Playa Grande is a wide, gorgeous beach, famous among conservationists and surfers alike. By day, offshore winds create steep and powerful waves. By night, an ancient cycle continues, as leatherback sea turtles bearing clutches of eggs follow the ocean currents back to their birthplace. The beach stretches from the Tamarindo estuary, around a dome rock – with tide pools and superb surf fishing – and on to equally grand Playa Ventanas. Even confident swimmers should obey riptide signs, as people have drowned here.
Since 1991 Playa Grande has been part of the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas de Guanacaste, protecting one of the world's most important leatherback nesting areas. At night it's only possible to visit the beach on a guided tour.
You'll notice many 'For Sale' signs bordering the park, and the inevitable whine of the chainsaw, which gives one pause for thought as to which way this community is going.