If you’re cruising north on the Interamericana, Cañas is the first town of any size in Costa Rica’s driest province, Guanacaste. Sabanero culture is evident on the sweltering streets, where full-custom pickup trucks share the road with swaggering cowboys on horseback. It’s a dusty, typically Latin American town, where almost everyone struts slowly and businesses shut down for lunch. It's all centered on the Parque Central and the decidedly atypical Catholic church.
Although you’re better off basing yourself in livelier Liberia, Cañas is a good place to organize rafting trips on the nearby Río Corobicí or for exploring Parque Nacional Palo Verde. And if you need to stop for gas, it's worth a stroll; just don't leave valuables in the car.