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LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL ADVENTURE IN GUANACASTE?

Explore hotels, cabins, rent a cars, restaurants, bars, surf camp and cafés by locality.

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To the northeast of the Central Cordillera, two mountain chains in particular stand out: The Tilarán and the Guanacaste Cordillera; both reach as far as the Nicaraguan border. The first is characterized by its undulating mountains, covered in dense forest. It is here where you will find the Monteverde Reserve, an important destination for those who want to discover natural habitats. Between the two cordilleras is the Arenal Volcano and Lagoon, the volcano is the most active in Costa Rica and in the world. The Guanacaste Cordillera is made up of several volcanoes, partially or totally inactive; five of them are protected by the National Parks of Guanacaste, the Rincón de la Vieja and the Tenorio Volcano. Towards the west of the Cordillera, before the border with Nicaragua, Santa Elena Peninsula has a tropical dry forest that descends down to the Pacific Beaches; both are protected by the Santa Rosa National Park.

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Choose between these 26 exiting destinations in the Guanacaste area

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COSTA RICAN GUANACASTE AREA MAP

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WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO

Chosse Between these 26 exiting destinations in the Guanacaste Area 

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1. VIA THE NORTHERN AMERICAN

Those that travel from San José to Nicaragua, take the bus via the Interamerican. The highway runs from the west of San José, until it reaches Barranca, Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast, it then redirects north towards the Nicaraguan border. The route from the mountains to the plains is steep, winding and often narrow. Large trucks circulate on these roads, often traveling at very high speeds. This area is called Cambronero and begins to ascend after passing by San Ramón and ends in the Esparza area, where there are several restaurants next to the road and several fruit stalls. 5 Km from Esparza and 15 Km before arriving at Puntarenas, the Interamerican turns towards the northeast passing by the villages of Cañas and the city of Liberia, before ending at the Nicaraguan border. The northern Interamerican offers the best access to the Monteverde Biological Reserve and Cloud Forest and also offers access to other parks and protected areas in the country.

 

 

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2. PEÑAS BLANCAS NATIONAL REFUGEE

Ran by the Service of National Parks (SPN), it has an extension of 2.400 hectares. It is located 6 Km to the northeast of Miramar Village and 8Km to the northeast of the Interamerican. The road is in good condition, but after passing by Miramar it does worsen, but it is possible to walk the remaining 6 Km to get to the refuge, you can also continue east by car, although the route is in bad condition. This option allows you to pass by Santa Bonita and the area of Peñas Blancas, close to the refuge and 14km from Miramar. Another option is to travel along the Interamerican from Macacona some 3 Km to the east of Esparza. It is a gravel road of around 20Km that heads north, towards Peñas Blancas. The refuge is located in the south of the Tilarán Cordillera. It is 600 meters in altitude wiuth an extension of more than 1.400 meters, with three types of forest: Dry Tropical in the lower southwestern area; dry and humid in the central areas and the pre-mountain forest in the highest regions of the north. Peñas Blancas is so called because of the accumulation of unicellular algae. Millions of years ago when Central America was below sea, several dead diatomaceous set into the ocean floor, forming thick deposits, whose consistency is similar to that of chalk. There are no installations in the refuge but you can camp.

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3. GUAYABO, NEGRITO AND PÁJARO ISLANDS

