Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Shall We Sunset? The Best Way to Socialize in a Beach Town


Shall We Sunset? The Best Way to Socialize in a Beach Town
By Jackie Minchillo
Before moving to Tamarindo, on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast, my husband and I lived in Chicago. We were accustomed to brunch as the key to socializing with friends. If you set a weekly date with someone or made plans to catch up with an old friend, oftentimes you would do it over a weekend brunch.
We had to re-learn some of the "rules" to socializing when we moved to our little beach town. When we began to meet people, it struck us as odd that the common invite for social gatherings was to go and watch the sunset together...but we quickly learned why.
Playa Tamarindo and some of its neighboring beaches are world-famous for their sunsets. The big ball of fire puts on the performance of a lifetime every single night, with an unobstructed view of the horizon, looming over the blue, green, and aqua shades of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you spend five days or a whole year in Tamarindo, it's likely your phone and camera will quickly fill with photos of the sunset...like this one.
And if you're lucky enough to witness some sunsets during the rainy season, you'll experience a magical combination of clouds and multi-colored sunsets that will take your breath away.
As relief from the heat of the day sets in and the sun begins its descent, it's a great time to catch up with friends and get a glimpse of the local wildlife. The animals, including howler monkeys and parrots, become more active at this time of day and you can watch them in all their glory. Happy dogs run and play together in the surf and many people come out to walk, run, or bike along the shoreline as another beautiful day comes to a close.
If high tide is in the late afternoon, you have the pleasure of watching the silhouettes of talented surfers catching waves against a backdrop of the burning orange or golden yellow sunshine as it drops slowly toward the water's edge.
Many of the local beachfront bars and restaurants have hopped on the sunset bandwagon as well, and you can enjoy happy hour specials pretty much everywhere...two-for-one cocktails and discounted appetizers abound. Some places also feature live music, or host bonfires at sunset on certain evenings, or even hire entertainment such as a local group of highly impressive fire dancers. Of course if you're looking for a more casual get together, you have the option of picking a prime spot of your choice on the beach and bringing your own refreshments.
What we've learned about sunset get-togethers is that they're a great way to get to know people in a casual and comfortable atmosphere...and the picturesque scenery is an unbelievable added bonus.