Since the abolition of its armed forces in 1949, Costa Rica has grown into one of the most peaceful and prosperous countries in Central America, diverting funds away from the military and investing them in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and the preservation of the country's incredible natural heritage, among other things. The lush tropical forests, verdant cloud forests, active volcanoes, and pristine white sand beaches of this small country are home to a greater variety of biodiversity than the combined biodiversity of North America and Europe, including sloths and howler monkeys, as well as a dazzling array of bird and insect life in a variety of colors. The fact that it is the eco- and adventure tourism capital of the continent is no surprise given the fact that it offers white water rafting, canopy zip-line tours, and numerous other outdoor activities to participate in. More endearing, however, is the Costa Rican people's laid-back and love-filled approach to life, which is summed up in their common greeting and life philosophy: 'pura vida,' which means 'pure life' in English.
Liberia, the capital and largest city of Guanacaste province, is – despite its lesser-known status – the country's most important tourism center, as well as a regional hub for the country's northern and western regions. An authentic Costa Rican town with beautiful natural surroundings, an interesting architectural heritage, and a rich cultural heritage are just some of the reasons that the town draws visitors from all over the world.
The Museo de Guanacaste, located in the city's historic district, hosts cultural and historical exhibitions. The Museo del Sabanero is a collection of local cowboy memorabilia, including photographs, that is open to the public. The Ermita de La Agona, a Catholic church in the colonial style with a white facade, is a popular tourist destination. The active Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and the dormant Miravalles Volcano is located in the northeastern part of the country.
Map of Liberia
Colones. Costa Rica's currency is the colón, which is the country's official unit of measurement. The coin was established in the first decades of the twentieth century and is named after Cristobal Columbus, the admiral who discovered Costa Rica in 1502 and was the first European to do so. Previously, during the colonial period, cacao seeds were used as a form of currency to denote value.
Costa Rica's Northwest Pacific region has one of the country's driest climates. The temperature in the beach areas is fairly consistent throughout the year, with daytime highs averaging in the upper 80s to lower 90s on average. Low temperatures at night are typically in the upper 70s. The amount of precipitation varies throughout the year, with the most pleasant weather occurring between November and August.
Guests should bring a bathing suit and towel, as well as shorts and tee shirts. They should also bring rain gear, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Hotels in Liberia
There are many hotels in Liberia that will meet the requirements and budgets of all styles of travelers.
Map of local hotels
Hotels in Liberia
Hilton Garden Inn Guanacaste Airport
With a location directly across from Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, this hotel offers a variety of amenities including an international restaurant, an outdoor pool, and modern rooms with a 32-inch LCD television. The staff is top-of-the-line! Gustavo and Jose M. went above and beyond to make my stay as pleasant as possible. They both went above and beyond to assist a guest in need, and they are both valuable members of the Hilton team. The hotel is immaculately clean and has a beautiful interior design.
Best Western El Sitio Hotel & Casino
The Best Western El Sitio Hotel in Liberia, which has an outdoor pool and an on-site restaurant, is located 8.1 miles from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. There is free Wi-Fi access available. Cleanliness, excellent service, a satisfying breakfast, and attractive facilities.
Within walking distance of the Museo de Guanacaste, which features art exhibits, this warm and unpretentious hotel is nestled among gardens and shaded by mango trees. It's only three kilometers from Highway 1.
The comfortable, straightforward rooms feature engraved headboards as well as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and sitting areas. Some have desks and/or balconies, while others do not.
The traditional Costa Rican breakfast is served in a relaxed dining room set on the second floor. In addition, there is a shady terrace.
Hacienda Guachipelin Volcano Ranch Hotel & Hot Springs
This relaxed hotel is located on a 1,400-hectare working farm surrounded by jungle, 11 kilometers from Rincon de la Vieja National Park, 6 kilometers from Rio Negro Hot Springs, and 16 kilometers from Route 1.
Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and coffeemakers are provided in comfortable rooms. Minifridges are included in upgraded rooms. Suites have balconies and/or terraces with hammocks, and some are pet-friendly. Suites with living rooms and whirlpool tubs are available as upgrades.
The hot springs and the national park are accessible via a free shuttle service. Another amenity is an outdoor pool, a bar, and a restaurant that serves locally sourced ingredients. There is also a spa that uses geothermal water. Hiking and mountain biking tours, as well as yoga classes and breakfast, are available on site.
Hotel Del Rio
The 3-star Hotel Del Rio Liberia is located 1.4 kilometers from the Immaculate Conception of Mary Church and 1.8 kilometers from the "Museo de Guanacaste," a cultural museum in Guanacaste. On-site parking is complimentary, as is free WiFi throughout the facility. There is also a restaurant on the premises, as well as free parking and free self parking.
