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Liberia: Gateway to the Costa Rican west

 
liberia video

Your Liberia vacation is calling

Beach bums around the world are drawn to Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province on the Pacific coast: You’ll find turquoise waters you thought only existed in the Caribbean, beachfront vistas to suit everyone’s taste and Liberia, the provincial capital and as authentic a Costa Rican town as you’ll find in the country.

 
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Plan your trip

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Travellers often catch flights to Liberia as a jumping-off point for more interesting destinations. But this “Ciudad Blanca” (named for its whitewashed homes and hotels) is a charming stop in and of itself. Book a hotel in Liberia and experience a living Costa Rican town, where the streets are lined with mango trees, the vibe is friendly and tourists are still regarded with curious interest.

Discover Liberia

A Beach for Everyone
The playas of Western Costa Rica are among the world’s best, and you won’t believe how varied they are on such a relatively small coastline. Playa Conchal, around 75 km from Liberia, is the crown jewel of the set. You’ll find magnificent shores, gorgeous rock formations and spectacular golfing. The other beaches you’ll discover up and down the Gold Coast are all different and equally worth a visit. Playa Avellana is a surfer’s paradise, with 17- foot-plus Hawaii-style waves. For long walks along the beach, nothing beats the dunes of Playa Grande. And for ocean-side cafés and lush foliage in the background to stare at in awe, check out Playa Flamingo. It was Costa Rica’s first ‘world-famous’ beach.
Ciudad Blanca: The White City
Liberia’s white-walled architectural style is unique to the city, as are the white dirt roads. The centre of town is the Iglesia Inmaculada Concepcion de Maria, one of the most beautiful churches in all of Costa Rica. Use the clock tower as a landmark for meeting up with friends, but don’t trust the time it keeps; its hands are rather lazy. Liberia is also Costa Rica’s only ‘colonial’ town, with houses over 150 years old. On the flip side, the city has a rich cowboy history including an annual horse parade bull riding and network of ranches. While you’re in town, be sure to grab a bite at Copa de Oro. It might be the best family food in Central America.
Fire to Water
There’s an active volcano just 3 km from Liberia that you can check out. After your trek through the craters, relax in the nearby hot springs and rest up for a walk along the Monte Verde suspension bridge for a bird’s eye view of the rain forests. Truly a unique perspective. Speaking of birds, if you want to see some of the more stunning species up close and personal, plan a day at Costa Rica Parque Nacional Palo Verde and develop a newfound ornithological appreciation.

Liberia Your Way

Couples
 
Hike Costa Rican style (with howler and spider monkeys as your travelling companions) to La Cangreja Waterfall in Rincon de la Vieja National Park for a romantic splash and swim. Keep your eyes peeled for the steam vents, bubbling mud and water pots, and roaring fumaroles created by the park’s two active volcanoes. Practice house hunting together touring through Liberia’s colonial neighbourhoods, where several historical buildings are identified with special plaques. Owners often invite curious passersby to see the insides of these sometimes two-hundred-year-old homes.
Family playgrounds
 
You may never get as close to giraffes, zebras and other wild animals as you can at Africa Mia, a vast and well-kept reserve just outside Liberia. Tour the grounds by Land Rover and the animals will come eat carrots right out of your hand. Popularly called La Agonia, the Iglesia de la Ermita de la Resurreccion is an almost 200-year-old mud-and-brick colonial church in the centre of Liberia. If the kids get bored while you’re checking it out, a skate park complete with concrete ramps is right next door, and the locals are always eager to show off their moves.
Travelling with friends
 
One of the most highly rated companies in Costa Rica, Guanacaste Viajes & Tours creates fabulous holiday packages for groups no matter their tastes. Enjoy zip lining, mud baths, whitewater rafting, pottery making and more, with guides that feel like family by the end of your trip.

Good to know

Tax

Costa Rica has an airport departure tax that is not included when purchasing an Air Transat flight ticket. This US $29 tax must be paid locally, per person (babies included), before leaving the country, by cash (American dollars or Colon), or Visa. MasterCard are not accepted.
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