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Top 12 - Activities in Guanacaste Costa Rica


Picture of Tamarindo Costa Rica

Whether you are traveling alone with your backpack or with your family, Tamarindo offers a wide variety of activities. If you are looking for a very convenient place to rest for a few days, this is the place to come! You'll find everything from hotels of all prices, good restaurants of all kinds, shops and surf schools. Tamarindo is accessible by plane, bus, or you can simply rent a car.

Tamarindo, located in the Province of Guanacaste, on the Nicoya Peninsula, is a great place to take a break. Its large golden beach, perfect sea for surfing and plenty of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy good local and international food. 



Picture Surfing Guanacaste Costa Rica

Stretching for 200 kilometers along the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Guanacaste is a surfing mecca.

The beaches enjoy a tropical climate and the breakers will delight beginners and experts alike. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this region offers waves for all tastes. Dive into the best surf spots in this region:



Tamarindo is one of the most famous surf spots in Costa Rica

For surfing lessons, you'll find plenty of surf schools on site on the main street, just across the road, or even right on the beach where surfboard rental companies set up for the day. There are even some free showers, especially at El Vaquero Beach Bar where you can wash off the salt water after your session! Most schools offer group and individual lessons.

For the more experienced, we advise you to go to Playa Grande where the waves are bigger and more regular. You will just have to take a small boat at 1.00 dollar to cross the estuary of Tamarindo to get there. The crossing takes less than 5 minutes and is definitely worth it. Open your eyes wide, you might see a crocodile!

Witches Rock

With deep sandy breaks along a 2 mile beach, Witches Rock is another great destination for catching breathtaking waves. Strong offshore winds blow between December and March, creating long lefts and rights. Witches Rock is located in Santa Rosa National Park.


Playa Negra

As a Costa Rican hot spot, Playa Negra offers ideal right barrels with a rocky bottom. The waves are constant all year round


Visit Liberia

Picture Visit of Liberia Costa Rica

Liberia is a charming colonial town, nicknamed "the white city" ("La Ciudad Blanca") because of its whitewashed colonial buildings. Founded in the 18th century, it has an impressive whitewashed church with Spanish colonial architecture. The city also has a fabulous array of restaurants serving food from around the world and shops all along the central square.

Start your tour by immersing yourself in the history, traditions and legends of the city with your guide. Later, go shopping and stock up on souvenirs.


Go diving

Picture diving Tamarindo Costa Rica

Tired of surfing waves? Why not go underwater? Scuba diving is just a few minutes away from Tamarindo. The starting point is in the Marina Flamingo.

You can get your scuba diving certification or go on a discovery dive. You can see white tip reef sharks, manta rays, dolphins and huge schools of fish. If you go in August or September, it's a good time to see humpback whales or turtles! A spectacle not to be missed.


Rest on the beach

Picture Beach Guanacaste Costa RicaOne of the must-see places in Costa Rica! The North Pacific coast of Guanacaste is known for its beautiful beaches of white, golden, grey, black and even pink sand. 

You can find lively beach towns with thriving commerce like Playa del Coco, Flamingo and Tamarindo, contrasting with deserted beaches where you can daydream, like Pan de Azucar, Prieta or Calzón de Pobre.

The roads to some of these remote beaches are not always in the best condition, so you need a 4×4 vehicle to get there.


Flamingo Beach: Stunning white sand, pristine beaches, clear blue waters and a world-class marina offering some of the best scuba diving, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing.


Potrero Beach: A small typical village with restaurants, bars, supermarkets, tours and activities. It is a perfect place for swimming, sunbathing, walking and horseback riding, with estuaries and mangroves to explore.


Sugar Beach (Playa Pan de Azúcar) and Danta Beach: These beaches are two very picturesque coves surrounded by hills from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the bays of Potrero and Brasilito. 


Panama Beach: Playa Panama is a very nice beach with fine sand, small waves and no rocks, which makes it an ideal place for swimming.


Hermosa Beach: Excellent for watching beautiful sunsets, walking, horseback riding and water sports.


Calzón de Pobre Beach: A small hidden beach Difficult to access but beautiful with its pure white sand and turquoise water. 


Penca Beach: Popular for its white sand, located at the northern end of Coco Bay.


Coco Beach: One of the most popular and frequented beaches in Costa Rica, located on a small bay with a beach village with bars and restaurants of all kinds.


Ocotal Beach: One of the best places for snorkeling and diving along the Guanacaste coast.


Prieta Beach: Charming with its white and black sand that wraps around a small blue bay with a small fishing village, the green and shady beach remains isolated and quiet.



Picture CIty Samara Costa Rica

The small village of Samara attracts visitors looking for a family friendly beach town. The town of Samara is quite small and you can easily walk to get around, or better yet, rent bikes. 