Guayabo Island is located approximately 8 Km to the south of the Puntarenas Port in the Nicoya Gulf. Negritos Island is 16.5 Km to the south and the Pájaros Islands is 13 Km to the northwest of Puerto de Puntarenas. The Guayabo and Negritos Island where established as reserves on the 28th of February 1973 and the Pájaros Island on the 28th of April 1976. The Guayabo and Negritos Island have an extension of 143.5 hectares and the Pájaros Island has an extension of 4 hectares. The islands are places of habitat and reproduction with abundant populations of sea birds, as well as species of flora characteristic to the area. The Guayabo Island is an important rock, 50 meters high, covered with bushes and spiny plants in some areas. There are species of trees such as the fig tree, the coyol palm. On the Negritos Islands, the vegetation is semi deciduous; there are species of white flower, Pochote and Indio Desnudo. On the rocky peaks there are areas full of piñuela casera and coyol palm.  On the Pájaros Island, the vegetation is made up of short forests with areas of pasture.  The mixed guava, the Guanacaste, the fig tree and the golden spoon bushes are very popular here. The fauna of the islands is mainly made up of seabirds. During some periods of the year migratory birds arrive to look for food and reproduce. The most common species are the frigate birds, the black headed gull, the brown caped gannet and the Pardo pelican. This last species uses the Guayabo Island as a nesting area and it is estimated that there is a population of around 200 to 300 birds. Other species of fauna include the peregrine halcyon, the white tailed dove and the black iguana. There are violin crabs, sea crabs, cambutes, oysters and a large variety of fish.

 

 

4. LAS JUNTAS DE ABANGARES

 

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It is a village located on the bank of the Río Abangares; it was an important gold mine in the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century.  5 Km away is the Eco-museum of the Abangares mine, entry is 1.50 US$;  open from Tuesday to Friday from 07:00 a.m to 03:00 p.m, Saturday and Holidays 07:00 a.m to 05:00 p.m, exhibiting photos and models that illustrate the methods used in mining the area. The gardens have picnic areas and play areas as well as footpaths that take you to areas which display the old machinery that was once used; including traces of what was a railway.

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5. CAÑAS

It is located 165 kilometers from San José via the Interamerican; it only has one district and an area of 682.2 km2, known for its cattle farms and folkloric dances. There is a MINAE/ACT Office + 506 2669-0533 + 506 2669-2200, offering information about the national parks and nearby reserves. Located on the east side of the Tenorio Volcano it is on the limits of the Upala County. For nature and conservation lovers the Volcanic Cordillera of Guanacaste Forest Reserve is also here. It is in this county where you will find the hydroelectric projects of Corobicí and Sandillal, frequently visited by students, investigators and tourists.  You will also find the Río Magdalena Dam, where the irrigation canal begins in the valley of the Río Tempisque that covers several neighboring counties. The Ecological Center is a few minutes from the city; it is dedicated to the investigation and protection of nature. Another attraction are the hot springs that are located in Salitral some 5 Km before arriving at Cañas. It has an altitude that ranges from between 15 to 1500 meters above sea level, with an altitude of 86 meters above sea level. Tourists usually base themselves in Cañas so that they can visit the nearby National Parks such as Palo Verde and other reserves, visit the Juntas Eco-Museum and take trips down the Río Corobicí. There is a modern church In the Central Park. It is the only one in the country; it has an impressive colored mosaic façade.

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6. CIPANCI REFUGEE FOR FOREST WILDLIFE

This hostel is located at the meeting point of the Tempisque and Bebedero River, to the south of the Palo Verde National Park. Fishers offer tours along both rivers for 20 passengers. A three hour guided excursion is 30 US$ per person.

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7. TENORIO VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

+ 506  200-0135. 6 Km to the northeast of Cañas, there is a paved motorway that is 58 Km long, which leaves the Interamerican in a northerly direction towards Upala. It passes between the Miravalles Volcanoes at an altitude of 2.028 meters to the west and the Tenorio Volcano at 1.916 meters altitude to the east. The last volcano is active, releasing gas and smoke and mud. It is located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, one of the protected areas of the country and forms part of the Arenal Conservation Area (ACA). It has five natural areas and a virgin forest that is the habitat of tapirs and pumas. At the peak there is a lake surrounded by a cloud forest. On the northwestern side, there is the Río Celeste so called because of its deep blue color, a consequence of minerals in the water.  Its has hot springs and boiling mud baths; be careful not to burn yourself, it is better to go with a guide. The village of Bijagua is 33 Km to the north of the Interamerican and 25 Km to the south of Upala.  

