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The best beaches of Guanacaste

The airport in Liberia is the gateway to the Province of Guanacaste, the sunniest part of Costa Rica. Thanks to its large number of snow-white buildings and tree-lined streets made of white gravel, the city itself is also referred to as ‘la ciudad blanca’. But, let’s be honest, most visitors who arrive here are primarily interested in white sand. Only a half hour by car from the airport is the fantastic Pacific coast with beaches that are postcard perfect.

There is no lack of luxury in Guanacaste but, no matter where you stay, you are guaranteed sun, sea and natural beauty along the coastline. Some beaches are fashionable and crowded, while others offer pure relaxation. Looking for the best surf spots? Want to enjoy nature, both above and below the water’s surface? Or do you prefer to spend your holiday with a cocktail in hand? The choice is yours. The variety of beaches is enormous and, the best part is, you can visit more than one. These three favourites should get you off to a good start.

Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa

Liberia-Guanacaste

The most beautiful sunsets

Relaxing on Playa Flamingo

This serene beach just north of Tamarindo is part of the ‘Gold Coast’, which also includes the neighbouring beaches of Conchal And Brasilito. The location is perfect for enjoying the full glory of the golden sunsets. Facilities and restaurants are limited because the focus here is on peace and quiet and nature. Those looking for a bit more action can take a boat trip along the coast or explore the coral reefs of the underwater world while snorkelling or diving. Thanks to the abundance of fish below the surface, including tuna and mahi-mahi, Playa Flamingo is great for sports fishing. The best time for enthusiasts is August, when the annual Flamingo Fishing Rodeo is held.

Surfing at Playa Avellana

If a beach is referred to as ‘Little Hawaii’, you can expect it to have a hip and relaxed atmosphere and plenty of surfing enthusiasts. The latter can often been seen on waves up to five metres high. But Playa Avellana is also perfect for non-surfers, who can watch the antics in the waves from their hammock or a table at the popular Lola’s restaurant. A favourite (and appropriate) menu item is poke, a Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, seaweed and onions. Fun fact: Lola’s is named after a pig that counts as one of the permanent inhabitants of the beach.
Surfing Mecca of Avellana
Beauty near Liberia

Sociable Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa (‘Beautiful Beach’) is aptly named. Although not far from Liberia, this beach does not attract the crowds of local weekend visitors like the other beaches in the area. Apart from well-deserved relaxation, visitors can also enjoy kayaking, diving and jet skiing. After sunset, this beach continues to buzz and live music can often be heard from the beach bars and restaurants. The hotels are usually budget-friendly. Congo’s Hostel even offers camping grounds.