The sunny rural capital of Guanacaste has long served as a transportation hub to Nicaragua, as well as being the standard-bearer of Costa Rica’s sabanero (cowboy) culture. Today, tourism is fast becoming a significant contributor to the economy. With an expanding international airport, Liberia is a safer and more chilled-out Costa Rican gateway than San José.

Most of the historic buildings in the town center are in need of a paint job (some locals dream of it becoming a historic district like Nicaragua's Granada), though the ‘White City’ is pleasant, with a good range of accommodations. Still, it’s largely a launch pad for exploring Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja and the beaches of the Península de Nicoya, rather than a destination in itself.

The area may be transformed by Discovery Costa Rica, a billion-dollar, 2200-acre (890-hectare) theme park due to be built between 2018 and 2020.

Explore Liberia


Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Liberia.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Liberia.