A favorite way to spend the day in Playa Grande for both locals and visitors alike is to have a Playa Grande beach day. With nearly four miles of golden sand beach, there is ample space to claim your own spot and post up for the day by the sea. In preparation for your beach day, you’ll want to make sure that you pack the following essentials. Aside from the list below, you might also want to consider packing a little picnic complete with a couple of beers, a cold-pressed juice, or some fresh coconut water. As we begin December, we begin the dry season in Costa Rica, which marks the start of perfect beach weather.
How to Pack: 9 Items You Must Have in Your Bag for a Playa Grande Beach Day
Natural Mineral Sunscreen
While the dry season (December through April) is noted for consistent cloudless blue skies, the sun is intense. This is not the time or the place to go sans sunscreen in hopes of getting a tan! You could cover your body in the thickest and highest SPF sunscreen and would still find yourself kissed by the sun at the end of the day. It is also important to remember that what you put on your skin will end up in the ocean too. So, make sure that you only use sunscreen that contains the active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium oxide; anything else is toxic to the coral reefs, the marine environment, and your body.
SIMPLE Apotheca and New Body Costa Rica are two local brands that are making 100% environmentally friendly and effective sunscreen products.
Natural Insect Repellent
Around sunrise and sunset, the no-see-ums can be brutal on the beach, and mosquitos are common year-round and all-around Costa Rica. To avoid having to cut your beach time short, pack some natural insect repellent, and you will have no issues with biting bugs.
A microfiber towel is not only light and easy to pack, but it dries quickly and doesn’t hold onto the sand when you shake it out. This is a must-have item for any beach vacation.
Reusable and Insulated Water Bottle
Aside from the obvious avoidance of single-use plastics, an insulated reusable water bottle is a must-have for the tropics. Nothing is satisfying about drinking hot sunbaked water on a hot day at the beach. An insulated water bottle will keep your water nice and chilly for the entirety of your beach day. My personal favorite is the Yeti 36-ounce Rambler Bottle. Regardless of how hot it is outside, my icy water stays icy until the very last drop!
There are few things more refreshing after swimming in the salty ocean than slices of watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, papaya, or oranges, or perhaps some pitaya or mamón chinos. Costa Rica is rich in native tropical fruit!
You definitely don’t want to bring anything valuable down to the beach, especially if you plan on swimming or leaving your belongings unattended. However, you might want to bring a few smalls bills in case you want a couple of tacos later in the day from Taco Star or head up to the RipJack Inn for happy hour.
Latest Edition of The Howler Magazine
The Howler Magazine is a free monthly lifestyle, travel, and adventure magazine that is available all around town, including at the RipJack Inn, Pots and Bowls, Frijoles Locos, and the Wilmart. This English-written magazine includes articles and stories about Costa Rican culture, history, attractions, local happenings, surf, wildlife, tours, restaurants, business and investment information, and current events. This informative, inspiring, and beautifully designed magazine offers great reading material for your Playa Grande beach day.
Bag for Collecting Trash During Your Playa Grande Beach Day
If you see any trash on the beach, please pick it up. Keeping our beaches and our ocean clean is a collective effort. While Playa Grande is actually a really clean beach, sometimes, and especially after big swells or storms, plastic and other debris end up on our shoreline. You can repurpose a plastic grocery bag or any other bag you’re able to reuse to collect any little pieces of trash you find around your beach spot.
Change of Clothes or Beach Cover-Up
Following the magnificent sunset, you might want to go straight from the beach to the RipJack Inn for post-sunset drinks or dinner. If you bring a change of clothes or a cover-up, you can easily transition from the beach to happy hour and dinner!
Of course, you’ll want to bring sunglasses and maybe a hat and a sun shirt, as well for your Playa Grande beach day. You can also rent a beach chair from the RipJack Inn reception if you want to update your beach set-up!