Playa Junquillal – A Top Beach in Guanacaste?

Playa Junquillal, a tranquil slice of paradise in the Guanacaste province, is yet another one of the top beaches in Guanacaste that I’ve had a chance to personally check out. Get ready to unwind, explore, and create unforgettable memories in this idyllic destination that you certainly won’t forget.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Playa Junquillal for an unforgettable beach getaway with tranquil atmosphere, diverse wildlife and mesmerizing sunsets.
  • Enjoy a range of activities from snorkeling to golfing, or take part in the sea turtle conservation project.
  • Indulge in local cuisine while taking advantage of convenient transportation options and family-friendly accommodation choices for the perfect Costa Rican experience!

Exploring Playa Junquillal

Sunset at Playa Junquillal

Nestled in the beautiful region of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Playa Junquillal is an idyllic beach destination that offers a peaceful atmosphere, abundant wildlife, and stunning natural beauty. Located just west of Santa Cruz and south of Tamarindo, Playa Junquillal is easily accessible while still providing a remote beach experience. From leisurely strolls along the pristine shoreline to breathtaking sunsets and contributing to the local sea turtle project, Playa Junquillal has something for everyone.

Imagine yourself walking along the serene Junquillal Beach, listening to the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore. Feel the warm sand between your toes as you watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues of orange and pink. Don’t miss the opportunity to observe baby turtles hatching nearby and making their way to the ocean for the first time.

Tranquil Atmosphere

The atmosphere in Playa Junquillal is truly tranquil and serene, making it an ideal destination for rest and revitalization. While swimming on the main beach of Junquillal, be cautious of the powerful waves and ocean currents. Fear not, as there are wonderful tide pools and stunning nearby beaches, such as Playa Blanca and Playa Callejones, where you can swim and snorkel in peaceful, calm waters.

Experience the essence of “pura vida” as you:

  • Soak up the sun and turquoise waters of the pristine beach
  • Enjoy long beach walks along the shore, while taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape
  • Relax and rejuvenate in the remote and peaceful environment of Playa Junquillal

Wildlife and Natural Beauty

Diverse Wildlife at Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal is a haven for nature lovers, as it is home to diverse wildlife and stunning natural landscapes. From exotic birds and butterflies to monkeys and turtles, you’ll be mesmerized by the incredible array of wildlife inhabiting the area. Some of the wildlife you can expect to see include:

  • Exotic birds
  • Butterflies
  • Monkeys
  • Turtles

The mangrove forest of Rio Nandamojo nearby offers a fantastic opportunity to observe monkeys, birds, and crocodiles in their natural habitat.

In addition to its abundant wildlife, Playa Junquillal also boasts several beautiful beaches. Some of the notable beaches include:

  • Playa Blanca: a white sand beach to the north of Junquillal, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the turquoise waters.
  • Playa Negra: an incredible surf spot located to the north of Playa Callejones, ideal for surfing enthusiasts.
  • Witnessing the awe-inspiring sight of leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles nesting on the beach is an unforgettable experience.

Getting to Playa Junquillal

Scenic Route to Playa Junquillal

Reaching Playa Junquillal is a breeze, as you have the option to rent a car, take a shuttle or private transfer, or even take a domestic flight to Tamarindo. From Tamarindo, it’s just about an hour drive to Playa Junquillal. If you’re flying into Liberia Airport, the drive to Playa Junquillal is a quick 1 hour and 15 minutes, making it easily accessible for your Costa Rican adventure.

Having a car during your stay in Playa Junquillal is highly recommended, as it’s the most convenient way to get around and explore the area. With your own vehicle, you’ll have the freedom to discover nearby attractions, plan day trips, and truly immerse yourself in the authentic Costa Rican experience.

Road Conditions

While the last few kilometers to Junquillal are dirt roads, they are manageable with a standard vehicle. A high car or 4WD is highly recommended for navigating the roads, especially during the rainy season from May to October when conditions may be muddy. However, even during the rainy season, you can still get around with the right vehicle and a bit of caution.

In general, the roads in and around Playa Junquillal are well-maintained, making for a smooth driving experience. If you plan to visit during the dry season from December to April, the roads are in great condition with hardly any potholes or trenches. So, whether you’re a seasoned driver or new to the roads of Costa Rica, you’ll find navigating your way to Playa Junquillal a breeze.

