|10,140 sq. km|
|Warm – Dry|
|Santa Rosa National Park
Ostional National Park
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Palo Verde National Park
Barra Honda National Park
Guaitil (Chorotega Indian Ceramic)
About the Capital City Liberia
|25 Mts. above sea level|
When you hear the term “Guanacaste, Costa Rica,” you might think that Guanacaste is yet another city in Costa Rica. The truth is, however, that Guanacaste is actually a province and, instead of being a city itself, is home to several different cities. These cities include Plays del Coco, Playa Grande, Abangares, Playa Carillo, Liberia, Samara, Nicova, Potrero, Nosara, Brasilito, Paraiso, and Tamarindo. Guanacaste and its many cities are located in the northwestern part of Costa Rica and, surprisingly, the area is not very heavily populated; in fact, it’s the smallest province in terms of population, with only 326,953 residents as of 2010.
Places to Stay
While the Guanacaste province may be sparsely populated, at least when compared to other provinces in Costa Rica, it’s far from an underdeveloped area. Popular with tourists, the province is home to many excellent hotels and resorts, including major chain establishments. You can find lodging locales from well-known names like The Four Seasons and JW Marriot, and there are also reputable local establishments such as Pardisus Playa Conchal, Tamarindo Diria, Flamingo Beach, and El Ocotal Hotel. Most of these hotels are more than just places to sleep; many of them offer spas, day trips, and other great amenities to make your time in Guanacaste unforgettable.
The Warmest Weather
Guanacaste province is known for being hot and dry all year round. While many other areas of Costa Rica experience regular (and sometimes heavy) rains, it very rarely rains in Guanacaste. It never really gets cold either, so Guanacaste is perfect for a wintertime vacation to Costa Rica. Even the beaches are warm year-round, so you could go surfing, swimming, or even tanning in the month of December; imagine that! And, on the off chance that it does rain or get a little chilly, the province is full of great indoor activities, including a thriving nightlife.
Get Up Close and Personal With Nature
Much of Guanacaste falls into the “tropical dry forest” category, and if you want to experience exactly what this phrase means, then you absolutely need to visit La Norma Guanacaste Ecolodge. Located in Santa Cruz and just a few miles away from Junquillal Beach, the lodge offers plenty of opportunities to view local plant and animal life. The flora and fauna is absolutely breathtaking, but even they pale in comparison to the gorgeous creatures that inhabit the area. It’s an excellent place to see tropical birds, iguanas, howler monkeys, and so much more.
Let Loose in Liberia
If you get a hankering for the big city lifestyle while you’re in Guanacaste, you’ll want to be sure to check out Liberia. Liberia is the largest town in the province and features its own international airport. In fact, chances are, if you fly into Guanacaste, you’ll fly into Liberia. Even if you don’t, it’s nice to know that the airport is there in case you want to explore nearby cities. Of course, if you want to stay put in Liberia, you can find plenty to do without leaving the town! Liberia is extremely close to the major Pacific Beaches and is also close to several esteemed national parks.
Things to Try
Certain activities are very popular in Guanacaste so, no matter where you go in the province, you’re sure to have opportunities to experience them. You can, for example, find professionals offering surfing lessons on just about any beach you come across. There are also abundant opportunities for fishing, and because of the many volcanoes in the area, it’s easy to find a volcano tour or just to go exploring on your own. There are even places to go horseback riding, and many towns in the area regularly hold outdoor festivals and carnivals; these types of festivities are particularly popular during the late winter months. You don’t even really have to plan your day according to what you want to do; adventure will find you in Guanacaste! Just venture outside and start walking around, and you’re sure to find plenty of great things to do and see,
Take in Tamarindo
No trip to the Guanacaste province would be complete without a trip to Tamarindo. This wasn’t always the case, however. In fact, Tamarindo was once a sleepy, small town without much going on, but it’s changed a lot in recent years. Now, the town is known for many things, but especially for its exciting nightlife. There are bars and clubs on every corner, and things can get pretty wild in Tamarindo! If partying isn’t your thing, however, Tamarindo is still worth a visit. You can visit the local beaches, check out the National Wildlife Refuge of Tamarindo, or go to the Marino Las Baulas National Park. Hopefully you’ll make it to Tamarindo, but really, no matter where you go in the Guanacaste province, you’re sure to have the time of your life.