The Choice: Tamarindo vs Playa Grande?

People ask us often, to explain the difference between Tamarindo vs Playa Grande? Why should they choose one over the other? The choice and final decision is ultimately yours, and as individual as you are. Here is a little summary of Tamarindo and Playa Grande: Tamarindo: Tamarindo is much more touristy- busier, more shops, more people, more stuff… If you are looking for nightlife- clubs and bars are open late and there is a lot of choice in Tamarindo. Tamarindo has a lot of restaurants. I am told, however, by some who frequent there, that it is hard to find a great one. Always a good idea to ask locals. At the moment, Nordico, Seasons by Shlomy and Pangas are topping the charts, along with Pura Vegan, Noguis and La Bodega. Activities are more readily accessible in Tamarindo. Like Playa Grande, it also has good surfing. Down-side is that the learning to surf area is small and crowded with surf schools. Playa Grande:  Playa Grande is more peaceful. Uncrowded is the key word for Playa Grande- there aresurf  a couple commercial stores (our surf shop and another), a collection of small boutique hotels, and a lovely, uncrowded 4km stretch of beach which is separated from Tamarindo by an estuary… the only place you will find a crowd is at main peak surf break, when the waves are good!! Playa Grande doesn’t have a real ‘town center’… in fact, it doesn’t have a church, soccer field, bakery, bank or any other key installations one would think was crucial in a ‘town’! Small boutique hotels, not resorts, are the rule in...
Surf Etiquette and Safety

Surf Etiquette and Safety

Surf safety and surf etiquette are paramount to an enjoyable surf session for everyone involved. Surfing is fun, it’s adrenaline-pumping and life-changing. Surfing can also be dangerous to you, and those around you- like any sport, or activity, there are guidelines for best practices. Keep reading, to discover how you can minimize the chance of accidents, conflicts with other surfers and maintain good vibes and good karma! Select the most appropriate location for your skill level. If in doubt, ask your local surf shop. Surfer closest to where the wave broke has priority, or in some places, it’s the person first on their feet. Stay out of the way of other surfers- when paddling out, paddle towards the broken part of the wave so you avoid interfering with surfers on the green face. Don’t be a wave hog- take turns, encourage others. Be observant, pay attention at all times. Assist a fellow surfer in trouble or distress. Spend a little time speaking to locals before surfing- figure out the local vibe, how best to fit in. Your board is a missile and has the potential to harm another person. Never ditch your board when a surfer is behind you- hold onto it like a life depends on it. Remember a 9ft board with a 9ft leash has a reach of close to 20 feet…. and your fellow surfer on a similar board has the same… try and keep a good 40ft from other beginners. Relax, have fun, don’t be a jerk. Smile, share and lift the spirits of those around...
In- house Chef and Catering in Playa Grande.

In- house Chef and Catering in Playa Grande.

Over the years, many visitors have really appreciated the local knowledge and seamless service we offer in our role as Concierge Services Provider. As a result, we receive countless requests for assistance in securing activities, tours and also, services of an in-house chef, or catering, from prospective visitors to Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Frijoles Locos Concierge Service can recommend and reserve, on your behalf, someone to take the chore of cooking off your hands while on vacation, allowing you to simply relax, enjoy the sunsets, savor a cerveza and sit down to a culinary delight. From high-end, gourmet chef services, to middle of the road yet quality cuisine and down the budget scale to a simple delivery service of catered meals, we have what you need. Does a home-delivered meal of chicken lasagne or Spanish Seafood Paella sound appealing? How about fish crepes or beef tenderloin with creamy mushroom sauce. Food allergies, or particular dietary requests? No problem! Also available, an in- house cooking class where you can learn to cook typical Costa Rican food and extend the vacation mode when you repeat the experience back home. There are many wonderful restaurant options here in Playa Grande too- so make sure you leave time to explore some of our favorites such as the RipJack Inn, Hotel Bula Bula, Cafe del Pueblo, El Huerto Pizzeria or La Marejada. The Taco Star has delicious and great value tacos for lunch, and there are always new restaurants opening up each season. Email us for the most updated list. Contact our concierge team at [email protected] to find the best chef or cook options for...
What to take on your trip to Costa Rica?

What to take on your trip to Costa Rica?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive, is what to take on your trip to Costa Rica? While we aren’t experts in all areas of Costa Rica, we sure can suggest some must-haves for your trip to Playa Grande and other beachy towns. If you have ideas you think we should add to the list, feel free to email us, we would love to hear from you! Below is your packing list: Sunscreen- a water-resistant type- we stock SunBum and HeadHunter which are great! Beach pants (for sunset watching, mosquito-free) Long sleeved lightweight shirt (as above) Insect repellant (especially May through to end November) US dollars in smaller denominations of up to $50’s (don’t exchange your cash back home, the exchange rate will be awful!) Sarong which can double as a beach blanket Flip-flops A pair of Tevas/ Keens/ sneakers you can get wet or dirty (for the adventure day, horseback riding, white water tubing and other super fun adventurous activities!) If you plan on scuba-diving, bring your PADI card. Items you no longer need at home and wish to donate to a good cause- used sneakers, clothing, always are appreciated at CEPIA, a fantastic local charity. Also, any spare space you might have for Pack for a Purpose items would be greatly appreciated and can be left at Frijoles Locos to be taken to La Paz Community School. Toiletries (Toothpaste is more pricey here, razors for shaving too. Tampons aren’t all that easy to get here and variety is limited… plus the price is super high. Check out the Diva Cup for a very travel-friendly alternative...
4 Key Tips for Beginner Surfers

4 Key Tips for Beginner Surfers

How Beginner Surfers can Stand Up on a Wave their First Time Surfing No doubt about it, learning to surf is hard! Here are 4 tips for beginner surfers, to ensure you stand up on a wave the first time you surf. 1/ Determine if you are goofy or regular foot. Goofy foot surfers have their right foot forward and regular foot surfers have their left foot forward. If you snowboard or skateboard, you should already know which of these you are. If not, have a friend push you from behind and whichever foot you step forward with first, becomes your front foot. 2/ Practice pop-ups on the beach. Draw a cross in the sand and lay down on it so your chest rests on the center of the cross. With hands in a wide push-up position, at chest level, draw your tummy in, to create space for your front leg to come through and plant your front foot at the center of the cross. Your back foot remains behind. Both your feet should be perpendicular to the vertical center line, not parallel as if you were skiing. Repeat, as many times as needed, until you nail the pop-up. 3/ Keep your hands flat. Think stable table. Hands flat on the surfboard will keep the surfboard steady. A common beginner surfer mistake is to grab the edges of the surfboard like reading a book- it will rock and roll and you will fall off. 4/ White-water first. Stay in the area of the beach where the waves have already broken. This area is referred to as the white-water. Allow the white-water waves to push you toward the beach, and stand...