This is a photo from the main part of Tamarindo beach. Playa Grande is the beach across the bay and Cabo Velas is the point of land to the north. Yesterday I showed a photo of the beachfront of the Tamarindo Diria resort, and this is the beach in front of the Diria.
This photo was taken during the week between Christmas and New Year's. It shows that even during a peak tourist time, the beach is big enough to enjoy a walk without a crowd of other people. There were people laying out in the soft part of the sand to the right of the scene that I photographed.
In the lower right corner of this photo is the float for a lifeguard standing upright. One of the issues that is the subject of local newspaper stories is maintaining the presence of lifeguards on Tamarindo beach. Donations from hotels and others support the lifeguard program.
The solitary figure wading in the surf in this photo is my wife. I mention this so that you would not think I am some type of a voyeur taking pictures of strangers on the beach without their consent.
Playa Grande across the bay is the prime nesting side for the endangered leatherback turtles. It is part of the Las Baulas National Marine Park, which also includes the ocean waters of the bay. It is possible to sign up for night walks on the beach with park rangers to stake out spots and wait for turtles to swim ashore and lay their eggs. There is no guarantee of a turtle sighting, however.
A major point of controversy in the area is the preservation of the beach at Playa Grande. There is private land near the beach and conservationists fear that lights from the homes and guest houses may confuse the turtles and deter them from coming ashore to lay eggs.
The government lacks enough money to buy the private property, but environmental groups are pressuring the government to expropriate private property, claiming that people have built homes within the boundary of the area set aside for the park. So far the environmentalists seem to be prevailing, and there have been some expropriations of private property that was encroaching on the park boundaries.