Playa Grande is beautiful but pretty isolated. Great for surfers and those seeking relaxation, but not much else going on. Of course for some this may be perfect, but those seeking a better selection of accommodations and restaurants should look across the estuary to Playa Tamarindo.
If you do base yourself in Grande, there is a service to take you the very short distance across to Tamarindo by 'lancha' or small boat. Vice verse, if you stay in Tamarindo surfers usually paddle across the estuary to Grande on their boards.
I'm sure someone else will provide Nosara info, so that you can make an informed decision aided by those who best know these areas.
or the river mouth too, and you dont really have to wait for the tides as much as other breaks on the Pacific, usually better though in the morning and afternoon, when there is usually a nice offshore breeze.
Yes, as Cubanon says, Guiones has very consistant waves, and April is great. This is why I moved here...or I should say this is why my husband moved here..I just followed. LOL. If you want seriously built up atmosphere with fast food restaurants, Tamarindo is the place. If you want great waves and less people, with plenty of restaurants, tours, etc., then Nosara is for you.
Here's a site all about surfing at Playa Grande: http://www.surfingplayagrande.com/
All depends on what you expect out of this trip.
Nosara is nice! Somewhat off the beaten path. You'll get the true Costa Rica feel here. There is a nice community there, restaurants, bar, etc. But small and relatively quiet. No real nightlife, or shopping to speak of. Excellent waves, huge beach and to me prettier than the other option.
Tamarindo has all the nightlife, restaurants, bars, shops, people. Its fun but it is busier. It would make a good base to visit both Playa Grande and Nosara if you need a location that has more "action" and you have your own car. But if you are looking for a bit more relaxation, I'd suggest heading south to Nosara
Playa Grande is just 25m from Tamarindo and very quiet. Great beach, great waves, but pretty isolated. If you're really looking to have some private family time this may be good.
Hmm. If it were me I'd probably opt for Nosara, too.
We were in nosara in Jan 07 after visiting arenal and monteverde. We stayed in a townhouse complex with large pool in pelada and had a car to get to guiones and to restaurants etc. Great beaches, fun people, loved the yoga institute. Plenty of restaurant options. Very dusty.
This April we are flying in to Liberia and staying at a small (2 br 1 bath) villa with shared pool in palm beach estates at playa grande. We are not renting a car...just beach cruiser bikes to get around and using the water taxi to adventure to tamarindo a couple times possibly. I am looking forward to walking to the beach whenever I want and enjoying a bit more laid back and quiet trip.Edited: 10 March 2012, 15:01