 

 

 

 

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8. PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK

It has an extension of 18.417 hectares in the northwest bank of the Rio Tempisque, at the extreme end of the Golf of Nicoya, some 30 Km to the west of Cañas and 30 Km to the south of Bagaces. It is an important sanctuary for water birds and those from the forest; it has mangroves, lagoons and forests. Close to 150 species of trees and rock peaks that serve as excellent view points. You can see herons, storks, garzones soldados; Espátulas menores, garcillas, ibis, zampullines and ducks; There is also close to 300 species of birds in the park. On land you can see the purple guacamaya, piuríes, rainbow billed toucan, parrots, crocodiles, iguanas, deer, coyotes, monkeys and the peccary.

Information

+ 506  2671-1062. Entry costs 6 US$ and is valid for the whole day. There are guided tours of  1/2 to an hour. Adults 15/ 30 US$; children 10/ 20 US$.

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9. BAGACES

It is an old village with adobe houses that are Characteristics by their whitish volcanic in origin floors, located 22 Km to the northeast of Cañas via the interamericana and 190 Km from San José. It was the fourth area when it was founded a county on the 7th of December 1848, Bagaces borders the province of Alajuela to the north, with the county of Upala. There is no exit to the sea but it does sit next to Liberia, Carrillo, Cañas, Nicoya  and a small part with Santa Cruz, Tilarán. There are four districts: Bagaces, Fortuna, Mogote (Guayabo), Río Naranjo.

 

 

 

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10. THE TEMPISQUE AREA OF CONSERVATION ACT

+ 506  2671-1290 + 506 2671-1455 + 506 2671-1062, Open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 a.m to 04:00 p.m. The office has forestry agent. National Refuge of Wildlife, Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero. Located in front of the Interamericana, on the way to the main park. Within the county there is: Palo Verde National Park, of great importance because it is the most humid within the tropical dry forest area, it extends along the left border with the Tempisque river, close to the mouth of the river. Isla Pájaros is also located in the middle of the Tempisque River, which has now become a sandbank.  Inside the park there are: Two natural viewpoints, the hilltops Catalina and Guayacán where you will be able to see a large portion of the Guanacaste area. La Cueva del Tigre in the Refuge.  The Hueca rock in the park.  The Lomas de Barbudal Biological reserve, that is rich in species of insects, particularly bees, wasps and nocturnal butterflies.  The Miravalles Volcano, which is an extinct volcano, but you can find the smoking cones which are know as little ovens, in this area there is a geothermic project that is taking place in the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) (Costa Rican Institute of Electricity). The county of Bagaces has received the title of the ecological county for the protection and conservation of natural resources.

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11. LOMAS DE BARDUBAL BIOLOGICAL RESERVE

It is a dry tropical forest on an island, it is uneven sparsely covered by forests that function as shelter for monkeys, coyotes, and also a range of migratory birds such as the Whistling and royal herons. The colored parrots come from the nearby northern Palo Verde, which visit the park frequently, and has more than 230 species of birds. With many trees such as the caoba, the sándalo and the cocobolo. The best time to visit is during the month of March, when the yellow corteza tree is completely covered in flowers of the same color. The Central Offices are located on the River Banks of the Río Cabuyo, offering information and picnic tables. There are footpaths that run along the river and there are several pools to swim. Founded in 1986, Lomas Barbudal occupies some 2.270 hectares.

 

 

 

 

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12.  GUAYABO DE BAGACES

 

It is located 12 km north of Bagaces. In the village there is a Banco de Costa Rica. There is also an internet service, accommodation, restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores, mechanics, the Musmani bakery, stores, souvenirs, public telephones, the police, videos and Social Security Offices, the “C.C.S.S”. On the main street there are colored benches on the sidewalks where you stop and rest and appreciate the Miravalles volcán.

