Guanacaste is located in the Pacific northwest of Costa Rica on the border of Nicaragua. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country with plenty of adventure activities to choose from as well. This part of Costa Rica really resinates with adventure-focused travelers who are looking to stay active and explore the nature/wildlife of the area. How do you get to this tropical destination? If you are heading out to the coastal areas, the best option is to catch a domestic flight to the one of the four regional airports in the area - Tamarindo Airport, the Playa Nosara Airport, the Playa Samara Airport, and the Punta Islita Airport. All found along Guanacaste’s golden shores, these airports provide you with easy and convenient access to the countless beaches found in this area.
Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Costa Rica is between mid-December to April, which is considered the dry season. However, if you visit between September to October you can expect afternoon showers and fewer crowds.
Things to do:
Go surfing or beach hop. Whether you are looking to shred some surf or catch some rays, Guanacaste is the place to do it! The southern part of the province is renown for it’s surfing beaches such as Tamarindo (best for beginners), Avellanas or “Little Hawaii”, and Playa Grande. If you are looking for a more relaxed beach day, the good news is that there is no such thing as a “bad beach” in Guanacaste.
Zipline over Rincon de la Vieja Natonal Park. Ziplining is one of those activities that feels like a “must do” in a tropical destination like Guanacaste. You can experience some of the best views at Rincon de la Viega National Park where the cables are built over a river, through the forest, and takes you to the base of a volcano - giving you the best of everything!
Hike to the waterfalls, rivers, and volcanoes. Beaches are a huge draw for visitors of Costa Rica, but this beautiful providence offers so much more than just white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. If you are looking for some nature and adventure in your vacation, make sure to get out the National Parks in the area. With volcanoes, rivers, and waterfalls, it is hard to beat the views of this region.
Snorkel in the Gulf of Papagayo. If you love the ocean, snorkeling or diving in the waters of the Gulf of Papagayo will not disappoint. With some of the best diving in Central America, you could swim with eagle rays, sharks, dolphins and other creatures of the sea. Or explore the reefs around Samara where you can see eels, colorful tropical fish and maybe a turtle or two!
Things to Know Before You Go…
Save your pennies by using public transportation. The public transportation system in Guanacaste is really good and a great way to cut out the added costs of private transfers to and from adventures.
Pack light. When traveling on small planes between parts of Central America, weight becomes very important. Do yourself a favor and leave that extra outfit behind!
Slow down. In the land of “pura vida,” don’t be in a hurry. Buses run late, restaurants close early and flights get delayed. Be prepared to go at Costa Rica pace, not what you’re used to at home.
Driving is an adventure all it’s own. Unless you are comfortable with rough, unpaved roads, reading Spanish road signs, and driving stick shift, I would recommend leaving the driving to the locals.
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