Guanacaste Costa Rica
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Guanacaste Province Costa Rica Hub of The Pacific Northwest
Guanacaste is on the Pacific northwest of Costa Rica. The province is hugh, rich and full with the best beaches, tons of activities, wildlife, (animal and human), and easy to get to with the International airport in the capital city Liberia, LIB. Liberia is the hub to all beaches in the Province, Playas del Coco, Tamarindo Beach, and Flamingo are all conveniently located.
Some call Guanacaste the Gold coast because of the “richness” of the area in natural and man made beauty. Luxury hotels, private villas, eco villages are being built up in this vast area. With the hot dry climate during the summer months of November through April and May many visitors are escaping their cold wintery months back home.
Guanacaste Province and their beaches on the Pacific Coast were made famous in the film Endless Summer back in the 1960’s, The weather, waves and constant temperature, generally around 83 F and 28 C, is perfect for surfers looking for the endless summer surf. Summer here is endless even when the storms come, and boy do they, wait a bit and the sun peaks through shortly.
Guanacaste Day July 25th!
Despite the daily international comings and goings, Liberia remains a small town at heart, with a population of about 40,000 to 60,000. It is one of Costa Rica’s oldest towns, a fact that is clearly visible in the colonial appearance of many buildings. Liberia, “la ciudad blanca”, “White City”, called by the residents because of the white graveled roads of old and the white washed colonial buildings in town.
Liberia’s oldest surrounding neighborhood is comprised of old colonial style homes that were constructed over a century and a half ago and are full of architectural gems. Beautiful!
Broad avenues make for easy navigation to the town’s traditional attractions. The town’s oldest historic church, Iglesia de la Agonia, is a relic from the past colonial era. Its white exterior is beautifully adorned in typical Spanish fashion, twin pillars with an arched entrance. The Sabaneros Museum (Museo de Sabaneros) pays homage to Guanacaste’s cowboy of yester year.
Rodeos are a timeless tradition and most popular event in the Guanacaste Province. From all over the region, rodeos draw many locals who just have to see the brave cowboys hurled by infuriated bucking bulls. This is not for the faint of heart nor is it an eco tour!
One of the biggest traditional holidays is Guanacaste Day on July 25th, celebrating the province’s annexation and independence from neighboring Nicaragua. The celebrations include an annual horse parade, bullfight, costumed dancers, and rural fairs – all the makings for a lively cowboy fiesta. Remember to pack those cowboy boots!
The drive from Liberia from San Jose is about 145 miles or 234 km along the Inter-American Highway. In Liberia, there are many buses that offer countrywide transportation throughout the workday. Car rentals are also available at the airport.
Traditional Costa Rican Holidays
Most holidays in Costa Rica are generally Catholic religious holidays. Most government offices and banks are closed during these holidays and the commercial businesses generally follow so there is little activity going on in town, which follow the traditions.
Easter, Seman Santa is one of the main big Costa Rican holidays. The Holy week celebration begins on Thursday through Easter Sunday when all businesses are closed. There is also a law that prohibits restaurants and bars from selling alcohol during that time. Buses stop running too.
If you’re planning your retreat and surfing vacation during that Costa Rica holiday time frame make sure, double sure, you have everything reserved well in advance.
Easter falls between late March and early May – the holiday days change every year. Reserve your hotel and car well in advance, get your confirmation numbers and if you are running late stay in contact with your hotel and car company. Trust me, you don’t want to spend your holiday Easter week searching for a room or car. Oh, the beaches are packed during that holiday week too. It’s a great time, just plan, reserve and check in early.
The province is huge, the beaches are never that crowed even during their busiest of holidays.
The processions during Easter are awesome, don’t miss coming during the holidays, Easter, Christmas, New Years. Awesome Holy days, you feel like you’re in a foreign country for goodness sake. You don’t want to miss the traditional holiday celebrations, yes it’s crowded, but that’s part of the fun.
Holidays according to the article 148 of Costa Rican work law are the following:
January 1st: New Year’s Day, celebrated everywhere in Costa Rica with fiestas, dances and sometimes Fireworks.
March 19th: Dia de San Jose. St. Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of San Jose (Capital city and province of Costa Rica.
Easter Holy Week: (Semana Santa) Late March through early May, Thursday through Easter Sunday.
April 11th: Juan Santamaria Day (National Hero of Costa Rica). This Public holiday is to commemorate the national hero that fought at the battle of Rivas against the North American William Walker. Wm Walker invaded Central America in 1856.
May 1st: Labor Day. El dia de los trabajadores.
June 29th: St. Peter and St. Paul’s Day, (San Pedro y San Pablo) Catholic Holiday, not mandatory as a closed business holiday.
July 25th: Annexation of Guanacaste Day.
August 2nd” Religious celebration for the Patron saint of Costa Rica, Virgin de los Angeles Day.
August 15th: Mother’s Day ( Dia de las madres). National holiday, awesome!
September 15th: Independence Day from Spain since 1821. Parades with school bands.
October 12th: Day of the Discovery of Costa Rica by Christopher Columbus. Big Carnival in Limon.
November 2nd: All soul’s Day (Dia de los muertos).
December 8th: Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. (Inmaculada concepcion de la Virgen Maria).
December 25th: Christmas Day.