 

 

 

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13. MIRAVALLES VOLCANO


The Miravalles Volcano is located 15 km to the north of Bagaces, the province of Guanacaste and belongs to the Cordillera of Guanacaste. With an elevation of 2028 meters above sea level. It is made up of at least six volcanic sources the most being aligned northeast and southeast. The Miravalles crater is 600 meters in diameter. At this moment in time it is presenting second class volcanic activity (smoking cones, mud pools and thermal sources) in the area named “Las Hornillas” (little ovens). It is the property of the Hotel El Guayacán. The highest point of the volcano is what is left of a cone, towards the southeast of this there is a small double cone that is cut because of fault towards the northeast. One of these cones is better preserved than the other. (Very eroded). The rest of the other craters are very affected by erosion located to the northeast of the other cones.  The source of eruption moves from the northeast to the southeast. There are also remains of a calderic border 1 km to the southeast of the main crater.  The Mogote and the Montañosa peaks in the west and those of the Espíritu Santo (979 metros), Gota de Agua (1.082 metros) La Giganta (1.490 metros) in the southeast are remains of a large paleo-caldera of 200 km2, it is refuge to some felines, deers, coyotes, tepezcuintles, peccarys and white faced monkeys among many others. There is also an extension area that is made up of leftover volcanic lava flow located between the borders of the caldera and the Miravalles cones.
 
Volcanic Activity: The history of the Miravalles-Guayabo volcanoes is as follows:  Quaternary: The making of several basaltic volcanoes “volcano Guayabo”. Between 1.6 and 0.6 millions of years:  Clouds of gas and ash (ignimbrites) and subsidence of the  Guayabo volcano. Refill from the calderic depression. Some 400.000 years ago: Renewal of volcanic activity and the beginning of the volcanic Macizo Cabro Muco-La Giganta. Some 10.000 years ago: Growth of the Paleo-Miravalles, migration of volcanic activity towards the southeast and the development of the lower calderic structure. Some  8.200 years ago: Development of the present Miravalles cone. Large lava flows and avalanches that generate hot lahars (mud flows). Some 8.000 years ago: Lava trails and pyroclastic deposits.  In 1946 (14th of September): geothermic flows in the subsoil provoke a small phreatic explosion on the southeast flank of the Miravalles.
 
Sistems of Volcano Vigilence: At volcano Miravalles ICE has 6 seismic stations and a  accelerograph  located at the Miravalles Geothermal Camp,  as well as a network of 10 stations of dry inclinometry, studies of exact levels and microgravity. The OSIVAM monitor the seismic activity around this volcano (seismic station and strong movement equipment).
 
What to take
Insect repellent, closed shoes, towel, sandals, binoculars, camera or camcorder, hat and swimsuit.   
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14. LIBERIA

 

Located 247 Km from San José on the Interamericana highway, it is the capital of the province of Guanacaste and is known as the White City. It was founded in 1769, seven years before the United States was made a nation, it is said that it was built upon white land originating from volcanic rocks of that color. This area has impressive tourist attractions such as the Santa Rosa National Park, that is located 43 Km from Liberia, here you will also find the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and the national park of the same name and the   Santa María Volcano. From this area you can visit Las Hornillas, Las Pailas and la Laguna, Los Jilgueros on foot from Rincón de la Vieja. You will be amazed when you see Las Morochas canyon, that is located 10 Km from Liberia towards Santa María. It has an extension of 1.435.47 km2. The city offers a variety of facilities such as hotels, restaurants, transport and shops. It has a National Health Hospital (CCSS), as well as bank offices and public institutions. Festivals are celebrated in a kiosk in the Central Park several days during the week, interested by the local band. During the dry season Coyol Wine is made in Guanacaste after three days of fermentation from the sap of this tree. The majority of Liberia does not look so old, although some of the buildings that surround the Central Plaza conserve a colonial style.  

