the Golden Province
By Staff Writers
If a tourist who is going to stay just
a few days in Costa Rica would ask me which area of the country
encompasses most of its beauties, my answer will definitely be:
Guanacaste, the second in size of Costa
Ricaís seven provinces embraces, in its 10,140.71 square kilometers,
several of the countryís main attractions: beautiful beaches, warm
weather, great surf, diving and sportfishing and the flora and fauna
biodiversity of dry and tropical forests.
Thatís why this province is a favorite
of frequent visitors , especially two top beach spots along the
Pacific Coast: Flamingo Beach and Tamarindo Beach with only a distance
of about 20 miles between them.
Moreover, the international airport
in Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste, is now open to international
arrivals , both regular and charter and it is just an about 50 minute
drive to Tamarindo or to Flamingo or to some of the other beaches,
just read on...
Located at 281 kilometers from San
José, Guanacaste has an average altitude of 25 meters above
sea level and an average temperature of 28íC.
provinceís exhuberancy is very well depicted in its seven National
Parks (Palo Verde, Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, Rincón de la Vieja,
Las Baulas Marine National Park and Barra Honda) and three wildlife
reserves: Isla Bolaños National Wildlife Refuge, Lomas de
Barbudal Biological Reserve and Ostional Wildlife Reserve.
Guanacaste is also home of seven dormant
volcanoes: Miravalles, Tenorio, Rincón de la Vieja, Orosí,
Górgona, Cacao and Cerro Chato.
Toucans, pelicans, anteaters, sloths,
howler monkeys, jaguarundis and raccoons are just some of the distinctive
species that inhabit the area.
As of the beaches, well, Guanacasteís
Pacific Coast goes from Bahía Salinas, up north beside the
border with Nicaragua, to Puerto Coyote in the Nicoya Península.
Naranjo beach, Garza, Hermosa, Coco, Ocotal, Potrero, Conchal, Flamingo,
Playa Grande, Tamarindo, Brasilito and Langosta, are just a few
of the beaches along this golden coast, most of them safe for swimming
and great for diving and surfing (check the best surf spots on www.surfcostarica.com
Tamarindo Beach, is one of the most accessible locations along
Costa Ricaís northern Pacific coast (see
map), with an airstrip serviced 7 days a week with
a 45 minute flight from San José by local airline
SANSA. Private charter services are available as well. Scheduled
daily bus service to and from San José, as well as
surrounding communities, is available by a variety of companies.
There is also a paved highway from San José for those
who wish to rent a car and drive the countryside (4-5 hrs.
to Tamarindo).Please check www.crica.com/cars/cars.html.
for the best options.
Once there youíll have no problem choosing
among the variety of hotels in the area: Capitán
Suizo, El Jardín
del Edén, Cala
Luna Hotel and Villas, Hotel
Best Western Tamarindo, Iguanazul,
Surf House.All with the best accomodations to enjoy your
stay at Tamarindo.
- Tamarindo also boasts a wide selection
of fine international and typical Costa Rican restaurants.
There is a Belgian bakery, as well as restaurants catering
to health-conscious and vegetarian patrons and grocery stores,
souvenir and clothing shops, a medical clinic, a bank and a real
estate office (see http://www.crica.com/restate/restate.html
beach is also a mecca for surfers due to its high waves year round
(check details on www.surfcostarica.com)
for surfers of all skill levels.
If diving is more on your agenda, Tamarindo
has also something for you: cuba diving, snorkeling trips, beach
cruises, water skiing, jet skiing, catamarans, ocean and river kayaking,
wind surfing, sailing cruises or horseback riding. Bicycles, beach
gear, surfboards, boogie boards and equipment of all types are available
for rental from specialty stores.
North of Tamarindo thereís a natural
salt estuary, with amazing mangle species and across it Playa Grande,
a world nesting site for giant leatherback turtles.
Our latest news is the opening of a
new, Ron Garl designed, 18 hole championship golf course on
Playa Grande. For more info on other golf courses please visit www.golfcostarica.com
Flamingo, named after the pink flamingos
that once inhabited the coast, is a renowned area for its structured
growth and has been ranked as one of the best destinations among
the entire Gold Coast of Costa Rica. Flamingo is a modern community
with an ever increasing number of activities, services, and accomodations.
no wonder thereís a full service Marina in Flamingo, (considered
the best on the Pacific coast south of Acapulco, Mexico) since the
area offers world class sportfishing,both deep blue water and reef
or shoreline fishing, boasting world records in Marlin, sailfish,snapper,
wahoo, tuna and roosterfish.
- Flamingo is also great for sea-kayaking
and snorkeling with its many inlets, secluded virgin beaches and
Just right beside the marina is the
Beach Resort,a deluxe, modern resort with 91 large, air
conditioned rooms and suites literally steps away the crystal blue
waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Another great choice for lodging in
Flamingo is the Flamingo
Marina Resort. Whether you`re a budget-conscious traveler
or one who prefers to be surrounded by all the luxuries of home,
Flamingo Marina Resort offers a choice of quality accommodations
that cater to your needs. All of which are spacious, comfortable
and tastefully appointed. (see details on www.crica.com)
golf is your sport donít miss in this area theGarra
de León Golf Course at Meliá Playa Conchal Beach Resort
.Designed by course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and completed
in August of 1997, Garra de León offers the best of up-to-date
features while still preserving the natural tropical environment
of Guanacaste. The 72-par course is home to 7,030 yards of technical
water hazards, challenging elevation changes and beautiful ocean
views. There are several lagoons and lakes that decorate the course
and house many birds and other wildlife.(see www.golfcostarica.com)
thereís even more to Guanacaste: if diving is in your mind, youíve
come to the right place: the diving off Costa Rica's northwest coast
is on volcanic rock pinnacles. Most of these formations are at 40-90
foot depths.Colorful Cortez and King Angelfish, Pufferfish, Jewel
and Pacific Moray Eels as well as 3 to 5 different types of Parrotfish
and occasional Sea Turtles are some of the species you might spot
at this depth Down to about 50-60 feet, there are huge schools of
Jacks, Grunts, Mackerel or Spadefish. This is the depth where divers
usually see the most Manta Rays, Bat Rays, Eagle Rays, and White-tipped
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