Recommend Jan 2018 - 54

COSTA RICA

LIBERIA

When landing in LIBERIA, you arrive at the gateway to the Pacific Coast
beaches, giant cattle ranches and nature reserves of the Guanacaste
Province and the Nicoya Peninsula. The big draw is the bevy of ecolodges, boutique hotels and luxury resorts that face the Pacific sunsets.
SEE/DO: Founded in 1789, Liberia is the capital of the Guanacaste
Province; her attractions include the only remaining colonial church
in Guanacaste, the Iglesia la Ermita de la Agonia, and the Museo
de Guanacaste, which occupies the former military barracks and
prison. Heading south along the coast, surfing is the name of the
adventure game (March to late-November), and the must-go beaches
for accomplished surfers are Tamarindo, Nosara, Santa Teresa and
Malpais on the Nicoya Peninsula; beginner and intermediates head for
Jaco and Playa Hermosa. World-class sportfishing happens along the
central and northern Pacific coastline where billfish abound, while whale
and dolphin watching is the big draw from the southern Pacific resorts
around Dominical and Uvita.
Enjoying nature at its richest, you'll find Rincon de la Vieja National
Park, the place to hike among the geysers, fumaroles and thermal
springs, while mid-Pacific is home to Carara National Park, tops on
the list for serious scarlet macaw watching. And you'll never meet more
monkeys than in Manuel Antonio National Park, also home to sloths
and toucans, as well as beautiful beaches, rainforest canopy touring, and
mountain biking.
SIGNATURE EVENT: Held July 25 is Annexation of Guanacaste Day,
with its Tico-style bullfights, folk dancing, flamboyant parades, horse
pageants, cattle shows, food and fun.
STAY: Casa Chameleon, the first hotel to open at the new town of Las
Catalinas, is an adults-only boutique resort where villas come with plunge
pools. And following a totally reimagined, resort-wide transformation,
estimated at $35 million, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica has
reopened on Peninsula Papagayo.

SAN JOSE

National Museum in San Jose.

54

Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

FASTFACTS
BEST TIME TO GO: December to May in San
Jose; the Caribbean coast gets some rain yearround, although less than in the rest of the country
during September and October
GETTING THERE: Delta flies from Atlanta and Los
Angeles to San Jose; from Atlanta, Los Angeles,
and Minneapolis/St. Paul to Liberia
ENTRY DOCUMENTS: Valid passport
CURRENCY: Costa Rican Colon
INFORMATION PLEASE: Costa Rica Institute of
Tourism-visitcostarica.com

Almost all roads lead to SAN JOSE, the country's capital that often plays home
base for visitors due to its many close-by excursions to the rainforest, highlands
and out to the gorgeous beaches and national parks on both the Pacific and
Caribbean coasts.
SEE/DO: Nobody seems to talk about it enough, but the museum scene in San
Jose is first rate. It includes the National Museum, documenting Costa Rica's
history from ancient to modern times; the Gold Museum, displaying a glittering
1,800-piece collection of pre-Columbian gold; the Jade Museum; and the
Costa Rica Art Museum.
Visitors with a yen for nature enjoy touring the coffee estates, peering into
craters atop Irazu and Poas Volcanoes, going birding or for a ride on the
Rainforest Aerial Tram in Braulio Carrillo National Park. Those in search of
adventure head for the eco-lodges of Arenal Volcano National Park, a
multi-sport corner of the country featuring hiking, mountain biking, canyoning
and caving.
SIGNATURE EVENT: Juan Santamaria Day, honoring Costa Rica's national
hero with parades, concerts and dances, is held in Alajuela near San Jose on
April 11. For a taste of Caribbean culture, circle your calendar (Feb. 8-18, 2018)
for the uber-colorful Carnival in Limon.
STAY: Voted #1 resort in Central America for 2017 by Conde Nast Traveler,
ditto choice by Travel & Leisure, is Hacienda Altagracia, delivering a luxurious,
immersive Costa Rican country experience-from horseback riding to a lavish
spa and farm-to-fork dining.


http://visitcostarica.com

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