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Sunset on Playa Junquillal in Costa Rica

Located along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, Playa Junquillal embodies the essence of tropical paradise. With its pristine golden sands stretching as far as the eye can see, this secluded gem offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Surrounded by lush greenery and swaying palm trees, the beach exudes a sense of serenity and natural beauty. The crystal-clear waters invite visitors to take a refreshing dip or try their hand at surfing. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the abundant wildlife that calls this area home, from colorful tropical birds to playful monkeys swinging through the trees. Whether you're seeking adventure or simply craving a moment of relaxation, Playa Junquillal promises an unforgettable experience immersed in Costa Rica's breathtaking natural wonders.

Where is Playa Junquillal of Guanacaste?

Nestled on the western edge of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, Junquillal Beach offers a tranquil escape from the vibrant energy of its northern neighbor, surf haven Tamarindo Beach. Despite being just a short 40-minute drive away, it embodies a distinctly serene ambiance that feels worlds apart from the bustling atmosphere of Tamarindo. While smaller in scale compared to more developed coastal towns, Playa Junquillal boasts a diverse array of accommodations, a few dining establishments, and recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Junquillal is just south of Playa Blanca and Playa Negra, other great options.

How to Get There from the Airport

The Liberia International Airport (LIR) is the closest international airport to Playa Junquillal Costa Rica (San Jose International Airport is another option, but it is a 5-hour drive away). From LIR Airport, there are several options to travel to Playa Junquillal.

  • Car Rental: If flexibility and freedom are the priority, renting a car is the best option. The drive to Playa Junquillal takes about 80 minutes along Route 21 and Route 160, providing a scenic tour through Costa Rica's picturesque natural landscapes.
  • Shuttle Service: A variety of private transportation companies offer shuttles directly from the airport to Playa Junquillal.
  • Taxi: Taxis are fast and readily available, but they are more expensive than the other options.
  • Public Bus: While there is no direct bus from the airport to Playa Junquillal, a combination of buses will take you to your destination. The cost is minimal, and you’ll feel like a local.

Places to Stay in Playa Junquillal

Junquillal Beach offers a broad range of accommodation options from boutique hotels to surfing lodges to unique vacation rentals. 


Mundo Milo Eco Lodge stands as a serene oasis of sustainability and natural beauty nestled amidst the lush tropical rainforest of Costa Rica. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the rich biodiversity of the surrounding jungle, with cozy yet eco-friendly accommodations seamlessly integrated into the verdant landscape. Enjoy the refreshing onsite horizon pool or the Pacific Ocean just 300 meters away. From guided nature walks to immersive wildlife encounters, Mundo Milo Eco Lodge provides a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature while minimizing environmental impact. With its commitment to sustainability, warm hospitality, and breathtaking scenery, Mundo Milo Eco Lodge promises an unforgettable eco-conscious escape in Costa Rica.

The Guacamaya Lodge offers serene cabinas, studio apartments, and fully equipped villas encircling a spacious pool, bar, and restaurant. Bask in the tranquil ambiance as the ocean's melody serenades you, while verdant tropical gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for contemplation of Costa Rica's rich biodiversity. Guests instantly feel at ease in this intimate family-oriented lodge, nestled atop a secluded hill just moments away from the Pacific Ocean in Playa Junquillal. The lodge is the perfect base for enjoying the province's renowned sunshine, surfing, fishing, eco-adventures, and breathtaking natural vistas.

The Tides Oceanfront Resort is an eco-conscious haven that invites guests to unwind amidst nature's splendor. Surrounded by lush tropical forests and the rhythmic waves of the Pacific Ocean, the resort features thoughtfully designed accommodations, well-equipped exercise room, and pool with lounging area. Its upper-level bar and restaurant offer an idyllic vantage point for whale watching in the bay or appreciating the spectacular sunsets. Guests can immerse themselves in a variety of eco-friendly activities, from guided nature walks to yoga sessions on the beach, all while respecting and preserving the local ecosystem. The Playa Junquillal Eco Resort promises an unforgettable stay that nourishes the soul and rejuvenates the spirit.