Two kilometers from Liberia's central business district, the accommodation is only a few minutes' drive from the Liberia Parque Central.
There are coffee/tea makers, complimentary WiFi, and cable channels available in the air-conditioned rooms, and the bathrooms include towels, toiletries, and a bathtub. Their furniture includes couches that convert to beds, single beds, and queen size beds, along with foam pillows and a pillow-top mattress.
In the nearby LIB Costa Rica, guests can savor international cuisine within a 15-minute walk of the hotel. Cocktails and freshly brewed coffee are available at a cocktail bar, which includes a lounge and a spacious terrace. A bar, a flat-screen TV, and a flat-screen TV are also available at this property.
Hotel La Siesta
This relaxed hotel is located a 4-minute walk from the Zentral Center bus stop, a 6-minute walk from Arona's Central Park, and a 15-minute walk from the Beach of the Vistas.
Flat-screen televisions and minibars are standard in modern rooms. They also have lounge areas with sofas as well as balconies or terraces to enjoy the outdoors. Rooms with pool views, Nespresso machines, and/or whirlpool tubs are available as upgrades. Wi-Fi is available for a fee in the lobby.
Breakfast is provided at no charge. A buffet restaurant, a poolside snack bar, and a cozy piano bar are among the dining options available. Additionally, there is an outdoor heated pool, an adjacent kiddie pool, as well as a game room. Among the other amenities are a spa with a sauna, a fitness center, a steam room, and a hot tub.
Best Time to Visit
Liberia's climate can be divided into two distinct seasons: the 'dry' season, which lasts from November to April, and the 'wet' season, which lasts from May to October, respectively. While the city can be visited throughout the year, the highest levels of humidity and rainfall are experienced in September and October. However, because Liberia is known to be dry in comparison to the rest of Costa Rica, there is no need to be concerned about traveling during the off-season because you will still get to enjoy plenty of sunshine hours.
The anniversary of Guanacaste's annexation is commemorated on July 25th with a series of parades, performances, and other events.
Passport / Visa
It is not necessary to obtain a visa to visit Costa Rica if you are a citizen of the European Union, as well as Australia, New Zealand, North America, and the majority of South American countries. In addition, visitors who have a valid, multiple-entry visa or residence permit issued by any country in the European Union, Canada, or the United States are permitted to enter the country visa-free for a maximum stay of 30 days. Other requirements for visitors to enter Costa Rica vary depending on their nationality, and these can be confirmed with your local consulate before traveling.
Liberia International Airport
The Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport is approximately 13 kilometers west of Liberia's city center. Providing everything visitors to the Pacific coast and Western Costa Rica require, from ATMs and money exchange services to small food establishments and car rental companies, the airport serves as a central hub for visitors to the region. Liberia's city center, as well as the airport on the way back home, can be reached by public buses that run daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as official taxis (in the red color) and private shuttle services, all of which are available for a fee.
Remember to double-check whether the departure tax for Costa Rica – US $29.00 (as of late 2018) – is already included in your airplane ticket, because if it isn't, you'll have to pay it when you arrive in-country.
Map of Airport
- Address: Liberia Airport Boulevard, Guanacaste Province
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +506 26 669 600
- Website: www.lircr.com
Liberia is served by a comprehensive public bus system that connects the city to the capital, the white sand beaches, and the Nicaraguan border. While the Pulmitan de Liberia station is the primary hub for travel to the capital and the best beaches, the Municipal station serves destinations in the surrounding area or within Nicaragua. Both stations are located within two blocks of each other and both provide schedules, with tickets for sale onboard the buses as well as at the stations.
Most downtown attractions are within easy walking distance of one another, making getting around the city center a cinch on foot.
Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Costa Rica, both for locals and tourists alike. Almost 14,000 taxis are available throughout the country, and you'll see them almost everywhere you go in Costa Rica.
Taking a taxi can be an excellent alternative to taking public transportation, which can be slow at times and does not provide routes to every destination in the city. It's especially convenient if you don't have to travel far, if it's raining, or if you're feeling a little too lazy to walk around in the hot sun.
Things to do
There are numerous opportunities to learn about Liberia's rich history and culture thanks to its historic buildings and burgeoning cultural scene – start your stroll at Calle Real, Liberia's oldest street, to see where it all began and where renovation and expansion are already planned for the future. Exploring the nature and beaches in the area (and further afield) as well as getting around the impressive province of Guanacaste is a breeze from here, allowing you to take a deep dive into the rich diversity of Costa Rica and its unfathomably beautiful natural environment.
