Guanacaste, also known as Costa Rica’s “Gold Coast”, is one of the nation’s most unique and enticing destinations, and that’s not just because of its world-famous beaches. In the Travel section of US News, Guanacaste is Ranked #3 out of the many travel destinations in Costa Rica. With rich history, stunning beaches, and spectacular landscapes, Guanacaste leaves little to be desired and offers an abundance of natural attractions for your Costa Rica vacation.
In Guanacaste you will find the region’s dry, sunny savannas contrast the misty cloud-covered rainforests found in many other parts of Costa Rica. To the east, you can admire volcanoes comprising the Cordillera de Guanacaste and along the coast—which extends all the way to the Nicaraguan border—you’ll find luxury hotels along the white sand beaches scattered amidst remote fishing villages. And to add to the diversity of the region, further inland you’ll discover a thriving cowboy culture that has flourished since Spanish colonial rule in the 19th century.
Explore Costa Rica’s Gold Coast and Enjoy the Many Attractions in Guanacaste
Notable highlights and destinations in Guanacaste include the pristine, palm-studded Playa Carrillo beach, the famous Playa Avellanas and the Rincón de la Vieja National Park. Another must see attraction is the Santa Rosa National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves the site of the 1856 Battle of Santa Rosa. And resort communities, like Hacienda Pinilla, make enjoying a vacation in Guanacaste convenient and hassle-free.
Recent travelers particularly recommend visiting Rincón de la Vieja National Park, which boasts hot springs and beautiful waterfalls. One TripAdvisor user exclaims, “It is the ONLY national park where the volcanic activity is so visibly present, with fumaroles, a small crater blasting sulfuric vapors, […] bubbling mud holes and an acidic pond.”
Guanacaste is located on Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast and can be reached by flying into Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) or hopping on a domestic flight from San José to LIR. Once you’ve arrived, you can easily navigate Guanacaste via car on the Inter-American Highway. Recent improvements to infrastructure, particularly in the Tamarindo area, make traveling in Guanacaste relatively easy. For endless sunshine, lush vegetation, and wildlife-spotting at its finest, you’ll want to visit from December through April (Costa Rica’s summer season) but Guanacaste’s world-famous surf and highly acclaimed resorts attract international travelers year round.