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Things to do in Guanacaste and Northwest

Things to do in  Guanacaste and Northwest

Welcome to Guanacaste and Northwest

In Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, 400 miles (644 kilometers) of Pacific coastline vie for attention with tropical dry forests, undisturbed rural towns, and volcano-fueled hot springs. The country’s northern neighbor, Nicaragua (which you can easily visit on a day trip), lost control of this territory in the 19th century, although a distinctly Nicaraguan culture lingers. Sites are spread out, so tours can help sure you easily navigate between the places you most want to see. Inland, the region is noted for Rincon de la Vieja National Park, which offers hiking through a tropical dry forest, swimming beneath waterfalls, and soaking in mineral hot springs and mud baths. Summiting the Rincon de la Vieja volcano is every bit as exciting as the more popular Arenal volcano in Alajuela Province, but it’s less crowded and only a day trip from the beach. Additional nature parks dotting the region offer horseback riding; ziplining canopy tours; and opportunities to view sloths, howler monkeys, and lizards that call the forests home. On the coast, find your bliss surfing the swells of Tamarindo or Hermosa beach or soaking up sun rays on the shore. Snorkel among tropical fish at Playa Conchal, take a catamaran cruise out on the open water, or kayak through mangrove forests—all easily accessible from Liberia’s airport.

Top 10 attractions in Guanacaste and Northwest

#1
Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

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Once the site of a quiet fishing village, Tamarindo Beach has become one of Costa Rica's most popular stretches of golden sand. Surfers travel from across the globe to ride Tamarindo's waves, but you don’t need to be a pro to hang 10 here. There are spots nearby that are calm enough for first-time wave riders to learn.More
#2
Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

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Rincon de la Vieja National Park is the ultimate “one-stop shop” for Costa Rica’s natural attractions. Expect fuming volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, sky-high ziplines, natural hot springs, and more—all within just a couple of hours of the popular Guanacaste coast.More
#3
Baldi Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs

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Located in the shadow of active Arenal Volcano and surrounded by a lush jungle landscape, Baldi Hot Springs is one of the largest hot springs resorts in the world. Visitors can choose from 25 different thermal pools, plus pampering spa treatments, swim-up bars, and Costa Rican cuisine for a complete day of relaxation.More
#4
Rio Negro Hot Springs

Rio Negro Hot Springs

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Nestled in the lush interior of Rincon de la Vieja National Park, these rustic hot springs are fed by a naturally heated river that flows from a nearby volcanic peak. Slather on the mineral-rich mud, and then soak it off in a variety of steam pools, all while surrounded by the untamed Costa Rican rain forest.More
#5
Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde National Park

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Set on the banks of the Tempisque River, Palo Verde National Park (Parque Nacional Palo Verde) contains more than 15 topographical zones, including mangrove swamps, evergreen forests, and tropical dry forests. The park is a haven for migratory birds, bats, and 250 species of bees, plus mammals like jaguarundis (cat) and howler monkeys.More
#6
Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Diamante Eco Adventure Park

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A one-stop shop for adventurers of all ages looking to get their adrenaline fix, Diamante Eco Adventure Park features one of Costa Rica’s longest zipline courses. If that’s not quite your thing, choose from an abundance of other activities, including all-terrain vehicle excursions, horseback riding, and water sports—or just marvel at the sweeping ocean views.More
#7
Dino Park Blue River

Dino Park Blue River

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Travel back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth at Costa Rica’s one-of-a-kind amusement park, where animatronic dinosaurs inhabit the leafy jungle. Moving, life-size replicas of the giant creatures are a hit with kids and the young at heart, while a nearby hot springs resort offers a way to relax after your prehistoric adventure.More
#8
Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Caño Negro)

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Caño Negro)

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Home to more than 200 speices of rare bird, Caño Negro is one of the most biologically rich wetlands in the world. Many mammals and reptiles can also be spotted around the freshwater lagoon, making it one of Costa Rica's best wildlife-watching destinations.More
#9
Miravalles Volcano

Miravalles Volcano

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Towering above Costa Rica’s northwestern plains, Miravalles Volcano is the highest peak in the Guanacaste province. The dormant peak’s microclimate makes it one of the best birdwatching spots in Costa Rica, while its refreshingly cool air offers respite from the tropical humidity of the nearby beaches.More
#10
Vida Aventura Nature Park

