Story and Photos by Stephen Lalonde
Stephen Henry Denton Lalonde aka Estif (long story), 39-year-old neo-renaissance man, surfs the waves and shares his hangover helper in this little slice of Central American Heaven.
[Editor’s Note: There are no formal street addresses in Costa Rica. Locals and tourists alike use the Tico (a colloquial term for being Costa Rican) address system which involves orienting yourself from a landmark or recognized establishment.]
Brief bio, occupation: Part of the neo-renaissance movement. I would say I wear many hats, I’ve never really had a 9-to-5 kind of job. I presently: DJ for events, assist in coordination of events, entertain people, produce short films, am learning photography, am a registered reverend and do counseling—no real specific job.
How long you’ve lived in your city: Four years, and it’s more like a tiny Wild West type town than a city
EAT & DRINK
Favorite high-end restaurant
Seasons by Schlomy, 2653.0330
The most consistent over the last 4 years offering delicious worldly foods is Seasons by Schlomy with a poolside setting at the Hotel Arco Iris. Schlomy is considered one of the best chefs in Costa Rica!
Best deal restaurant
Pizzeria La Baula, 2653.1450
This local favorite has oven-baked pizza at great prices. Don’t forget to ask for Limoncello shots after dinner—that’s when the culinary adventure really begins. Be sure to bring a change of clothes.
Best street food
Beach Burger Shack.
If you’re walking home from Aqua Discotheque and totally blitzed make sure to stop at the Beach Burger Shack. They open on weekends at midnight. The 1st step toward recuperation...mmmmmm greasy.
There really is only one cafe in town and that’s Olga’s. Crunchy, crispy croissants with an iced Frappuccino is step 3 or 4 when nursing the goma (hangover) from last night’s fiesta.
Best place to work on laptop with free wi-fi
Strange as it may seem, the subway on the main drag has pretty good wi-fi for free.
Bar 1, 2653.2586.
At the moment Bar 1 seems to be offering a good mix of entertainment, movies and cocktails. Not that many bars to choose from in town.
Jaime Peligro, 8820.9004.
The best, the oldest and the only bookstore is Jaime Peligro. Nice assortment of new and used books. Exclusive representation for Papaya Music which means awesome collections of music from all over the region. http://jaimepeligro.tamarindohomepage.com
Best magazine stand
Well, unfortunately this little town doesn’t have a magazine stand.
According to my wife 100% Natural ranks #1. All kinds of local T’s, prints, clothing as well as South American apparel.
Favorite art space/gallery/museum
Our planetarium is one of a kind. It’s open air and pretty amazing after the sun goes down. Just step out onto the beach…it’s free!
Favorite outdoor space
All the beaches surrounding us are amazing. If you want to commune with God, the Universe, Allah, the ultimate super being or whatever you want to call it, just go out to the beach here around 4:30pm and watch the sunset.
Best touristy thing to do
This is a very surf oriented town…great place for beginners to try it out. Rent a board, take a surf lesson or just hang out and smoke while staring at the wave.
Best place to people watch
Same beach as above, same activity.
The must-see thing in your city
Sunrise and sunset.
Best events in each season?
There are a couple of great Surf Championships held here every year. It’s an amazing place for a destination wedding. The rain at the end of the dry season and the sun at the end of the rainy season. Those are some of the best.
How would you spend a day off in your city?
Probably, wake up and have a great cup of coffee. There’s a good chance I would smoke a couple of bong hits and head off to breakfast at Nogui’s (2653.0029) in front of the beach. After devouring my rotonda tica (crispy home made tortillas covered with egg, avocado, tomatoes, bacon, sour cream and other delicious stuff) I would rub my belly and walk down to the beach. A few hours in the ocean body surfing and back home for chill time. Post-nap, around 4pm I would make my way over to my friends house for a BBQ and Blues (live blues in the backyard). Maybe a six pack and back for a nice shower and a few glasses of wine. Then, dinner at Seasons or maybe Voodoo Lounge. At this point, with dinner behind me, I’d most probably be moving into either, “Gotta go home mode” or “Are we partying til 3am mode?”
Best website for local info
Anything else you want to mention?
If you were an alien cruising along through the clouds, maybe chomping on some weird-ass glonk jerky from your planet you would definitely want to check out Tamarindo. Located somewhere on that skinny-ass piece of land between North America and South America in a little place called Costa Rica.