Guanacaste offers gorgeous beaches, splendid waterfalls, and enchanting forests to the pleasure of sightseers.
The province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica offers unparalleled natural beauty with its sun-kissed beaches, splendid volcanoes, and tropical forests.
However, pristine beaches and exotic wildlife is not all that it has to offer.
Tourists get to choose from numerous exciting activities apart from marveling at its natural attractions.
Visitors also get to indulge in delicious local cuisines and experience the rich culture of its people.
It is the perfect destination for those seeking some calm and quiet by taking a walk along the shoreline or those looking for the thrill of adventure.
The weather is mostly warm in the region with the temperature ranging from 75⁰F maximum to 95⁰F on average.
The dry and warm conditions give rise to Guanacaste’s dry tropical forests.
The province sports various national parks surrounding volcanoes with incredible sights for visitors.
The parks include hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. Furthermore, delightful sights such as stunning waterfalls, lakes, and unique animal and bird species can be found in the confines of these national parks.
Visitors can trudge through hiking trails taking in the breathtaking flora and fauna as hikers wind their way to the summit.
Guanacaste is situated in the far northwest of Costa Rica along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The country of Nicaragua share border with the province in its north while Alajuela Province lies in the east, and Puntarenas Province in the southeast.
The capital of Guanacaste is Liberia where tourists can have access to facilities such as hospitals, banks, supermarkets, and shopping centers.
HOW TO GET TO GUANACASTE?
Guanacaste is a tourist favorite because of its easy access owing to the presence of the Daniel Oduber International Airport in the city of Liberia.
It is one of the two international airports in Costa Rica — the other being in San Jose — making it convenient for people to travel and explore the province.
Guanacaste lies along the Pan-American Highway or Highway 1 which means travelers can enjoy a road trip to get to the region if they choose to.
Visitors can use rental car services or use Costa Rican public transportation to get to the region. Traveling from San Jose to Guanacaste can take up to 4 to 6 hours.
GUANACASTE, COSTA RICA WEATHER
The weather of Guanacaste is dry and warm year long with occasional rains in the afternoon in May and June.
It is mostly bright and sunny in the region with temperatures climbing to 95⁰F during Dry Season (November to April), when the province experiences no rainfall, and 87⁰F in Green Season (May to November) when the rains bring trees in full bloom and gives rise to lush vegetation.
The hot and dry conditions year-round give rise to tropical dry forests — a distinct feature of the landscape. Here, deciduous trees and thick shrubbery covers the ground. The forests are home to great biodiversity and a rich variety of plants and trees.
The highland areas of the province made up of upper Pacific slopes belonging to the Guanacaste Mountain Range and the Tilaran Mountain Range record mostly cool temperatures.
The damp and cold weather in these areas gives rise to luscious cloud forests.
The best time to visit the province is during its dry season when it receives the most sunshine. Guanacaste is flocked by tourists during this time of the year.
However, if crowds do not seem appealing visitors can opt to travel during the early months of the green season to enjoy affordable lodging and avoid hordes of tourists.
A trip to Guanacaste during the green season can still deliver an unforgettable experience with many exciting things to offer.
However, while the rain may make the river run high and turn dry forests a lush green; the roads may get muddy and the rivers flow over making traveling in the country a challenge.
With the Pacific Ocean lapping on its shore; Guanacaste is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The peninsula Papagayo lying in the west of Liberia has the most grand resorts as well as an 18 hole Golf course overlooking the Pacific. Here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste:
1. Hermosa Beach:
The grey-sands and mostly calm waters of Hermosa Beach situated in the south is a tourist hot spot for many good reasons.
The beach is renowned for its remarkable marine fauna and hosts a wide array of activities for visitors to engage in such as snorkeling, sport fishing, scuba diving, and horseback riding along the beach.
There are luxurious resorts situated to the north which end in the south giving the area there a more laid back appeal.
Hermosa Beach is a 20-minute drive from Liberia’s International Airport and takes 5 hours to reach by car or bus via San Jose through the Inter-American Highway.
Matapalo is a small beach town situated along the Pacific coast. It has a few small stores and parks and lies 10 minutes away from the beaches of the Tamarindo Bay.
