Costa Rica Beaches
Guanacaste is famous for sun and sand, and that’s exactly what you will find along its coastline. Some of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica are gathered in this paradise. Pristine beaches, rocky points surrounded by tropical dry forests and animals are in harmony with modern hotels and gourmet restaurants. This provides the perfect conditions for the enjoyment of sun and beach, as well as, sport fishing, scuba diving, surfing, aquatic skiing, kayaking and much more adventure.
Nearby beaches include (North to South):
- White Y Virador (30 min). Within the tourist project Papagayo, Playa Blanca is small, tranquil, with white sand and calm swells. Along with Virador forms a natural bridge to Punta Mala. Virador is also a white sandy beach with clear waters, excellent for swimming and practicing scuba diving.
- Nacascolo (30 min). Its clear and soft waters make it perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. This is a soundless corner full of natural beauty where you can walk peacefully along the shoreline and at the same time enjoy of the small estuary towards the south of the beach.
- Culebra (25 min). It is a special place for cherishing nature’s bounty, surrounded by exuberant scenery and the presence of peace; it is the perfect sport for relaxing. The soft movement of its waves is unusual; it does not represent any risk to bathers.
- Manzanillo (20 min). Located in Culebra Bay. It measures about 1 kilometer and has a soft swell which makes it a good spot for baths. The pale gray-sand contrasts with the blue waters. The beach is surrounded by the tropical forest and near to a nice mangrove.
- Iguanita (10 min). A secluded beach. The blue waters of the ocean bathe its sandy beach. Among its powerful cliffs, we find Quebrada Grande, which flows into an estuary and shapes into an impenetrable mangrove of 25 hectares. The nature scenery is stunning.
- Monte del Barco (5 min). A really gorgeous sandy beach, just minutes away from the property. A perfect surrounding with calm water and beautiful palm trees bordering the beach.
- Panama (15 min). Consists of a long bay of fine sandy beaches. This beach full of calmness offers beautiful scenery of trees and vegetation. Its swell is scarce and it holds an estuary with a small mangrove. Suitable for water sports and camping.
- Hermosa (20 min). A popular 2 kilometer sandy beach with clear waters and smooth waves, offers a wide range of possibilities: bathing, sunset watching, hiking and horseback riding, also water sports such as scuba diving, boat rides, aquatic skiing and also the pleasure of taking pictures.
- Del Coco (25 min). A tourist center by excellence, where many fishermen stay, thus it offers colorful scenery. Not long ago, cruises started coming alongside its coastline. A good destination for the sport fishing, scuba diving, aquatic excursions and ideal for walks, horseback riding and swimming in quiet waters.
- Ocotal (30 min). A cove of sandy beach, this place is perfect for sun taking, bathing in its calm waters, also for practicing water sports such sport fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Costa Rica Tours
Guanacaste offers a wide range of possibilities to enjoy costa rica tourism filled with adventure. Anything you can imagine, from fishing to canopying, can be found in this wonderful place. Some of these activities include:
Surf. Guanacaste has the correct blends of tropical temperatures, warm waters and good breeze for excellent surfing all year round. The Green Season is the best time for the biggest of waves.
Scuba Diving. Scuba diving in Costa Rica is a quite different experience in comparison with other traditional destinations. Divers can encounter numerous living organisms, colorful residents of the water that make it an underwater paradise.
Boat rides. Boats are available for rental in different localities: Playas del Coco, Tamarindo, Ocotal, Potrero, Brasilito and at some halfway points.
Walks. If you want to go for a nice walk, you have several places to choose from in Guanacaste. Places such as the Rincón de la Vieja and Santa Rosa National Parks are wonderful. Santa Rosa has several miles of beaches (Naranjo and Nancite), where the Green sea turtles ” Lora” lay their eggs. These turtles are well known all around the world for their massive nesting; which occurs during the months of August to October. Playa Grande is also great for walks, while turtles are nesting in February.
Bird watching. Guayabo National Park, Negritos National Parks and the Island of the Pájaros (Birds) are important small islands that offer protection and a resting place for many migratory birds. However; in most of the parks you will be able to observe a great variety of native birds from Guanacaste. The most suitable places for bird watching are Palo Verde, Island Bolaños and Tenorio.
