If a visit San Juanillo is on your bucket list, you’ve made the right choice, but if it isn’t, allow us to change your mind.
We were touring the beautiful province of Guanacaste and we just had to see for ourselves why San Juanillo beach is so spectacular.
Obviously, we went for a delicious smoothie in the Nosara quarter and visited other beaches but here we will focus on San Juanillo.
We ate lunch at a restaurant that is about 600m from the beach. It was so delicious that we were licking our fingers! It was almost 4 o’clock in the afternoon, so we decided to find “front row seats” for the much-acclaimed sunset.
We saw several families enjoying the beach, as the gentle waves are perfect for children who like to play on the shore.

White sand and turquoise water

At the beach we found fishing boats that offer tours to see turtles, dolphins, whales and even manta rays.
Visiting San Juanillo is like a stepping into a painting: white sand, turquoise water, gentle waves and a sunset that is worth watching until the last of the sun’s rays dip below the horizon.
It is super accessible, we were able to reach the beach by car and there are bathrooms and camping on site. For those with a sweet tooth, there is a stand selling shaved ice to help you to beat the heat.
One of the most popular attractions at San Juanillo is the sand path and the rock formations that divide it into 2 beaches, one sandy and one rocky.
We couldn’t resist the urge to climb to the highest point of the rock formation so that we could look out across the entire beach.

A perfect place to relax

Behind the rocks there are nooks and crannies that are ideal to relax alone, with your friends or with your partner. We recommend that if you bring food or something to drink, you should also bring a bag to collect your garbage.
At about 5:40 in the afternoon the sky will begin to turn yellow and sun will look like a big orange. We were on the rocks until we saw the last ray of light. What a treat!
After sunset there were a few more minutes of light, enough to take another quick swim or just put your feet in the warm sand.
We definitely did not want to leave, but we had to find dinner.
There are many food options near the beach. You will find great ceviche, delicious smoothies, organic dishes, pasta and plenty of pizza places.
Is your mouth watering yet? Well, you already know what to do…

Don’t miss a thing

  • Sand: white
  • Access: the road to the beach is unpaved, so it is better to drive slowly and carefully.
  • Vehicle: preferably AWD.
  • Surf: soft.
  • Camping: yes.
  • Washrooms: yes.
  • Snorkeling: yes.
  • Restaurants: within 600 m.
  • Pets: yes
  • Nearby beaches: Ostional, Nosara, Guiones and Garza.

How to get there?

Drive to Puntarenas and then take the highway towards Liberia until you reach Limonal, continue past the Friendship Bridge (Puente de La Amistad), continue to Nicoya and take the turn-off to Sámara and Nosara.
By bus? You can take a bus from San José to Nosara and take a taxi to San Juanillo, or San José to Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz to Ostional
By plane: You can also take a domestic flight from Juan Santamaría to Nosara.
Guiones to San Juanillo: 20 km, approximately 45 minutes by car.
Ostional to San Juanillo: 8 km, approximately 20 minutes by car.
What to bring? Swimwear, sunscreen, dark sunglasses, sandals or sneakers, a towel, food if you plan to stay on the beach for a while, water, a hat or cap, a blanket to lie on the sand, a camera and an appetite for adventure.