The Las Baulas National Marine Park is located at a 15 minute drive and offers a host of tourist attractions. The park includes a striking coastline abundant with mangrove trees which serves as a destination for nature tours and kayaking trips.
Turtle nesting can be observed in the park by tourists. Leatherback sea turtles use the Park’s beaches as a nesting ground during nesting season.
They lay their eggs from March and October and it is possible to catch a glimpse of a baby sea turtle cracking open their eggs and waddling its way to the ocean
3. Tamarindo Bay:
Present day Tamarindo bears little resemblance to its past of a small fishing village. Massive infrastructures have been erected to accommodate swarms of tourists that head its way for its luxuriant beaches.
Despite its modernization, Tamarindo takes pride in conserving its beaches and biodiversity. The beaches along the Tamarindo Bay are popular surfing destinations.
4. Langosta Beach:
The white sands and calm waters of Langosta Beach make it ideal for swimming. The visitors can walk along the shore and witness stunning sunsets. A variety of restaurants and an exciting nightlife make this beach all the more appealing.
5. Flamingo Beach:
Stretching over a mile and shaped like a crescent, the Flamingo Beach has long been a coveted destination for travelers over the world. Over the years Flamingo beach has developed into one of Costa Rica’s most luxurious areas.
The sparkling white sand and brilliant blue water make for an ideal vacation getaway. Tourists get to choose from some of the most impressive hotels.
Mangroves are a common sight and the Marino Las Baulas National Park south of the beach provides the rare chance to view Leatherback sea turtles, white ibis, blue-winged teal, and a variety of different wildlife.
6. Conchal Beach:
Playa Conchal or Shell Beach earned its name due to the tiny fragments of pink, white and tan shells that make up its sand.
The crystal-clear waters of Conchal beach make it an ideal backdrop for a memorable vacation. Visitors can partake in various fun and exciting activities such as snorkeling, swimming, and hiking trips.
Some areas along the beach offer overnight camping, and what could be better than looking at the star-strewn sky above with the gentle crash of waves in the background?
A short distance from the beach the town of Brasilito gives tourists access to the best bars, restaurants, and hotels.
Also located nearby is the community of Playa Flamingo, where palm trees lining the white sand beach and an array of elegant hotels and restaurants entice tourists year long.
Picturesque beaches may be the allure of Guanacaste which draws thousands of tourists each year but its appeal is not limited to its sandy shores alone.
While palm trees, clear blue waters, and gleaming sand gives the appearance of paradise it is not all that this province has to offer.
An assortment of National Parks in the area gives tourists the chance to view rare wildlife up close and marvel at natural wonders such as waterfalls and hot springs.
Here are some of the national parks found in the region:
The park is centered on an active crater of the infamous Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and the landscape includes mud pots, hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers.
Breathtaking waterfalls, serene lakes, and plentiful wildlife can be found within its confines. The park offers hiking trails such as Las Pailas loop which starts at the park’s entrance and winds through the effervescent terrain and leads up to the summit.
The La Cangrejo Waterfall and Blue Lake hikes are two other hiking trails with incredible scenery as their backdrop that tourists should not miss out on.
2. Tenorio Volcano National Park & Rio Celeste Waterfall:
The secluded Rio Celeste Waterfall is a captivating sight to behold. The pool underneath the waterfall gets its brilliant blue color from the minerals in the volcanic rocks lining the ground.
The hike to the waterfall itself presents travelers with breathtaking scenes with a canopy of tree overhead, white-faced monkeys peering through the branches, the air full of bird song, and the flutter of tiny wings of the blue morpho butterflies blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
3. Santa Rosa National Park:
The first national park of Costa Rica established in the year 1971 to preserve La Casona a celebrated ranch house that played a significant role in Costa Rica’s independence.
The park is famous not just for the history attached to the edifice within its confines, but it enjoys widespread popularity for its dry forest, splendid beaches, bird watching opportunities, and surfing. Sea turtle nesting can also be observed along the shore between Naranjo and Nancite Beach.
