Things to do in Liberia, Costa Rica

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Things to do in Liberia, Costa Rica

Driving through Guanacaste Province in northwest Costa Rica may make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon the set of an old west movie. The rugged landscape stretches for miles with distant mountains and smoky volcanoes shimmering in the midday heat. 

The Guanacaste tree is also a regular feature of the picturesque countryside with herds of Brahma cattle lounging in the shade of its iconic mushroom-shaped canopy. 

Even the cowboy can be found here. In fact, this northern region is well known for its agricultural and ranching culture. Guanacastecos (locals) riding horseback are a common sight in every provincial town, as are seasonal festivals celebrating age-old traditions and folklore.

The heart of Guanacaste is its capital city, Liberia, which is also the region’s commercial and historical center. The white streets – paved with a pale limestone – radiate out from Liberia’s central park and cathedral. Many of the original houses and historical sites were whitewashed with the same white stone, lending to the city’s nickname, “the white city.”

Adjacent to the park is the Guanacaste Museum, which is housed in the town’s original army barracks, much like the National Museum in San José. Visitors will find several examples of traditional and ethnic art and culture, in addition to historical artifacts and information about the events leading up to the abolition of Costa Rica’s army. 

Liberia attractions and Adobe Rent a Car

In addition to its historic charm, Liberia is home to the country’s second-largest international airport, the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. The airport’s growing popularity among international travelers is mostly due to its location only 4 miles (6 km) from downtown Liberia and roughly 30 minutes to the closest beaches and national parks.

Adobe Rent a Car’s Liberia Airport office is 7 km southwest of the airport entrance. When making a reservation, clients can provide their flight information and arrival time to the Adobe agent and arrange for a complimentary shuttle service to the Adobe office when they arrive. 

Renters will have a wide range of vehicles to choose from and enjoy Adobe’s competitive rates and excellent customer service. To contact the Adobe Liberia office at adobecar.com, or by email at opsgte@adobecar.com if you’d like to speak with an agent call +(506) 2542-4890 in Costa Rica; or toll-free from the U.S. or Canada: 1-855-861-1250 (8 am-5 pm Central Time).

Some of the activities to do near the Liberia Airport range from city and shopping tours, museum visits, or a historical tour of downtown Liberia and the nearby Santa Rosa National park.

Santa Rosa National Park harbors one of the last remaining tropical dry forests in Central America and is a treasured national monument. The park protects essential sea turtle nesting sites and serves as a biological corridor connecting to nearby conservation areas in the interior.

In 1856, a small brigade of Costa Rican citizens took a stand against the legendary U.S. filibuster William Walker, and his band of mercenaries to defend the country against Walker’s plans of enslaving the population. 

The resulting battle took place in the Hacienda de Santa Rosa and ended with Walker being ousted from Costa Rica and neighboring Nicaragua. Visitors to the park can explore La Casona, the original building where much of the battle took place and learn more about the region’s history at the onsite museum.

Day trips from Liberia 

Some of the best things to do in Guanacaste are near Liberia. Several day tours & activities are offered by local tour providers in town or by looking online. Tourists rave about the zipline and hot springs tours in Guanacaste, as well as waterfall hikes, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park

A few of the most popular tours can be found in the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, which is located around 40 minutes (24 km) north of Liberia.

Rincón de la Vieja is Costa Rica’s most unusual volcano. Much of its geothermal activity is close to the surface and can be seen from the park’s trails. Witnessing the bubbling fumaroles, clay pits, steam vents, thermal rivers is a must-do. So is a soak in the steaming hot springs pools along the Rio Negro River. 

These day trips often incorporate popular eco-adventures and are offered by the many lodges surrounding the park. Canopy tours, zip-lines, and rappelling claim the treetops and canyons, and tubing, horseback riding, and waterfall hikes appeal to more grounded guests. 

It must be said that a Costa Rica vacation isn’t complete without partaking in at least one of these exciting outdoor activities. 

Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde National Park

To the south of Liberia, along the Tempisque River basin and wetlands, is the Palo Verde National Park. The 45,492 acres territory protects several unique habitats, including dry tropical forests, marshes, and river systems. 

One of the biggest attractions in Palo Verde is its birds. Waterfowl are the most prolific types. However, several migratory and native species can be seen in the marshes and coastal forests. Crocodiles, caiman, monkeys, iguanas, and other wildlife also inhabit the park and can be spotted during a safari boat tour or hike.

Rio Celeste and the Tenorio Volcano National Park

A visit to Rio Celeste in the Tenorio Volcano National Park is another must-do. Hikers are awed when they approach the river and first see its unusual turquoise color that is created by the joining of two rivers, called “Los Teñideros.” It is the combination of minerals and acidity that creates the otherworldly hue. 

 Horsebackriding tours & activities, including hot springs, can be enjoyed in the park. The active Tenorio Volcano is considered to be one of the country’s best-kept secrets because few visitors know about the excellent hiking opportunities that can be found in the park. It is also home to four life zones and countless wildlife species, including the reclusive tapir, jaguars, ocelots, and monkeys. 

Beautiful beaches – Guanacaste’s Gold Coast

conchal beach playa costa rica
Beautiful beaches – Guanacaste’s Gold Coast

Costa Rica’s northwest Pacific Coast is also known as the Gold Coast. The label not only refers to the region’s miles of golden and white-sand beaches, but also to the five-star accommodations found along the seaside and the mansions of international millionaires tucked away in the hillsides. 

To see all that the Gold Coast has to offer you can rent a vehicle from Adobe Rent a Car’s office located in the Commercial Center Paseo del Mar in the town of Conchal. Contact the office directly at +(506) 2653 6262 or by email at flamingo@adobecar.com

Playas del Coco and Tamarindo are popular beach towns among Costa Rica’s young partygoers and expats looking for nightlife as well as daytime adventures. 

Surfing, sailing, and sportfishing are among the many water sports to choose and can be arranged all along the coast. At Playa Flamingo Marina, visitors have an extensive menu of activities to choose from, including day tours to nearby islands, jet ski rentals, fishing charters, and more.

For those hoping for a more laid-back vacation, Playa Hermosa, Conchal, Avellanas, and Playa Grande are beautiful and serene options. ATV rentals, horseback riding, and canopy and zipline tours can be found in most beach towns catering to tourists, so no matter where you go, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied if so desired.