Discover Costa Rica’s Golden Coast with Adobe Rent a Car in Liberia, Guanacaste
Travelers arriving to Costa Rica’s Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, will be pleased to know that the country’s most iconic and pristine beaches are nearby. Nicknamed the White City for its colonial white-washed buildings and welcoming population, the city of Liberia is the capital of Guanacaste and a launching point for vacationers wishing to explore the nearby beaches and national parks.
Our Adobe Rent a Car Liberia Airport office is less than five minutes from the airport gates. Find the same great rates, friendly service, and the wide variety of rental car options as you would at the home office in San José. Our Adobe agent will equip you with all you need to navigate the Guanacaste’s “Golden Coast” in comfort. You can also rent a GPS navigational device, cooler, or surfboard rack at a low additional cost.
Guanacaste Province is known for its sweeping grasslands, cattle and horse ranches, dry-tropical forests, and over 640 km (400 miles) of rugged coastline. The picturesque Guanacaste Tree, with its mushroom-shaped canopy shading herds of gentle Brahma cattle, is a common sight when traveling through the scenic countryside.
What are the beaches like near Liberia?
The stunningly beautiful beaches and world-class surfing are what mostly attract visitors to Guanacaste. In fact, there are so many options to choose from that deciding on what beach town to visit first is the hardest part.
The following beaches are some of the most coveted Guanacaste destinations for both locals and international visitors alike. Each offers something unique and can easily accommodate families as well as groups and individual travelers looking to mingle and discover both the day and the nightlife Costa Rica has to offer. You’ll find fun and exciting things to do at each one of these beautiful beaches near Liberia.
Famous Guanacaste Beaches Closest to the Liberia Airport
Playa Hermosa and Santa Rosa National Park
The aptly named Playa Hermosa, or Beautiful Beach, is a short 30 minutes (35 km) from the Liberia International Airport on well-paved roads. The expansive beach is known for its unpretentious atmosphere, soft grey-white sands, and snorkeling, sports fishing, and scuba diving tours. Canopy tours and horseback riding through the coastal habitats are some of the fun things you can do in and around Hermosa and are a great way to see the unique wildlife.
The quaint town of Hermosa also has a warm and laid-back variety of restaurants and shops that cater to both foreigners and locals, including beachfront restaurants perfect for taking in a majestic Pacific sunset while sampling fresh seafood and local fare.
Just north of Playa Hermosa is the Santa Rosa National Park which protects one of the world’s last remaining tropical dry forests. The 387 km2 park is a popular destination for campers and vacationers wishing to get away from the noise and distractions of modern-day life. The white sands are also important nesting grounds of Ridley Turtles. During September and October, female Ridleys arrive in the thousands to lay their eggs. The park’s expansive coastline, interior forests, rivers, mangroves, and estuaries make it an ideal refuge for those seeking a natural getaway.
Playa del Coco Costa Rica
Just 7 km south of Playa Hermosa is the lively town of Playa del Coco. Famed as a seasonal party town among locals and expats, visitors will find plenty of entertainment on the town’s colorful streets, including discos, open-air bars, and plenty of international and traditional dining options.
The relatively closed bay makes Coco perfect for swimming, fishing, and a soccer game on the flat shore. During peak season beachgoers can rent jet skis and kayaks or take a wild ride on the famed “banana boat.” The small islands in front of the beach are also home to an abundance of marine life and good for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Around Playa del Coco’s southern point and only 40 km from Liberia, is the small protected bay and golden-sand beach of Ocotal. Playa Ocotal is a great place if you want to mix relaxation with the nightlife and party atmosphere of the nearby town of Coco.
The steep cliffs and rocky southern shoreline provide calm waters for snorkeling offshore. Playa Ocotal’s small size means that you’ll only find a handful of high- and medium-end hotels, so it’s best to plan early when reserving your lodging.
Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Playa Grande, and Tamarindo
Continuing southward, approximately 44 km from Liberia, is the protected bay and peninsula of Playa Flamingo, home to the internationally renowned Flamingo Marina. The crystalline waters and white-sand beaches are considered Costa Ricas most beautiful and have long attracted international expats. The result is a coastline lined with high-end resorts, restaurants, and tour providers.
The marina offers excellent sports fishing and water sports and attracts thousands of visitors annually. International fishing competitions have added to Flamingo’s fame as fishermen and women compete for prize catches like sailfish and marlin. Due to its popularity and vicinity to famous surf breaks and the Plata and Catalina Islands for snorkeling and scuba diving, Flamingo is a great place as a vacation home-base.
Another favorite on the list of Costa Rica’s top beaches is Playa Conchal, just 6 km from Playa Flamingo. Playa Conchal is famous for its sparkling white beach comprised entirely of seashells rather than sand. Its stunning beauty and popularity among locals make it a favored weekend getaway, and the beach is often full of revelers.