Kayaking. Since the pacific tides are quite predictable during the dry season, many of the hotels in the area offer the necessary equipment for kayaking. Costa Rica kayaking is some of the best in the world. The best spots for this sport are Playa Real, Junquillal, Samara, Nosara and the Coco. Kayaking may also be practiced in some streams such as Tamarindo.
Spelunking or caving. Experienced spelunkers will enjoy Barra Honda National Park. With assistance of expert guides and special equipment, it is possible to go down inside the limestone caves and wonder through the stalactites, stalagmites and fanciful shapes.
Tirolesa or canopy. You may zip through the treetops while observing the most beautiful natural landscapes and feel the wind next to you. There are many places to let you enjoy this original adventure from Costa Rica. There is also bunge jumping!!!!
Costa Rica Surfing
Guanacaste is a well-developed destination for Costa Rica surfing offering up waves suitable for beginners to advanced surfers. Its perfect blends of tropical temperatures, warm waters and good breeze have created prime conditions for practicing this sport all year round. The rainy season is the best time for the biggest waves. Among the most famous areas for surfing are the “surfing spots” of Tamarindo, Roca Bruja “Witch’s Rock” in the Santa Rosa National Park and “Ollie’s Point” in Protero. Following is some more information on each:
Witch’s Rock. The best part of Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point is that not only offer the best surf breaks and excellent waves, but also you need not to be an expert to enjoy its attraction. These are reserved sites since they are only accessible by boat. Witch’s Rock extends to both sides of the river, creating a dream point, while Potrero Grande, best known as Ollie’s Point is a world-renowned destination and you may say surfing here is heroic. Playa Grande is a well-exposed beach break, just on the north side of Tamarindo. This spot is consistent and draws crowds because its different breaks to satisfy every taste. If wind is not blowing and the tides rise up, Playa Grande offers a really fun show.
Playa Avellanas has several breaks just in front of the beach and a river called Little Hawaii. The edge of the river may be a good break when the waves rise up. There are also some peaks south of the edge.
Playa Negra is south of Avellanas, well know for its reef break. Usually bigger that other spots in Tamarindo, Playa Negra offers waves of anthologyotros spot.
Costa Rica Scuba Diving
Scuba diving in Costa Rica is a quite different experience in comparison with other traditional destinations, because divers can encounter numerous living organisms, colorful residents of the water that make it a underwater paradise. On the Pacific Ocean there is a stunning amount of life that could not be found elsewhere. Visibility for scuba diving ranges from 30 to 100 percent and the average water temperature is of 80º F.
The coastal waters of Guanacaste offer a spectacular diversity, from a tiny and fluorescent damsel to a giant manta. For any experienced diver and marine life lovers, this area offers the opportunity to swim side to side with different species of sharks including ballena, toro and others. The underwater paradise is full of cliffs, canyons and tunnels visited by some of the most daring divers of the World.
Costa Rica Tourism Season:
The best months for diving is between May and October or the Green Season. However diving is grea all year around.
Recommended beach sites for scuba diving include Hermosa, Coco, Danta and Pan de Azucar, Conchal, Blanca and Virador, Ocotal, Potrero, Nacascolo and Junquillal. Also the Islands Murcielagos and Santa Catalina.
Costa Rica Golf
Guanacaste is a golf lover’s paradise. There are splendid professional golf courses placed in the middle of the most stunning natural scenery. These courses are designed with the top-quality standards to meet international organizations regulations. The courses include the Papagayo Golf & Country Club (located near Sardinal), Paradisus Playa Conchal (located near Brasilito), Hacienda Pinilla (located Playa Bonito), Four Seasons (located in the Peninsula Papagayo), and the Tamarindo driving range all within an one hour drive. The 18-hole golf course near Matapalo is expected to re-open in 2007.
