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Liberia (Costa Rica)

Revision as of 23:51, 10 April 2010 by (talk) (Sleep)

Liberia is the capital city of the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. It is located about 220 kms (138 mi) Northwest San Jose.

Get in

By plane

  • Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (IATA: LIR)(ICAO: MRLB), is called Liberia Costa Rica Airport, 13km west of the city. Daily flights arrive in Liberia on several US airlines. Nature Air and Sansa Air, the domestic airlines also land here. A bus travels between the airport and city center between 6AM-6PM.

Passengers departing Costa Rica at Liberia airport need to be aware of two things. First, there is - as is the case in many Latin American countries - an exit tax, which must be paid separately from your airline ticket. It is not possible to have paid this tax in advance, and if your travel agent tells you otherwise, you should be aware that he or she is not telling the truth. Second, the agent accepting payment tells you that you may use a credit card to pay your exit tax, but THE CHARGE IS RECORDED AS A CASH ADVANCE, NOT AS A PURCHASE. So you will be charged interest on the amount of the exit tax, a real ripoff. While this may be small potatoes relative to what is likely to be an otherwise pleasant visit to this beautiful country, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth, as can the lax security and lax attention to all sorts of details, even taking into account the fact that it is a small airport.

By bus

A large public bus network services Liberia and connects it with San Jose, the beaches and the Nicaraguan border. From the only stop light in town along the Pan American Highway, go 300 meters north and turn right. There is the Pulmitan de Liberia bus stop with buses going to San Jose (USD$ 5.-), and the general bus stop that will take you to Guanacaste beaches and the Nicaragua border.

By car

Liberia is at the cross section of the Interamericana that stretches throughout Central America and the Route 21 that heads to famous beaches such as Tamarindo.

Get around

Public bus or on foot. Liberia is a small city where everything you are likely to wish to see is within walking distance.



  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Curubande, Liberia, Guanacaste (Liberia, head 5 km north (La Cruz) and turn right for 17 km.), [1]. Lots of volcanic activity, trails, waterfalls, plenty of wild life to see. Admission $10 per person. Closed on Mondays.
  • Adventure Tours (600 metersabove sea level), Rincon de la Vieja National park (From Liberia take route #1, 5km north, turn left at the Rincon de la Vieja and Curubande Signal 17 km.), +506-2665-2613, [2]. 8 am to 6 pm. Adventure Tours operates one day tours in Rincon de la Vieja National Park area, from zip lines, to white water tubing, horseback rides, hot springs, volcanic mud springs, hikes to the crater. Transportation from Liberia and the beach area is provided at extra cost. starts at $25. (10.751186,85.379477)
  • Simbiosis Spa (600), Rincon de la Vieja, [3]. Volcanic Mud Springs with Spa service. Pools with volcanic mud water for bathing, mud springs for mud treatment. At Rio Negro Hot springs pools with spring water along side Rio Negro are used for bathing. The temperature of the water ranges from 36ºC to 40ºC. Massage service is offered. Admission to the both Hot Springs and Mud Springs is $25.


There are several different options of restaurants in the area. From American food such as Burger King, Church's, Papa John's, Subway, and Pizza Hut to local food restaurants like Guanaburger. There are lots of "sodas" (small local restaurants) around Liberia Downtown that serve Costa Rican food. Also, several bakeries like Musmanni, Panaderia Alemana (German Barkery) among others.


  • Kuru is the only nightclub. A little bit dingy but very popular with the local Ticos. Goes on until everyone leaves at the weekend.
  • LIB is a second story bar in the Plaza Santa Rosa. Modern design and sometimes modern music.
  • Casa Pueblo on the Calle Real is popular with students. Relaxed atmosphere, funky decor and western indie and rock music.
  • Elements, Calle 3 between Avenidas 3 and 5. The trendiest bar in town. Theme based in the four elements. 2 Bars, restaurant area, 1 lounge and 1 VIP area. Very popular among the staff of the Four Seasons resort, tourists and local crowd. Excellent service. Happy tunes.
  • Bar de Luna is popularly known as a gay bar, next to the the Best Western and across the street from Kuru. It is popular with locals and visitors because it is open until sunrise and plays great dance music. Also has a reputation with drug users, so be careful.