Vacation Rentals

In this region, a diverse selection of vacation rentals, ranging from condos and cabins to luxurious villas, offers a captivating blend of seclusion, comfort, and natural beauty. Properties with ocean views are particularly coveted, allowing guests to wake up to the soothing sounds of the waves and enjoy stunning sunsets over Playa Junquillal. These accommodations typically feature modern amenities, access to communal pools, and convenient proximity to the beach. Moreover, the array of nearby private homes for rent showcase unique attributes such as lush tropical gardens, expansive outdoor spaces, and, in some instances, private pools. Catering to various preferences, these vacation rentals in Playa Junquillal provide the perfect setting for families, groups, or couples seeking an authentic and tranquil retreat in Costa Rica.

Popular Residential Communities near Playa Junquillal

Tierra Pacifica is tucked away in the foothills and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Renowned as Costa Rica’s foremost residential green community, it champions new and different approaches to environmentally conscious development tailored to the local climate. With a focus on sustainable living, Tierra Pacifica offers a tranquil, welcoming, and secure gated community experience on the Pacific Coast of Guanacaste, embodying the essence of authentic Costa Rica. Residents are drawn to this charming residential complex for its sense of community, security, and unwavering commitment to sustainability. Major features include an extensive network of nature trails, enveloping tropical forests, close proximity to the ocean, 80 acres of dedicated green zones, and a deep-rooted connection to the local community fostered through initiatives in education and reforestation efforts.

Best Restaurants in Playa Junquillal

Mundo Milo, located at the eco lodge of the same name, stands as a culinary gem, offering a delightful fusion of flavors amidst the natural beauty of Costa Rica. With a commitment to sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, this restaurant embodies the essence of eco-conscious dining. Guests are invited to savor a diverse menu inspired by traditional Costa Rican cuisine, elevated with modern twists and international influences. Whether indulging in fresh seafood delicacies or savoring flavorful vegetarian options, each dish is crafted with care and creativity. The restaurant's warm and inviting atmosphere, coupled with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, creates an unforgettable dining experience. Whether enjoying a leisurely meal with loved ones or sipping cocktails as the sun sets over the horizon, Mundo Milo restaurant offers a culinary journey that celebrates the rich flavors of Costa Rica's bountiful land and sea.

Restaurante Lochitos is a local favorite with a relaxed ambiance located in the heart of Playa Junquillal. Guests can indulge in an array of freshly prepared dishes, showcasing the region's abundant seafood, tropical fruits, and locally sourced ingredients. From savory ceviche to mouthwatering grilled specialties, each dish is crafted with passion and attention to detail. Guests praise Lochitos for its friendly service, refreshing cocktails, and reasonable prices. 

Restaurant Guacamaya offers a culinary journey infused with the vibrant flavors of Costa Rica. Situated just moments away from the Pacific Ocean, this charming eatery provides a welcoming ambiance where guests can unwind and indulge in delicious cuisine. With a menu inspired by the region's bounty, diners can expect a tantalizing array of dishes highlighting fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and locally sourced ingredients. Restaurant Guacamaya is a great choice for breakfast, a leisurely lunch, or a romantic dinner under the stars.

Where to Buy Groceries in Playa Junquillal

Supermarket Junquillal, located on the main road to the beach, welcomes locals and visitors alike. This vibrant grocery store offers a comprehensive selection of goods to meet every need. From fresh produce sourced from local farms to pantry staples and household essentials, the shelves are stocked with an array of high-quality products. Guests can also find a diverse assortment of snacks, beverages, and deli items perfect for beach picnics or leisurely meals. The friendly staff adds to the inviting atmosphere, providing personalized service and helpful recommendations. Whether stocking up for a week-long vacation or simply grabbing a few items for the day, Supermarket Junquillal provides a convenient shopping experience in the heart of Junquillal Beach.

