Many visit Costa Rica for its natural beauty, and the ability to hike volcanoes, relax in hot springs, swim in waterfalls, photograph wildlife (sloths!), and relax on the beach. All of that can be found in just one country (and is possible all in one day)!
The region of Guanacaste, located on the northern part of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, is a popular spot for those seeking sun, sea, and surf. Home to Costa Rica’s “Gold Coast,” Guanacaste is home to the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica as well as its best waves for surfing. Guanacaste also enjoys less rainfall than the rest of the country, making it a safe bet year-round.
Tamarindo, the most popular beach town in Guanacaste, is a bustling tourist hotspot known for its surfing and resorts. Tamarindo has the vibe of college spring break, 365 days a year. It’s home to a fantastic beginner wave for surfing and plentiful bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that are popular with the 18 to 24-year-old, gap-year crowd. – but it won’t give you an authentic Costa Rican experience.
Just north of Tamarindo, located within the Marino Las Baulas National Park is the local’s favorite beach town of Playa Grande. If you are looking for an authentic Costa Rican surf town experience, whilst still being close to the “action” of Tamarindo, then Playa Grande is for you.
With the bright blue waters and white sand, Playa Grande is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica – and the beauty doesn’t end there, Playa Grande is an important beach for turtles and wildlife.
The Playa Grande turtle nesting season is between the months of October and May – this is when the leatherback turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, and the incredible natural phenomenon can be enjoyed.
If that wasn’t enough, Playa Grande is one of the best beaches for surfers, not just in Costa Rica, but in the world!
So if you are planning a visit to Guanacaste and would like a more laid-back and authentic experience than Tamarindo, come visit Playa Grande!
Header photo by: Adriana Wojakowska