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15. RINCÓN VOLCANO OF THE VIEJA NATIONAL PARK

Rincón de la Vieja National Park was created in 1973 to protect the flora and fauna and the hydrographic basins that surround the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. It has an extension of 14.083 hectares of semi deciduous humid forest, there are rocky areas void of tree coverage ,altitudes ranging from 650 meters to 1.916 meters, on the Caribbean slopes and the Pacific Volcanic Cordillera of Guanacaste. The climate in the National Park is so varied that in short stretches there are severe dry areas, for a period of 4 or 5 months and in others, close to the peaks or on the Caribbean slope, the rain never stops, allowing the area to have a dense coverage of trees and epiphytes. In the western foothills its rains from 2.500 to 3.000 mm, from May to November, and in the West in ranges from 3.000 to 4.000 mm.
 
The climate in the highlands and those in between is fresh, sometimes cold and affected by the strong winds from the Caribbean, which carries the large majority of the rain that falls in this area. The temperature fluctuates from 24°C in the lowlands to 14,9°C at the peaks of the volcanoes. The variation in altitude and climate plays an important role in the distribution of flora and fauna. There are three types of vegetation: that of the lowlands with an altitude of 650 meters to 1200 meters, characterized by the presence of laurel, the olive, the Guanacaste, the indio desnudo and the bitter cedar; the intermediate, 1.200 meters to 1.400 meters above sea level, where you can see papayillo trees, cuajada trees, yos trees and above all copey trees. This is a species of tree that sometimes forms forests that are twisted and tangled because of the strong winds; and the highest, 1.400 meters to the top, where the forests are short and the trees appear to be full of cut off branches and covered in moss and epiphytes. In the park, 257 bird species have been recorded, including the  quetzal, the Jilguero, the large peacock, the Golden Oriele from Montezuma, the tucancillo or the green Curré, the red widow, the golden hummingbird, the spectacled owl, the white fronted parrot, the bare throated bellbird, and the Guaco.
 
Other mammals that shelter in this area are: the puma, the jaguar, the ocelot, congo monkeys, the colored and white faced monkey; the manigordo, the tayra, the kinkajou, the two toed sloth, the pisote and the ant eater. In the Copey forests there are numerous felines, danta, gonoglonas and black peacocks. The Rincón de la Vieja national park also protects an extensive network of drains that feed into the Nicoya Basin and the flooded plains of the Nicaragua Lake. In this network, there are Pacific River courses that exhibit high levels of water in September and October, while those of the Caribbean have high water levels in July and August. The Rincón de la Vieja volcano has an altitude of 1.895 meters above sea level.
 
Presenting an attractive crater that releases water vapor and magma gases. Its last eruptions where ash, and this happened in 1966, 1967, 1983 and 1991. This steep sloped volcano has the same origins as the Orosí, Cacao, Miravalles and Tenorio- at the end of Pliocene Period, approximately a million years ago. The volcano is made up of nine eruptive sources, where the most outstanding is that of Santa María, (1.916 meters) and Von Seebach (1.985 meters). In the Santa María the crater is occupied by a lake of 2.5 hectares surrounded by a very humid forest. From here, on a clear day, you can see the Nicaragua Lake, the Santa Elena Golf and Culebra Bay. It is presumed that because Santa María is close to Rincón de La Vieja, it is the only one that is active, and could erupt at any time. The Von Seebach is an eroded cráter; covered in pumice stone and moss. Between this source, the Rincón de la Vieja and the Santa Maria, there is a depression, presumably another eroded crater which has a cold lagoon. It is called Los Jilgueros lagoon, and has an extension of 6.5 hectares, it is surrounded by exuberant evergreen vegetation.  This is an area that is often visited by the jilgueros, quetzales and tapirs. In the western sector they have begun a colony near the rocky lands, where the vegetation was taken away because of the acid clouds released by the volcano. In the west between 700 meters and 900 meters above sea level, along a fault, there is hot steaming vapor in Hornillas and Las Pailas, and areas of hot geysers within the park. The peaks of San Roque and Cañas Dulces, neighbor the volcano and are, dacite domes that do not release magma because they have temporarily solidified.
 