Super y Licorera Paraíso, conveniently located in town at the crossroads to Playa Junquillal and other area beaches, is both a supermarket and liquor store. The supermarket section boasts a wide selection of fresh produce, pantry staples, household essentials, and specialty items, ensuring that shoppers can find everything they need for daily living or special occasions. Meanwhile, the liquor store offers an extensive assortment of spirits, wines, beers, and mixers, providing options to suit every taste and occasion. Beyond its offerings, Super y Licorera Paraíso fosters a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where friendly staff members provide attentive service and helpful recommendations. Whether stocking up on groceries, selecting the perfect bottle of wine, or simply enjoying a leisurely browse, visitors to Super y Licorera Paraíso are sure to find what they need with ease and convenience.

A wider selection of food and beverages can be found about 40 minutes away in the grocery stores of Tamarindo and Santa Cruz. 

Playa Junquillal in Costa RicaWhat It’s Like in Playa Junquillal

Playa Junquillal offers a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of more crowded beaches, making it an ideal destination for those seeking peace and tranquility. Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll alone or enjoying a romantic sunset with your partner, this beach provides a picturesque backdrop for relaxation. Playa Junquillal was awarded the Ecological Blue Flag, given to beaches that comply with a certain standard of cleanliness making this beach one of the cleaner beaches of the entire province. The charm of Junquillal Beach lies in its rustic, less developed atmosphere, reminiscent of an "old pueblo," which attracts visitors looking for an authentic Costa Rican experience. Despite its quaintness, the village boasts essential amenities like a grocery store and a doctor's office, conveniently located within a small mall. While some roads may still retain their primitive character, improvements such as the newly paved main road from Tamarindo and Santa Cruz indicate the area's growth and potential. In both the dry season and the rainy season, Playa Junquillal epitomizes tranquility and presents promising long-term real estate opportunities in Costa Rica.

Things to Do in Playa Junquillal, Guanacaste

Playa Junquillal is renowned for its exceptional surf conditions, characterized by high-quality waves, powerful breaks, and consistent tides. Experienced surfers can enjoy both a beach break and a left-handed reef break, with optimal swells occurring from the southwest direction. The reef break offers thrilling rides, especially during high tide, while the beach break provides fast, hollow waves over a sandy bottom, extending up to 300 meters on favorable days. Junquillal is great for swimming or long beach walks. Away from the coast, the area attracts hiking enthusiasts with three main trails—Sendero El Carao, Sendero el Estero Seco, and Sendero La Laguna—offering opportunities to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Guanacaste dry forest. Nearby, the picturesque Isla Muñecos in Junquillal Bay allures fishermen year-round and is a popular spot for snorkeling enthusiasts. Additionally, visitors can partake in mountain biking, ATV tours, and horseback riding, or embark on day trips to a nearby national park, waterfall, or sea turtle nesting site, all just a short drive away.

In addition to visiting Playa Junquillal, try exploring one of the many beautiful beaches along the Guanacaste coastline. Here is a list of other amazing beaches (listed from north to south).

  • Playa Danta: Natural and peaceful, a great place to get away.
  • Playa Penca: Framed by headlands at both ends, this scenic beach is a great place to play or relax. Explore the small tide pools at low tide.
  • Playa Potrero: The gentle surf invites you to swim, fish, or explore the cove by boat.
  • Playa Flamingo: Known for its marina, restaurants, and casino, Flamingo is a hotspot of the Gold Coast.
  • Playa Conchal: Unique shell beach caressed by crystalline waters.
  • Playa Piratas: Enjoy this pristine crescent of sand before the secret gets out.
  • Playa Grande: A quieter escape known for its natural beaches, exciting surf break, and nesting sea turtles.
  • Playa Tamarindo: Known for its surfing spots, vibrant nightlife, and lively atmosphere.
  • Playa Langosta: Rocky and wild, this is the ideal spot to enjoy the sunset.
  • Playa Avellanas: Revered for its consistent surf conditions, offering waves that can range from small and fun to large and challenging.

Venturing into Playa Junquillal and the surrounding area offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich natural beauty that has made Costa Rica famous. This area serves as a true refuge, promising experiences that will forge enduring memories.

The beauty of places like Playa Junquillal is why so many people are deciding to buy a property in Costa Rica. Contact us today and we'll be happy to help you find that perfect piece of paradise for yourself.