I don’t, and won’t claim to be an expert on vida-de-la-playa, especialmente en Costa Rica, but heck, I spent more time barefoot with the sand between my toes last month than … oh, for at least the past five years, total. The place I rented was a kilometer (10 – 15 minutes) walk from Playa Conchal, which is relatively unspoiled — and there are NO big resorts nor hotels, etc. on it … yet. The Westin Inn, which starts at $600 or so per person per day, is close, and has laid its claim to the northern portion of Conchal, but the effluent (ahem! I mean affluent) doesn’t spill over, much, onto the southern half of Conchal, our temporary back yard.
Below, Betty and Rachel (with Henry) venture onto Conchal our first morning there.
“Ooh! look at that!” Ben-Rachel-Betty (& grandkids) take it all in. Across the “bay” from us is the more upscale Playa Flamingo, north.
It’s never too early to get your kid ready for X-games aerials and such later in life.
We DID NOT really experience Playa Tamarindo — venturing from town just to look. We prefered “our” beaches back at “our place.”
Of course, Tamarindo is famous for the surfing-scene — with the requisite shops, night-life, etc.
Possibly our favorite beach was the somewhat secluded Playa Minas. It is not much more than a mile from where we stayed. I/we snorkeled every visit here — and Tom and Ben came back from a sojourn somewhat excited about being surrounded by five large manta rays.
“Our van” apparently doesn’t mind the view at Playa Piratas — preferable, I’m sure, to the usual view back at the rental agency parking lot.
Ben and Rachel would set up a home base each Playa-episode — mostly for Henry to nap in the shade. Ben and Eddy would dig in the sand, too. Funny: we went shopping for a toy shovel for Eddy, and Ben also bought a “real” shovel for less than the toy!
Above, right: I wanted to wander to Playa Corazon de Jesus (Jesus’ Heart Beach!) but the closest I/we got was to look at it, just before the last promontory in the distance.
No, we did not experience Playa Flamingo directly, but drove along it one day. Directly across the “bay” is our place. (I’m not sure if you’d call the open water, though kind of bracketed by land on three sides, a “bay.”)
Playa Flamingo, above. The outcrop/promontory is the boundary between Flamingo, and Brasilito, on the other side. Actually, Brasilito is the next beach north of Conchal, and I ran a couple times to the town of Brasilito during my later beach jogs.
Above, “camp” at Minas. Rosco talks with Henry, below.
One night most of us walked on Pl. Conchal, then Brasilito during sunset and Rachel/Betty drove to meet us for dinner at Don Brasilito’s. (The pizza there was excellent!)
Not pictured is a venture during the full moon to Minas to watch sea turtles coming out of the water to lay their eggs. We respectfully kept our distance from one which we saw from the moment of emerging from the surf ’til it had crawled to the edge of the jungle and started to dig. I think that the whole process took hours, and we were not that patient.
My very first run on the beach I noticed what looked like ATV tracks coming out of the water, making an elongated semi-circle towards the edge of the beach, then back into the water. Not being schooled in the mystical ways of beach-side life, I still was fairly sure that what I noticed was turtle tracks — and the disturbed area where the egg-laying occurred made me pretty certain. I wish and hope that most such locations remain safe from predators (once I noted that something, semi-feral dogs? (non-feral?) or some local animal — badgers (risottes) had dug up an egg-laying spot. Sadly, I noted a few punctured eggs …). Poo-poo happens. Circle of life …
Yes, the views in all directions, especially north were nice, all the more so from within the large jetted-hot-tub.
Also not pictured was a short visit to Playa Grande. P.G. adjoins Tamarindo (it’s just north of T) and allegedly is the largest longest widest beach in Costa Rica. Tom and Ben went boogy-boarding (and seemed to be “pumped” from an hour or so of that). I’d estimate that it is a few miles in length — possibly 3 or 4, and the portion we were at was 100 yards wide or more.
It’ll probably be years (if I live that long) before I am able to do this again!