I’m paying $30 per night to stay at Hostel Botelle de Leche, a social hostel about half a mile from the beach with couches, bean bags, hammocks, a big TV, wireless Internet access, and a spotless communal kitchen. My room has a double bed, private bathroom, air conditioning, and windows that look out onto the small courtyard where I saw this boxing match today. Shortly after I took this picture, the girl crumpled the bald guy with a low kick to his groin. Tough chick. Anyway, Hostel Botelle de Leche is full. It’s the only place in Playa Tamarindo that can say so.
Missing anything? It’s high season. Where are the tourists? I walk to Cabina Marielos which is just across the street from the beach. Cabina Marielos ($35 per night for a clean but Spartan private room with double bed, private bathroom, and air conditioning. Five rooms look out onto a peaceful garden with colorful tables and chairs. There is an Adirondack-style chair on the porch of each room) is the other place in Playa Tamarindo my guidebook really liked, after Hostel Botella de Leche. Hostel Botella de Leche was loud last night and workmen spend the day noisily repairing the area right in front of my window, so I want to check out someplace else. I speak with the woman at Cabina Marielos’ office who tells me she has five private rooms available out of a possible ten or so, and all but one of her cabins are empty. In past high seasons, she would be booked solid right now with people lining up to snap up rooms as current residents check out. She tells me point blank this is the worst high season ever and that “it’s not just here, it’s the same story in Paris, Rome, England, all over.” I walk around the property and Cabina Marielos is quiet except for a gregarious French Canadian I meet named Nicolas. He's been down here for four months and prefers the silence.
It kind of hit me when I walked through town yesterday, but I completely realize it today -- Playa Tamarindo is a ghost town compared to what is should be this time of year. I eat a hamburger and fries at El Corcel Negro for 2,800 colones. I have nearly the entire courtyard to myself.