Guanacaste has an endless list of areas to visit that can satisfy everyone’s tastes, from those seeking adventure to travelers looking for calm places that imply little physical activity.
If you are among the second group, you surely love the beaches you can drive to in a car, walk a few steps and find a spot to enjoy the sea. We have good news for you. Besides the sand and sun, the province has other sites that let you enjoy yourself without making a huge effort. The Voice of Guanacaste has compiled a list of eight perfect attractions.
WATER FOR THE SOUL
- Llanos del Cortés Waterfalls:
The Llanos del Cortés waterfalls forms a spectacular curtain that you can take in while you are in the pool below or sitting in the sand. Yes, sand. This waterfall, located three kilometers (2 miles) from Bagaces on the way to Liberia, will make you feel as though you are at a mini beach with beautiful waterfalls in front of you for only ¢2,000 ($3.30). More information: 2690-1300.
- El Salto de Belén:
This pool in Belén, Nicoya is perfect for a refreshing dip amid the high temperatures of dry season. A large stream falls from the rocks on the left side and other smaller ones on the right. Sit along the edge and have a snack or jump in the water. Give yourself a back massage under the natural waterfall or stay in the pool while spending time with your family. The best part is that entrance is free.
To get here, turn into the entrance of the La Casacada bar in Belén, Nicoya and continue on for two kilometers (1.2 miles) until you reach a lot next to a metal gate.
- Wind Park:
Wherever you look in this park, you will have a magnificent view, including scenes of Tilarán, located at the feet of the Wind Park, as well as different renewable energy projects and even Tenorio, Miravalles and Rincon de la Vieja volcanoes. Don’t go just during the day. At night, the site is lit up with energy from solar panels. If you want to visit this park, which has free entry, travel 100 meters west of the Tilarán police station, then 20 meters north and 500 meters west. More information: 2695-2400
- Monte Alto Lookout:
The Monte Alto de Hojancha lookout is the highest point in the canton, roughly 880 meters above sea level. From downtown Hojancha, go eight kilometers (5 miles) toward Monte Ramo. From there you can see the Gulf of Nicoya, Cañas and Liberia and even the coasts of Sámara and Carrillo. You just have to arrive, park your car, sit down and enjoy the natural landscape and animals. For the best experience, take binoculars.
LOVE FOR ANIMALS
- Ponderosa Adventure Park:
This attraction offers an adventure in which you just have to hop in a safari car and enjoy an African savanna in the middle of Liberia. You can spot around 297 animals here, including some exotic ones like giraffes, zebras, ostriches and camels as well as others native to our province that roam free in park’s 170 acres. If you want to visit, you must make a reservation two days in advance. In order to get to the park, take the Inter-American highway in Liberia and turn right 500 meters before reaching the El Salto school bridge and continue along that highway. Entrance for adults and children is $35 and for senior citizens and disabled visitors the cost is $28. More information: 2288-1000.
- Las Pumas:
At this rescue center in Cañas, you can walk along trails and spot monkeys, pumas, jaguars, toucans and parrots living in the refuge. It is located 2.8 miles from Cañas on the way to Liberia and rescues wounded animals, helps them recover and releases them into the wild. Costa Rican adults pay ¢3,000 ($5.00) and Costa Rican children pay ¢1,000 ($1.60). Foreign adults pay $12 and foreign children pay $8. More information: 2669-6019
IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA
- Sport fishing:
The warm waters of the Guanacaste Pacific are home to a large variety of marine life and, therefore, are perfect for sport fishing. According to the Guanacaste Tourism Chamber (Caturgua), Playa Flamingo is the top spot for sport fishing in the northern pacific of Costa Rica. Tours cost between $400 and $2,500 per boat, offer professional equipment and include drinks, fruit and lunch. Depending on the boat, between four to 10 people fit. Contacts: Tamarindo: 8829-9191. Ocotal: 8389-0113. Flamingo: 8813-9675.
- Catamaran Tour:
Catamaran tours usually offer snacks, fruit, drinks and music so you can enjoy yourself while you travel along the Pacific. The only thing you have to do is find a good spot on the catamaran, feel the wind and sun on your body and enjoy the blue sea and open sky. Pay attention during the tour and you might be fortunate enough to see marine life come to the surface such as dolphins or manta rays. Your tour may include snorkeling and costs between $70 and $100. Tour Playa Tamarindo: 2653-1212. Tour Playas del Coco: 2670-1818. Playa Flamingo: 2654-5900.