Papagayo Golf & Country Club (15 minutes). This challenging eighteen-hole, 72-par municipal course has lovely valley and volcano views from the fairways. Golfers can hone their skills on the driving range and practice green. Mulligan’s restaurant and bar is open for after-play refreshments. There are also friendly tournaments that take place every Sunday morning (golf cart and breakfast included).
Garra de León Golf Course at Reserva Conchal (50 minutes).It is a field close to the ocean that was built in 1997 with the idea of changing the fact that Cariari Country Club was the crown golf court in Central America. They spare not effort in saving resources, the project was focused on building a field in synchronization with the spectacular resort which it surrounds and has become today one of the most exclusive of the zone. Garra de Leon Golf Court was carefully designed by the architect Robert Trent Jones II. It has a pair of 72 and a longitude of 7,030 yards and continuous elevation changes. This is truly a fantastic world-class field, built in accordance with the most classic tradition of this game for the enjoyment of players from all levels. Moreover, Garra de Leon offers a learning center for any beginners, or players who are interested in improving their level and skills which is operated by PGA certified instructors.
The “Corral” at La Hacienda Pinilla (60 minutes). This course was designed by U.S. Architect Mike Young, well-known for designing some of the finest golf courses in the South of the United States, all built with top-quality standards to meet the requirements of international organizations. This course blends in harmoniously with its surroundings Hacienda-Pinilla-golf-tree.jpgcausing a minimum environmental impact, without losing the pleasure and challenges always found in professional golf. It is like being in your own garden, which complements the unique atmosphere offered to golf lovers. This field is truly a masterpiece of 6,800 yards. It is also a great example of how combining the sport tradition with the environment, each hole has been designed to be a real part of the natural surroundings. Each of the frequent cliffs and bluffs offer different challenges each time you play, same as trees that offer refreshing intervals and are also natural obstacles. Golfers enjoy of a field full of stunning sceneries, immaculate conditions, wild life exotic views, and many other amenities, all in one single place.
The Four Seasons (15 minutes). Set on the Papagayo Peninsula with cool, prevailing breezes, Four Seasons Golf Club Costa Rica boasts sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean on 14 of its 18 holes. This Arnold Palmer signature golf course has wide, undulating fairways with large and contoured greens, providing a fair and challenging test of your golf finesse.
Sailing Costa Rica
The Marina Papagayo is only minutes away from the property. Within in a 25 –mile radius of the marina, yachts enjoy some of the best cruising in Costa Rica. If you wish to savor nature’s solitude, head to a quiet cove all to yourself, with jungle growing down to the waterline; listen to the howler monkeys serenade in the trees. Bahia Culebra is the largest and most sheltered bay in northern Costa Rica; scattered around Bahia Culebra, you’ll find ample cruising locales, some with villages and cantinas ashore, some totally pristine and uninhabited. Bahia Potrero to the south is another comfortable stretch of water with lots of options. To the north, Bahia Santa Elena affords spectacular scenery of Santa Rosa National Park.
Northern Costa Rica lies safely south of the hurricane belt, so all year round it is safe from cyclonic storms. During dry season (December through May) the Papagayo winds blow off the land, creating a sheltering lee close to shore, where seas lie flat, great for yachting activities. During wet season (June or July through October or November), south winds and swells affect only a few areas within the vicinity.
More than 100 small get aways line the shores and islands of northern Costa Rica, between Tamarindo Sea Turtle Preserve and the marina, up to the Murcielagos (Bat) Island archipelago and the Bolanos Islands. The fishing, diving and coastal beauty is best enjoyed with full sun, perfect for a day voyage to enjoy lunch on the hook. Depending on your boat’s speed, it’s usually easy to move from the marina to a nearby solitude and return to the marina the same day.
Fishing Costa Rica
Guanacaste is an excellent destination for sport fishing. A perfect balance of warm tropical waters is home to a great amount of marine fauna. The Guanacaste peninsula in Costa Rica is one of the most productive fishing grounds for billfish in the world. Playa Flamingo is the center for sport fishing in the pacific north. There are also boats located in Coco, Tamarindo, Ocotal, Potrero, Brasilito and some middle points.
