For those who crave long walks at sunset and afternoons lounging in tide pools, ecological Blue Flag-recipient Playa Junquillal is a two-kilometer stretch of white-gray sands and beachfront wilderness – an outdoor paradise where jungle tumbles into sea, tide pools swirl, and boulders crumble into rocky reefs. Here, bluffs reach toward palm trees, the surf churns with seafoam, and the River Nanda Mojo cuts a swath through a 500-acre estuary and natural paradise.
Yes, this is Playa Junquillal – pronounced, hoon-kee-yal– a quiet retreat almost as hard to locate, as it is to pronounce. Located 10 miles south (as the toucan flies) of Tamarindo, this quiet corner of Costa Rica is a testament to the beauty of isolation: nearly deserted beaches, powerful surf swells (experience surfers only!), and molten sunsets that sizzle as they hit the horizon, Junquillal also marks the northern border of important sea turtle nesting beaches, both for olive ridley and leatherback turtles.
Our Playa Junqillal travel guide takes you to and through the best this secluded beach town has to offer.
Playa Junquillal Overview:
Location: North-Pacific Costa Rica, aka The Gold Coast, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Tamarindo
Average Temperature: 75-96º F (23-36º C)
Landscape: Lots of tropical ocean, protected turtle beaches, and dry and wet forest
Closest Airport: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) – about 80 minutes
Top Activities: Turtle-watching, Surfing, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving, Horseback Riding, and Sports Fishing
Top Attractions: Beaches, Catalina Islands (scuba & snorkeling), Ostional Wildlife Refuge
Great for: Couples & Honeymooners, Anglers, Families & Family Reunions, Destination Weddings, Nature Lovers
We Recommend: For when you crave the quiet but don’t want to stay too far from world-class restaurants, Playa Junquillal is an isolated (yet Tamarindo-adjacent) natural wonderland.