The road to Playa Punta Raza, while only about three miles long, requires a maneuverable high-clearance vehicle and dry weather. The reward is a long, wild beach perfect for beachcombing and camping. Bring everything, including water.
Three miles south of Guayabitos  along Highway 200, turn off west at El Monteón; pass through the village and turn right at Calle Punta Raza just before the pavement ends. Continue along the rough road through the creek and over the ridge north of town.
At the summit, stop and feast your eyes on the valley view below, then continue down through the near-virgin jungle, barely scratched by a few poor cornfields. About a mile downhill from the summit, stop to see if the seasonal hillside Hotel and Restaurant Rincón del Cielo on the right is open.
At the bottom of the steep grade, the track parallels the beach beneath big trees; sandy trails run through the brush to the beach—four-wheel-drive and experienced sand drivers only—it’s very easy to get stuck. You will probably have two straight miles of pristine, jungle-backed sand virtually to yourself.
The beach itself slopes steeply, with the resulting close-in crashing waves and undertow. The water would be fine for splashing, but swimmers be careful. Because of the jungle hinterland, birds and other wildlife are plentiful here. Bring your insect repellent, binoculars, and identification books.
Turtles arrive seasonally to lay eggs here, mostly in late summer and fall. Look for their obvious tracks in the sand. The turtles attract predators—cats, iguanas, birds, and human poachers. If you find an egg nest, either report it to the local volunteers or keep watch over it; your reward may be to witness the emergence and return to the ocean of dozens of baby turtles.
If the Hotel and Restaurant Rincón del Cielo is open, it affords the opportunity of enjoying an overnight at Playa Punta Raza without the effort of camping. Pioneering owners María Zavala and Juan Bernal offer five immaculate simply but lovingly decorated rooms. Two are at the jungle’s edge ($45 d), one is at the ground level in their whimsical, medieval-style stone tower ($55 d), and the two others enjoy airy view perches above the surf ($65).
Without electricity, María and Juan and their nighttime guests manage well using gas for light and refrigeration in their restaurant (seafood, salads, and pasta) and candles and hurricane lanterns in the rooms. Make reservations (not usually necessary) by leaving a message with the telephone operator in Monteón (tel. 327/274-7070).