Travel Costa Rica

The hidden side of Guanacaste: Five barely explored beaches worth visiting


Guanacaste smiles. Every detail of this province runs so deep that, at times, it is easy to be captivated by the intangible details.

A dirt road embraced by lush trees that cool the day and ‘far away’ sounds. A bird, a cicada, a congo monkey, an intense sunset.

Everything is heard and perceived.

And in the midst of the most extraordinary traditions, such as the sound of the marimba (typical music instrument) or the ‘chonete’ (typical hat), Guanacaste hides something much more tangible.

Its beaches.

There is no other province in Costa Rica with so many beaches available to tourists. Its coast is extensive and in most of time solitary, unspoiled.

For that reason, Guanacaste has a hidden side of its face. 

It also smiles, but few know it. These are five extraordinary destinations to discover the less explored side of the ‘Pampa’.


Barrigona beach


Located a few miles from the town of Samara, Barrigona can only be reached by a narrow road, sometimes in poor conditions.

It is better to live the adventure in a 4×4 car and hopefully take the whole morning to enjoy the sea.

It is a white sand beach, magical and with incredible waves that capture the surfers.

The beach is extensive and is surrounded by small trees that provide shade near the sea.

The landscape offers incredible sunsets, decorated by the surfers who enjoy the coast. 

Most of the time it looks desolate, especially during rainy season. Don’t forget to carry your belongings. It is best not to leave any valuables in the car, as the moment you relax you will most likely forget about everything.

If you choose visiting Barrigona, I suggest renting a 4WD car at Adobe Rent a Car, as the road looks very damaged in some sections. 

A good alternative is the Suzuki Vitara 4WD or the Hyundai Tucson Superior 4WD.



Naranjo beach (Witch Rock or Peña Bruja)


Naranjo beach is simply immense. It belongs to the Santa Rosa National Park and, at some times of the year, it is impossible to reach the coast due to the poor condition of the road.

Perhaps, the difficulties of access make it a unique place, unknown to most Costa Ricans and protected by the virgin nature itself.

Locals know this place as Peña Bruja and among foreigners it is also called ‘Roca Bruja’ (Witch Rock). The nicknames are due to a huge stone located a few meters from the coast.

After almost 10 kilometers along a dirt road and loose stones, you reach this impressive spot, which seems infinite from afar.

Along the way it is possible to see deer and iguanas. At certain times of the year turtles nest their eggs, especially Olive Ridley turtles.

On this beach there are incredible viewpoints, animals and impressive waves for surfing.

As is the case in many unspoiled places in Costa Rica, sometimes it is difficult to access the internet, especially in remote coastal areas.

If you want to visit ‘Peña Bruja’ and need to communicate with your family or friends you can buy the Portable Wi-fi Hotspot, one of the additional services offered by Adobe Rent a Car.



Junquillal Bay beach 


Surrounded by a calm and quiet environment, Junquillal Bay beach is part of the national park of the same name.

Unlike Barrigona or Naranjo beach, this spot stands out for its gentle swell, which will allow you to swim in the sea without being ‘rolled’ by the waves.

In addition to the beach, in this protected area there are picnic areas, camping and beautiful trails that will allow you to go deep into the forest.

It is located near La Cruz in Guanacaste, an area that borders Nicaragua. Due to its distance from the capital of Costa Rica, San José, it is a little visited and unspoiled destination.

This destination can be reached in a 4×4 car, but also in a 4×2. The road to Junquillal Bay National Park is in good conditions.

If you prefer to reserve a 4×2 car, the Geely GX3 2WD is an excellent alternative, although you could also choose for the Hyundai Creta 2WD.


Penca beach 


Small beach of white sand and turquoise sea, which can only be reached by a path of almost 500 meters.

Although it is a tiny spot with barely perceptible waves, it is a special destination because of the color of the sea. When the sun is intense, it reflects the best of the beach, because the ocean looks like a rainbow with different shades of blue and light blue.

It is a perfect destination to swim in loneliness, or enjoy the beautiful sunsets. Near the beach, the trees offer shade and allow you to spend the day.

Penca beach is also a nice destination to take a walk with your pet. In case you travel to Costa Rica with your dog, ask Adobe Rent a Car for the car seat cover.


Blanca beach 


Hidden in the canton of Santa Cruz, Blanca beach combines the intense colors of the sea with a spot of white sand surrounded by small trees.

It is a beautiful beach, with intense sunsets. To get to know this spot, it is necessary to cross a short path with stairs.

Blanca is a little known spot, although some people confuse it with other beaches of the same name. In the case of this beach, it is located in the town of Junquillal of Santa Cruz.

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