Feel carefree in Guanacaste
Powder-soft sand, bright-blue waters and lush landscapes are what await you in this heavenly oasis
Located on the northwest shoulder of Costa Rica lies the province of Guanacaste. Named after the national tree of the country, locals refer to the region as the “Gold Coast,” thanks to its pristine beaches, stunning views and variety of wildlife. Whether you crave adventure on the waves, are looking to immerse yourself in nature or are simply hoping to unwind on the beach, Guanacaste has it all.
Begin your day by basking in the sun on Playa Avellana Beach in Tamarindo. “I enjoyed sitting under the tree, reading a book and periodically jumping into the surf to cool off,” says Susan S on TripAdvisor.com.
“We loved our late lunch at Lola’s café and brought both beers and mango smoothies back to the beach.”
To see what lies below the water, book a snorkel tour with Snuba Costa Rica ($65 per person), which begins at their shop in the area of Flamingo.
Says pearly1851 on TripAdvisor.com, “We were able to see stingrays, puffer fish, starfish and even a shark!”
After toweling off, head to Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates in Tamarindo, a 33-acre wilderness featuring a private jungle with animals, zip-lining, canopy tours, horseback riding and a walk rope course (activities starting at $25 per person). “First time zip-lining for me,” says Robert S on TripAdvisor.com. “Being above the tree canopy and then riding down right into the jungle was amazing. The howling monkeys in the background only added to the experience.”
End your day with a stroll down Tamarindo’s Calle Central to shop for locally handcrafted goods and souvenirs, dine at restaurants like the popular Surf Shack Burgers & Wings, then head to the nearby shoreline to relax and watch the beautiful sunset.
Great day trip:
Palo Verde National Park
Make the two-hour drive east to spend the day exploring Palo Verde National Park, located along the banks of the Tempisque River. The 45,492-acre sanctuary features everything from lagoons to forests. Visitors can rent mountain bikes, join a boat tour or simply hike through the park to see an abundance of wildlife like monkeys, armadillos and iguanas.
Tio Leo Coffee Tour
Book a two-hour walking tour ($15 per person) at Coffee Tio Leo in Liberia to learn about the history of the coffee bean in Costa Rica. Guests have a chance to pick coffee beans, see how they are roasted at the company and enjoy fresh coffee drinks.
Sip a papaya margarita made with tequila Marvel at an active volcano with a visit to the breathtaking Arenal Volcano National Park
Admire the beauty of the numerous waterfalls found throughout the region’s forests Listen for the sounds and calls of a wild scarlet macaw
Spy vibrant blooms growing wild during a trek through one of Guanacaste’s national parks