Map of Miravalles Volcano
Las Baulas National Park
Las Baulas de Guanacaste Marine National Park is a National Park of Costa Rica and a Ramsar Site. The park is managed by the Tempisque Conservation Area, and covers approximately a 167.3 square kilometers marine area of the Tamarindo Bay, next to the town of Tamarindo.
Map of Las Baulas National Park
Rincón de la Vieja National Park
This national park, located only 15 miles northeast of Liberia, is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna and boasts an ecological diversity that spans more than 34,000 acres. It contains two volcanoes, 32 rivers and streams, and an incredible variety of flora and fauna. While guided hiking and horseback riding trails will allow you to get up close and personal with Costa Rica's impressive wildlife, you can also go on a day-long hike to the top of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano and witness its activity while taking in the spectacular views of the Nicoya Peninsula and the Lago de Nicaragua from the top. There are many kilometers of hiking trails.
Map of Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Santa Rosa National Park
One of Costa Rica's oldest nature reserves, Santa Rosa National Park northwest of Liberia was established in 1971 to protect the natural habitat, which includes savannas, deciduous forest, marshlands, and mangrove woodlands. It is one of the country's most visited national parks.
The park and its beaches, which are nestled in the Gulf of Papagayo and extend deep into the ocean's depths, are excellent places to observe sea turtles coming ashore, while the inland contains a diverse range of flora and fauna, including Bignoniaceae trees and howler monkeys.
Ponderosa Adventure Park
This private wildlife reserve allows you to get up close and personal with more than 290 exotic animals, as well as to enjoy both the calming nature and the thrilling adventures that the reserve has to offer. Other activities available here include horseback riding, zip-lining, and learning about the fascinating variety of flora and fauna that can be found throughout the country.
Guanacaste National Park
East of Santa Rosa National Park, this park is a bird watcher's paradise for a good brisk walk, or a leisurely stroll, along its winding paths right into the woods. While looking out for exotic birds and their nests, you can also spot other park dwellers such as Capuchin monkeys or collared peccaries, and thus explore Costa Rica's wildlife at its best.
Best Beaches on the Gulf of Papagayo
The gulf and its coastline are a major tourist attraction, and the province of Guanacaste, with its beautiful beaches, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy water-based activities.
In Guanacaste province, Playa Panamá is one of the most beautiful beaches, offering a variety of watersports as well as breathtaking views of the ocean. Take a stroll along the shoreline, and enjoy drinks and treats from local establishments that are just a short walk away.
Playas del Coco is laid-back during the day but lively at night, making it the ideal location for a fun night out after a relaxing day of sunbathing – don't forget to try out some of the water sports that are available here.
Playa Hermosa is a grey-sand beach nestled between two mountains that is rarely as crowded as its neighbors – it is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day in peaceful surroundings.
Llanos del Cortés Waterfall
Visiting a waterfall is something that almost every traveler wants to do, but finding one in the relatively flat and dry region surrounding Liberia may prove to be a difficult task. The Llanos del Corte is a spectacular waterfall located in the middle of nowhere, in the midst of barren landscapes, and it has few comparable competitors – at least not in Costa Rica – in terms of beauty.
Ermita de La Agonia Church
This ancient church, located in the heart of Liberia, is a jewel of beauty from bygone eras that continues to hold great significance for the people of Liberia today. In addition to serving as a reminder of the country's spirited past, this cultural sanctuary allows you to take a break from sightseeing and soak up the country's devotional and inspiring atmosphere.
This museum exhibits the natural variety of wood found in the province of Guanacaste, as well as the wealth of ideas and skills possessed by its inhabitants in the creation of one-of-a-kind works of art. Visit this gallery to see stunning sculptures and masks, as well as to learn about and experience woodworking at a whole new level.
A commitment has been made by this museum to preserving the natural, social, ethnic, cultural, and artistic history of the province of Guanacaste and its surroundings. This former city jail offers an authentic experience of Costa Rica's rich culture by displaying both interesting artifacts and architectural exhibits. It hosts temporary exhibitions as well as various projects that are all aimed at preserving the area's history.
- Address: Avenida 1, Liberia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +506 87 037 719
- Website: www.museodeguanacaste.org
After experiencing a volcano visit at Rincón de la Vieja National Park, you can take your experience to the next level by immersing yourself in a volcanic mud bath or swimming in a volcanic clay water pool to further enhance your senses. Additionally, the Simbiosis Spa at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin offers a sauna where you can achieve an even deeper state of relaxation in addition to massages and treatments that use volcanic by-products.
