This is a photo of Playa Grande from the air. Because I posted some aerial photos of Papagayo during the last couple of days, I figure I should post some aerial photos of Tamarindo during the next couple of days.
To give you a frame of reference, the airplane from which this photo was taken is over Tamarindo at about the time this photo was taken. Playa Grande and Cabo Velas, shown in this photo, form the northern half of the crescent shaped bay and beach at Tamarindo.
The beach at Playa Grande and the ocean are part of the Las Baulas National Marine Park. It is the primary nesting site of the endangered leatherback turtles. During the fall and early months of the year, it is possible to take escorted visits to the beach at night with park rangers, in small groups, to watch the turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs.
There is a major controversy regarding the boundaries on land of the Las Baulas National Marine Park. Some conservation groups are withholding donations to wildlife preservation projects unless the federal government expropriates some land, largely owned by North Americans, to prevent homes, condos and hotels from being built next to the beach.
The conservation groups assert that the lights from nearby buildings inhibit the tortoises from laying their eggs on the beach. They also argue that people bought land nearby when they knew or should have known that the land was located within the National Park.
The landowners assert their rights as property owners and demand just compensation, which the government cannot afford. They also argue that the main threat to the turtles is not the houses near the beach, but hazards at sea from fishermen. I don't know the background of how the land in the area was sold. I do think the turtles' nesting beaches should be preserved, but I don't know how to balance that with the rights of property owners.