Nearby Towns and Attractions

While Playa Junquillal offers plenty to see and do, you may want to venture out and explore nearby towns and attractions. With your own vehicle, you’ll have the flexibility to visit the charming beach towns of:

All within easy driving distance.

Additionally, consider taking exciting day trips to locations such as:

  • Barra Honda
  • Palo Verde
  • Ostional
  • Rincon de la Vieja

These amazing destinations offer unique experiences, such as witnessing turtle nesting, exploring breathtaking landscapes, and discovering the fascinating world of Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife. With so much to see and do, your Playa Junquillal adventure is bound to be unforgettable.

Accommodation Options in Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal offers a variety of incredible accommodation options, including eco-friendly stays and family-friendly choices. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious retreat, an eco-conscious escape, or a welcoming family-friendly space, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head after a day of exploration.

From the beautiful Mundo Milo Eco Lodge to the charming Casas Pelicano and the relaxing Villas Las Ventanas, there is a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs. So, whether you’re visiting Playa Junquillal for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, you’ll find the ideal home away from home.

Eco-Friendly Stays

For those who prioritize sustainability and environmental conservation, eco-friendly accommodation options in Playa Junquillal provide the perfect blend of comfort and responsibility. Top-rated eco-friendly accommodations in Playa Junquillal include:

  • Junquillal Eco Lodge
  • Casas Pelicano
  • Villas Las Ventanas
  • The Ocean Hammock
  • Hotel Hibiscus
  • Casa Juliana
  • Guacamaya Lodge

These accommodations offer an amazing eco-friendly experience.

These accommodations prioritize:

  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Organic and local cuisine
  • Nature conservation programs
  • Eco-friendly amenities
  • Educational programs

By choosing an eco-friendly stay, you’re not only enjoying a memorable vacation but also contributing to the preservation and conservation of the beautiful environment that surrounds Playa Junquillal.

Family-Friendly Choices

If you’re traveling with family, Playa Junquillal offers a variety of family-friendly accommodation choices that cater to all ages. With spacious rooms, outdoor play areas, and activities designed for children, these accommodations provide an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Junquillal Eco Lodge, Casas Pelicano, Villas Las Ventanas, The Ocean Hammock, Hotel Hibiscus, Casa Juliana, and Guacamaya Lodge offer fantastic family-friendly options. Some of these accommodations even provide convenient babysitting services and delicious children’s menus, ensuring that both parents and children have a delightful stay.

Adventure and Activities

Surfing in Playa Junquillal

No trip to Playa Junquillal would be complete without experiencing the thrilling activities and adventures on offer. Some of the activities you can enjoy include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Sport fishing
  • Golf
  • Caving
  • Bird watching
  • Hiking the volcano at Rincon de la Vieja

There’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking the perfect wave or a nature lover looking to explore the breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, Playa Junquillal offers an array of activities that cater to all interests and skill levels.

Water Sports

Snorkeling Adventure at Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal is a water sports enthusiast’s dream, offering a fantastic variety of activities such as:

  • Snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Sport fishing
  • Kayaking

The waves at Playa Junquillal are powerful, fast-paced, and reliable all year round, making it an ideal location for surfing enthusiasts. The beach break at Playa Junquillal offers an impressive left-hand break that is ideal at high tide, providing a thrilling challenge for experienced surfers.

If you prefer a more tranquil water adventure, take a dip in the nearby tide pools or snorkel at the southern end of Junquillal Beach or at Playa Blanca in the north. With crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, you’ll be mesmerized by the underwater world that awaits you. Alternatively, you can try deep sea fishing for a thrilling experience.

Land Adventures

For those who prefer to stay on solid ground, Playa Junquillal offers a variety of exciting land adventures. Some options include:

  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Exploring the magnificent mangrove forest of Rio Nandamojo

There’s no shortage of ways to discover the stunning natural beauty of the area.

One unforgettable experience is a visit to the nearby Ostional Wildlife Refuge to witness the awe-inspiring nesting and hatching of sea turtles. Or, for golf enthusiasts, the Hacienda Pinilla 18-hole championship golf course is just a short drive away. With so many incredible activities and adventures at your fingertips, your Playa Junquillal experience will truly be one for the books.

Sea Turtle Conservation in Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal is not only a stunning beach destination but also a vital location for sea turtle conservation. The incredible hatching station for sea turtles on Junquillal beach is a testament to the dedication of locals who patrol the beaches to protect the precious eggs from poachers.

