PLAYA GRANDE BEACH
Home of nesting leatherback sea turtles and consistently great waves for surfing, Playa Grande has a beautifully clean beach and some great restaurants and hotels.
Many people on vacation choose to stay in Playa Grande because while it's close to the bustle of Tamarindo, Grande is less populated and feels more secluded and relaxing. You'll find relatively few people on the expansive, white sandy beach here – mainly locals enjoying a picnic under the trees and a few tourists walking along the shore and picking up sea shells.
For surfers, Grande is arguably your best bet in the Tamarindo area for a consistent wave that is chest high or higher. The locals that call these waves home are friendly and often happy to share tips on the best peaks, as well as tomorrow's surf forecast.
Just off the beach, you'll find cozy little homes, plenty of trees and all kinds of restaurants, from sushi to pizza and local Costa Rican dishes.
In addition, Playa Grande is the foremost section of the Las Baulas Marine National Park, where endangered sea turtles come in hordes to lay hundreds of their soft eggs under the sand every year, from November to April. If you visit during that time, keep your eyes open after dark, usually around the full moon, to see female turtles making their way up the beach, or watch for little hatchlings making the arduous trek from their sandy nest to the jostling waves of the Pacific Ocean.