Tamarindo – Surf Town Costa Rica

Relieved to have gotten through the border at Penas Blancas into Costa Rica, I rode to the surf town of Tamarindo.

One of the first things I noticed on entering Costa Rica was that pretty much all the houses were actual structures. Up until now it was common to see houses made from scraps of wood, metal and plastic. Very sad.

Hotel Mahayana

In Tamarindo I was staying at the Hotel Mahayana. Well … so I thought. When I arrived no one was there, except for a few guests. Strange.

Tamarindo hotel

I checked my email and I had a message from the Manager asking when I was going to arrive. I said I am here now. A little while later he showed up and said I wasn’t suppose to be there until tomorrow! He was right. This was the second time on this trip I’ve done that.

Luckily, there was a room and I could pay for the extra night. So instead of 2 nights at the hotel I would be there for 3 nights.

The hotel itself was different from others I have experience. It is a few blocks from the beach along a dirt road.

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There was no front desk and the Manager only shows up once or twice a day. Other than that there is just the cleaning woman from 9 until 2. The rest of the time the inmates are left to fend for themselves in a locked compound.

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It is very relaxing though with a small pool and kitchen.

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Something very peculiar at the hotel, and all over Tamarindo was the disposal of used toilet paper. It was not to be flushed down the toilet but put in a trash can beside it!!!

toilet paper

OK …I am sorry Hotel Mahayana and Tamarindo, but I don’t care how small your septic tanks are or limited your sewer system is, there was no way I was going to put used toilet paper in a trash can. So gross to me. So I became an outlaw that day. 🙂


This was the third surf town I had been to in Central America. El Tunco, El Salvador was a grubby little hippie town and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was mostly a college party town. Tamarindo had lots of college aged kids but also lots of families enjoying the beach. The town was a mixture of everything. There were a few expensive resorts and restaurants in town for the rich. I have to admit I went to one each day just to relax with an expensive beer.

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But also hostels, dirt roads and grocery stores for those on a budget.

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The best part about Tamarindo though was the beach.

Tamarindo Beach

I have to admit I took a lot of pictures at the beach. I wasn’t the only one though.

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Sooooo … I will just let my photos do the talking here. There are a lot. Hard to choose which ones to include. It was a lot of fun just walking up and down the beach watching the surfers and the kids play.

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Tamarindo was a great place to some some beach time. Like many places I’ve visited I could have stayed longer.

My Route on August 8, 2017


My Location for August 9 and 10, 2017


Cancun Conundrum

On arriving back in Mexico I stayed a night in Chetamul and then rode to Cancun to face a conundrum. I was looking forward to Cancun as I have heard so much about it. But my first priority was to get my new Visa credit card after mine had somehow been compromised.

Waiting for my Visa Credit Card

I booked Monday to Friday in the Hotel Margaritas to wait for my new credit card which Visa said they were couriering over. It was suppose to reach me in 2 business days. The one catch was that they said I needed to personally sign for it and that they couldn’t give me a tracking number yet.

Soooooooo, for the next three and a half days I waited and waited and waited in the hotel lobby for my card to arrive.

waiting-for UPS

And spent the evenings in my room, playing Age of Empires and watching Hogan’s Heroes. Love that show.



On day two I finally got a tracking number which helped. It said the package was in Cancun. Later the UPS site said it was undeliverable because the address was wrong. WHAT?! I gave the hotel name twice to the Visa rep I talked to. And read the address to him a couple of times. I got the hotel staff to phone UPS and explain where I was. UPS said it would be delivered the next day.

It didn’t arrive!

By this time I was extremely frustrated. I could feel it welling up inside me. I shot off a couple angry emails to UPS just to vent. They didn’t answer and that made me even more ticked.

By the afternoon of the fourth day it finally arrived. For a moment I was elated. I went to my room and opened the package. The elation came to an abrupt end when I realized Visa had sent me the exact same card I already had! How was this going to solve the problem of my card being compromised?!