Four different species of sea turtles, including the leatherback sea turtle, can be found in Junquillal, with the main nesting season occurring from July through February. Witnessing these majestic creatures come ashore to lay their eggs at the sea turtle hatchery or watching baby turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Volunteering and Education

For those who wish to contribute to the conservation of sea turtles, Playa Junquillal offers incredible volunteering opportunities. By joining organizations like Verdiazul, you can participate in exciting tasks such as patrolling the beach to search for nesting sites, watching over the hatchery, and participating in turtle patrols at night.

Not only will you be helping to protect these endangered creatures, but you’ll also gain valuable knowledge and insights into sea turtle conservation efforts through educational programs and tours. By volunteering at the sea turtle conservation project in Playa Junquillal, you’ll be making a positive impact on the environment while creating lifelong memories.

Best Time to Visit

If you’re hoping to witness the incredible spectacle of sea turtle nesting and hatching, the best time to visit Playa Junquillal is between July and November. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, laying their eggs on the beach and hatching from their nests.

In addition to the sea turtle nesting season, Playa Junquillal offers:

  • A great climate throughout the year, with sunny days and pleasantly warm temperatures
  • The opportunity to experience the wonder of sea turtle conservation
  • Beautiful surroundings to relax and enjoy

Playa Junquillal, located near the stunning Playa Grande, is a destination you won’t want to miss.

Culinary Delights: Dining in Playa Junquillal

When it comes to dining, Playa Junquillal is a paradise for foodies, offering a variety of local and international cuisine to suit every palate. From fresh seafood and traditional Costa Rican dishes to mouthwatering international flavors, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to satisfying your taste buds.

Some fantastic dining options in Playa Junquillal include Mundo Milo, Restaurante Lochito’s, and Amigos Bar and Grill. Whether you’re craving a delicious Costa Rican breakfast of gallo pinto, fresh fruits, and more or looking for a delightful meal featuring local ingredients like succulent chicken, tender beef, and delectable casado (rice and beans), the culinary delights of Playa Junquillal are sure to impress.

Day Trips and Excursions

To make the most of your Playa Junquillal vacation, consider taking some day trips and excursions to nearby attractions and national parks. With so much to see and do in the surrounding area, you’ll never run out of new experiences and adventures to embark on.

Visit the astounding Rincon de la Vieja National Park to hike a volcano, or head to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge to witness another incredible sea turtle nesting site. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or wildlife encounters, day trips from Playa Junquillal offer a wealth of unforgettable experiences to enrich your Costa Rican journey.

Tips for an Unforgettable Playa Junquillal Experience

To ensure an unforgettable Playa Junquillal experience, keep in mind a few key tips. Private transportation is the most convenient way to explore the area, giving you the freedom and flexibility to discover nearby attractions and plan day trips at your leisure.

Embrace the welcoming Costa Rican culture and be open to new experiences. Appreciate the local customs, such as dressing modestly and respectfully when outside of the beach area. By immersing yourself in the authentic Costa Rican experience and respecting the local way of life, you’ll create lifelong memories in the beautiful Playa Junquillal.


In conclusion, Playa Junquillal is a hidden gem that offers the perfect balance of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty. From its tranquil atmosphere, stunning beaches, and abundant wildlife to the array of activities, accommodations, and culinary delights, Playa Junquillal has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a serene beach haven, an eco-friendly escape, or a family-friendly adventure, a visit to Playa Junquillal is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Playa Junquillal?

Playa Junquillal is located in the North-Pacific Costa Rica, near Tamarindo beach town, about 80 minutes away from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. You can rent a car in Liberia and easily make the drive to the beach

How do you pronounce Playa Junquillal?

Playa Junquillal is pronounced hoon-kee-yal, making it a difficult destination to both locate and pronounce!

What is Santa Teresa Costa Rica known for?

Santa Teresa Costa Rica is renowned for its surfing, beautiful sands and crystal-clear waters. Additionally, visitors can enjoy fishing, snorkeling and kite-surfing in the area.

What city to stay in Costa Rica?

San Jose, Quepos, La Fortuna, Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo, Monteverde, Dominical, Nosara, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Santa Teresa, Playas del Coco, Cahuita and Playa Samara are all great destinations to experience Costa Rica’s natural beauty and culture.

What is the best time to visit Playa Junquillal for sea turtle nesting and hatching?

Experience the wonder of nature and witness baby sea turtles hatching from their nests by visiting Playa Junquillal between July and November.

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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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