The idea of pure vida or pure life summarizes the Costa Rica way of life, and you can live it on your Guanacaste honeymoon. The northwestern corner of the country has lush rainforest, mountains, volcanoes, and a Pacific coastline of stunning beauty. Add in the incredible biodiversity preserved in the national parks, a vibrant culture and culinary adventures for the romantic trip of a lifetime.
Adventure-seeking couples will find plenty to do, and the ideal climate for exciting rainforest hikes, ATV exploration, whitewater rafting, sport fishing, zip lining, horseback riding, and more. The famous beaches of Guanacaste with their volcanic sand and Pacific surf are popular destinations that are nevertheless uncrowded and unspoiled.
A Guanacaste honeymoon is an ideal trip for nature lovers. Costa Rica has developed ecotourism to preserve and showcase its natural biodiversity. National parks and wildlife refuges protect the rainforest, including the famous Cloud Forests of Costa Rica, and their inhabitants. These include hundreds of bird species, the raccoon-like coatis, monkeys and pumas. The warm coastal waters are natural nesting places for sea turtles. Watching the eggs hatch and the tiny hatchlings make their way to the sea is an incredibly moving experience.
The culture integrates indigenous Chorotega and Spanish influences in music, folklore, literature and religious beliefs. The traditional music and dance from the region are famous, and you shouldn’t miss a performance if you get a chance to watch. Guanacaste has historically been a cattle ranching area with a cowboy culture and you’ll find ranches, rodeos and cowboys across the region.
Accommodations are in keeping with the ecofriendly ethos, with hotels and resorts planned to minimize their impact on the environment. You can find relaxing yoga resorts and wellness treatments to unwind after adventurous days on the go.
At a Glance
- Guanacaste is located in the northwestern corner of the country and has become a popular destination for adventure sports and ecotourism.
- There are 400 miles of coastline, running from the border with Nicaragua in the north to the Nicoya peninsula in the south. The two major cities are Liberia, the capital, and Santa Cruz.
- The province is named for the elephant-ear tree, which is the national tree of Costa Rica.
- The varied topography and ecological zones, with the Pacific coast, rainforest, volcanoes and dry savannah inland offer travelers a range of experiences amid landscapes of unspoilt beauty.
- The Pacific beaches are popular destinations for surfing, fishing, jet skiing and catamaran sailing trips. You could spend days exploring the coast, with small eco-hotels and fishing villages.
- The Cordillera de Guanacaste is a range of volcanoes running on a northwest to southeast axis along the eastern part of the province. They make up the southern part of the continental divide, and are home to famous peaks like Rincon de la Vieja, Santa Maria, Orosi and Miravalles – all of which are active volcanoes.
- You can visit the active volcanoes at national parks like Rincón de la Vieja National Park and Santa Rosa National Park, and also explore the rainforest, geothermal features like hot springs, and the biodiversity for which Costa Rica is famous.
- Besides natural beauty, you will find plenty of adventure, with ATV rainforest trails, mountain biking, white water rafting and canyoning.
- When you’re looking for quieter and more relaxing pursuits, seek out the yoga resorts, volcanic hot springs, bird watching tours and sailing trips.
- Try out the local food and drinks, many of them corn-based, in the markets. Explore the local culture and catch a performance of traditional dance and music in Santa Cruz.
- Spend a few days in the magical world of the Nicoya Peninsula in the southern part of the Pacific coast. Ride horseback on the beach through the surf, hike the rainforest, swim in a waterfall and watch the baby turtles hatch and make their way to the sea at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge.
- Take a long, relaxing soak in the medicinal waters of the Rio Perdido, The river is geothermally heated by the Maravalles volcano.
- Live the pura vida in your own chosen romantic honeymoon retreat. This could be a luxury hotel with stunning ocean views, an eco-Lodge on the beach or in the cloud forest, or a hacienda with cattle and cowboys.
- Plan a sunset picnic on the beach. Spend the day surfing, fishing or sailing, and in the evening, settle down with a beach blanket, food and drink to watch the sun go down. This will be one of the most unforgettable moments of your Guanacaste honeymoon.
- GETTING THERE: The nearest airport is Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste province. You can also get a domestic flight from San Jose to Liberia.
- GETTING AROUND: The best option for getting around is to hire a car with a driver who is familiar with local conditions, or to join a tour group for popular but remote sites. Rental cars are available but driving can be challenging, as roads go from paved to unpaved without warning. Driving on steep mountain roads after dark is not recommended, as there are no guard rails and few sign posts.
- WEATHER: Guanacaste weather differs in some respects from the weather in Costa Rica generally. There is a hot and dry season lasting from November to April, with little to no rainfall. From May to October, the weather is similar to the rest of Costa Rica, with moderately hot and even temperatures and daily rain showers.
- WHEN TO GO: The hot and dry season in Guanacaste, from November to April, coincides with winter in the US. This makes this the popular travel season, especially for the Pacific coast beaches.
- PACKING TIPS: Remember to bring sunscreen, rain gear, insect repellent and waterproof bags for your phone and camera. Hiking shoes and swimming gear are also indispensable.
- COMBO TOURS: This can be the best way to experience each destination, combining hiking, zip lining, wildlife watching and other activities.
- DON’T DISTURB THE WILDLIFE: This is their world, where they are safe and protected. When visiting sea turtle nesting areas, travel with a guide, and to avoid distracting the turtles, wear dark colors and don’t cross or block their path.