One of the great benefits of living or vacationing in Guanacaste is the close proximity to the Cordillera de Guancaste Mountains and all they have to offer! Most people when they visit our spectacular beaches do not realize that Rincon de La Vieja National Park is only 1 hour away.
During the dry season the beaches are beautiful and hot with all the great beach activities. However, the mountains offer a nice change of pace with their cooler temperatures and beautiful year round greenery which includes magnificent rainforest trees and vegetation. There are countless adventure opportunities for young and old - much different from those offered in and around the beaches.
Treat yourself to a great change of pace and head out to Hacienda Guachipelin for the day and enjoy everything from zipline canopy tours, horseback riding, river tubing, waterfall climbing, hot spring or hiking. Go a little further north and visit the beautiful Borinquen Resort or Blue River Resort and treat yourself to a day at their beautiful spas. For the really adventurous, go to the south end of Rincon Park and explore the wonders of Santa Maria Volcano and Hacienda Santa Maria - the one time hunting lodge of former US President Lyndon Johnson. You will be amazed at the amount of history and mystery in this area where the beautiful jaguar still wanders these lush hills searching for the elusive tapir.
Howler and white faced monkeys, agoutis, ocelots, white tail deer and many other fabulous birds and beasts abound throughout the National Parks. The bird life is astounding and the entire area is a birdwatcher’s paradise – toucans, montezuma oropendulas, tanagers, hummingbirds and many other species are plentiful.
Another great area to explore is Tenorio National Park on the way to Upala which is just 1 ½ hours from the beaches. Close to the town of Bijagua, this area offers beautiful scenery and the wonderful blue waters of the Rio Celeste.
Some say these waters have mysterious medicinal benefits. Like the other parks in Guanacaste, Tenorio National Park is not over developed and still has that quaint 1950’s feeling.
Or head further south to Costa Rica’s most famous active volcano – Volcan Arenal, which is only 2 ½ hours from the beaches of Playas del Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal and Panama. It is an interesting drive with lots to see on the way, especially Lake Arenal – famous for its world class windsurfing and kite surfing, not to mention freshwater fishing for the delicious rainbow bass.
These fresh water fish are exciting to catch and a culinary delight. Stop for lunch at unique towns like Tilaran, Nuevo Arenal or many other interesting places.
La Fortuna, the closest town to Arenal, offers a tourist bonanza with everything from quad tours, canopy tours, horseback riding, hiking or just watch and listen to the volcano. Evenings can be spectacular if you are lucky enough to catch an Arenal fireworks display (eruption)!
Guanacaste offers many diversified adventures for everyone. Be sure to explore and enjoy all the mountains have to offer. After all, they are only a short drive away from the beach! You will not be disappointed! Pura Vida!