Located on the tranquil and breath taking Guanacaste coast, Playa Junquillal offers the traveler an extraordinary variety of activities for everyone from the sun worshiper to the thrill seeker.
Surfing & Body Boarding
Casa Juliana is located in the heart of some of the best surfing and body boarding beaches in Costa Rica. Our local beach has a great break for advanced surfers, located on the Northern end of the beach in front of the local elementary school. Playa Negra and Playa Avellanas are two of the best nearby beaches and are located 5-10 minutes from Casa Juliana by car. Other local surfing beaches, including Playa Langosta, Playa Tamarindo, Playa Grande, and Marbella are all located less than a 25 minute drive from Casa Juliana. Surf boards and body boards can be rented at the several surf shops in Los Pargos and Playa Negra. Surf lessons can also be arranged at those sites.
Visit these web sites for more surf information and travel tips about surfing:
Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course
This esquisite course is a 7,500 yard, par 72 course. It is located approximately 15 minutes north of Playa Junquillal. Greens fees are $105 to $125. Ask for special deals for Casa Juliana Patrons.
For more inforamation visit their website at:
Deep Sea Fishing, Scuba Diving, Swimming with the Turtles Tours
Deep sea fishing is often excellent off the Guanacaste coast. It is possible to catch mahi-mahi, marlin, tuna, jack, and sail fish. There are also wonderful outings to observe and swim with the local Ridley turtles that migrate to local beaches including Ostional. Although there are many deep sea outings that leave from Tamarindo, we highly recommend using Mike Pasky with Pasky Adventures located about 45 minute south of our house in the village of San Juanillo. Let him know that Casa Juliana sent you to him!
National Parks & Refuges
The Costa Rican government has been extraordinary in preserving their natural environment, making the country a paradise for nature lovers and eco-tourists. We have greatly enjoyed trips to Rincon de la Vieja National Park for great hikes, swimming in mountain streams and waterfalls, and zip lining. We have also enjoyed trips to Palo Verde National Park for seeing exquisite bird life and giant crocodiles. Trips to these local parks can be arranged in advance with Georgina, our property manager.
Follow the link below for more information on the many national parks located in Costa Rica, including Rincon de la Vieja, Santa Rosa, Palo Verde, Barra Honda, and the Diria National Forest Wildlife Refuge.
These cruises are a nice way to get out on the water for a half-day of fun and relaxation. As noted above, you can use Pasky Adventures or one of several outfits in Playa Tamarindo. These adventures typically consist of sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, accompanied by some typical Costa Rican snacks and cocktails.
Local outfits in Tamarindo include Blue Dolphin Catamaran Sailing Charters and Marlin Del Ray Sailing Tours. Use the following web sites:
Swimming & Walking At Our Local Beaches
Playa Junquillal and the adjoining beaches are excellent for sunbathing and taking a dip. Always be keenly aware of the large and powerful surf and strong rip tides. Swimming alone any time of the day and at night are unadvisable. The expansive beach directly in front of our house is often completely uninhabited and a nice place for sunbathing and dipping into the water. By walking north or south during low tide you can also experience many other local swimming holes and private coves. You can walk south all the way to the estuary that serves as the southern-most border of Junquillal. This walk takes a good hour in one direction. You can also walk north to Playa Blanca, Playa Callejones, and eventually Playa Negra. This is a 2 hour walk in one direction.
Horseback Riding & Lessons
Guanacaste is well known for its caballeros (cowboys) often seen riding their horses to herd the locally raised cattle. Many people come to this area for the opportunity to ride in the tropical dry rain forests or along the unspoiled beaches. For local riding, we recommend professional rider and trainer, Molly Allen Niederberger, who has 15 years of experience training hunters, jumpers and dressage riders. Her stable and ring are located just outside of Paraiso heading in the direction of Playa Negra. Call in advance for reservations, particularly during the high season. Tel: 506-8-339-6431
Just south of Casa Juliana is Playa Blanca, a calm, white sand harbor that has magnificent snorkeling for both amateur and advanced snorkelers. North of the villa, on Playa Avellanas, is a tidal pool that is perfect for children or anyone who loves to explore the underwater world of the Pacific Ocean.
Casa Juliana has a regulation hoop and backboard with an excellent concrete surface complete with striping for the basketball enthusiast. It is a perfect setup for a competitive half-court game! A ball is left at the house for your use.
Alice and Bernie at the Guacamaya Lodge will accommodate tennis court rentals. Inquire at the Guacamaya Lodge for details. Their website is www.guacamayalodge.com/ and local phone number is 2-658-8431. There is also a tennis club with a local pro located in Tamarindo.
Guatil Pottery Village
For over 200 years families in the village of Guaitil have been making Costa Rican pottery. The indigenous Chorotega people have long ago lost their language and been absorbed into the general population of Costa Rica, but you can still find traces of their culture in the pottery still being made in traditional ways as it has for over 800 years. The pots are hand thrown and decorated with glazes from minerals found in the area then fired in wood burning kilns. There are numerous family run artisanal shops in town that will give a demonstration of pottery making and will offer their local wares. By car, Guatil is just under an hour from Casa Juliana past the town of Santa Cruz. Please see an explanation of this pottery village at:
Local Estuary Tours
The southern border of Playa Junquillal is formed by an estuary, el Manglar Nandamojo. This brackish stream is lined by a mangrove forest and winds its way inland for several kilometers. One way to experience this incredible local nature treasure is to explore it via sea kayak. Contact local owner of the hotel Castillo Divertido, Silvia, to arrange a tour. The web address is http:\\castillodivertido.com/actividades and her local phone number is 2-658-8428.
Canopy Tours & Zip Lining
Costa Rica is well known for its exhilarating zip lines. Options are available throughout the country. The closest available is at Pura Aventura, located between the towns of Paraiso and Rio Seco on the road back to Santa Cruz (approximately 10 minutes from Casa Juliana by car). One of our favorite canopy tours overlies a mountain gorge and is located at Hotel Guachepelin at Rincon de la Vieja. Web addresses for both are provided, below.