Las Hornillas is an area where, through holes and cracks, water vapor is expulsed as well as sulphur dioxide, hydrogen dioxide and other gases. Las Pailas is an area with geysers and small bubbling mud volcanoes, linked to the hot water reservoir, with invisible layers of mud. It has an extension of approximately 50 hectares. Another attraction of this mountain is the waterfalls of the Agria Ravine; four waterfalls in total with drops of 60 to 70 meters, located on rocky land devastated by volcanic activity. Footpaths that lead to places of interest begin at the administration office; the hot springs are: 3 Km away; Las Pailas: 6 Km away; Las Hornillas: 9 Km away; Volcán Santa Maria: 12 Km away; and the viewpoint: 1 Km.
 
 
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16. SANTA ROSA NATIONAL PARK

 

Santa Rosa, is the oldest national park in Costa Rica, it was founded in 1970 to safeguard the vast extensions of tropical dry forest and the scene of the two most important battles of the country. The Murciélago section was added in 1979 thanks to the country acquiring land from the Nicaraguan Dictator Anastasio Somoza.  The president Oscar Arias declared the land situated between Murciélago and the park property of the park at the end of the 80’s, so that Santa Rosa could occupy all of the Santa Elena Peninsula, some 50.000 hectares in total. It is a park of historical interest, with large extensions, coral reefs and several kilometers of virgin beaches in the Santa Elena and Papagayo Gulfs. The beaches in Santa Rosa are nesting areas for three species of marine turtles. This is an area where the largest amounts of Lora Turtles arrive from the American Tropics.

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17. BAHÍA JUNQUILLAL 

It has 505 hectares and forms part of the Conservation Area of Guanacaste managed by the Santa Rosa offices. Its quiet bay and its protected beach offer a great place to swim, sale and snorkel; there is a tropical dry forest and mangroves. There are short footpaths that lead to these, habitats of some sea birds, such as the pelican; and also if visiting during the right season the turtles nesting areas, and you can also see the Orosí Volcano.

 

 

 

 

 

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18. GUANACASTE NATIONAL PARK

 

It was created on the 15th of July 1989. It is next to the Santa Rosa Park, separated by the Interamericana, and it is only 5km to the northeast of Rincón de la Vieja. It has an extension of 34.651 hectares and is much more than just a continuation of dry tropical forest and other habitats of plains of Santa Rosa. In its lower western part, it is considered as only an extension of the Santa Rosa environment, but the land begins to rise into two volcanoes: the Orosí at 1.487 meters and the Cacao at 1.659 meters. Its variations allow animals to travel from the coast to the mountains.  

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19. BIOLOGICAL STATIONS OF INVESTIGATION CACAO MARITZA PITILLA

There are three biological stations in the park. In these areas you can go on excursions and observe wildlife.  
 
Cacao Biological Station
Located on the highest part of the volcano slopes at 1.060 m., you access this area via the south side of the park from Potrerillos, 9 Km from the entrance of Santa Rosa via the Interamerican, by car you will need to drive 7 Kms east on an asphalt road until you reach the village of Quebrada Grande, leaving your vehicle on the south bank of the Río Góngora you will then need to walk to the biological station. Everyday at 03:00 p.m, a bus leaves Liberia to Quebrada Grande; from the plaza of the village, a road for 4X4 vehicles that heads north leads to the station some 10 Km away.
 
Martiza Biological Station
It has a modern laboratory. To get here take the turnoff to Maritza which is 50 Km to the north of Liberia on the Interamerican highway to the east, opposite the exit to Cuajiniquil and then continue 17 Km on a dirt road, you will need a 4X4. Especially during the rainy season, at the entrance there is a pronounced curve.  From the station at 600 meters altitude there are difficult footpaths that lead in the direction of the summits of  the Orosí and Cacao Volcanoes, five or six hours away on foot. A path in better condition will take you on a two hour journey to explore the Llano de los Indios, with old petroglyphs in El Hacha.
 
