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The Guanacaste North Pacific Coast is one of Costa Rica’s most popular areas and has gained a solid reputation as a tropical paradise. Entirely encompassed by Guanacaste province, it boasts pristine shorelines, beautiful mountain ranges, vast expanses of dry forests and a number of volcanoes. Holidaymakers can experience long summer days, rich culture and unparalleled wildlife. With its abundance of marine life the area is a real draw for divers. If you prefer other sporting activities try surfing, snorkelling or horseback riding. For travellers who want a more sedate trip, relax on one of the area’s sandy beaches.
Tamarindo — Often the first and last stop for travellers, this has long been one of Costa Rica’s top surf and party destinations. It’s no surprise, then, that this is one of the most developed beach areas in the province and there is no shortage of bars and restaurants to grab a sundowner after a hard day’s surfing. Foodies will also discover some of the country’s best restaurants here - and fierce competition keeps the prices down.
Papagayo Gulf — Rest and relaxation are top of the agenda for most visitors to this part of Guanacaste. An ultra-modern resort town, Papagayo Gulf is aimed at the traveller who likes the finer things in life.
Bahia Salinas — Bahia Salinas is a remote city near the border with Nicaragua. It is a popular destination for tourists and renowned for breathtaking views of undeveloped beaches. Thrill seeking travellers come here for the exciting surfing and kite-boarding opportunities.
Santa Cruz — Santa Cruz is a fascinating city that is known throughout Costa Rica for its rich folklore and history. It is famous for amazing and colourful fiestas, rodeos, dances and traditional Costa Rican food. Perfect for those travellers who want to experience the region’s vibrant culture.
There will be no end of photo opportunities during your time in Guanacaste, including stunning beaches with surfers in action, active volcanoes, a vast array of wildlife and lush greenery as well as vast expanses of dry rainforests. For something traditional, head to Guatil, a tiny village famous for its pre-Columbian, Chorotega-style pottery. You will be able to see local potters making a range of ceramics that make great gifts.
Aside from sunbathing on beautiful beaches, watersports are one of the major attractions. Lovers of the ocean come from all over the world looking to find the perfect surf break or to enjoy snorkelling and diving alongside tropical fish, turtles and beautiful coral. The area has been nicknamed the Wild West of Costa Rica so why not spend some time at one of the many cattle ranches that have sprung up. Whether you like an active holiday or prefer sipping cocktails on palm-fringed beaches, Guanacaste will not disappoint.