(Editor’s Note – This original post from December 2009 has been updated to reflect current Costa Rica vacation details.)
Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces for political and governmental reasons. The provincial borders also roughly define certain regions by geography and population.
The province of Guanacaste is located in the northwest part of Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean, shares a border with Nicaragua, and is the least populated province in the nation.
The Province of Guanacaste Costa Rica
The recorded history of the Guanacaste province (so named for the national tree – Guanacaste or ear-pod) dates back hundreds of years. People began to settle the Nicoya Peninsula in earnest in the 17th and 18th centuries. The region first existed as an independent territory and was annexed to the larger nation almost 200 years ago.
Guanacaste is a fascinating and beautiful part of the world, with heavy forestation and mountainous rivers. The Guanacaste region is relatively dry compared to the rest of Costa Rica.
Guanacaste Costa Rica Weather
Residents and visitors to Guanacaste Costa Rica experience consistently hot temperatures beginning in November. Respite from this heat is found on the wonderful Guanacaste beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures moderate in May and the region receives a bit more rainfall. This pattern usually continues until October.
Agriculture in Guanacaste Costa Rica
The open areas of Guanacaste are often devoted to cattle grazing. The beef industry was a mainstay of the economy for decades, but it has declined in recent years. A massive irrigation program has boosted crop production, with sugar cane, cotton and rice leading the way.
Liberia – The Capital of Guanacaste
Liberia is the largest city in Guanacaste with a population of nearly 57,000 people. Liberia is also the capital of Guanacaste and major hub for tourism in Costa Rica.
Tourists have flocked to Guanacaste Costa Rica in ever-greater numbers in the past few decades, taking advantage of the beautiful beaches and the natural beauty of Costa Rica. This has revived the Guanacaste economy to some extent and has contributed to the importance of the capital city, Liberia.
The warm tropical climate and beautiful Liberia beaches lure travellers wishing to escape cold months in the Northern Hemisphere down to Liberia Costa Rica from December through March.
Liberia Costa Rica offers a relatively new international airport and many of the amenities that international visitors seek. Yet Liberia remains a comfortable city with an atmosphere often described as “colonial.”
Liberia’s proximity to Costa Rica beach resorts and beautiful national parks make it a popular destination and base for touring the countryside. In fact, one of Costa Rica’s national parks, Santa Rosa, also includes one of the world’s top surfing locations. Historic landmarks add to Liberia’s increasing popularity.
If surfing and sun-tanning are not quite your style there are many other Liberia Costa Rica excursions and activities to explore. Aside from the many Liberia attractions, the city is a perfect base for horseback riding through the amazing countryside, bird watching or for a trip to one of the many volcanoes that form Guanacaste province’s eastern border. It is not unusual for visitors to witness dozens of rare birds in addition to the native tapir (and even the elusive jaguar).
Those who choose to explore this small city will see many whitewashed houses that have given Liberia Costa Rica a reputation as “ciudad blanca,” which is Spanish for “white city”. It is also home to a number of annual festivals that celebrate local culture and the heritage of the residents.
Liberia’s government and city leaders have made an effort to attract new visitors with its international airport and easy access to major highways. Take one of the many interesting side trips off the Pan-American Highway and see why Guanacaste and its capital city Liberia have become so popular.
Costa Rica All Inclusive Tours – Includes Guanacaste Province
The current Costa Rica Paradise Tour by Caravan include several days in the Guanacaste province. Depending on the travel package you select you may experience the Guanacaste J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa, or the San Bada Hotel just outside of Manuel Antonio Park.
Both of these fully escorted 9 day tours are exceptionally priced and are all inclusive.
Hear what fellow travellers are saying about these Costa Rica trips on the official reviews page or call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to inquire about pricing and availability.