San Juanillo, Costa Rica

It's funny that even a super sleepy town like Playa Guiones can sometimes feel too busy, too big. Even though we were visiting at the front end of the rainy season — when the whole place practically shuts down — we suddenly found ourselves craving a more low-key vibe. So we headed north to San Juanillo.

Though it's just 12 miles north of Playa Guiones, San Juanillo feels a lot farther away. That's probably because it takes so long to get there — about 45 minutes via quad — thanks to the region's notoriously dusty, washed-out roads. 

The beach more than makes up for the trek — and the mouthfuls of airborne grit accumulated along the way. Nestled at the bottom of a hill at the edge of the village, are two secluded, white sand bays divided by a narrow strip of rugged land. It's ridiculously scenic and almost surreal — the perfect place to while away the afternoon with a couple of six packs, nothing to do but watch the sea crash into the rocks or soak up the sun while floating in the tranquil waves below.  

San Juanillo Costa Rica