Welcome to Playa Junquillal
Hard to pronounce and almost as difficult to find, Junquillal (say ‘hoon-kee-yal’) is a 2km-wide gray-sand wilderness beach that’s absolutely stunning and mostly deserted. To the south, a dome boulder crumbles into a jutting rock reef and beyond that is a vast, 200-hectare estuary carved by the Río Nanda Mojo. To the north is a narrow rise of bluffs sprouting clumps of palm trees. Sunsets are downright surreal, with blinding golds, molten oranges and shocking pinks. The sea does swirl with fierce rip currents, however, and when it gets big, surfers descend from Negra. Even when the surf isn't high, it's dangerous out there. Don't let kids or even intermediate swimmers venture out alone.
With far more Ticos than tourists, Junquillal has an inviting authenticity unique in the northern peninsula. The nearest town is 4km inland at Paraíso.