Separated from Tamarindo by the Matapalo River is Grande Beach (Playa Grande) located within Marino Las Baulas National Park, Grande Beach is the site of the arribadas of the leatherback turtle. In the past thousands of turtles barraged the coast to bury their eggs but the Leatherback population has drastically declined and in 2008 only 32 turtles arrived during the nesting season.
Female leatherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs from October to May—an incredible spectacle to behold if you are one of those lucky enough to see it. Guides are available for hire for those interested in this rare, but unforgettable opportunity.
Surfing along Grande Beach is incredible and has attracted surfers from all around the globe. Although many skilled surfers have descended upon Playa Grande it is also a considered one of the better places to learn to surf or improve your surfing skills. Breaks are moderate and constant, earning Grande Beach a reputation of one of Costa Rica’s premier surf destinations. In fact, nearby Tamarindo hosts several international surf competitions, a testament to the quality of surf available at Grande Beach.
A few hotel accommodations are available along Grande Beach at affordable prices. Although no rooms can legally face the ocean by law, the ability to lodge within a protected area is a rare luxury in Costa Rica. There will be no late nights singing songs around a beach fire since Playa Grande is a national park it is not permitted to go out on the beach after sundown.
The Tamarindo airport receives domestic flights from around Costa Rica, while Liberia’s Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport is the nearest airport for incoming travelers from abroad. Buses from both Liberia and San José arrive to Tamarindo daily, from which taxi or shuttle can be taken to Grande Beach.
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Go there to relax and enjoy the beach and solitude. 30 minute walk along the beach to nightlife and restaurants. The town has a couple of restaurants in short walking distance but not much nightlife. Great if you are looking to stay away from the crowds but close enough if you want to experience the nightlife.
Perfect beach destination. Loved the ocean waves and watching the surfers!!
We loved Playa Grande. It was the perfect amount of vibrant with lots to do yet quiet and peaceful in comparison to Tamarindo. The beach was incredible. The owners of the WilMart and Seven were so amazingly helpful, they really made our trip.
Love Playa Grande so much, we have a home there.
Only a 2 minute boat ride from Tamarindo but a world away. The Estuary is gorgeous. Good food, nice places to stay, fantastic, quiet beach.