Pitilla Biological Station
Located on the east side of the continental division and its rivers flow into the Caribbean sea. If you travel via the Interamerican to will need to turn east 12 Km to the north of the   Cuajiniquil exit, or 3 Km before arriving at  the village of  La Cruz; There is 28 Km between this point and Santa Cecilia. In this area there is a dirt road that leads to the station via the south. You might need a 4X4.

 

 

 

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20. LA CRUZ OF GUANACASTE

 

At 276 Km from San José, 57 Km from Liberia and 19 Km from the Nicaraguan border of   Peñas Blancas. It is a viewpoint that allows you to contemplate the splendid sunset framed by the Bolaños Islands, Punta Descartes, and the southern sector of Nicaragua, Papaturro Beach and Puerto Soley. It is the last village before arriving at Peñas Blancas, the Nicaraguan border.  From a hill close to Santa Cecilia you will get a fabulous view over the Nicaragua Lake. It is the largest lake of the country, with an extension of 2.284 Km2.  It is also called Cocibolca Lake or Gran Lake. It is shaped in the form of an eclipse axis larger than 160 Km of northeasterly orientation – southeast and an axis less than 60 Km. It is located 31 meters above sea level and according to research it has a maximum depth of 23 meters. Although in some places it is suspected to be as deep 70 meters. Several rivers flow from this lake including the Rio Tititopa that flows into the Río de Managua. Its outlet is the Rio San Juan of 198 Km that flows into the Caribbean. The main are:  the peninsula and the Bahía de Ásese, the Poneloya estuary and the Santa Bárbara Peninsular. In the golf of Santa Elena you will find Junquillal beach, with an extension of 2Km. You can get to Puerto Soley via an 8km road from Guajiniquil, via a gravel road of 4 Km. It is relatively protected from the winds; its clear waters are perfect to bathe in. A network of footpaths allow you to observe marine birds and go into the mangroves. Green, Lora, Carey and Baula Turtles nest on this beach.

 

 

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21. BAHÍA SALINAS, ISLA BOLAÑOS 

It has an extension of 25 hectares. It is in the Bahía de Salinas, opposite Pochotes Beach, from Puerto Soley it is a steep and rough island whipped by strong winds. It is the only place known in Costa Rica where American oysters nest, frigate birds or scissortail birds, as well as one of the few places where you can find pardo pelicans. Bahía Salinas is a bay located on the Pacific coast of Central America, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

 

The bay serves as a natural boundary between the two countries, marking the border by an astronomical straight line that starts from the Costa Rican Sapoá River to the center of Salinas Bay. The section that belongs to Costa Rica is located in the northwest corner of the canton of La Cruz, province of Guanacaste, while the part that belongs to Nicaragua is located southwest of Rivas.

 

To the south of the border line, within the bay, there is an archipelago of islands that belong to Costa Rica: the archipelago of the Murcielago Islands and Bolaños Island, which are natural wildlife refuges administered by the Santa Rosa National Park. Bahía Salinas has a great marine biodiversity, and is, in turn, a local fishing area through Puerto Soley.

 

The wind is very frequent in the bay and in the area near it, however, being a bay, the waves tend to be very low. the temperature of the water in the bay during the dry season can drop to 15 degrees. This due to the force of the wind that pushes the water from the surface to the sea and water from the depths rises to the surface.

 

By creating a vertical water current, in addition to colder water, this current is also loaded with nutrients; hence the richness of the waters of the bay and surroundings. Most of its beaches and diverse territories are virgin and its nature is exuberant. It has a great tourist attraction and because the wind is frequent you can often find kiteboarders and some windsurfers.The strong winds go from November to March (practically the dry season). The sighting of species of tourist interest is frequent and they range from birds, sea turtles, monkeys of different species and larger mammals (all year round) to humpback whales (August-December).

