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 Jose arrive to Tamarindo daily, from which taxi or shuttle can be taken to Grande Beach.