- Address: Rincón de la Vieja, Guanacaste Province
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +506 26 902 900
- Website: www.guachipelin.com/en/hot-springs/simbiosis-spa-hot-springs.html
Restaurants in Liberia
Dining in Liberia can be as diverse as the city's culture, and because most Costa Ricans enjoy good food, dining out can be a great way to meet and mingle with other residents. Consider sampling jugo de caa (sugar cane juice) and copos (snow cones), as well as strolling around town to discover your own hidden gems of authentic cuisine.
The Asian flavors that have already begun to permeate Liberia's culinary landscape are some of the most successful, and they have become a staple favorite among both locals and visitors alike. Ozaki, which specializes in Japanese cuisine, serves a wide variety of dishes, including what is reportedly the town's most famous sushi, which is both visually and acoustically pleasing.
- Address: Cnr Calle 5 / Avenida 5, Liberia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening hours: Tue-Sat 12pm-10pm. Sun 12pm-9pm
- Phone: +506 26 651 505
Restaurante Jauja serves authentic Costa Rican cuisine along with dishes from all over the world, all making for an extensive menu that calls for more than just a single visit. It's best to arrive hungry, as the generous portions can easily serve two people. On some nights, there is live music.
- Address: Cnr Calle 10 / Avenida 25 Julio, Liberia
- Email: email@example.com
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm. Sat 12pm-10pm
- Phone: +506 26 652 061
- Facebook: ww.facebook.com/pg/JaujaRestaurante
There's something for everyone at this restaurant, from the delectable dishes that make up the extensive menu to the welcoming atmosphere created by the restaurant's impressive furniture and tasteful decor. Incorporating new ingredients and ideas when it comes to flavors and tastes, this venue and its exceptionally friendly staff will undoubtedly draw you back again and again – the wine selection certainly contributes to this goal.
- Address: Cnr Calle 7 / Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia
- Facebook: Visit profile »
El Pilón is a Spanish word that means "pillow."
This restaurant is a fantastic find for seafood lovers, as their menu is constantly updated with fresh catches, as well as delicious cocktails to accompany them. Take a seat at one of their wooden tables in the dark-tiled dining room and soak up the laid-back yet elegant atmosphere, perhaps beginning with an aperitif at the bar before your meal.
- Address: Cnr Calle Central Rafael Iglesias / Avenida 5, LIberia
- Phone: +506 26 660 616
Toro Negro Steak House
Toro Negro Steakhouse is a steakhouse located in Toro, California. The name of this particular restaurant gives away what it is all about, but the menu also includes a variety of seafood dishes in addition to a large selection of meat dishes.
- Address: Cnr Calle 1 / Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +506 26 662 456
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Cafes in Liberia
Coffee has played an important role in Costa Rica's history and culture for many years, and it continues to do so today in Liberia's cafe culture. Most cafes not only serve the best drink made from the black bean, but they also serve sweet and savory treats that are rooted in Costa Rican tradition, as well as international specialties from all over the world.
Coquitos Cafe is located in Coquitos, Costa Rica. Try one of their fresh salads before digging into one of their delicious hamburgers or Costa Rican specialties. Don't forget to finish with a piece (or two) of their delicious cakes – the sweet treats alone are well worth the trip to this charming little restaurant.
- Address: Crn Calle Central / Avenida 7
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-7:30pm. Sun 2pm-6pm
- Facebook: Visit profile
Posada Real Café
If you're looking for sweet treats or even a proper lunch, this cafe is the place to go! Posada Real Café, with its extensive menu of dishes ranging from meat grills to homemade desserts, offers something for everyone's taste buds.
- Address: Crn Calle Central / Avenida 4, Liberia
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +506 26 650 219
- Facebook: Visit profile »
This laid-back cafe offers everything from fresh salads and Costa Rican wraps to home-baked cakes and shakes, as well as a cantina-style buffet where you can pick and choose what you want. Self-service.
- Address: Crn Calle 8 / Avenida 3, Liberia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +506 26 654 343
- Website: www.dondepipe.com
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Nightlife in Liberia
Aside from resort establishments, Liberia's nightlife takes place in bars and small pubs, as well as neighborhood dive bars, where locals and tourists gather to socialize over a drink and a meal. Get your night started at a nearby bar, and then see where the night takes you – it will most likely take you to a number of interesting locations throughout the city.
Bar La Selegna
This bar is one of the most well-known gathering spots in the city. Drinks are available, and you can catch a game broadcast or wash down some tasty pub fare with a couple of cold beers at this establishment.
