Friday, February 22, 2013

Playa Grande

2013-02-21 Playa Grande 1

We took a ride yesterday to Playa Grande, just up the coast. It is separated from Tamarindo by an estuary but there is no direct way to drive there. You have to go back inland a ways (Note, if you ever visit here: do not follow Google Maps directions through the dirt back roads. You will become lost and, if you don't, one of the roads is washed out. Stay on the paved roads through Villareal, Huacas and Matapalo.)

Playa Grande is a huge swath of pristine beach with very little development. Tamarindo, in the background of the second picture (through a 400 mm lens) is less than a half hour drive away. Hardly any people there but it seemed to be a nice place for families. If you want a perfect beach to have to yourself, this would be a good place to go.

I should note that I am happily married to one of the ladies in the foreground of the third photo. 

2013-02-21 Playa Grande 4

2013-02-21 Playa Grande 3


Virginia said...

Carolyn looks fab in that white bikini!!! :)

And look at you B. Putting that cute little strutting kiddo on your blog. I knew I'd win you over to the Baby/puppy way of thinking.

William Kendall said...

It's a rough gig, going down into the tropics on vacation, but if someone's got to do it...

Good pics, Bob! said...

A reason that Playa Grande has so little development is that the beach is the nesting site for the Pacific Leatherback Tortoise -- an endangered species. They swim all the way from the Galapagos to Playa Grande to lay their eggs.

The Las Baulas National Marine Park covers this area, and the park office near the entrance to Tamarindo leads night beach watching excursions on Playa Grande from Tamarindo.

You go across the estuary by boat, avoiding the drive, then you sit in the dark for 4 hours waiting to see tortoises come out of the water to lay their eggs. They use special red flashlights because the tortoises don't like light.

The night Julie went there they did not see tortoises, but she was delighted to see many fireflies. I told her we used to see fireflies all the time growing up in St. Louis, but she had never seen them, las she has lived in Arizona her entire life.

Playa Grande is very controversial. Some environmental groups have put pressure on the Costa Rican federal government and have threatened to withhold funding for some international environmental initiatives unless the government stops and even removes some of the houses, etc. in Playa Grande because their lights at night deter the tortoises.

Some real estate people sold lots near the beach even after the government had designated the area as a protected marine sanctuary. The government has condemned a few of the properties, but it lacks the money to pay the people who bought property there -- at resort prices.

Bob, you're a lawyer. If you weren't so busy helping deserving people in St. Louis get the Social Security to which they are entitled, you might be able to tackle the Playa Grande land issues.