Region & Time Zone: Central Standard Time; UTC/GMT -6 hours
Passport Required: Yes
Languages Spoken: Spanish and English
Currency: Costa Rican Colon
Power: 110V-120V/60Hz (North American plug)
A little background
Located on the Central American strip between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is a country with a diverse landscape and an "it" destination for nature lovers. Its location and geography make it a great destination for visitors looking to explore smoking volcanoes, wetlands, waterfalls and beaches, all in one trip! The natural advantages also make the country a heaven for rainforest wildlife and rare plants. Liberia, also known as the "White City" because of the whitewashed walls and colonial architecture seen throughout the city, is the largest city in the Guanacaste province.
Dry Season vs. Rainy Season
Costa Rica weather has two distinct seasons, dry season and rainy season. Dry season starts in late November and lasts through April. It is also the peak travel season due to plenty of sunshine and comfortable weather, which is ideal for outdoor activities. However, you may need to book your vacation months in advance to secure a spot. If you want to visit Costa Rica during the rainy season, which starts in May and lasts through November, expect afternoon showers that usually last for a couple of hours.
Arenal Volcano National Park
Formed some 7,000 years ago, Arenal Volcano is a majestic show of nature that stands tall at 1,657 meters (over 5,430 ft). Following its recent eruption in 1968, the volcano has been dormant since 2010. The park encompasses a great variety of natural resources and wildlife and is a great place to spend the day. If you are on the adventurous side, make sure you take advantage of white water rafting and canopy tours of the forest, or helicopter tours that offer stunning aerial views. If you just want to unwind then take a dip in the natural mineral hot springs.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
At over 6,200 feet high, Rincon de la Vieja is a towering volcano with nine extraordinary vents located within a 15-kilometer-wide caldera. It is part of the Guanacaste Mountain Range and one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica. We recommend hiking up the summit of the volcano where you can enjoy great views of the Nicoya Peninsula and the Lago de Nicaragua. The park is also the home to a rich array of wildlife, plants and insects, making it a must-go spot for an up-close encounter with nature.
There is more to Liberia than just volcanoes. Best known for its sandy beaches and clear waters, Papagayo Gulf is an ideal spot for beachgoers to personify "Pura Vida." Various water activities are available here: diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and exploring the beach caves. Visitors seeking relaxation can plan to spend an afternoon on a lounge chair by the beach.