Guanacaste

Guanacaste is the northwestern-most province in Costa Rica. The region is incredibly diverse, boasting volcanoes and green mountains, dense rain forests and airy deciduous forests, lush sugarcane fields and peaceful beaches.

Liberia Airport is the gateway to Guanacaste and offers daily direct flights from major US cities.

Costa Ricans are known for their kindness and laid back personalities. They live by the code of “pura vida” and love using this term in greeting and farewell.

A quarter of the roads in Costa Rica are paved, making long distance travel bumpy and occasionally painful. While many areas are accessible without four-wheel drive, if you are renting a car reserve a four-wheel drive vehicle.

All beaches in Costa Rica are public, meaning that locals and neighbors are welcome on the beach connected to your resort. This is a boon as you will get a better priced massage on the beach than the resort spa.

EAT

Soda Viquez Excellent, traditional Costa Rican food in La Fortuna.

DRINK

Imperial The most popular beer in Costa Rica, Imperial is a home grown, American-style lager. It claims to be the world’s first “water positive” beer, meaning that it conserves water throughout the brewing process.

PLAY

Arenal Volcano National Park While Arenal has been active since 1968, hiking along its base is safe and offers extraordinary views on a clear day.

Balsa River whitewater rafting Admire the magic of Arenal’s forests while white water rafting class II and III rapids in the Rio Balsa.

Buena Vista del Rincon An eco and wellness adventure park near Ricon de la Vieja National Park that offers canopy zip-lining, horseback riding, natural hot springs and mud baths.

STAY

We loved the Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa and Resort near Arenal. While a bit outside of La Fortuna town (10 minute cab ride), it had lovely views of the volcano and a heated thermal water pool.

In Guanacaste we stayed at Dreams Las Mareas, an all-inclusive beach-side resort a few miles from the Honduran border and 1.5 hours from Liberia airport. While the property and our room were lovely, the food was ok. There are many other beach resorts in Guanacaste, but if you are looking for a more authentic trip we heard excellent things about Tamarindo, a coastal town in southern Guanacaste.