Guanacaste located in the northwest section of Costa Rica takes its name from the national tree, Guanacaste tree, or some times called ear pod tree. To the north lies the country of Nicaragua, which has a long history with the province of Guanacaste. The region at one time was a part of Nicaragua during the Spanish colonial era; the land in the Guanacaste region was stripped of its dry forest and was developed into large cattle ranches or haciendas. Costa Rica obtained legal rights to the Guanacaste region in 1858, yet the area has retained a strong connection to Nicaragua, and to this day the region holds onto its cowboy culture.

With a population of almost 300,000 the area is home to several different lifestyles which are not always understood by foreigners. It is said that one will find much color, costume and tradition as the Guanacaste region holds onto its Costa Ricans ways.
Nicaragua to the north, Guanacaste on the west is bordered by the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean, Nicoya Peninsula and the Golfo de Nicoya. To the east the region is bordered by the Northern Lowlands and Central Highlands, with lush green mountains and spectacular volcano’s. The eastern boarder is defined by the Cordillera de Guanacaste and Cordillera de Tilaran mountain ranges running 70 miles from the northwest to the southeast. Tempisque River, Costa Rica’s longest river flows from these mountain ranges and forms the boarder with the Nicoya Province before emptying into the Golfo de Nicoya. The eastern slopes of the mountain range give way to the large Lake Arenal. To the south are the beaches of the Central Pacific region.
Known for its endless sunshine, many national parks and fantastic beaches, the region has been thought after by many tourists. The province has seen large hotel projects go up, with the largest being the Gulf of Papagayo Project along the Pacific Coast. Liberia with Costa Rica’s second international airport has opened the region to many international tourists with direct and easy access.

Santa Rosa National Park located on the Santa Elena Peninsula in the most northwest section of Guanacaste, was Costa Rica’s first and is one of the largest national parks. Located just 25 km northeast of Liberia is Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja, with 6 volcano peaks and thirty some rivers the area is a favorite with naturist seeking beautiful waterfalls, unbelievable sceneries teaming with an abundance of wildlife.

Guanacaste climate can be very hot and dry, summer months will see high temperatures and no rain lasting from November to April. The rainy season will bring the deciduous forest new growth, an explosion of color, smells and cooler weather. The western slopes of the mountain ranges will tend to be cooler and moist during the dry season.

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