Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Non-Touristy Activities to Do in and around Playa Grande, Costa Rica

jennparker Costa Rica , Living Abroad , Playa Grande Leave a Comment

If you are living in, have just moved to, or are enjoying an extended stay in Playa Grande, you might be interested in some non-touristy activities to experience. There are dozens of activities and places that both tourists and locals enjoy in and around Playa Grande. However, there are a few activities that many first-time and short-term visitors don’t have the opportunity or know-about to do. 

Playa Grande


Attend a fundraiser 

Between multiple private schools, CEPIA, Amigos of Costa Rica, ADI, and many other non-profit organizations in Guanacaste, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to attend local fundraisers for a variety of different causes. The fundraisers that take place around Playa Grande throughout the year are really well done and often include exceptional food, live music, silent auctions, and a welcoming environment to mingle with a great mix of people from around the world. 

Volunteer with animals or children 

Costa Rica is one of the most biologically rich countries in the world. There are literally animals everywhere! Unfortunately, due to habitat destruction and the adverse effects of the human impact, there are animals in Costa Rica that are in need of rescue, rehabilitation, and care. Fortunately, though, there are incredible organizations throughout the country dedicated to helping animals in need. 

The Monkey Farm and The Monkey Park Foundation are two that are relatively close to Playa Grande. Both of these non-profit organizations accept short-term and long-term volunteers who love animals and want to lend a helping hand. 

volunteer with monkeys in Costa Rica

Help a friend out

Go to a fiesta

Every year, there are town fiestas that take place around Costa Rica. A traditional fiesta typically includes carnival rides and games, bull “fights,” music and dancing, and a lot of drinking and eating. Matapalo, Huacas, and Villa Real are three of the bigger towns near Playa Grande that host their own fiestas. This is an exciting opportunity to experience Costa Rican culture and tradition. 

Eat at a soda

There are hundreds of restaurants within walking and driving distance of Playa Grande. You will find everything from Italian and French cuisine to Mexican and Meditteranean, and every type of fusion in between. If you really want to experience authentic Costa Rica food at local Costa Rican prices, then you must dine at a soda. 

A soda is traditional Costa Rican restaurant. Every town has at least one, and this is where you will find “grandma’s cooking,” Every soda is slightly different though. But, you will find traditional staples at all of them. Soda Guanacaste, Punto Tranquilo, and Soda Las Palmas are three near Playa Grande that serve up some great Costa Rican dishes. 

eat like a local in Costa Rica

Can’t go wrong with gallo pinto

Party like a local 

Playa Grande isn’t known for its late party night-life. However, when Playa Grande locals want to party and don’t want to go all the way to Tamarindo, they usually go to the Wilmart on Friday nights for live music and Charlie’s Bar in Matapalo. If there is a fiesta in Matapalo or Huacas, you will find a lot of Playa Grande locals there too. 

Enjoy a beach day Costa-Rica style 

Costa Ricans really know how to enjoy a day at the beach. It is not uncommon to see big family and friend groups together on the weekends. Bahia de los Piratas and Playa Minas are two famous weekend beaches. A proper day at the beach includes the right supplies to last until sunset. You can find everything you need for the ultimate picnic at the Wilmart.

Think ice, beverages, sandwiches, chips, dips, and fruit. Don’t forget towels, beach chairs, music, and sunscreen! 

beach day in Costa Rica

Just beachy

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