Playa Grande

This long white beach to the south of Tamarindo has, until now, been a low-key backpacker and surfer destination with just a few small hotels, residences, and surf schools. Although located adjacent to bustling Tamarindo, the natural barrier of an estuary means it’s only accessible either by a 30-minute drive through Villa Real, Huacas and Matapalo, or by a foot ferry which runs only when there’s enough traffic. 

Its secluded location and the existence of Las Baulas National Marine Park – which includes a large swath of ocean, as well as the beach 50 meters inland to protect the nesting grounds of the endangered leatherback turtle – has kept development to a minimum. Access to the beach at night is closed to all but tour guides with visitors there to watch the turtles laying their eggs. 

Playa Grande is a very beautiful piece of real estate, but its proximity to the park has caused fierce legal battles that have yet to be resolved. The government has been in the process for some time of expropriating land along the beach, and landowners have countersued. Considering the high prices that developments like Playa Grande Estates are asking, and the ever-present risk of expropriation that will not reimburse you nearly what you paid, investing in Playa Grande is much too risky at this point. Once again, it’s a fantastic location, but a smart investor would either wait to see how all the legal battles pan out, or be prepared to spend a lot of money on a very good attorney. 

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