarindo for digital nomads.
The buzz around town is right: Tamarindo is a hub for partygoers, beach bums, and digital nomads of every stripe. Here, you’ll find yourself in great company, enfolded into a tapestry of long-time locals, expats, and tourists.
The town is always buzzing. It’s a place that embraces the night, but at its heart, Tamarindo thrives as a close-knit community. If you’re the kind of digital nomad who craves an easy setup – fast internet, plenty of housing, and a walk-right-in kind of lifestyle – and an incredible community, then welcome to Tamarindo’s warm embrace.
It’s Tamarindo’s urban flair, combined with its rich amenities, makes your transition smoother. Be it imported ingredients or a social life in English, chances are, Tamarindo offers it. And trust us – such seemingly minor comforts can be pivotal to your adjustment and enjoyment of your new home.
Why Tamarindo for Digital Nomads?
You may have heard that Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world. But our guess is that you’re wondering, why Tamarindo for digital nomads?
Canada’s The Globe and Mail named Costa Rica to their world’s top-5 locations for digital nomads. By Digital Nomads joins the party with their list of the 16 best places for digital nomads. Nomad Capitalist loves us, too. And so does Via Travelers. The lists and accolades go on and on.
Over and over again, both Costa Rica and Tamarindo have been highlighted as a top choice for remote workers, digital nomads, expats, and others seeking the beachy lifestyle. There’s a reason for that. Actually, many reasons, which we’ll get into below, in detail.
The bottom line, though, is that Tamarindo offers an incredible blend of lifestyle, convenience, and beach vibes. It’s hard to replicate elsewhere: In other towns, you’ll have to choose this or that. Go for convenience but you can’t live at the beach. Prioritize dining and nightlife, but don’t expect to also find an outdoor lifestyle. Etcetera, etcetera. Tamarindo, though, offers it all – and more!
There’s nothing quite like Tamarindo and the vibe here is second to none. We already mentioned that the town’s unofficial motto is “surf, eat, and have fun!” but it’s so much more than that.
Tamarindo is chill – in both the sense of being both laid-back and effortlessly cool. It’s community. It’s warm and welcoming, while allowing you to be whoever you are and seeking whatever you’d like.
If you love the beach and don’t mind some crowds (see below), then Tamarindo for digital nomads can be nearly perfect. It’s as beautiful as the photos make it. It’s as relaxed as you imagine it. It’s as welcoming as you can hope. And the vibe is unparalleled. Come and experience it for yourself!
Lifestyle & Amenities
Tamarindo is a major tourist magnet, thanks to its incredible, deep blue waters and powder-soft white beaches that call out from photos. Add to this a reputation for iconic surf, coupled with its predominantly sandy seabed, and it’s easy to see why Tamarindo has created a draw that’s impossible to deny.
As a result of the town’s long-time popularity, Tamarindo has also grown into one of the coast’s most amenity-rich, lifestyle-focused town. Here, you’ll find everything from restaurants and bars to shopping, grocery stores (including with some of your favorite imports), and plenty of activities. You’ll also have easy access to the international Guanacaste Airport, just 90 minutes away.
Tamarindo experiences near-perfect weather throughout the year. Temperatures fall somewhere in the 80º to 95ºF (26º to 35ºC) range.
During the dry season, you can expect nearly round-the-clock – and when we say that, we’re talking about the clock running fully from November to May – sunshine and blue skies. It is glorious.
During the months of May to early September, you can expect it to rain for 20 minutes to an hour a day; most often in the afternoon. Moving into September, October and November, however, Tamarindo is a rain free-for-all.
Each year is different, but from September to November, it may rain more than it shines (particularly in October). Many locals close shop and leave town during October, going on their own vacations to drier destinations. But remember, there’s something quite soothing about the gentle patter of raindrops on the rooftop as night falls.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Costa Rica (as anywhere) is dependent on the life you lead: Your cost of living will be very different if, say, you’re a footloose-and-fancy-free single digital nomad versus a family of four relocating for a couple of years abroad.
Cost of living is also a function of your lifestyle. For example, if you eat out often, expect higher food costs. (Ditto, if you love to cook with fancy or imported ingredients.) Living at the beach, especially with an ocean view, is generally more expensive than living on a rural mountain. Homebodies will likely save over frequent travelers. Etcetera, etcetera – you determine your cost of living.
