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217km (135 miles) NW of San José; 132km (82 miles) NW of Puntarenas
Founded in 1769, Liberia is the capital of Guanacaste province, and although it can hardly be considered a bustling metropolis, it is growing rapidly, in large part as a business center to feed the growing coastal boom. Hardware stores, warehouses, malls, and shipping companies are setting up shop in Liberia, and the city serves as a housing hub for the many workers needed to man the construction and tourism boom along the coast here.
That said, Liberia offers up more colonial atmosphere than almost any other city in the country. Its narrow streets are lined with charming old adobe homes, many of which have ornate stone accents on their facades, carved wooden doors, and aged red-tile roofs. Many have beautiful large, shuttered windows (some don't even have iron bars for protection) opening onto the narrow streets. The central plaza, which occupies 2 square blocks in front of the church, remains the city's social hub and principal gathering spot.
Liberia works well as a base for exploring this region or as an overnight stop in a longer itinerary. You'll find several moderately priced hotels in the city and its outskirts. Still, all things considered, it's usually preferable to base yourself either at the beach or at a mountain lodge, and to visit the city on a day trip.
Shady Business -- This province gets its name from the abundant Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), Costa Rica's national tree. This distinctive tree is known for its broad, full crown, which provides welcome shade on the Guanacaste's hot plains and savannas. The Guanacaste is also known as the elephant-ear tree, due to the distinctive shape of its large seedpods. Its fragrant white flowers bloom between February and April.
It's simple to explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica with American Airlines flights to Liberia. The Guanacaste area is known for its gorgeous features, including everything from tropical forests to pristine beaches. If you're interested in eco-tourism, you'll love the things to do in Liberia.
Enjoying the unspoiled beaches is one of the most sought-after activities in Liberia. The Guanacaste region is becoming more well-known each year for its sustainable tourism practices, which keep its beaches in excellent condition. You'll want to visit Playa Guacamaya and its impeccable views (don't make bruises pinching yourself; it really is that pretty here). Thanks to its gentle waters, you can swim easily, and with the vegetation growing at the beach's edge, you can also go for a tropical hike.
Visiting the Baulas National Marine Park is another of our favorite things to do in Liberia. The park is dominated by a long beach, which ends in a mangrove cove, the Tamarindo Wildlife National Refuge, home to a variety of native species. The giant exposed root systems are one of nature's fascinating quirks you simply must see in person.
If you enjoy learning about a destination's cultural heritage, then add a visit to Nuestro Senor de la Agonia Chapel to your list of activities in Liberia. Dating back to 1850, its Colonial architecture is even more impressive when you observe that it was crafted from adobe. Throughout the city you'll see more historical structures mingled with modern buildings, but the Chapel is one not to be missed.
Finally, treat yourself to a glimpse of the verdant Liberia River Canyon, one of the most awe-inspiring things to do in Liberia. Just a few miles outside the city you'll find the steep Liberia River Canyon, which also offers a view of the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, located in Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park.
Volcanoes, beaches, tropical forests and more of Mother Nature's finest work are on full display in Costa Rica's Guanacaste region. Fly to Liberia so you can experience it all for yourself -- just remember to charge the camera before you go! Browse our flights and reserve your trip now.
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