  • Hilton Garden Inn Liberia Airport, Ruta # 21 across from the airport, (506) 2 690 8888, [4]. Built in 2008, the property is in front of Daniel Oduber Int'l Airport (LIR), it has 169 rooms & suites, signature bedding, LCD TVs, swimingpool, modern fitness room, car rental desk, a restaurant and bar. $60-129.
  • Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa, Gulf of Papagayo 20 minutes from Liberia Airport, (506) 2-672-0000, [5]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Junior Suites with private plunge pool the best! amazing views $99-$459.
  • Sol Resort Papagayo, 1-888-250-6472, [6]. Sol Papagayo Resort (NAKUTI RESORT)is located on the Northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in an area commonly referred to as Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. The resort property is situated on the shores of the Gulf of Papagayo, with direct frontage and access to Panama Beach. The rooms and villas of Sol Papagayo Resort are surrounded by exquisitely maintained gardens with a small central pond as a centerpiece. Attention to detail is the overwhelming characteristic that instantly comes to mind when one visits El Nakuti Resort. Each villa is surrounded by lush green gardens that utilize the local flora and fauna. The common area walkways are nicely enhanced with artistic tile work. Local artisan statues are interspersed along the walkways, as are additional gardens. The night lighting of the gardens and walkways further exudes the incredible beauty of the local flora and fauna while permeating the ever-present atmosphere of tranquility and peace. Sol Papagayo Resort Costa Rica beach Resort
  • Hotel Liberia. About 100 meters south from the Plaza. Very simple rooms with fan. Nice staff. Good budget option. The cheapest double costs $12 (6000 colones) (April 2008).
  • Best Western El Sitio. Right on the intersection and in walking distance of the town and 10 minutes drive from the airport. Simple rooms with air conditioning. Gym, casino and pool on site with large area for sun lounging. Double costs $76 and includes breakfast. Best Western El Sitio's phone number (506) 2666-1211
  • Allegro Papagayo, Manzanillo beach. With 300 standard rooms and 8 suites, this hotel gives you all the luxury and accommodations of a four star hotel. The rooms are provided with private baths, hair dryers, direct dial telephones, satellite TV, and electronic safety boxes. Three restaurants and three bars. The pool had a swim up bar with a wheel to spin to hhelp select your drink. They also had access to a small private beach accessible by small boat.
  • Best Western Las Espuelas, 2 km from the city, heading south on the Interamericana. A spacious, tranquil hotel. Pool and all the usual amenities. $76 a double.
  • Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, Rincon de la Vieja National Park (Curubande, Liberia, Guanacaste, at the entrance of Rincon de la Vieja National Park), +506-2666-8075, [7]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Nested in a traditional Guanacaste cattle hacienda that dates back to 1800. This hotel is the place to visit. There is no need to go anywhere else because Guachipelin has it all, a National Park on its back yard, 6 waterfalls to visit, 2 hot springs areas, canopy tour, river rapids tubig, canyoning, hiking, nature observation, farm activities like milking cows, hearding cattle, and more. Adventure for all ages. $50 per person.
  • La Posada Del Tope, (2 blocks south of the parque central). This budget option near Parque Central is not ideal... unless you have an affinity for cockroaches, grimy shared bathrooms, and rooms resembling jail cells. (Jan 2010 edit: I don't think it's so bad). Around $8.
  • Hotel Guanacaste, Calle 12, between 1st and 3rd avenues. (25 meters west of the Pulmitan Bus terminal), (506) 666-0085 (), [8]. Member of Hostelling International. Close to all bus terminals, clean, nice patio, Internet and Wifi, restaurant, tourism information available. Shared simple from $8, private small simple from $11.

Get out

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