 

Bolaños Island

Located in the center of Bahia Salinas, it is a refuge for wildlife, and at the same time a sanctuary for various seabirds, its climate is dry and hot. The scarce vegetation consists of bushes that are difficult to penetrate, which helps to prevent the growth of other species, in addition to the fact that the land on the island contains little organic material. Geologically, it is an island that is very rocky, since it is mostly sedimentary rock dating back millions of years. It has small white sand beaches scattered around it. Among the most important marine species that nest on the island are the brown pelican and frigates.

 

 

 

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22. BAT ISLANDS BAHÍA SALINAS LA CRUZ GUANACASTE

 

It is a rocky archipelago, made up of 5 islands and 10 island, located near the peninsula of Santa Elena. They are made up of a combination of rocks, reef organisms and coastal organisms. One of the islets, San Pedrillo, is very visited by recreational diving tourism due to the sighting of big fish like bull shark, giant blankets, sailfish and even whale shark. The archipelago is part of the marine sector of the Guanacaste Conservation Area. On San José Island there is a biological station that has a VSAT satellite dish installed by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, which allows telecommunications in that area.

23. JOBO BEACH BAHÍA SALINAS LA CRUZ 

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It has an extension of 800 meters of sloping virgin beach made up of a typical mix of tropical dry forest and a great richness of marine fauna. There are two large rocks on either end of the beach, to the extreme north and extreme south. These rocks help give the beach the form of a semi bay with soft waves, which is of great benefit to bathers. It has a lot of nature, as much on the coast as in the mangroves and the estuary, that same in terms of marine fauna. A beach for sun, sand and sea, fishing, snorkeling and camping.

 

 

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24. NUBES BEACH BAHÍA SALINAS LA CRUZ GUANACASTE

 

With whitish sands, with an extension of 600 meters, a protected bay with rocks on both extremes of the beach, which means that the waves are gentle, great for bathing. It is a virgin beach with rich flora and fauna, on land and in the sea. Its natural beauty is complemented by the mangroves and the estuary. A beach for sun, sand and sea, fishing and camping.  

 

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25. GUAJINIQUIL BEACH BAHÍA SALINAS LA CRUZ GUANACASTE

Grey sands, with a length of 1.7 Km and 40 meters wide. Playa Guajiniquil is an area for fisherman. It is totally surrounded by mangroves from the Rio Guajiniquil, presenting coastal vegetation mixed in with private property. Within its fauna there are two groups of animals that are more common, birds and fish. This beach has sun sand sea, fishing, snorkeling and camping.

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26. PEÑAS BLANCAS BORDER WITH NICARAGUA

It is not a town but a position in the frontier with Nicaragua, has a simple lodging, sodas, grocery, rent of cars and the Bank of Costa Rica + 506  2677-0011. Located in the building of central of customs, with currency change and automatic cashier.  There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are planning to cross the border at Peñas Blancas. First of all, the border post is open from 6 am to 8 pm each day. If you come during this time, you should expect to pay a small fee, but if you arrive before 6 am, you can enter Nicaragua for free. From 6 am to noon, you will be charged seven US dollars to pass through Peñas Blancas. After that, the fee is slightly increased to 9$ USD. Additionally, there is a small 2$ USD fee if you are coming into Costa Rica from Nicaragua, as well as a 22$ USD fee for bringing a car across the border. Secondly, the time of year and day you choose to cross Peñas Blancas will greatly impact how long it takes. Most of the time, you should expect to cross the border in less than an hour, but if you mistakenly come here at the wrong time, it may take significantly longer, perhaps even as long as 10 hours. The best time of day to arrive is in the early evening. This is the time of day which has the shortest wait times. No matter what time of day you arrive, you should expect a huge wait if it is near a holiday or seasonal even. In particular, you should avoid trying to pass Peñas Blancas a few weeks before or after Christmas or Easter. These are the worst times of the entire year to pass through this border post.

 

 

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