Costa Rica

Guanacaste

In this guide

Once part of Nicaragua, Guanacaste in Costa Rica’s northwest is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Try Tamarindo for year-round sunshine, Playa Hermosa for a beach with mountain views and wildlife, or Playa Panama for easy swimming.

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  • Monteverde

    Monteverde

    Boasting an incredible ecosystem and home to approximately 5% of the planet’s total bird species, 130 mammal species and more than 3,000 plants, the cloud forests of Monteverde are a nature lover’s dream...Read more
  • Cerro Arenal Volcano

    Cerro Arenal Volcano

    For several decades, the Cerro Arenal Volcano was the most active in Costa Rica, spewing molten lava and red hot boulders into the surrounding darkness...Read more
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

    Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

    Once a sleepy backwater surfing town, Puerto Viejo has become a stop-off for travellers looking to party...Read more
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    If you imagine Costa Rica to be a paradise of pristine beaches, exotic flowers, thick rainforests, and crystal-clear waters, where monkeys and sloths and scarlet macaws frolic freely, then you have Manuel Antonio National Park in mind...Read more
  • Cocos Island

    Cocos Island

    The uninhabited Cocos Island is known as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations...Read more
  • San Jose

    San Jose

    At first glance, San Jose might not seem like the prettiest of cities but delve a little deeper into the colonial mansions of Barrio Amon, the restaurants of Barrio Escalante and the many live music clubs, and you’ll soon uncover the beating cultural heart of Costa Rica’s capital...Read more
  • Tortuguero

    Tortuguero

    Impossible to reach by car, Tortuguero on the north east coast of Costa Rica can only be accessed by boat...Read more

Highlights of Costa Rica

Jungle wildlife and coastal relaxation
Approx. 9 days
San Jose (1 days) → Tortuguero (2) → Cerro Arenal Volcano (3) → Guanacaste (3) → San Jose
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Classic Costa Rica

Pristine beaches and nesting turtles
Approx. 10 days
San Jose (1 days) → Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (3) → Tortuguero (1) → San Jose (1) → Guanacaste (3) → San Jose (2)
View route

Things to do in Guanacaste

Our recommended experiences and activities

Hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Guanacaste

Hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The reinvigorating hot springs of Rio Negro are ten natural pools accessed through a wooded trail, complete with hanging bridges, rainforest and a pulsing river.

Where to go in Costa Rica

Our recommended places

Why Horizon Guides?

Expert travel guide

Expert travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for reliable and impartial travel advice.

Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.