Playa Grande is a fabulous little beach town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, just north of Tamarindo. Playa Grande Beach is considered one of the best beaches on the Guanacaste coast with its pristine shoreline and clear blue sea. Perfectly placed in the North Pacific Coast in Guanacaste providence, Playa Grande is home to Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas, the nesting ground of the largest marine reptile, the Leatherback Turtle; the 2nd largest nesting area for the Leatherback and Ridley Turtles in the world.
The endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles that annually come ashore to lay eggs on the beach. As a part of the national park since 1990, Playa Grande is open by day to the general public and closed at night to ensure the protection and safety of the eggs. The best time to visit Playa Grande is during ‘turtle hatching season’ which is between the months of October and May. It is indeed an amazing sight to see millions of turtles coming ashore under the cover of darkness to lay their eggs. The area’s natural life makes the commercial landscape of the beachfront somewhat unique.
Playa Grande is Home to the Ridley Turtle
While most beaches are known for having lodging accommodations right along the beachfront, Playa Grande does not. As a part of a protective enclosure, hotels are prohibited from having rooms that face the beach. By law, evening visitation and lights are not allowed on the shore. They serve to scare away the turtles. There is only one hotel in close proximity to the beach, the Hotel Las Tortugas, which was built before the Marino Las Baulas National Park was established.
Another great reason for visiting Playa Grande is for the excellent surfing found on the beach. Many surfing enthusiasts have ranked Playa Grande as one of the best beaches for surfing in the country. However, the beach is equally impressive to those who just want to enjoy a calm swim as they sunbathe in the warm water. Most vacationers in Playa Grande are mostly eco-tourists, surfers, or those who simply wish to avoid the crowds other beaches are known for.
If you’re the adventurist type you can horseback or rent snorkeling and kayak equipment to explore the fascinating habitat with its many water birds. Sometimes you can see crocodiles resting on a sandbank. While you’re there you can even visit the nearby black-sand beach of Playa Carbon, surrounded by amazing beach wilderness and caves.
Lap of Luxury in Playa Grande, Guanacaste
Unlike most Costa Rican towns, the neighborhood of Playa Grande is mainly comprised of foreigners who use their luxury homes for their holidays and/or vacation get-aways. For those new to the beach town, there are a number of small hotels, surf camps and restaurants of varying culinary styles. So, whether you are a regular visitor or a newcomer, Playa Grande has exactly what you need to make your stay a memorable one.