A visit to Guaitil is often combined with a wildlife boat trip of Palo Verde National Park. Tour operators who pick up tourists in Tamarindo to take them on a wildlife boat trip will usually stop for a traditional lunch in a nearby village, and then stop in Guaitil on the drive back to Tamarindo.
The popularity of Chorotega pottery has led to a rekindling of cultural awareness and pride in pre-Columbian culture among people in Guaitil and nearby villages.
There is surprisingly little pre-Columbian culture in Costa Rica. Tragically, the indigenous population of Costa Rica was nearly eliminated after Spanish settlement of the area. The introduction of diseases from Europe for which the local population did not have immunity was a major cause. But another cause was the enslavement of Costa Ricans to use them to work the mines in Peru and Mexico. Costa Rica was not a rich area (contrary to its name, which means "rich coast"). The Spanish used some of the local population to supply badly needed labor to work the mines elsewhere. The devastation of the indigenous population was so extensive that it has been estimated that despite large immigration, it was not until the 1930's that the population of Costa Rica recovered to reach the same number than lived in the country when Columbus arrived on his fourth voyage.
The vast majority of Costa Ricans ethnically are white, of European descent, because the indigenous population was almost totally wiped out. Estimates are that of the present population of 4 million, only 150,000 Costa Ricans are indigenous. The Guanacaste region of northwest Costa Rica, where Tamarindo is located, is the part of the country that has the greatest surviving remnants of indigenous heritage, although it is not prevalent.