PURA VIDA ON PLAYA GRANDE, COSTA RICA
Are you into surfing or want to try it?
Then go to Playa Grande in Costa Rica.
When we arrived in Playa Grande it was already dark. On the internet we found a really nice hostel/hotel called Mi Casa Hostel El Manglar which is located in a very safe and quiet area. On the next morning we realised how cool this place was. . . as it was a combined hotel and hostel, there was a big swimming pool and everything was perfectly decorated in surfer style. Our room was simple but very big with two levels.
Of course, we were very curious about the beach and so we walked only 100 metres and there it was . . . Playa Grande. . . a massive and unspoiled grey-sand beach. Almost no people, just somewhere far away, perfect surfing waves for beginners and great sunny weather. The day couldn’t have started better ? We all were excited and couldn’t wait to get the surf boards. But for an even better start into the day, we had breakfast first ;).
Then we rented two boards, jumped into our swimming things and built up our “beach camp”. Lars and Guido were the first ones in the water, later on also BoB and Liane tried to catch some waves. Lars was the best one of us. He had some really good rides. . . for a beginner ;). It was so much fun! The water was warm and clear, the sky was blue . . . it was so much better than expected.
Surfing at Playa Grande in Costa Rica
BoB was very excited about getting into the water as it was his first time on a surf board. Lars built a very small board, espacially for BoB. Liane took him and his board out into the water and both were waiting for a wave. BoB felt quite insecure because only two days before he saw how easily and quickly our GoPro sank. But he was very brave and he tried to get some waves. It was very funny to see him falling into the water all the time. You also should go surfing with a golf ball one day :).
Okay, we have to admit, we were no surfer professionals when we left the beach after some hours, but we all loved this place and we were sad to leave. But we had already planned something different for the late afternoon. We wanted to find a NEW GoPro :).
Lars was so sad that he couldn’t film this great day and he decided to try to find a new action cam. This area was famous for surfers, so there should be a surf shop that sells GoPros. Unfortunately the shop in Playa Grande didn’t have them but they recommended to drive to Tamarindo, which is 25 kilometres from Playa Grande. We jumped into the car and drove to Tamarindo. This town is located at the same bay but it’s much more touristy. Here you find a lot of hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and surf shops :). We started with the biggest shop, but we only heard a “no, sorry, we don’t sell them” :(. We tried the next shop, then another one and then more and more. Suddenly one seller said that another shop might sell GoPros. So we walked there, almost giving up, and there it was. . . a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition with a surf kit for unbelievable 525 dollars!!! (In the US the price would have been 320 dollars). When we entered the shop and the Rasta salesman realised that we are interested in a GoPro, all his buddies, who were sitting in front of the shop, yelled and were looking forward to a lot of money for a good party ;).
Lars tried to negotiate a better price but the salesman stopped at 25 dollars. That was still a loooot of money . . . 500 dollars. . . how long can we travel for this amount of money!? But then Lars made his decision and he said “yes!”.
Happy like a child he left the shop with his new GoPro and we all felt that it was the right decision :).
As mentioned above, Playa Grande is a perfect surfing spot, especially for beginners, and it’s actually one of the best surf locations in whole Costa Rica. The town of Playa Grande is small but also very relaxing. You don’t find too many hotels and hostels there. So, if you prefer a more authentic surfer beach, you should come here. If not, Tamarindo should be your choice. It’s also called ‘Tama-Gringo’ :). A wide range of accommodation, restaurants and bars, and a busy night life make this place to a fun town, also with a great beach with great waves. Both towns are easily accessible by car.