Guanacaste Central & The Northern Plains

Inland Guanacaste is a complete contrast to the Pacific coast. This is cattle country, land of the ‘sabanero’ or cowboy.

Guanacaste Central & The Northern Plains

Guanacaste region is in the north west of the country. Its inland area is a complete contrast to its Pacific coastal region. Inland is cattle country, the land of the ‘sabanero’ or cowboy.

As you move away from the beaches further inland the scenery laid out before you is the endless savanna, long grasses swaying in the breeze and the beautiful long horned braham cattle grazing the plains. Guanacaste is authentic rural Costa Rica where cattle farming takes place. The green luscious forests that are so typical of the rest of the country have made way here for cattle farming. There is a definite ‘wild west’ feel here.

The regional capital of Guanacaste is Liberia. It’s a great place to stop and experience Costa Rican life in a small town with a strong sabanero culture.  Known locally as  ‘Ciudad Blanca’ in reference to the white-washed colonial buildings, it is safe and friendly and has an authentic Costa Rican feel all of its own.

Reasons to Visit Guanacaste Central & The Northern Plains

  • Caño Negro – The place to go to view amazing concentration of indigenous and migratory birds. Howler monkeys and sloths also live here – the dense foliage makes them a little hard to spot without binoculars, but rest assured, the howlers will let everyone know you are coming.
  • Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja – Guanacaste is no exception to the rest of Costa Rica and there are plenty of national parks in the region. Rincón de la Vieja is one of the most magical and mystical parks, steeped in folkore with rich and varied flora and fauna, not to mention Costa Rica’s most active volcano. The park boasts stunning scenery, beautiful waterfalls, hot springs, a fresh water lagoon and much more. Enjoy the views on foot or on horseback and seek out the beautiful birds and local wildlife.
  • Río Perdido Reserve – If you are looking to explore one of the earth’s natural wonders then you will find it here at Río Perdido. This unique spot is where two canyons come together and the cool waters of the Río Blanco meet the hot waters of the Río Perdido.

    As the river flows downstream, there are numerous thermal springs where you can relax and forget about everything else – but a stone’s throw away upstream is cooler water where you can swim. Also on the reserve are hikes of varying difficulty, depending on how much you want to challenge yourself. You can also go mountain-biking or completely lose yourself floating downstream on an inflatable tube.

  • Cowboy Culture – Visit the Sala del Sabanero Museum in Liberia which pays homage to the unique cowboy culture of this area.
  • Blue Lagoon – Hike to the Pozo Azul in the Tenorio national park and see the milky blue waters of the Río Celeste flow into this smooth, calm lagoon.

Places to Stay

There are some exquisite places to stay in this area. If you are having difficulty choosing, let our expert consultants guide your way.

Buena Vista Lodge

Buena Vista Lodge

Modest, Guanacaste

Hacienda Guachipelín

Hacienda Guachipelín

Modest, Guanacaste

Natural Lodge Caño Negro

Natural Lodge Caño Negro

Mid-range, Guanacaste

Rio Celeste Hideaway

Rio Celeste Hideaway

Modest, Guanacaste

Rio Perdido

Rio Perdido

Mid-range, Guanacaste

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