Guanacaste is a tropical respite whose natural beauty and favorable climate attract a large portion of Costa Rica's 2 million annual visitors. A trip to the province's less frequented areas allows a glimpse of everyday regional life far from generic resorts. Awe-inspiring nature blankets the province, from the Cordillera volcanoes and forests protecting birds, monkeys and jaguars to pristine Pacific beaches.
The northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste is on the Pacific coast and borders Nicaragua to the north. To the east, the province is hemmed in by the Cordillera de Guanacaste and Cordillera de Tilaran, mist-covered volcanoes that are the start of the neighboring province of Alajuela.
Part of Guanacaste is saturated with tropical forest; other parts have flat, dry plains, intersected by the Rio Tempisque, where herds of cattle graze.
Guanacaste's climate is something of an anomaly in Costa Rica due to its low-lying position, characterized by infrequent rain and dry heat from November to April. From late May to October, temperatures remain moderate and warmer than those of surrounding Costa Rican provinces despite daily rainfall. The only portion of Guanacaste that doesn't experience consistent mild to hot temperatures is the eastern highland area at the base of the volcanoes. This mountainous area is often covered in thick clouds that create a cool atmosphere, nourishing abundant forests on the slopes of the Cordillera.
Guanacaste's storied past rivals that of nations. The first known people to enter Costa Rica did so by way of Guanacaste's Nicoya Peninsula, later forming the Chorotega Indian tribe. Starting in the late 1400s, the Spanish occupied the province, building cattle ranches and homes throughout the region.
Spanish settlers named the province after the guanacaste tree found throughout Nicoya Peninsula. When Central American territories gained independence from Spain in the early 1800s, Guanacaste became part of Nicaragua. On July 25, 1824, Guanacaste residents voted to separate and annex the province to Costa Rica.
There are a number of transport options for visitors making their way to Guanacaste. Many foreign tourists fly into Daniel Oduber International Airport just outside the provincial capital of Liberia. The airport serves frequent international flights to and from the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Other visitors fly into the Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria just outside San Jose, making their way to Guanacaste via car or bus along the scenic Pan-American Highway. Those traveling from Nicaragua can take a bus from the western town of Managua or take the Pan-American Highway into Guanacaste.
Guanacaste is a nature lover's paradise, with miles of pristine beaches, lush tropical forests and volcanoes crisscrossed by trails. Guanacaste National Park and adjoining Santa Rosa National Park boast stunning scenery, from the high-elevation volcanic forests to coastal dry forests that are home to rare sea turtle species. In Guanacaste Park, visitors traverse multiple eco-systems along the winding nature trail, starting in Pacific dry forests near Santa Rosa, to the dense cloud forests along the park's eastern volcano slopes. Birdwatching is a popular pastime in Guanacaste Park, where visitors may also spot resident capuchin monkeys, among other species. Meanwhile, many surfers head straight to Santa Rosa beaches, where some of Costa Rica's best waves are found.
PLAYAS DEL COCO
Is a little place about 35 miles Southwest of the city of Liberia on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Guanacaste and 4 hours from San Jose city. Daniel Oduber International Airport is only a short 25 minute drive away, so you won't be wasting any valuable holiday time driving to and from the airport. It is served by American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United & US Airways. Three Canadian airlines that fly into the airport are Sunwing, Sky Service & Air Canada. Anything you could possibly want to do is right at you fingertips, be it Deep Sea fishing, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Surfing (Tamarindo, Witch's Rock or Ollie's Point), Whitewater Rafting, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching, Canopy Tours, National Parks (Santa Rosa, Buena Vista, Bara Honda, Tenorio), Volcanos (Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio), or just plain chillin' out if that's what you're looking!