Adventures / Blog

Five Secret Beaches You Must Visit in Guanacaste

Last updated on June 9, 2023
Playa Junquillal Guanacaste Costa Rica

Hey there, amigos! Having decided to call Costa Rica home, there’s one thing I’ve discovered about the jaw-dropping beaches in Guanacaste – they’re more than just your typical tourist hotspots. The beaches here in Costa Rica are like snowflakes – no two are the same. From black sand beaches, to white sand with clear blue waters, the diversity here is astounding. In fact, many would say Costa Rica has some of the best beaches on the planet. There’s a world of coastal gems hidden off the beaten path just waiting for you to discover. Here’s five of the best beaches in Guanacaste you must visit your next trip.

Guanacaste is peppered with secret beaches that sometimes only the saltiest of local fishermen know about. You could spend the whole day on a beach bumming adventure and still stumble upon places so hidden, even the nearby Ticos wouldn’t be able to tell you their names!

One such hidden paradise is Playa Mina. It’s located close to Bahia de los Piratas. Our local buddy hinted at a detour down a small, almost invisible path to the left. And although it can be a bit of a wild goose chase initially – it’s absolutely worth it when you get there. The beach is pure bliss, with nothing but vibrant blue waters, soft sand, and pristine wilderness as far as the eye could see. PRO TIP: if you’re looking for total peace and quiet, beat the small crowds by visiting on a weekday morning.

Next on the list is Playa Penca, a slice of white sandy heaven near Playas del Coco – one of the top expat locations in Costa Rica. You can kayak, boat, or hike down to this Caribbean-like oasis. When you first get there, you’ll notice the stunning contrast of the bright blue water against the pillowy white sand. And the snorkeling, oh boy, it’s top-notch, with clear water that’s like looking through a glass bottom boat. Don’t forget to make a side trip to the nearby Playa Calzon de Pobre as well!

Then there‚Äôs Playa Junquillal. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about the beachside town of Playa Junquillal… but the secluded beach in the Refugio de Vida Silvestra national park here. There’s easy access on a paved road and plenty of parking. Clean camping area, with drinking water, hygienic services and security. The place is very quiet and the beach has very little or no waves. Bummer if you’re a surfer… but great for swimming. Just keep an eye out for the crocs!

When you get tired of the beach, there are trails you can walk and look at the countless birds that frequent the area. 

Tico’s cost to enter is $4… but tourists pay $15 to get in, which is the only downside in a country where most beaches are free. When you see just how beautiful this hidden gem is, I think you’ll find it’s worth it though.

Venture deeper into the Papagayo Peninsula and you’ll discover Playa Palmares, a stunning spot perfect for a snorkeling adventure. This beach in Guanacaste offers a magnificent vista – you’ll see the dazzling gulf surrounded by other beaches, captivating rock formations, and lush green landscapes. I’ve been lucky enough to spot dolphins, turtles, and even whales during my boat trips here. It’s an incredible sight, folks!

Last but definitely not least, Playa Huevo is a must-visit. Though only accessible by boat, it’s a popular stop for boat tours around the Gulf of Papagayo. This beach has an adventurous side, with cliff views and ancient caves waiting to be explored at low tide. It’s like stepping back in time, exploring those age-old caves and climbing over rocks that have been around for millennia.

So, there you have it, folks! Five of the best hidden beach gems in Guanacaste, ready for you to add to your travel list. Each one offers a unique opportunity to escape the crowds and enjoy your very own slice of secluded beach bliss. So slap on that sunscreen, pack your adventure spirit, and get ready to explore the less trodden sands of Guanacaste!