Getting There & Departing
By Plane: The nearest airport with regularly scheduled flights is in Tamarindo. You can arrange a taxi from the airport to Playa Junquillal. The ride should take around 40 minutes and cost about $50 to $70. Sorry, no Uber in these parts.
By Car: From San José, you can either take the Interamerican Highway (CR1) north from downtown San José, or first head west out of the city on the San José–Caldera Highway (CR27). This latter route is a faster and flatter drive. When you reach Caldera on this route, follow the signs to Puntarenas, Liberia, and the Interamerican Highway (CR1). This will lead you to the unmarked entrance to CR1. You’ll want to pass under the bridge and follow the on-ramp, which will put you on the highway heading north. Forty-seven kilometers (29 miles) past the Puntarenas on-ramp, you’ll see signs and the turnoff for the La Amistad Bridge. After crossing the river, follow the signs for Nicoya and Santa Cruz. Just after leaving the main intersection for Santa Cruz, you’ll see a marked turnoff for Playa Junquillal, Ostional, and Tamarindo. The road is paved for 14km (8 1/2 miles), until the tiny village of Veintesiete de Abril. From here, it’s another rough 18km (11 miles) to Playa Junquillal.
From Liberia, head south to Santa Cruz on the main road to all the beach towns, passing through Filadelfia and Belén. Then follow the directions above from Santa Cruz.
By Bus: To get here by bus, you must first head to Santa Cruz and, from there, take another bus to Playa Junquillal. Buses depart San José for Santa Cruz roughly every 2 hours between 7:15am and 6pm from the Tralapa bus station (tel. 2221-7202) at Calle 20 between avenidas 3 and 5, and from the Alfaro bus station (tel. 2222-2666; www.empresaalfaro.com) at Calle 14 between avenidas 3 and 5. The 4-hour trip is C6,600.
Buses leave Santa Cruz for Junquillal about 6 times daily, roughly every 2 hours between 5am and 6pm from the town’s central plaza. The ride takes about 1 hour, and the one-way fare is around C1,200. Buses depart Playa Junquillal for Santa Cruz daily pretty much just after they arrive.
Always check with your hotel in advance as the schedule of buses between Junquillal and Santa Cruz is notoriously fickle. If you miss the connection, or there’s no bus running, you can hire a taxi for the trip to Junquillal for $90 to $100. From Tamarindo, a taxi should cost $55 to $75.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.