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Discover what to do in Guanacaste

Guanacaste offers many different kinds of activities related to relaxation, health, culture, adventure, and nature, as well as sport and recreational activities.


Thanks to the climatic conditions of Guanacaste, the rich flora and fauna, as well as many natural, cultural and architectural landscapes, photography is a popular activity among visitors.


Sportfishing is one of the main attractions in the Northern Pacific where multiple world records have been broken for catching (and releasing) the largest swordfish.

Observing architectural and historical sites

There are sites and buildings of important architectural and historical significance as well as national monuments that are considered “must see” in Abangares, Bagaces, Cañas, Liberia, and Santa Cruz.

Bird watching

Bird watching is mainly in the protected areas like Palo Verde, Curú, Bolaños Island, and Tenorio. These are the most important, but there are other sites where this activity is popular.

Food tasting

Typical towns are characterized by small diners, cafeterias or restaurants, with Guanacaste cuisine. Cañas, Tilarán, Liberia, as well as Santa Cruz are known for their traditional dishes and beverages.

Adventure in the canopy

There are a few options to enjoy activities that take place in the canopy, where there are a number of monkey and bird species.

Purchasing local arts and crafts

Arts and crafts in Guaitil de Santa Cruz and San Vicente de Nicoya are made from pure clay, following traditional techniques used by the Chorotega indigenous people. They create ornaments, jars, flower pots, vases, plates, ocarinas (a musical instrument) and other pieces. These items can be purchased in a number of locations throughout Guanacaste. Also available for purchase are bowls made from the typha plant which is also used for various types of paper products.

Sport cycling

The area has a number of picturesque trails, adventure or leisure sites for road or mountain biking. Some of the trails have views of the beach and mountains.


There is no limit to the number of hiking trails in the area where visitors can take in many different natural, architectural, cultural, religious, and commercial attractions.

Horseback riding

Because Guanacaste is mainly a rural area, this activity can be done all over in coastal areas, communities, or mountain areas. Horseback riding tours are done through tourism businesses or family estate owners that rent horses.


Diving has been growing in Guanacaste thanks to the excellent sites and great diving conditions. There are specialized businesses who cater to divers. Some of the more noteworthy areas are the Gulf of Papagayo and the Santa Catalina islands.

Rural tourism services and activities

Here are some activities and services offered and their locations within the northern pacific:

Bolson eco-tourism, located in the bolson community, offers a number of housing services in ortega and bolson, with families prepared to receive tourists.

Activities: Excursions along the tempisque river and through the palo verde national park where visitors can observe crocodiles, birds, and monkeys, among other species.

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