Playa Grande #36

One of my favorite beaches is Playa Grande. It is right after Punta Uva going south. (In the direction of Panama.)

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

Map of Playa Grande

Second there is normally plenty of parking along the beach. Especially on weekdays. Weekends can be a little crazy during peak tourist seasons. Even then weekdays are still pretty low on the traffic of visitors.

The shade along the beach is great. Once you reach the beach, there is a dirt road that runs for about a mile parallel to Playa Grande once you drive in from the paved road (256).

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 is how you find the dirt road that leads you down to Playa Grande. As you are headed south on 256 after Punta Uva about a mile, you will see a sign on the right side of the road advertising El Refugio Grill restaurant.

El Refugio Grill signage
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 back up at the map you will see El Refugio Grill and the road leading from El Refugio headed to the beach.

A dirt road you might not even notice, that takes you to the best beach on the coast.

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

Looking down the beach south (see pic below) in the direction of Manzanillo.

Where the trees look like they are going out to sea is where Manzanillo is located.

If you look to the north (see pic below) where the trees seem to end at the far point of the beach, if you walk around that point you are on Punta Uva beach.

Looking north to Punta Uva