4. Palo Verde National Park Wetlands:
The wetlands and tropical dry forests of Palo Verde National Park attract an array of aquatic bird species. The park is in a distant location and hosts over 300 species of tropical birds.
Alluvial soil rolls underneath the feet from the Tempisque River which draws over 250,000 species of geese, ducks, and other waterfowl.
The scarlet macaw colony inhabiting its dry forest is unique to the park alone.
5. Las Baulas National Marine Park:
The park is famous for being a sea turtle nesting ground. It spreads over an area of 445 hectares dotted with mangrove swamps. The coastline is made up of four beaches: Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, Playa Ventanas and Playa Carbon.
There are two mangrove estuaries and the park are home to various animal species.
The park protects 174 species of birds and provides a haven for a number of different animals in its estuaries.
White ibis, cattle egret, blue-winged teal, and Muscovy ducks are a common sight in the region.
The park is home to capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, raccoons, crocodiles, pacas, and grey squirrels.
The incredible biodiversity that the park seeks to conserve is a joy to witness for any nature lover.
FUN ACTIVITES IN GUANACASTE
If you are wondering what are the things to do in Guanacaste then the options for you to choose from are endless.
Guanacaste caters to people with different tastes by offering versatility. If what you are looking for is some calm and relaxation you have various remote beach resorts at your disposal to choose from where you can walk by the shoreline taking in the breathtaking view.
But if you are looking for adventure Guanacaste offers a large collection of thrilling and exciting activities to choose from. Whatever itinerary you end up settling on you are sure to make memories that would last a lifetime.
Here are some awesome and fun things you can do in Guanacaste:
1. Horseback riding:
Riding on horseback along the coastline or the through mountains is bound to be an unforgettable experience. Being a mostly rural region, tourists can easily access horseback rides all across the province. Many hotels offer horseback riding tours as well.
2. Scuba diving:
The sensational activity of scuba diving is growing in popularity over the region due to the clear waters surrounding its beaches which provide excellent diving conditions. Scuba diving is mostly popular in Papagayo Gulf and Santa Catalina Islands.
Fishing is the main attraction for tourists to visit the North Pacific region of the province. There are various tournaments centered on catching the long nose fish which tourists can participate in. However, being forever mindful of conservation of wildlife the fish are returned to sea afterward.
4. Bird watching:
Guanacaste is perfect for bird watching and offers tourists a chance to view rare birds with magnificent plumage. Striving to conserve its bird population the region protects thousands of bird species which can be viewed in protected areas such as Curu, Bolanos Island, Palo Verde, and Tenorio Volcano National Park
5. Zip Lining Tour:
This exciting activity is perfect for adrenaline junkies and is sure to add adventure to a trip around the province.
Bound in a harness, zipping along a cable connected from one tree to another, gives visitors a truly unique vantage point to observe their surroundings.
Tourists get the chance to view monkeys and birds from treetops as they travel through the forest.
6. Sport cycling:
The region offers scenic trails and different terrains for bike lovers.
The region offers a variety of hiking trails for visitors situated in many national parks. Tourists can go on hiking trips across the bubbling landscape near volcanoes housing hot springs and geysers or they can hike through dense forests to reach ravishing waterfalls.
8. Bull rings:
Enriched in culture and traditions the land has a lot to offer to foreigners and increase their cultural experience.
The infamous Bull Rings located in almost every town hold tournament for participants trying to stay atop a thrashing bull for the longest time.
9. Crocodile Hunt:
The ritual observed by the locals for many years every Holy Friday involves setting out searching for the largest crocodile along the Tempisque River and capturing it with a net.
An engraving is designed in the likeness of the crocodile for all to see. The reptile is released the day after Resurrection Day into its natural habitat unharmed.
The province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica is a Pandora’s Box of exciting fun activities and mind-blowing natural beauty.
There is something that appeals to everyone who chooses to visit the region which makes it the perfect destination stop for globe trotters to have an experience of a lifetime.
Dipped in culture and traditions travelers get a chance to explore local cuisine, architecture, and cultural practices. The friendly locals are warm and welcoming and add a little more sunshine to this already sunny paradise.
Come to Costa Rica!! and have a great time. If you do, we believe, you will want to come back for more soon.