A little further south, some vessels navigate towards Cabo Blanco, leaving from Nosara, Garza, Samara and Carrillo, a well protected region with winds blowing from December until April in the central pacific.
Marlin. October is the peak month for the Marlin. Action is also possible in September or November with other species available anytime of the year. In the southern pacific, marlin peaks from August through December. Sailfish. During migration north, from Mid December and the end of April, is the best time to catch sailfish or “picudo”. The peak comes back again between August and September.
Tuna. The season peaks from August through October.
Dorado. The most abundant season begins with the winter rains from the end of May though October. Dorado is commonly known as the dolphin.
Costa Rica Food in the Area
Playa Coco, the lively beach town, is just 20 minutes away hosting supermarkets, local restaurants, markets and nightlife. Local eateries range from rustic oyster bars to open air cafes to candlelit restaurants. And, with the Pacific Ocean right in their backyard, most restaurants feature a tantalizing assortment of seafood caught in local waters. There are hotels/restaurants/bars in nearby Papagayo, Play Panama, Playa Hermosa, Playa Coco, Playa Grande, and Tamarindo. And, when evening falls, return back to your house to enjoy dinner with your family, relaxing around the pool at sunset with cocktails and friends.
If you want a more “American” meal, Costa Rica has that too. The larger malls are located in San Jose and they have all the comforts of home. However, Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste, is approximately 20 minutes from your future home. Liberia also offers restaurants, fast food (Burger King, Church’s Chicken, Papa Johns Pizza, Pizza Hut, Subway and TCBY.
Shopping in Costa Rica
There are several shopping plazas in the Guanacaste region. In Liberia there are two new, upscale shopping centers, carrying a wide range of shops, boutiques, cinemas and a new grocery store craft stores, video rentals, banks, post office, hardware stores and more. “Do It”, a home and appliance store is within minutes. Do It carries familiar named brand products, including kitchen equipment/supplies and furniture for your home. There is also a strip mall (bank, dentistry, pharmacy, GNC, etc.) on the Do It premises. A specialty food store that carries fine wines and “Omaha Steaks” is located in nearby Comunidad.
Travel & Hotels
The international airport in the Guanacaste region is located near Liberia. It has direct flights daily, from several cities in the U.S. The Costa Rican Estates is only 15 minutes (10 miles) from the airport by car and there are several car rental agencies at the airport. Essentially from the Southern U.S., you are three hours from your home in Costa Rica! To find out more on air travel, bus services, car rentals or lodging. http://www.liberiacostaricaairport.net/index.html
An excellent network of ground transportation exits throughout the country, serviced by private enterprises. Regularly scheduled trips between San José, Liberia and all regions of the country are reliable and very economical. In addition, there are several bus companies that offer scheduled departures to Panama, Nicaragua and the rest of Central America at competitive rates. There are also several companies that offer micro-bus direct transportation to/from and between the airport and major tourist spots around the country.
There is an impressive choice of car rental companies to choose from in Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s highway system is extensive and most areas are paved or have 2-WD dirt roads. Some roads that may be drivable in the dry season can become impassable during the green season and may require 4-WD. There are a few tollbooths throughout the country, but the charge is minimal. Gas stations are plentiful and many are open 24 hours a day. There are no self-service gas stations in Costa Rica so sit back and enjoy the luxury.
Public Roads – Public roads in Costa Rica are generally below average. The Government has put a priority on public road repair and maintenance in the region, but progress is slow.
In Guanacaste, the Liberia International Airport (LIR) is serviced by several rental car companies. Some of these companies include
- Avis: www.avis.com
- Hertz: www.hertz.com
- Dollar: www.dollar.com
- National: www.nationalcar.com
- Alamo: www.alamo.com
- Budget: www.budget.com
Cellular telephones can be rented directly from the car rental companies.
