This is also a great place to sight whales and their young calves, as many migrate here in the winter to mate.See Whales for more info.
Playa Grande is also a red-hot surfing beach, a sport increasingly popular with Costa Rican youth. The area is accessible from Playas Tamarindo, Cocos, Flamingo and the Nicoya coast to the south. Several hotels, one with a golf course, offer luxurious accommodations, and budget cabinas are also available.
Las Baulas National Marine Park – hey! it’s not all underwater! Las Baulas National Marine Park is the Costa Rica nesting ground of the leatherback turtle, so the first 200 meters from the high tide line of local beaches are also included. They begin showing up to lay eggs on the beach here in early October, and the nesting season goes on through the end of March.
Several tours visit Playa Grande to observe the phenomenon. It is better to take a tour than stumble around on your own and maybe step on one of those cute little iddy-biddy turtles right after it emerges from the egg. You’ll also learn a lot more about the Leatherback Turtle, for which these beaches are some of the most important ones on the planet. Another beach where sea turtles lay eggs, this one from March through October, is Gandoco-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on the Caribbean side.