Guanacaste Beach Information
Guanacaste Beach Region Overview
In the northwest section of Costa Rica is tropical Guanacaste, offering numerous protected areas on its coast, mountains, and rivers. It’s the best vacation spot for those looking to spend some time out in nature. The waterfalls, estuaries, mangroves, and wildlife add to its reputation as a natural oasis. As the driest area of Costa Rica, Guanacaste is also spotted with numerous sun-filled beaches. It’s the warmest region of Costa Rica, too, so the sun shines more often for long days you can spend surfing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, or snorkeling.
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Eco-friendly explorers enjoy the Arenal Volcano/Monteverde area for its hiking tours, thermally heated rivers, and amazing forest views. On the other hand, beach lovers are at home in the Guanacaste Beach region, which offers gorgeous turquoise water and powdery white sand for an experience in paradise. The Gulf of Nicoya region is made up of fun-loving beach towns with surfers and adventure seekers breaking waves, exploring the forest, and partying on the beach. And San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is home to the country’s cultural dedications, offering authentic shops and the coolest of the country’s youth.
Reel in the Big One
The beautiful beaches off the Guanacaste coast are more than enough to entertain for hours, but in case you find yourself yearning to be out on the water instead, you can go deep sea fishing.
Score some wahoo, tuna, or marlin on a sport fishing excursion from your resort. Guanacaste is known for its famous variety of fish and has plenty of action to keep you entertained. Of course, it wouldn't be Costa Rica without keeping sustainability involved. The country proudly promotes "catch and release" to conserve the natural ecology of the ocean.
The Tamarindo, Potrero, and Ocotal beaches are especially popular for deep sea fishing. But with a long coast to choose from, you have plenty of options.
When you’re on the beach in a foreign paradise, you may as well learn something new. Known for their reliability, the waves off the coast in Guanacaste are perfect for learning how to surf. One surf school in particular (Point Break) is highly rated for its lessons on Playa Flamingo, the beach right next to the Rio Guanacaste.
Never boarded? No problem! Cala Luna Boutique Hotel has its very own surf academy, where they can teach even the most novice surfer-wannabes how to catch a wave.
Wherever you decide to learn, make sure you train before your trip. Surfing takes endurance and a lot of arm and upper body strength. Prepare to be in your best shape before heading out to sea, and you'll be ahead of the game.
Slithering Sights and Birds in Flight
The river that flows into the Gulf of Nicoya, dividing part of Guanacaste from the rest of the country, has a bit of magic running through it.
The Tempisque River starts at the bottom of the Orosí Volcano and winds its way about 100 miles down. It's lined on its east side by the Palo Verde National Park, so you'll get a great view of all the birds living in the forest as you're rafting downstream.
If you're an eco-tourist, don't miss the beautiful mangroves and estuaries on the river. And the crocodiles slithering about are impressive, if you can spot them!
Cascade of Dreams
As if the beaches, rainforest, mountains, volcanoes, and valleys weren’t enough, Costa Rica also has dazzling waterfalls to impress you. A somewhat still-hidden treasure, the Llanos de Cortes waterfalls cascade down 30 feet, surrounded by lush greenery.
The sight itself is worth the bumpy trail it takes walking through to get here, but it’s common to see families picnicking along the side after swimming in the pool at the bottom. The falls are public property, so it’s free to enjoy; but plan on tipping parking attendants and prepare for a crowd if you take your visit on a weekend.
Plenty of Pristine and Preserved Parks
Despite its small size, Costa Rica has an impressive amount of preserved areas and national parks. And if you're planning a vacation in Guanacaste, you're in luck; the Guanacaste province alone is covered in sections of pristine natural beauty that can be admired.
Start with the Barra Honda National Park, for example. You can hike up the trails to the dry forest and explore the limestone caverns it's famous for. Guanacaste National Park in the far northwestern corner of the province has a dry forest that connects to the Santa Rosa National Park on the Pacific coast. You won't want to miss Santa Rosa's preserved beaches.
And down south, Diria National Park protects wetlands and 3,000 acres of forest.
Guanacaste Beach Region Quick Facts
The Colon. U.S. dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
The outlets are 110 V, with standard U.S. two-prong plugs.
A valid passport is mandatory to enter Costa Rica.
The water is potable, but bottled water is recommended in areas surrounding the coast.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT - 6 hours)
Dry Season, December - May