Following is a list of hotels near our community. All Inclusive Hotels
- Four Seasons, Papagayo Peninsula, 5 Star, Beach, Golf, Spa, Fitness Center, Restaurants. +506 2 696 0000, www.fourseasons.com
- Allegre Papagayo Resort, Papagayo Peninsula, 4 Star, Beach, +506 2 690 9900, www.occidentalhotels.com
- Hyatt Andaz, Papagayo Peninsula, 5 Star, Beach, Golf, Spa, Fitness Center, Restaurants. +506 2 690 1234 http://papagayo.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
- Grand Papagayo, Playa Panama, 5 Star, Beach, Spa. +506 2 672 0191, www.occidentalhotels.com
- Hilton Payagayo Resort, Playa Panama, 5 Star, Beach, Spa, Fitness Center, +506 2 672 0000, www.hilton.com
- Villas Sol, Playa Hermosa, 4 Star, Beach, Spa. +506 2 257 0607, www.villassol.com
- Hotel RIU, Guanacaste, 5 Star, Beach, Spa. +506 2 2570607, www.riu.com
Hotels near the beach
- Hotel Playa Hermosa. Playa Hermosa ,Beach, Restaurant. +506 2 672 0046, www.hotelplayahermosa.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- El Mangroove Hotel, Playa Panama, Beach, Restaurant +506 4701 0000, www.elmangroove.net
- Casa Conde del Mar. Playa Panama, Beach, Restaurant. +506 2 226 0808, www.grupocasaconde.com
- Villa Acacia. Playa Hermosa, Beach, Restaurant. +506 2 672 0272, www. playahermosacacia0.tripod.com
- El Velero Hotel, Playa Hermosa, Beach, Restaurant. +506 2 672 0036, www.costaricahotel.net Hotels near the airport
- Hilton Garden Inn, near Airport, www.hilton.com
- Best Western Las Espuelas, in Liberia, www.bestwestern.com
- Best Western El Sitio, in Liberia, www.bestwestern.com
- Hotel Santa Ana, near Airport http://www.liberiacostarica.com/hotels/hotel-santa-ana/hotel-santa-ana.html
- High Season: December – March
- Low Season: April – November
Owning a home in Costa Rica is a sound way to diversify your portfolio, preserve wealth and will act as a great dollar inflation hedge as well. Costa Rica has a stable government, no military, stable currency, tax incentives, no ownership restrictions and a healthy local economy.
Costa Rica is a sound investment choice
Strong and stable economic growth. Costa Rica remains one of the safest and most attractive countries for foreign investment in Latin America. The Costa Rican government, its ministries and financial institutions maintain a decidedly pro-U.S. and continental stance in regard to financial security and tax laws. The stated aim is to entice primarily high-tech corporations to take advantage of Central America’s most educated, computer literate and disciplined workforce, along with the modern production infrastructure the country is currently creating. The economy is being transformed from its long-time dependence on coffee, bananas and cattle raising to one centered on microprocessor production, high-tech telecommunications services and medical tourism.
Pro-Environment. Costa Rica is perhaps the most biologically diverse of the Central American countries, contributing to almost 5% of the world’s total biodiversity including: 10,000 plant species (which include 1,200 orchid species, 27% of which are native to the country), 1,239 butterflies, 848 birds (7 of which are native to the country), 205 mammals (105 of which are bat species), 216 reptiles, 160 amphibians, and 1,630 fish species. Close to 1.26 million hectares of Costa Rica is protected under their national conservation system, including 10 biological reserves, 22 national parks, 34 wildlife refuges, and 12 forest reserves. Costa Rica has pro-environment country policies and has signed many of the international environmental agreements and conventions.
Booming Costa Rica tourism industry. Huge numbers of tourists visit Costa Rica. This number increases annually. The country’s biodiversity attracts nature lovers from all over the world. The primary attraction for many visitors is the 850 recorded bird species, which include the resplendent quetzal, indigo-capped hummingbirds, macaws and toucans. Costa Rica’s tropical forests have over 1400 tree species and provide a variety of habitats for the country’s fauna including four types of monkeys, sloths, armadillos, jaguars and tapirs. There are also a number of dazzling butterflies. National parks cover almost 12% of the country, and forest reserves and Indian reservations boost the protected land area to 27%.
Good health and life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization, Costa Rica has the same life expectancy of 77.0 years as the United States. It is interesting to note, that Costa Rica spends more on health care than the United States. The per capita expenditures of the gross national income are $4,280 as compared to $3,751 in the United States.
