Playa Grande in Tamarindo Bay is a giant expanse where the wind and waves set in motion surfers by day and Leatherback Sea Turtles by night.
The sandy ocean bottom and the whipping currents make for decent swells and conditions that provide surfers with great rides that make Playa Grande a sought after surfing location. To check the daily surf conditions at Playa Grande take a look here. After cutting through the waves on a surfboard, the largest of all species of TESTUDINE, The Leatherback Sea Turtle, will begin surfacing in the night and around the months from September to March.
Playa Grande is slightly more laid back than the closely situated city of Tamarindo. Tamarindo has a strong reputation for its night life, but being that Playa Grande is a protected area in the Las Baulas National Marine Park (Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas) there isn’t as much traffic on the beach here. Half of the Las Baulas National Park is underwater and, therefore, a popular area for scuba diving tours.
Playa Grande can be reached in a number of ways. Sansa Air and Nature Air both fly to the nearby city of Tamarindo. From the international airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, Playa Grande is four hours and ten minutes away by car, and the international airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, is an hour and nine minutes away. The capital city of San Jose is six hours and eight minutes afar.
Because Playa Grande is in a National Park, there will be much to see and photograph. When planning your trip here, you should pack a camera, a swimsuit, a wetsuit, a surfboard, goggles, snorkel and sun screen. You might want to take some time and head into the forest for one of the tours on land, but then again maybe not. You may find that you don’t have the time for it with all of the marine related activities in this area.
There are also plenty of lodgings in Playa Grande. The area has apartments and condos for lease if you plan on making a prolonged stay. Otherwise, some of the hotels and what not include Rip Jack Inn, El Manglar Hostel, Hotel Bula Bula and Villas Costa Grande Sol.
Location: Playa Grande
Items to bring: camera, swimsuit, wetsuit, surfboard, goggles, snorkel, sun screen
Distance from San Jose: 6 hrs 8 mins
Distance from Liberia: 1 hr 9 mins
Hotels nearby: Rip Jack Inn, El Manglar Hostel, Hotel Bula Bula and Villas Costa Grande Sol
Ways to get here: plane, rental car, bus, private shuttle, taxi