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San Juanillo is beautiful. You only have to visit it at the right time to capture its essence. And if not, you may be excited to visit its unknown neighbor, Pleito beach.

San Juanillo is beautiful. You only have to visit it at the right time to capture its essence. And if not, you may be excited to visit its unknown neighbor, Pleito beach.

From San Juanillo there are two faces. Don’t get carried away by the first impression of this wonderful beach, in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. First make sure you’re going to visit it at the right time, when the tide is high and the spot shows its best face.

Yes, San Juanillo is special at high tide, when the sea is crystalline and multicolored, with the reflection of the rocks that can be seen at the bottom of the sea and the white sand.

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I always remember the first time I visited it. The beach was at low tide and the rocks robbed it of its true essence. In contrast, when the turquoise ocean is displayed, it is perfect for snorkeling and enjoying the magical and paradisiacal surroundings.

That first time I visited it with my friend Carlos. The good news is that the ride lasted three days, so there was time to visit it again and discover what I was told so much about this spot, which is reached by a dirt and rocks road, surrounded by leafy trees.

San Juanillo beach in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. Photo: Luis Amador.

I liked the way. Although it’s not perfect, you can get there without any problem in a 4×2 car, and even by sedan car (as long as you go slowly and carefully).

In GOPlaya.cr you can find the address on Google Maps and Waze of each destination, so if you want to get directly to this spot, here you will know how to do it. From San Jose it will take about 4 hours and 30 minutes. If you are already in Santa Cruz it will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Birds can’t stop singing, so I suggest that, at least for a while, turn down the music and enjoy the concert that nature gives us.

The community center does not look developed yet (it is part of the charm). Very close to the beach there is a restaurant that seemed very warm to me, to have a good time.

Pleito beach in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. Photo: GOPlaya.cr

And the landscape is incredible, apart from the intense colors of the sea, the beach is divided in two by a mound of sand, which distinguishes it from any other destination I have visited.

If you’ve already arrived in San Juanillo and the beach is at low tide, don’t worry. I have good news for you: Only in these conditions can you cross to Pleito beach, the hidden neighbor.

Pleito is also very beautiful and much more unspoiled, because almost nobody knows it.

What should you do? Very simple. You just have to get to San Juanillo, walk north through the coast until you come across some rocks. You will have to walk along these rocks for 10 minutes until you reach the other side.

San Juanillo beach in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. Photo: GOPlaya.cr

You will notice that the rocks are the ones that divide one beach from the other… and that they are very different.

Pleito is also white sand, but its “small pool” really stands out. Perfect to take a dip, practically alone.

Waves are soft and there are some spots with sunshade. The beach name, very peculiar, comes from an apparent ‘litigation’ that took place years ago around the land that is next to the beach.

Just keep in mind that, when the tide rises, the rocks are almost impossible to cross, so you need to go back before this happens.

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