COSTA RICA UP CLOSE
Most Costa Rican visitors fall in love with this beautiful country and its very friendly people and start to dream about living in Costa Rica. From exotic beaches and verdant mountains where the climate is always pleasant, to tropical rain forests with amazing flora and fauna, Costa Rica enchants everyone.
Costa Rica has much to offer. Whether you come as a visitor or an investor, or are thinking about living in Costa Rica, there is something attractive here for you.
As one of the oldest democracies in the Americas (and having abolished its army over 50 years ago), Costa Rica has instead chosen to spend its money on education, health services and now infrastructure. All this makes living in Costa Rica a great idea. Having established political and social stability, Costa Rica is a peaceful and prosperous nation, safe for the foreigners as well locals.
The People – The expression “Pura Vida,” literally translated as “Pure Life,” best describes the Costa Rican way of life. Ticos, as the locals commonly call themselves, are their country’s greatest asset and are renowned for their friendliness. They are warm hearted, gracious, educated, entrepreneurial and ready to accept you into their country, their lives, and their homes. In addition, foreigners are usually pleasantly surprised to discover how many of their neighbors are also from foreign soil. In Costa Rica the pace of life is a reflection of strong traditional family values serving as the foundation of a society where respect for oneself and tolerance for others are common traits. Friendliness and a commitment to hospitality serve as two large factors in the growing number of returning visitors to Costa Rica year after year.
The Language – The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish, but a great many Costa Ricans speak English. Additionally, as Costa Rica continues to attract visitors from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, other languages such as French, German, Italian, Chinese and Dutch are becoming more and more prevalent.
The Currency – The national currency of Costa Rica is the Colon. U.S. dollars can be easily exchanged throughout the country at any bank, national or private, and also at most hotels and money exchange companies. In addition, nearly all hotels plus some restaurants, gas stations and shops will accept U.S. dollars as payment.
Banking – The banking system in Costa Rica is very modern and offers all local and international services. This includes issuing credit and debit cards, loans and both personalized and computerized banking. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are available throughout the country and will accept PLUS cards as well as local ATM cards. Visa credit card advances are easily obtained at most local banks.
The Climate – In the northern province of Guanacaste they say half the year is like living in Hawaii and the other, like living in Palm Springs, California. Guanacaste has an average annual temperature of 82 F (28 C) with high temperatures above 90 F (32 C) from February through April. Although this is Costa Rica’s sunniest region, you can expect regular afternoon showers from June through October – excluding a traditional dry spell in July called “veranillo” or little summer. The North Pacific has an average annual rainfall of 55 inches (1400 mm) and boasts its sunniest months from January through April. http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Liberia+CSXX0005:1:CS
Cost of Living – The cost of living is probably one of the most important issues concerning prospective full-time residents. Although the cost of living here is less than that of the United States, the difference is not dramatic. Housekeeping and gardening help is very affordable, as are other conveniences, which are often considered a luxury. On
average, a monthly income of $1,500 to $2,500, with established accommodations will provide for quite a comfortable lifestyle.(Cost of Living)
Taxes – Out-of-country income is not taxed in Costa Rica, and if you are employed in this country, income tax is minimal. Basic property taxes are 0.25% of the property stated value, which is nominal by North American standards.
Education – Costa Rica provides free education for its residents and boasts the highest literacy rate in Central America, rivaling even that of many larger and much wealthier industrialized nations. The right to primary education for both sexes was established in 1869 and has been declared obligatory. In addition to free public education, there are several high quality private institutions extending from the primary level up through the university. Although most of these institutions are located in and around San José, the rapid development of the Guanacaste Gold Coast area has begun to attract some of the private, higher quality schools to the region, such as the Country Day School (English Language and U.S. Accredited).
Immigrations – Tourist visas are good for 90 days and one can renew these visas easily at the Liberia airport. Permanent residency takes approximately a year to obtain.
Employment – Employment opportunities are limited, as Costa Rica gives job priority to its residents and requires work visas for any foreign visitors who seek employment in this country.