- Address: Crn Calle 6 / Avenida 7 Ricado Jiménez Oreamuno, Liberia
- Phone: +506 26 660 029
Restaurante Bar LIB
Everything is available at this bar, from traditional Costa Rican dishes with strong American influences to a wide range of beers and cocktails, and thanks to a large number of televisions, you will never miss an important sporting event. You can also catch some live music from time to time, ranging from rock to country to bluegrass. Start the night with a set of mini burgers and a cocktail and see where the night takes you from there.
- Address: Crn Calle 16A / Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia
- Phone: +506 26 650 741
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Guana's Restaurante Bar Pizzería
This open-air bar, located right next to Parque Central, is known for its good pizza and beer selection that will take you hours to read and days to try. The place fills up quickly, especially on weekends, and when the crowd spills out into the courtyard, you can mingle with the locals while toasting with your friends in the warm sunshine.
- Address: Crn Calle 2 / Avenida 1, Liberia
- Phone: +506 26 653 022
- Facebook: Visit profile »
This brewery is living proof that the craft beer scene is still alive and well in Costa Rica, and the owner, Doug, is an expert on the subject of craft beer brewing. This bar, which is only a short drive out of Liberia and just north of the city, is absolutely worth a visit because of the well-selected variety of beers and accompanying snacks that should not be missed at any cost.
- Address: 125 Norte del Rio Santa Ines, Barrio Guadalupe, Guanacaste Province
- Phone: +506 26 664 243
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Shopping in Liberia
While the diverse selection of restaurants and cafes will introduce you to Costa Rican culinary traditions, the city's shops will provide you with an opportunity to learn about the country's culture and craft traditions. Take a stroll down the town's streets and stop in at any small shops that catch your eye.
Liberia's hidden gem, this quirky shop sells handcrafted items and artisan works that range from carefully carved sculptures to cloth bags and glasswork. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the country. Visit this location to peruse the extensive selection on offer at the venue and to find that one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home with you.
- Address: Crn Calle 4 / Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +506 26 667 833
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Café Tio Leo
Coffee enthusiasts should pay a visit to Café Tio Leo, where they can purchase high-quality coffee beans from staff who have extensive knowledge of the industry. It's easy to stop by on your way to or from the beach and be immersed in an entire world centered around the beloved black beans and aromatic brews of the region. On-site sampling of coffee is available.
- Address: La Gran Nicoya, Guardia, Guanacaste Province
- Phone: +506 70 119 786
- Website: www.cafetioleo.com
Clothing, accessories, and children's items are all available for purchase from this boutique, which carries only Costa Rican artists and designers. The items on display – which range from clothing to accessories for men, women, and children – are meticulously crafted and of high quality. While Liz, the owner, can tell you a story about each piece, it is more likely that you will find a one-of-a-kind treasure that will elicit a story of its own in your imagination.
- Address: Crn Calle 2 / Avenida 25 de Julio, Liberia
- Phone: +506 26 661 666
- Facebook: Visit profile »
Hidden Garden Art Gallery
This gallery is an art collector's dream come true, and it's a great place to find one-of-a-kind pieces. 15 rooms crammed with paintings, sculptures, and a wide range of other works of artistic expression. In addition to more than 400 pieces on display, more than 60 artists have contributed to the wonderful idea of supporting the development of art in the region. While some of the pieces are available for purchase, others are simply there to be admired.
- Address: Highway 21, Liberia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- More Info: This gallery is around 10 km west of the airport.
- Phone: +506 26 700 592
- Website: www.hiddengardenart.com
Santa Rosa Plaza
A great selection of fashion and accessories can be found at this shopping mall, which is conveniently located near (or on your way to) Liberia's international airport. There is also a variety of cafes and restaurants to choose from, all of which are sure to satisfy your appetite. In a single location, you can find everything from everyday necessities to one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
- Address: Crn Calle 20 / Highway 21, Liberia
- Phone: +506 26 657 079
- San Jose 194 km
- La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano 142 km
- Monteverde 140 km
- Rincon de la Vieja 30 km
- Papagayo Gulf 41 km
- Flamingo Beach 75 km
- Tamarindo 77 km
- Samara 112 km
- Malpais-Santa Teresa 213 km
- Jaco 182 km
- Manuel Antonio 255 km
- Dominical 297 km
- Drake Bay 467 km
- San Gerardo de Dota 297 km
- Turrialba 262 km
- Tortuguero 323 km
- Puerto Viejo 424 km
- Sarapiqui 266 km
Costa Rica, Liberia is an amazing city in an even more amazing country that needs to be experienced first hand.