This dramatic, mile-long stretch is widely considered to be one of the top beaches in the world. Many a photo shoot was made at this picture-perfect beach with off-white sands and turquoise water. Just east of the famous golf course of the same name, Playa Grande's drama comes from craggy cliffs dropping into the crystalline sea. Shade can be found in the palm trees that thicken into Parque Nacional Cabo Frances Viejo, a jungle preserve south of the beach.
This simply gorgeous stretch of sand had food shacks and cheapie souvenir stands that marred its beauty, but the vendors now have brightly-painted, cutesy, Victorian-style huts that have been relocated to the end of the beach where a large parking area was constructed. Some are selling fried fish, tostones, lobster, avocado salad and cold Presidente beer. Security is present, and there are clean restrooms. Surfboards, paddleboards, and boogie boards are for rent; although the surf can swell it can also be smooth. The days of
driving your car onto the beach are definitely over (a good thing since islanders with huge speaker systems in their cars would park right next to your table.) Just behind the beach, screened by a palm-frond fence, The Playa Grande Beach Club is a new collection of buildings and bungalows available for rent. Amenitites: food and drink; restrooms. Best for: surfing; swimming; walking.