HomeCosta RicaGuanacaste33 Enchanting Things To Do In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

33 Enchanting Things To Do In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Guanacaste is a tropical haven with a wide range of sights and activities to suit every kind of tourist. It is a region of northwest Costa Rica that is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, and a wide range of leisure, adventure, and nature-oriented activities This area provides a unique experience, with everything from exciting canopy treks to beaches bathed in sunlight. So let’s find out the various things to do in Guanacaste, Costa Rica in this post.

Things to do in Guanacaste Beaches in Costa Rica

Guanacaste province has the Pacific Ocean to its west. So, it has a lot of beautiful beaches. There are plenty of distinctive activities and attractions at each of these beaches. The nation is tropical, with a wealth of sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise seas that make for the ideal getaway on a hot day.

  • Playa Conchal
Playa Conchal in Costa Rica

The Pacific coast’s Playa Conchal remains a shining jewel. This beach, well-known for its crushed seashell sand, presents a surreal mosaic underfoot. The crystal-clear turquoise waters invite snorkelers to explore the vibrant marine life. Guests may experience the ideal balance of peace and activity, as well as world-class amenities when staying at luxury beach resorts. Playa Conchal captures the essence of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and is the perfect beach destination for those looking for a dreamy getaway

  • Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa - Things To Do In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa is a beautiful coastal haven. This Blue Flag-certified beach features volcanic black sand and is a haven for surfers looking for the perfect spot. Also, the beach lends itself well to Kite Surfing, one of the famous things to do in Guanacaste. Surrounded by lush greenery, the beaches offer a tranquil escape to nature lovers and tourists can relax and embrace the pure beauty of the Pacific coast with its calm waters and breathtaking sunsets.

  • Playa Flamingo
Playa Flamingo - Things To Do In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Playa Flamingo is a hidden gem on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. Known for its powdery white sand and azure waters, this beach paradise offers a blend of relaxation and adventure. Boating enthusiasts can hire yachts from the famous marina sail into the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the glow of the sunset. The coastline offers travelers the perfect experience of a coastal haven of tropical beauty with luxurious resorts and vibrant marine life.

More Beautiful Beaches in Guanacaste

  1. Playa Danta
  2. Coco Beach
  3. Ostional Beach
  4. Junquillal Beach
  5. Papagayo Peninsula Beaches
  6. Bahia de los Piratas
  7. Penca Beach
  8. Real Beach
  9. Cuajiniquil Beach
  10. Playa Grande

Things to do in Guanacaste Historical Sites

  • Guaitil pottery village
Guaitil pottery village - Things To Do In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The pottery village of Guaitil located between the small towns of Nicoya and Santa Cruz, is famous for its pre-Columbian pottery. The entire town is dedicated to the production of pottery and the Chorotegan Indians continue their production, preserving the old traditions used from generation to generation. This tradition dates back to a population that migrated from Mexico to Costa Rica around 800 AC, and the villagers here have been shaping some of the world’s finest crafts for over 5,000 years.

  • Museo del Sabanero

Museo del Sabanero showcases the region’s rich ranching heritage, displaying traditional cowboy gear, historical artifacts, and colorful exhibits. Adding a cultural twist to your exploration, this museum is a must-see for those who want a glimpse into the Sabanero way of life.

  • Museo de Guanacaste
Museo de Guanacaste

The Museo de Guanacaste is a cultural center that preserves the province’s political heritage and provides an opportunity to explore the region’s history. The museum houses exhibits and artifacts detailing the city’s historic journey, making it a compelling stop for history buffs.

Adventure Things to do in Guanacaste

  • Zip-lining
zipline in Costa Rica

Zip-lining under the beautiful canopy is the ideal way to experience an exhilarating adventure. A chance to soar above the treetops and take in the breathtaking vistas of the tropical scenery is presented by this. For adventure enthusiasts, this thrilling activity is a must-try, offering a unique perspective of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and a range of courses to suit all ability levels.

  • Horseback Riding
Horseback Riding - Things to do in Guanacaste

Take a thrilling ride through Rincon de la Vieja National Park on horseback. The experience offers a glimpse into the park’s many ecosystems, including lush forests, volcanic landscapes, and diverse landscape types, while guided excursions provide detailed descriptions of local flora and fauna.

  • Palo Verde National Park
A Bird in Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde National Park is Famous for its expansive wetlands, this Costa Rican gem is a haven for birdwatchers with over 300 avian species. Riverboat tours offer an up-close encounter with crocodiles, monkeys, and vibrant flora, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts seeking an authentic wildlife experience.

Water Activities in Guanacaste

  • Surfing
surfing in Costa Rica

The Pacific coast has world-class breakers and mild waters, and surfing in there can not be missed when talking about things to do in Guanacaste. Regardless of experience level, the area has a range of surfing spots for all levels of surf ability. There are places to rent equipment and surfing schools that offer instruction to first-timers. These stable beaches and lively surf culture make it an ideal playground for adrenaline seekers.

