Are you looking for the ultimate beach vacation in Costa Rica? Prefer the lesser known beaches to get away from crowds? Then you must put Playa Mina on your list. This secluded beach in Guanacaste has soft white sand, stunningly clear water and you can have it all to yourself!
We discovered this beach back in 2010 on one of our random Guanacaste adventures and we recently visited it again to see how it has changed. And I’m glad to report that it hasn’t changed at all – it’s still as beautiful and empty as ever!
Here is our guide to visiting Playa Mina, one of our favorite hidden beaches in Guanacaste. (Here are 4 more hidden beaches in Costa Rica to put more on your list).
Location and Directions to Playa Mina
Playa Mina map
On the Maps, Playa Mina is also called Playa Zapotillal but they are the same in case you get confused. You can put in Zapotillal or Playa Mina in Waze.
You can find Playa Mina on Waze. Playa Mina is actually pretty close to Playa Conchal. When you get to the intersection to turn right to Playa Conchal in Huacas, keep going straight about 2.5 miles. Then turn right into the Puerto Viejo/Matapalo area. The road becomes unpaved and continue on this road for about 3 miles and then turn left. Continue on this road and you’ll see a hotel and some buildings on your left and then turn right when you see an entrance with lots of green tarp.
Continue on this road almost a mile and you’ll reach Playa Mina. There aren’t any signs for Mina.
The road is unpaved and a little bumpy but you can make it in a sedan if you go slow. The road was a way worse when we first visited in 2010 but we made it in a sedan back then (February). If you visit during the rainiest months like Sept – Nov, it is best to go in a high car because it can get super muddy and you may get stuck.
There isn’t a designated parking lot but you can park anywhere under the trees. Unfortunately petty theft is becoming more common at this beach so make completely sure you lock your doors, do not leave any valuables visible and roll up your windows.
When you’re swimming, make sure there is always someone watching your stuff.
Once you reach the beach, you’re greeted with bright blue water and tan sand. In dry season, the trees are bare and the hills are yellow but once rainy season rolls around, vibrant green surrounds the entire beach.
Playa Mina is not that big and you can walk from end to end in less than 10 minutes. Snorkeling isn’t that great here but if you go early in the morning, you may be able to see some fish on the north end of the beach. If you see out further around the rocks, you can see a lot more. We saw a couple of locals fishing from shore, don’t know if they caught anything but if they were fishing, it must be because they’ve caught something there before.
There isn’t anything at Playa Mina except an old run down building. It looked like someone wanted to build a house or hotel but abandoned it which happens fairly often in Costa Rica.
Playa Mina doesn’t have bathrooms, tables, nothing. And that’s what makes it one of our favorite beaches: it’s not developed, crowded, or commercial. Just a beautiful beach and that’s it.
Waves can get a bit strong at Playa Mina. It’s fine for adults but not ideal for babies or toddlers so if you’re coming with little ones, make sure to keep an eye on them. We saw one local family with older kids and they were having a blast in the waves.
There is some shade under the trees and if you have a hammock, definitely bring it! There are plenty of places to tie up a hammock which in our opinion, is the best beach accessory.
ATV tours do visit Playa Mina so you will see ATV’s occasionally come to the beach. Usually the tours stop for a few minutes so the tourists can take pictures and then leave.
When we visited Playa Mina in April on a Sunday, there were barely 10 people there. There was 1 family and a few couples. It’s so empty and under the radar, that I saw one guy tanning completely naked on the south end of the beach!
So if you’re looking for a very under the radar beautiful beach in Guanacaste, Playa Mina is it. Especially if you’re staying in Tamarindo/Conchal area and want to get away from all the crowds! You can enjoy pura vida at the beach just for you.
We took a short 360 video at Playa Mina so you can see what it’s like. Move your cursor around in the video and it is also in 4k if you have 4k screen.
Tips for Visiting Playa Mina
- There are no facilities there so wear your swimsuit. Bring towels, water, snacks, sunglasses and anything else you want to have at the beach. This area is very hot make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water. I do recommend bringing an insulated water bottle so you can always have cold water or request a cooler from your car rental company.
- You need to have a car to get to Playa Mina, there are no buses.
Discover more beautiful local beaches in Guanacaste like Mina!
San Juanillo: White sand beach that is made of up two beaches coming together.
Pelada: Crescent shaped white sand beach in Nosara
Buena: Small white sand beach between Playa Panama and Hermosa
Junquillal: Surfing beach 30 minutes south of Tamarindo. Small town.
Cabuyal: White sand beach in Papagayo Gulf
Rajada: Beautiful white sand beach up in La Cruz/Salinas Bay
Puerto Viejo: The southern end of Conchal beach that the locals go to
Penca: White sand beach near Playas del Coco
Lagartillo: Hidden beach near Avellanas
Ventanas: Local beach next to Playa Grande.
Or read about our favorite beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and our favorite white sand beaches.