Vida Aventura Nature Park

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Situated in the heart of the Guanacaste area adjacent to the Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Vida Aventura Nature Park offers the perfect mix of adventure and nature. Allot a whole day here to zip line, ride a horse and then wind down in the hot springs.Vida Aventura Nature Park features El Gavilan, a zip line and canopy experience that ensures a full rush of adrenaline. As you zip through the air, take in the views of ancient lava canyons and the Rincon de la Vieja and Miravalles volcanoes. Explore the biodiverse Costa Rican jungle while helping to support conservation efforts—a win-win situation. There are also nature trails all over Vida Aventura that are great for families and those looking to spot some wildlife.Visitors can hop on a horse to learn how to drive cattle Guanasten style and to see the tropical dry forest area of the nature park, all before taking advantage of the site's thermal pools. Unwind and relax with a volcanic mud treatment, or stay active by checking out El Resbalon, the nature park’s water slide.More

Top activities in Guanacaste and Northwest

Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour
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Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

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584
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USD75.00
Full Day Nicaragua Tour from Costa Rica
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Private transfer

Private transfer

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45
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USD94.00
per group
Tamarindo Estuary Boat Safari
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Tamarindo Estuary Boat Safari

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98
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USD38.00
Guanacaste Snorkel and Sunset Cruise

Guanacaste Snorkel and Sunset Cruise

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29
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USD107.00

Recent reviews from experiences in Guanacaste and Northwest

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Great excursion..: long day
Alexandra_G, Dec. 2021
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste
Hot springs were nice at a hotel.
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Atv tour first time
Destiny_S, Apr. 2022
ATV Tour Real Adventure Through Tropical Forest & Beach
Would definitely recommend if you’re looking to see the more local side of Guanacaste.
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Mega Combo Tour in Guanacaste
Leanne_L, Mar. 2022
Mega Combo tour: Tubing,Canopy & Hot Spring from Playa Flamingo
Carlos was great and even stopped on the way to our activities to get coffee and snacks.
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Miller makes the experience special
Perry_M, Feb. 2022
Beach-mountain & Sloth Refuge Buggy Tour
Very beautiful to see un-developed beach.
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The Hot Girl Tribe takes Costa Rica!
Najah_V, Oct. 2021
Papagayo Gulf Private Sunset Boat Tour
We got to see dolphins, stingrays, and turtles.
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Perfect service!
Mia_J, Jun. 2021
Shared Shuttle Service To W CR Reserva Conchal
I apologize that the driver’s name has escaped me but he was easy to find as soon as we walked out of the airport (holding a sign with my name), spoke very good English and provided the perfect tour of Liberia, Guanacaste and every area in between as made the trip to the hotel.
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Amazing combo trip!
Danielle, Mar. 2020
Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo
At first we were a bit confused about the order of the activities, but the tour guide ended up being a fantastic guide and made the experience unforgettable for us.
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A Perfect Day Excursion
bk23232019, Nov. 2019
Llanos del Cortez Waterfall and Coffee Tour from Guanacaste
While staying in Tamarindo, we were looking to fill a couple days with fun activities.
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Amazing Views & Great Ziplining Tour guides
Nytasha_G, Jul. 2019
Amazing Mega Zipline (25 lines) over 11 Waterfalls
We were able to see more of Costa Rica on our drive to/from Adventure Park.
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Great Experience!
Jason_D, Jun. 2018
Diamante Eco Adventure Park Day Pass with Lunch
Started with the animal sanctuary and it was pretty cool to see all the animals that live in Costa Rica.
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My friend and I did this tour...
Brien_V, Mar. 2018
Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour
Our first stop was Llanos de Cortes waterfall where you can swim and this waterfall was beautiful.
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I would recommend this day adventure...
Janell G, Mar. 2018
Hacienda Guachipelin One Day Adventure Pass
I would recommend this day adventure for any family with kids over 8 yrs.
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Miller is outstanding on this tour...
Woodrow T, Nov. 2017
Beach-mountain & Sloth Refuge Buggy Tour
Miller focuses on getting you to see the best beaches I have ever seen in my Life.
star-5
This tour was the highlight of my...
cboria2199, Jul. 2017
Super Combo Adventure: Zipline Tour, Horseback Riding and Hot Springs
The horse I had went crazy, and I winded up falling off of the horse, but I broke my fall by falling on the side of my body.
star-5
This was an incredible tour. Our...
Lenore Caston M, Dec. 2017
Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo
Lunch was really good, and the hot springs soak at the end was exactly what we needed to undo all of the adventuring of the day.
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It was an excellent well organized...
Michelle H, Jun. 2015
9-Day Best of Northwest Costa Rica from San Jose: Arenal Volcano National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest and Guanacaste
Some of the activities were strenuous, and they ensured she was safe every step of the way.
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I had a fabulous tour guide...name...
Jane W, Sep. 2014
Super Combo Adventure: Zipline Tour, Horseback Riding and Hot Springs
It was a beautiful day and we also enjoyed the horseback riding, mud bath and hot springs.
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First of all, the ride from...
Sovannak B, Mar. 2013
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste
there wasn't much wildlife for us to see while there.
Frequently Asked Questions
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