Feel care­free in Gua­nacaste

Pow­der-soft sand, bright-blue waters and lush land­scapes are what await you in this heav­enly oa­sis

First For Women - - Fun -

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.

Don’t miss:

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

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