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.  

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San Juanillo Costa Rica