Religion – Perhaps as much as 90% of the Costa Rica population practices Catholicism, the country’s official religion. Other religious beliefs exist freely although and are protected by the Constitution as well.
Government – Costa Rica is a free and independent republic and its people have enjoyed a peaceful, democratic way of life since 1889. The military as a division of the Costa Rican government was abolished in 1948 and is now prohibited by the Costa Rican Constitution. The current leadership consists of three branches of government including the President, elected by popular vote for a period of four-years and exercising executive powers; the Congress, a single chambered legislature, whose members are also elected by popular vote for a four-year term; and the Supreme Court, acting as the judicial body of the nation. The Constitution guarantees and protects its people’s right to life, freedom and basic civil liberties. Perpetual Neutrality was proclaimed in Costa Rica in 1983.
Crime – The biggest crime facing Costa Ricans is petty theft. Violent crime is nearly non-existent and virtually all crimes committed are in and around the larger cities. (Safety)
Communications – Costa Rica’s communication network is among the very best in Central American. Postal, facsimile, telephone and cell phone services, as well as electronic mail (Internet), are readily available anywhere in the country.
Environment – Costa Rica is perhaps the most biologically diverse of the Central American countries, contributing to almost 5% of the world’s total biodiversity including: 10,000 plant species (which include 1,200 orchid species, 27% of which are native to the country), 1,239 butterflies, 848 birds (7 of which are native to the country), 205 mammals (105 of which are bat species), 216 reptiles, 160 amphibians, and 1,630 fish species. Natural Resources include agricultural products (including bananas, coffee, maize, oranges, rice, sugar cane, and cocoa), cattle, forests, biodiversity, bauxite, gold, iron ore, silver, sulfur.
- Total Forest Area – 1.968 million hectares (2000), 39% of total land area.
- Deforestation rate – 7% (between 1990-2000)
- Protected Areas – close to 1.26 million hectares of Costa Rica is protected under their national conservation system, including 10 biological reserves, 22 national parks, 34 wildlife refuges, and 12 forest reserves.
- Conventions/agreements – Party to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Kyoto Protocol, Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ramsar Convention, World Heritage Convention
Immediate Area – Beautiful pristine beaches, amazing National Parks and a great variety of activities, await in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, one of the biggest provinces in the country. Guanacaste spans over 6,800 square miles with a population of 288,488 (annual growth rate of 2.3%). Guanacaste is, without hesitation, the richest coastal area of Costa Rica, with more than 125 miles of Pacific coast. It offers its visitors the gift of nature, from isolated beaches to rocky points covered with tropical dry forest.
The region known today as the Cantón de Nicoya is part of a vast territory that was occupied by the Chorotega tribe during the pre-Columbian era. It was part of Nicaragua until 1824, when, on July 25, Nicoya decided to be part of the State of Costa Rica by popular election. Guanacaste is an essential part of the Costa Rican heritage. It has preserved it own culture and folklore.
The name of Guanacaste derives from the náhuatl (native tribe) word cuauhnacaztli, which means “place of the ear tree”, referring to a tree in the region whose seed pod is shaped like a human ear. This tree also has the honor of being Costa Rica’s national tree.
The weather is warm all the year, but like the rest of Costa Rica, the region has two well defined seasons: dry and green. Temperatures are constant throughout the year, even during the green season, ranging from 70° and 85° F. The dry season is from November to March. Bathers can work on their tan, while flowering trees create a colorful backdrop. The “green” or wet season is from mid-May to November. Even during the green season showers are mainly during the late afternoon or night-there is still a lot of sun to catch!
Liberia is the capital of the Guanacaste province and is located four miles from the International Airport. According to most recent census, is the ninth largest city in Costa Rica with a population of 62,987 and is growing at a rate of 2.5% annually. Though small by North American standards, it is quite large in comparison to its Guanacastecan neighbors to the southeast, Santa Cruz, and Nicoya. The city center features a modern-style church, as many Costa Rican towns do, facing a plaza surrounded by locally-owned shops and restaurants. Liberia has hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, cinemas, etc.