Bear in mind that in order to qualify for the digital nomad residency sub-category (see below), you are required to maintain a minimum income of $3,000 to $4,000. That is a very healthy budget in Costa Rica, especially if you’re single ($3,000 minimum) or one-half of a couple ($4,000). You can live a good life.
For more details, see our full rundown of the cost of living in Costa Rica.
Internet & Connectivity
Most digital nomads rely on a fast internet connection to work remotely.
You’re going to love Tamarindo. High-speed internet is widely available throughout much of Tamarindo. If you need the fastest-of-the-fast (100+ Mbps), look to downtown; if you simply need a great connection (20-50 Mbps), then much of the area becomes your oyster.
Serious advice: Never, ever rent a home without verifying internet speeds. Even if a neighbor has a great connection, that doesn’t mean that a specific house will, too.
The Legalities: Living in Costa Rica as a Digital Nomad
In 2021, Costa Rica officially created and legalized an Immigration (Migración) sub-category for digital nomads. So, whether you’re a freelancer or consultant with an online business, a permanent employee who works remotely, or any other professional who earns an income from the comfort of your home, you are considered a digital nomad in Costa Rica’s eyes.
This is a huge deal, as Costa Rican residency has never before included the working-age population without significant funds to invest. Here’s what the residency sub-category entails:
Rather than full-fledged residency – a very paperwork-heavy process that doesn’t make sense in the nomadic sense of digital nomads – digital nomads will be granted a one-year estancia (pronounced ess-tahn-see-ah), or short-term right to reside.
A Digital Nomad Estancia must reside in Costa Rica for a minimum of 180 days/year; an estancia may be renewed for a period of one additional year.
Income Outside Costa Rica
To qualify for the Digital Nomad Estancia, you must earn your income from sources outside of Costa Rica. Digital Nomads may not provide services in Costa Rica to Costa Rican companies, as that would fall under the category of work permit.
$3,000-$4,000 Monthly Income Requirement
To qualify for a Digital Nomad Estancia, applicants must provide documentation to show that, in the 12 previous months, they have received a stable income or rent of $3,000+ (single applicants) or $4,000+ (applicants with dependents). If you are applying with a spouse or partner as your dependent, then your combined $4,000+ income will qualify you both.
Your documentation must also demonstrate that your income is not location-dependent and that you will continue to receive this income, even if living outside your current country of residence.
Digital nomads will also be required to have medical insurance that covers them in Costa Rica. (Requirements TBD.) As with other residency categories, they will also be required to pay a one-time fee for their non-resident visa. All details are available in English on the Migración (Immigration) website.
Eligibility for Permanent Residency (Category Change)
Digital nomads may change their residency status (rather than apply for first-time residency), if they meet change-of-status requirements, for example after the birth of a child [in Costa Rica] or upon marriage to a Costa Rican.
Digital Nomad Benefits
In addition to the wonderful benefit of legal status in Costa Rica, digital nomads will also receive an array of benefits, including:
- Online Applications: Life just got easier! Digital Nomad Estancia applications may be filed online (via Tramite Ya), for expedited processing.
- Income Tax Exemption: You will not pay income tax or utility tax for any income earned abroad.
- Professional Materials Tax Exemption: Whether you’re bringing a laptop or your entire $10k office setup, you’ll be exempt from import tax. Note that if you were to sell this equipment in Costa Rica, the respective taxes must be paid.
- Foreign License Waiver: If you hold a valid foreign driver’s license, you will be allowed to drive in Costa Rica.
- Costa Rican Banking: Digital nomads may open an account at Costa Rican banks.
More Questions Regarding Tamarindo for Digital Nomads?
You have questions, we have answers! Whether you’re already well on your way to moving or just dipping your toes into research, we’d love to help you explore the possibilities of life in Costa Rica the options in Tamarindo for digital nomads.
We’re happy to discuss the options and help you decide which step to take next. We can refer you to residency attorneys or other sources of information and are also happy to share our own experiences and lessons learned.
Because at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, 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, including on all things related to the Costa Rica digital nomad visa.
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.