The beach in Samara is perfect for walking, relaxing and swimming with the kids. There are also surf schools right on the beach; the waves are good for beginners. At the main entrance to the beach, they have made a very nice platform to go down to the beach.

There are a couple of beachside bars where you can sip your favorite juice with your feet in the sand or otherwise do a little shopping in the shops on the main street.


Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Picture parc Nacional de Rincón de la Vieja Costa Rica

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located in the northwest corner of Costa Rica, in the province of Guanacaste. It has 7 different trails winding through beautiful scenery, breathtaking waterfalls, boiling mud lakes and fumaroles.

The Rincon de la Vieja is an active volcano of 1895 meters high. It is one of the five volcanoes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste. This large national park of 14,127 hectares is ideal for day trips to Guanacaste for those who love hiking and mountain adventure.


Entrance fees and opening hours :

The park is divided into 2 sectors: Santa Maria and Pailas. Las Pailas is the most popular sector. The Rincon de la Vieja National Park is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 3pm for the Las Pailas sector. The Santa Maria sector is closed. Only the Las Pailas sector is open.


The entrance fee to Rincon de la Vieja National Park is US$ 16.95 for foreign adults and US$ 5.65 for children aged 6-12 years.


The Llanos del Cortés Waterfalls

Picture The Llanos del Cortés Waterfalls

The Llanos de Cortes waterfall is located 20-30 minutes south of Liberia. It is just outside the town of Bagaces and is sometimes known as the Bagaces Waterfall, in the province of Guanacaste. Discovering this natural beauty is a worthwhile low-budget adventure.

A visit to the Los Llanos de Cortes waterfall is an opportunity to take memorable photos that will delight your friends. You can spend half a day on this refreshing and inexpensive adventure.


Santa Rosa National Park

Picture Santa Rosa National Park Costa Rica

Santa Rosa National Park is located in one of the driest regions of Costa Rica. This 386 square kilometer park protects the largest remaining expanse of dry tropical forest in Central America. Located in the far northwest of Costa Rica, Santa Rosa has pristine, secluded beaches and is ideal for bird watching, wild surfing and sea turtle nesting.

There are several beaches, historic buildings, a lookout and trails. There is a wide variety of species such as deer, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, among others. This area is also historically significant because of the Battle of Santa Rosa that took place here.


Turtle watching at Las Baulas National Park

Picture Turtle Las Baulas National Park Costa Rica

Las Baulas Marine Park covers the beaches of Playa Grande, Carbon, Ventanas and Langosta, as well as the Tamarindo estuary. Playa Grande is known as one of the largest leatherback nesting sites in the world.

Every year, between October and March, hundreds of leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs. These Jurassic reptiles, the largest of all sea turtles, can weigh up to 680 kg and measure 1.8 m in length.

The beaches of Las Baulas Marine Park host more than 800 nesting sea turtles each year, but despite impressive regional numbers, the leatherback turtle remains highly endangered and at risk of extinction in the Pacific.

Caving in Barra Honda National Park

Picture Caving in Barra Honda National Park Costa Rica

Tired of sunbathing? Do something unique in Costa Rica: check out Barra Honda National Park. They offer tours of caves that you can explore as a real spelunker.

Barra Honda National Park is 80 kilometers from Liberia International Airport, a 1 hour and 30 minute drive. From San Jose, Barra Honda is 185 kilometers and 3 hours away.

The main attraction of the Barra Honda National Park are the caves, mainly Terciopelo (60 meters deep) but there are also hiking trails. To visit the cave, you must be accompanied by a guide.

For the hiking trails, you can do them alone. Only 19 of the 42 caves have been explored and many of them are still a mystery. Curious fact: human remains and ancient objects have been found there!  


Schedules and rates :

The entrance fee to Barra Honda National Park for foreigners is 5,000 colones (10 USD) and the tour of the caves is about 12,5000 colones (25 USD) per person. This is the price for visitors who go to the park by their own means.

Reservations are now mandatory for Barra Honda National Park, without which you will not be able to enter.


Go on a boat safari in Palo Verde Park

Picture boat safari in Palo Verde Park Costa Rica

Palo Verde National Park encompasses more than 18,210 hectares (45,000 acres) of the Tempisque Conservation Area protecting tropical dry forest and animal species such as iguanas, crocodiles, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, herons and birds.

In addition, Palo Verde has 15 different types of habitats, from mangroves to swamps. During the rainy season, the Tempisque River overflows, creating a perfect habitat for wildlife to find refuge, delighting the discerning tourist.

A boat tour of Palo Verde National Park is one of the best options, especially if you don't feel like walking!