Established in 1971 as a national park, the Sector Santa Rosa is now a part of the much larger Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). This sprawling area was established to protect the largest remaining stand of tropical dry forest in Central America. With its primordial acacia thorn trees and tall jaragua grass, this rare landscape resembles the African savanna, though closer inspection reveals more American species of plants, including cacti and bromeliads.
Aside from the startlingly dry landscape, Santa Rosa has some legendary surf breaks, important nesting beaches for several species of sea turtle, and deep historical gravitas. Difficult access means that most of the Santa Rosa sector is fairly empty, though it can get reasonably busy on weekends in the dry season, when Ticos flock to the park in search of their often hard-to-find history.