Playa Conchal is also home to the luxury all-inclusive Westin Golf Resort and Spa. The scenic 18-hole, 71-par, championship course was designed by Robert Trend Jones II and should be reserved ahead of time to ensure availability. Visitors can also rent jet skis or ATV tours from any of the tour and activity providers along the beach.
Car Rental Offices
To truly experience the ecological marvels and natural beauty of the Golden Coast, Playa Grande should not be missed. Located approximately 70 km from Liberia and just south of Playa Conchal, Playa Grande is part of the Las Baulas Marine National Park which covers nearly 175 km2 of marine, estuary, and coastal habitats, and is also one of the most important nesting sites for leatherback turtles. The females, which can reach up to 2 meters long and can weigh up to 700 kg each, arrive to lay their eggs between October and May. The park is bordered by two estuaries, the Tamarindo Estuary being one of the largest in the Americas and home to thousands of bird, reptile and mammal species. Kayak tours through the peaceful mangroves and estuary river systems is a wonderful way to spot wildlife.
Playa Grande and neighboring Tamarindo are also renowned for excellent surf conditions. Beginners to advanced surfers will find a spot perfect for their ability level. However, swimming conditions around Playa Grande can be dangerous, and riptides are common, so it’s always a good idea to check with local authorities before swimming or surfing.
Perhaps the most famed surf destination in Guanacaste is the popular Playa Tamarindo. A thriving beach town of both permanent residents and tourists, Tamarindo is a one-shot vacation destination for those who don’t have much time but want to experience all that Costa Rica’s beaches have to offer. The world-famous surf breaks of Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point are both a short boat ride or drive from Tamarindo and attract surf aficionados and international champions year-round.
Tamarindo’s large size and diverse topography allow for a numerous assortment of lodging options ranging from backpacker hostels to high-end resorts. The vibrant local community is also famed for promoting the arts and culture, and numerous festivals are held throughout the year. Visitors wanting peace and relaxation can find ample accommodations catering to a quieter side of life; while on the other end of town, party-goers looking for an exciting nightlife can find their own rowdy and lively niche.
Tamarindo offers just about every eco-adventure or tour one could want. Choose from exciting zip-line canopy tours, horseback riding, catamaran sunset sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving, kayaking, golfing, and much more.
Playa Ostional, Nosara, Samara, and the Nicoya Peninsula Beaches
Playa Nosara, Samara
Following the coastline and roughly 125 km from Liberia on the Nicoya Peninsula are the eclectic beach towns of Nosara and Samara, both bordered by expansive wind-swept swaths of open shoreline and world-class surf.
Playa Ostional, for example, is one of the most popular surf and swimming beaches among Nosara’s locals and visiting foreigners. It is also an ideal beach for absolute beginners as the wide flat shoreline provides plenty of slow rolling waves.
Playa Samara, just south of Nosara, is a calm, horse-shoe shaped bay excellent for swimming, and has a wide stretch of beach and mountainous countryside that promises long strolls and horseback riding adventures. Kayaking and snorkeling around Chora Island in front of the beach are also popular pastimes and a great way to see marine life such as turtles and manta rays. The diverse local and international communities of Nosara and Samara are equally esteemed for their fine dining options as well as a vibrant sunset and nightlife scene.
The Nicoya Peninsula
At the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula are a few beautiful beaches and vibrant beach towns worth visiting. Because they are relatively far from Liberia—5 hours or 215 km—many visitors to the area prefer arriving from San José and Puntarenas, both of which have full-service Adobe Rent a Car offices.
Tambor, Montezuma, Mal País
Tambor, Montezuma, Mal País, and Santa Teresa are the four principle beaches in the area, and each offers something different. Playa Tambor’s protected bay is a popular launching point for marine sports like sports fishing and scuba or snorkeling tours to nearby Tortuga Island.
Playa Montezuma is well known for its eclectic bohemian culture, the picturesque Montezuma Waterfall, and nearby Cabo Blanco National Park. The rugged terrain flanked by steep cliffs make the small town and string of colorful beaches a great place to hike and explore the natural beauty.
Around the Cabo Blanco Point and facing the open Pacific Ocean are Mal País and Santa Teresa. The two towns stretch for kilometers along the coast and are wildly famous among young surfers and sun worshippers. The diverse international community, both permanent and tourists, make the area a cultural mecca ripe for exploration. Yoga classes and health-oriented retreats are equally popular among visitors and offer an alternative pastime for visitors.
We at Adobe Rent a Car will help make your trip to Liberia and the surrounding beaches unforgettable. Relax and enjoy knowing that our impressive fleet of vehicles are exceptionally maintained, and our coverage options are equally comprehensive and affordable.