It’s 5:15am and the warm sun rises gently over Bahia Ballena. The horseshoe shaped bay glistens with spectacular opportunity as the inhabitants of Tambor Beach are nudged to the starting line of what promises to be another amazing day in paradise. Scarlet macaw alarm clocks mingle with howler monkey snooze reminders. Fishermen, dreamers, vegetable vendors, cleaners, children, retirees, and entrepreneurs of all types stretch towards the sun and yawn breath into eager hearts and minds, firing up the engine for adventure which lies ahead. Grateful to have woken up “on the right side of the dirt” as my dear friend Tom often told me. Bursting with gratitude even moreso to have the good fortune to have washed up on this magical beach.
P U R A V I D A, M A E 🙂
Quick easy access to the sea allows you to roll out the door for kayaking, and some of the safest swimming in Costa Rica. Island hopping, snorkeling, sport fishing, scuba diving – all at your fingertips. Fresh fish daily whether you endeavor to catch them yourself or not. A huge organic market on Saturday mornings is within walking distance at the pier, where Tambor gets the freshest selections (we’re the first stop on the delivery route!). Walks along the beach, yoga classes, local bars and restaurants, and a solid convenience store are all nearby. Iguanas and hummingbirds chill in nearby trees while reading a good book over a cup of coffee as the waves crash in the backdrop.
Had Columbus known better at the time, he would have named this country Cafe’ Rica rather than Costa Rica. The coffee here is rich, flavorful, top-notch. It really puts lead in your pencil. The beer and liquor aren’t bad, either. Pilsen is my favorite, weighing in at 5.1% alcohol content in each can or bottle. Food. Traditional “casado” plates loaded up with “gallo pinto” (delicious rice & bean concoctions), huevos (eggs), queso frito (fried cheese), “platanos maduros” (mature plantains, fried), “natilla” (sour cream/ dipping cheese), “aguacate” (avocado), “ensalada verde” (green salad), and your choice of meat (pork chops with sauteed onions is my personal favorite) fill your belly and carry you through the day so as not to slow the pace of your adventure. Fresh fruit smoothies with either milk or water make a great accompaniment for your casado. If you still want something sweet afterwards, indulge in a “Churchill” or “copo” for a dose of local ice cream and sugar. Always back to the coffee, and eventually the refreshing, ice cold beer.
A nearby country club/ condo community boasts an attractive 9-hole golf course, basketball and tennis courts, and it’s own private stretch of pristine beachfront. Tambor airport (TMU) is directly next to the golf course and runs puddle-jumper flights all over the country, 30 minutes to SJO and LIR, our two International airports. The ferry in Paquera that takes you to the mainland at Puntarenas is a quick 35-minute drive from Tambor. Montezuma, Cabuya, Santa Teresa, and Malpais are all excellent places to visit and they’re all approximately 30 minutes away by car, moto, or quad. If you want to explore these intriguing beach towns to surf, expand your nightlife experience, try new restaurants, etc. they are all within easy striking distance and then you can leave the chaos and come home to the tranquility of Tambor. Your comfortable hammock will still be swinging in the breeze waiting patiently for you here. Neighborhood kids (and a handful of ageless adults) play soccer and beach volleyball whenever there’s an opportunity, while others build sandcastles and gaze out at the sea, birds of prey circling overhead and diving down to catch their dinner. Saucy Ticos dance the night away to classic Latin music, sweating out all the Guaro that has snuck in through the front door. Tambor is my kind of town. Visit and find out for yourself. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Pura Vida ~Frank