Playa Grande, Guanacaste
Playa Grande Surf Beach, Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
An important part of Costa Rica's Marino Las Baulas National Park, is the stunning beach of Playa Grande. Lying in the North Pacific Coast in Guanacaste province, walking distance from Tamarindo, Playa Grande is home to the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles that come ashore every year to lay their eggs.
|Playa Grande Beach Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica|
Incorporated into one of Costa Rica's national parks in 1990, Playa Grande is open to the general public only during the day during the ‘arribadas’ or turtle nesting season. At night the park’s police patrol the area to ensure that the turtles and their eggs are protected. Poachers and overzealous tourists pose a threat to these gentle giants as their eggs are considered to be aphrodisiacs and an eastern delicacy. The turtle hatching season in Costa Rica runs from October to May and is quite a sight to see. If you plan to visit Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula this time of year don't miss the opportunity to see millions of turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. Guided tours are available from most hotels or tour operators.
Playa Grande is very popular with surfers. Playa Grande is much quieter than Playa Tamarindo, or Flamingo but the surf here is equally as good. According to surf experts, the breaks and swells are consistent enough to be rated among the overall best surf spots in Costa Rica. Further north of the beach is a great spot for swimming.
Since Playa Grande is part of a protective area, you won't find beach front hotels. However, there are a handful of affordable and economical hotels on Playa Grande. By law no one is allowed to roam the beach at night especially during the nesting season and no lights are allowed on shore, as not to scare away the turtles. There is only one hotel next to the beach, the Hotel Las Tortugas, built before the Marino Las Baulas National Park was established. Run by Louis Wilson, who played a key role in the setting up of this park, the hotel is a wonderful place to enjoy the area’s superb natural beauty as well as rent surfboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and horses.
Playa Grande is the most easily accessible beach. Tamarindo is the closest beach, and is a couple of kilometers south of Playa Grande. With no direct road you can also reach Playa Grande by crossing the estuary between the beach and Playa Tamarindo. The shortest way to get to this beach is to arrive at the Liberia International Airport, get to Tamarindo and take it from there.
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