Guanacaste enjoys generous and warm weather, unique culture, known for cattle ranching production, and spectacular beaches. It is the driest region of Costa Rica, especially the coastal areas. Became part of Costa Rica in 1824; until then, it had remained an independent province. This territory certainly has a very important natural and cultural richness, for Costa Rica’s economy.
Guanacaste is well known for its beautiful beaches and sunny days, which is exactly what visitors find along its coastline. With an abundance of hotels, resorts, cabins, and restaurants as well as the many Guanacaste Tours and adventures that you can perform from all the beaches. Some are luxury ones, others more modest, but they all guarantee that guests have the perfect option for each budget. Panama Beach, in the north area of the province, is one of the good options for tourism. A quiet place with white sand and easy waters invites you to enjoy a care-free weekend.
Some of the world’s best resorts are found on the beaches of Guanacaste as Fours Seasons Costa Rica, Andaz Papagayo o Planet Hollywood Costa Rica, located at the Papagayo Gulf. As well you can find resorts like Secrets Papagayo, Riu Guanacaste Hotels, Mangroove Resort, or Villas Sol. More south you can find the Occidental Tamarindo or The Marriott Reserva Conchal.
Playas del Coco features as one of the most popular spots, here you can find all kinds of facilities and you can find everything very easy as the center of the town is small. Another good point is that it’s located within 25 minutes’ drive from Liberia Airport. As well in Playas del Coco, you can find a great number of places to stay from private condominiums to hotels and beach homes. Its beach is very gentle and nice for swimming and relaxing.
Very close to Playas del Coco you will find Ocotal, a small black sand beach but with many vacation homes with spectacular views on the hills. Ten-minutes out of Coco you will reach Playa Hermosa, as its names mean this beautiful gold sand beach offers you fantastic calm waters for swimming and relaxing. Here you can also find many vacation homes and beach resorts.
Some kilometers south without having to travel much you can reach Flamingo Beach, an ideal place for those preferring a mix of luxury and a quiet atmosphere, during the low tide this beach offers you perfect warm and calm waters to swim and relax. As well its white-sand beach is perfect for a hike. Beach-front resorts and vacation homes are also available in this area. Flamingo Beach is located in what is called the gold coast as it was one of the first places in Guanacaste with luxury hotels and a marine.
Just 10 minutes drive from Flamingo we will reach Playa Conchal, a beautiful white-sand beach (shells dust), with extraordinary turquoise waters, perfect for swimming. Its crystalline waters are perfect to enjoy some snorkeling from the beach. Here you can find the Marriott Reserva Conchal, the only All-Inclusive Resort in the area.
Playa Grande is located further south, and along with Las Baulas National Park, it is a sanctuary for the leatherback turtles arriving to spawn in its coasts each year. As well Playa Grande is worldwide recognized for its waves perfect to practice surfing. It’s for this reason that many surfers come to stay in this wild and natural area.
Tamarindo Beach offers a blend of beaches and mangroves; seabirds and iguanas, making it a paradise and perfect spot for those wishing to live in harmony with nature. Famous for its perfect waves Tamarindo is the perfect spot for professionals and for those who want to learn the art of riding waves. As well the town offers a wide variety of stores and souvenirs, a big number of beachfront restaurants are also present in the area.
Going south of Tamarindo we can find beaches such as Junquillal, Playa, Negra, and Avellanas, all of them also well known for their waves and surfing spots. These areas are more remote with less access to facilities. The Ostional Wildlife Refuge is located within the most famous beaches of Guanacaste, this is due to the nesting of olive ridley turtles, which arrive in thousands to lay their eggs. Observing the birth of the baby turtles is also another show of nature.
Nosara is located within minutes from Ostional and this place offers a variety of resorts, from beach houses to yoga retreats, which have made Nosara even more famous. In addition, its waves attract visitors from all over the world, and its nature makes the perfect combination to visit Nosara. The area is difficult to access during the rainy season so we recommend the use of a 4×4 SUV to visit this area.
Then we will find Playa Samara and its 4km long beach with warm and very calm waters since in front there is a reef extension that causes the waves to be less. It is perfect for families although there are not many fast access facilities in the area. However, it is a perfect destination to visit for a few days.
Next to Samara is the beautiful Playa Carrillo, with its extensive line of palm trees and perfect waters to relax and take a dip in the ocean. From here you can find more beaches such as Punta Islita, Camaronal, Coyote, Bejuco until you reach the Nicoya Peninsula where you will find places like Montezuma or Santa Teresa,
Guanacaste also offers you a variety of National Parks where you will discover abundant wildlife and exuberant vegetation. Santa Rosa National Park is located to the north of the province. It is one of the last remains of the tropical dry forest in the world, counting with a remarkable biological inventory. As well here you will find La Casona, the place where Costarican’s defeat the country in 1856 against the Filibuster invaders. Santa Rosa is also home to Playa Naranjo where you will find the renowned surf break of Witch’s Rock.
At the Guanacaste Mountain Range, we found the Tenorio Volcano, here you can take the hike to the famous Rio Celeste Waterfall, and hike through the tropical rainforest of the park. At the Miravalles Volcano, you will be able to hike by an active crater and relax on natural hot springs.
The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano offers to the tourist offers the tourist a huge variety of things to see. The most relevant of course is the activity present in the massif, here you can see boiling waters and mud, sulfur lakes, steam, waterfalls and much more. Also in the park, you can observe a great variety of wildlife such as white-faced, howlers and spiders monkeys, toucans, tapirs, coatis among others.
Another great place to visit is the Palo Verde National Park, where you will observe a great number of bird species as well you can see howler and white-faced monkeys, American crocodiles, iguanas, bats, lizards, and much more.
With a mixture of tropical forests, warm beaches, extended plains, and an impressive volcanic range; Guanacaste is the place to explore. This is just a glimpse of what this beautiful province offers you, in addition to its friendly and great-hearted people, a culture rich in traditions, and unique gastronomy that makes the perfect complement to not miss out on visiting Guanacaste.