I Skyped with Visa and after being passed to three different people they discovered they had made a mistake. I guess those things happen but I was so pissed. I had wasted 4 days in Cancun waiting for this. Visa gave me 5,000 Aeroplan miles to compensate, but this hardly made up for everything. All I could do is phone Visa back when I had another hotel for them to send it to. Cancun was too expensive for me to stay longer.

Searching for Hotels

I had gotten my hotel for a good price from Monday to Friday. But I had wasted those days waiting for my Visa. Everything is expensive in Cancun 🙁 My hotel was going to be double the price over the weekend. At the same time I wanted to see Cancun, especially the famous beaches! So I bit the bullet and booked the weekend at the same hotel.

Cancun Beaches

The hotel had a free shuttle to the beach. I took advantage of it and on Saturday and Sunday I headed for the beach.

When I first saw the white powder beach and the crystal clear turquoise water I got a huge smile on my face. It was truly amazing! I spent most of the day walking up and down the beach in the water.










Cancun Beach Strip

It was hot walking the beach and by the afternoon I could feel myself getting burnt. I headed to the strip to see if I could find a cool place for a drink and use wifi.

The strip is made to party! It is filled with clubs and tourist stores.



This was certainly not the Mexico I had know for the last few months. I settled on going to Hooters as it was one of the few places open. It was only the afternoon so everyone must have been still sleeping.

It was cool inside and had wifi. My server? Well she was from Russia … huuummmm. Hard to tell I was in Mexico.


After my “Big Daddy” beer I saw this sign.


I guess I won’t go back on Sunday ha ha ha.

On Sunday I went to Haagen Daus for ice cream instead. I couldn’t believe it … 136 pesos or about $10 Canadian dollars for 2 scoops of ice cream! Things are very expensive in Cancun! Definitely catering to the reach tourists on vacation. That wasn’t me. This is everyday life for me.

While beach were so nice, the prices weren’t. It was time to leave Cancun.

My Route on April 3, 2017


My Location from April 4 to April 9


Nicest Beach To Date – Melaque, Mexico

Unexpectedly, I stopped for the day at the nicest beach I have seen to date located in Melaque.

Puerto Vallarta to Melaque

The road from Puerto Vallarta to Melaque contained hours of curves and twisties. It is only 240 km but the estimated time to ride it was 4 hours and 10 minutes!

The ride was lots of fun but also a lot of work, especially in the heat and humidity of the coast.

Hotel & Temazcal Hacienda de Melaque

I arrived at my hotel pretty tired. From the outside it looked pretty nice.



And to be fair it was pretty nice. What was irritating were the light switches ha ha. They were no where where you might expect. I found them behind curtains and in alcoves. And making it even worse, they were at different heights.Some were at my waste. Ok … I know … pretty minor. It was funny though.

As per normal, I arrived early into town and set off to explore it.


Now I had never heard of this town before. I just picked a cheap hotel where I thought I would be around 2 pm. It turned out that it seemed everyone knew about this place but me!! Lisa, who you will remember I visited, said she and her family were going there this weekend. Unfortunately I will be gone by then. I also heard from friends from Canada that said they had been there. Well now I have been too! ha ha.

The town itself was small and most of the stores were closed for some reason.


There was a store with Canada on it though.


Since there was basically nothing in town to see I headed for the beach.

Melaque Beach

I thought there would be a malecon but there was nothing. However, I stepped off the end of the main road onto this amazing beach. To the right was a thatched roof restaurant with chairs and tables on the sand. A perfect spot for a beer.




I just sat there and took it all in. Amazing.


Eventually I went for a walk. Magical.



In retrospect I should have stayed a lot longer instead of going back to my hotel. But I was also tired.

If anyone is looking for a secluded beach away from the hustle and bustle, then go to Melaque.

My Route for November 14, 2016


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