Last updated on January 16th, 2021 at 09:36 pm EST
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Playa Junquillal photos
Playa Junquillal fast facts
- English name: Junquillal Beach
- Distance from San Jose: 260km (approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes)
- Closest Town: Paraiso (small town); Tamarindo (large town)
- Beach Status: Public beach
Playa Junquillal beach details
Sand, shade, scenery, and unique features
Playa Junquillal is a long beach with medium-grey-brown sand that’s light grey in places. Offshore are rows of long, unbroken waves. Free to view at the beach is a turtle hatchery that helps protect the eggs of leatherback sea turtles, black sea turtles, and olive ridley sea turtles. There’s also a giant turtle sculpture and a small playground for children.
Crowds and noise
On any given day, Playa Junquillal receives only a handful of visitors, mainly guests of the few accommodations and vacation homes that are found in the region. Fortunately, the two-kilometer-long beach provides plenty of room for spacing out and rarely feels full. Noise is kept to a minimum, save for the sound of crashing waves and children playing on the playground.
Cleanliness and Ecological Blue Flag rating
Costa Rica’s Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica (Ecological Blue Flag Program) promotes sustainability and public health (to learn more about the program, see our related blog post: Costa Rica’s Ecological Blue Flag Program: Safe and Sustainable Beaches). Every year, several beaches in Costa Rica compete for top honors, which are bestowed annually according to strict criteria that span the topics of water quality, beach sanitation and garbage disposal, the treatment of industrial waste, beach security, and environmental education. Beaches that participate in the program and meet 90-100% of the eligibility criteria achieve a 1-star rating. Additional efforts invite beaches to achieve 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star ratings (5 stars is the highest rating).
In 2019, Playa Junquillal participated in the Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica and received a 1-star rating. You may see the achievement displayed at Playa Junquillal on a sign that reads Playa Galardonada (Award-Winning Beach).
Development at Playa Junquillal
Hotels, restaurants, tours, bathrooms, etc.
Commercial development is present but not obvious at Playa Junquillal. Accommodations (a few hotels and several vacation homes) are spread out along the coast, tucked away down side roads.
Playa Junquillal safety
Swimming and water safety
Swimming is allowed at Playa Junquillal, however, the beach has a known rip current. As always, exercise caution in and around the water, especially if you plan to visit with children or inexperienced swimmers.
Never bring items of value with you to the beach and always keep an eye on your belongings. Remember to lock your rental car if you have one. Do not visit the beach before sunrise or after sunset. If possible, visit the beach as part of a group to avoid being at this remote-feeling beach alone.
Playa Junquillal location and road conditions
Access to Playa Junquillal and 4×4 requirement
Playa Junquillal is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. It sits along a remote stretch of the coast that falls south of the town of Tamarindo and north of the community of Nosara.
Playa Junquillal is an approximate 35-kilometer, 45-minute drive away from Tamarindo, and an approximate 50-kilometer, 1.5-hour drive away from Nosara. The route via Tamarindo is paved most of the way. The route via Nosara requires travel over a bumpy section of road, and often a river crossing. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended to get to Playa Junquillal, particularly if you plan to take the route via Nosara.
Map of Playa Junquillal Costa Rica
Parking at Playa Junquillal
There is no official parking at Playa Junquillal, though steps from the beach is a makeshift lot that sits just off the main road that leads to Playa Junquillal through Paraiso (Road 928). There is room for several vehicles. The turtle sculpture, turtle hatchery, and playground are all beside the lot.
Best reason(s) to visit Playa Junquillal
Playa Junquillal isn’t worth traveling to purely to experience the beach. However, if you plan to station yourself at a hotel or vacation home in the Junquillal area of Costa Rica, Playa Junquillal is a decent spot where you can stretch out along the coast and relax away from crowds.
Beach hopping from Playa Junquillal (or alternative beach options in the region)
Recommended day trips from Playa Junquillal include visits to Playa Blanca, Playa Negra, and Playa Avellanas.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to Playa Junquillal? What did you think?
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