Playa Grande #36

One of my favorite beaches is Playa Grande, located just south of Punta Uva (going in the direction of Panama.)

Why is this beach my favorite? First, I believe it is the most beautiful beach on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It runs from Punta Uva to Manzanillo. We are talking about 2 to 3 miles long. Some may debate the distance depending on where Punta Uva ends and where Manzanillo begins. The map below gives you an idea of the size of the Playa Grande and its location.

Map of Playa Grande

Second, the shade along the shoreline is great, and there is normally plenty of parking along the beach. On weekdays and even during the peak tourist seasons, parking shouldn’t be an issue. Weekends can be a little crazy parking-wise, and especially during peak tourist seasons. Most of the year weekdays are the best days to visit.

So how do you find the road that leads you to Playa Grande? There are no signs. In other words, you are not going to be driving down 256 and see a sign that says, “Playa Grande turn here”. Matter fact there is no sign by the road that will give you any indication that there is a beach at the end of this little dirt road.

Here’s a tip: You leave Puerto Viejo heading south on Hwy 256 after reaching Punta Uva and after traveling about a mile beyond, you will see a sign on the right side of the road advertising El Refugio Grill restaurant.

sign at a distance
A close-up of the sign

Right across the road from the grill is the dirt road that will take you to Playa Grande. The road is about 200 yards (182 meters) down to the beach from Hwy 256. If you look up at the map near the start of this blog, you will see El Refugio Grill and the road leading from El Refugio headed to the beach.

You might not even notice this dirt road- that takes you to the best beach on the coast.

Once you reach the beach, there is a dirt road about 20 yards back from the beach, that runs for about a mile parallel to Playa Grande.

Here is another reason I like this beach. There are no stores, restaurants or any businesses on this beach. You need to bring you own food and drink. Maybe a Bar BQ to grill on the beach.

The photograph below shows the view looking towards the south in the direction of Manzanillo.

Manzanillo is located in the distance, where the trees look like they are going out to sea.

In the photograph below, if you look to the north, the trees seem to end at the far point of the beach. If you walk around that point, you are on Punta Uva beach.

This is the view looking north from the beach towards Punta Uva