  • Kayaking

Kayaking through the beautiful mangroves is the perfect peaceful way to experience Costa Rica’s tropical climate. With this eco-friendly recreation, you can cruise the tranquil waterways amid the rich richness of the mangrove habitat. Kayaking offers the opportunity to see the various wildlife species associated with the mangroves and take in the natural beauty of the mangroves, making it a calm and engaging approach to exploring the wonders of the coast.

Suggested ReadKayaking In Costa Rica

  • Jet Skiing in Papagayo Bay
Jet Skiing in Papagayo Bay

Papagayo Bay offers an exhilarating jet skiing experience For adrenaline-seekers. Riders can jet ski through waves while enjoying panoramic views with its azure waters and scenic coastline. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned rider, jet skiing in Papagayo Bay adds a splash of excitement to your coastal escapades.

  • Diving and Snorkeling in Catalina Islands

Diving or snorkeling is a wonderful way to explore the amazing world beneath the surface of the Catalina Islands. Known for its colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life, divers and snorkelers will find no better opportunities than this. As one of the best things to do in Guanacaste, the Catalina Islands are sure to provide a fascinating aquatic setting for people looking for an intense coastal experience, from encountering tropical fish to exploring underwater caves.

  • Deep-sea fishing

Guanacaste’s deep-sea fishing scene attracts avid anglers with its marine treasures. With experienced captains and top-notch equipment, the region can offer an unforgettable deep-sea fishing experience by chartering a boat and sailing into the abundant waters of the Pacific Ocean, home to marlin, sailfish, and dorado. This combines the joy of fishing with the beauty of the open ocean.

Waterfall Exploration in Guanacaste

  • La Cangreja Waterfall
La Cangreja Waterfall

La Cangreja Falls is a destination that mesmerizes visitors with its majestic cascades surrounded by lush rainforests. Accessible by a scenic hike, this hidden gem offers a refreshing pool and tranquil atmosphere, making it a must-see for those looking for a natural retreat amidst Costa Rica’s tropical landscapes.

  • Llanos de Cortés Waterfall
Llanos de Cortés Waterfall

The Llanos de Cortés waterfall is still a secret haven. This place showcases the joy of an incredible natural wonder with a wide cascade that descends into a beautiful pool within a short walk. Surrounded by lush foliage, this tranquil haven is the perfect spot for a refreshing dip amid Costa Rica’s diverse topography.

Suggested Read – More waterfalls in Guanacaste

Wildlife Encounters

  • la Vieja National Park
la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to the biggest Rincón de la Vieja active volcano as well as another dormant volcano called Santa María. So, Exploring this national park is one of the recommended things to do in Guanacaste. And also, there are many Rio Negro hot springs, waterfalls, and hiking paths inside this 35,000-acre park. In addition, there is an activity center next to the park that provides tubing, ziplining, and horseback riding.

  • Santa Rosa National Park

Santa Rosa National Park is a coastal sanctuary and Costa Rica’s first national park. Playa Naranjo is a pristine beach in the Park. The La Casona building, which commemorates the nation’s past, stands in the park and it highlights the area’s rich historical heritage. The park offers a unique combination of history and environment, with opportunities for tourists to experience diverse habitats including mangroves and dry tropical forests.

  • Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde National Park

Palo Verde National Park is well-known for its tropical dry woods and wetlands that are home to a wide variety of aquatic bird species. With over 300 different kinds of tropical birds and alluvial planes from the Tempisque River, this secluded park is home to over 250,000 different species of migrating ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. The park is also home to the only permanent colony of scarlet macaws living in a dry forest.

Local Cuisine

  • Dinners at Seaside Restaurants

Most seaside restaurants provide the ideal mix of delicious food and stunning scenery. These restaurants offer a memorable dining experience while watching breathtaking views of the ocean. They serve everything from fresh local seafood to foreign cuisine. Each of these Costa Rican coastal food dishes provides a comprehensive taste with their unique ingredients.

  • Cooking Classes

Cooking classes may reveal the culinary secrets of Costa Rican cuisine, ranging from classic recipes to unique flavors. You get hands-on instruction from local chefs utilizing locally sourced, fresh products. Joining these classes is one of the best things to do in Guanacaste for couples who hope to improve their cooking abilities and incorporate some taste from Costa Rica into their dishes.

Must-Try Local Delicacies

  • Gallo Pinto: A staple dish featuring rice and beans, often served with eggs, cheese, and a side of plantains.
  • Ceviche: Fresh fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, mixed with onions, cilantro, and bell peppers, creating a zesty and refreshing appetizer.
  • Casado: A traditional Costa Rican meal that typically includes rice, black beans, plantains, salad, and a choice of protein, such as fish, chicken, or beef.
  • Tres Leches Cake: A moist and delicious cake soaked in three types of milk (evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream), creating a sweet and creamy dessert.
  • Arroz con Pollo: Chicken and rice dish seasoned with local spices, often accompanied by vegetables.
  • Tamal: Corn dough filled with various ingredients like meat, vegetables, or chilies, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed.
  • Chifrijo: A popular bar snack comprising rice, beans, chicharrones (fried pork), diced tomatoes, and avocado.
  • Olla de Carne: A hearty beef soup with vegetables and tubers, offering a comforting and flavorful dining experience.
  • Picadillo: Minced meat cooked with vegetables and spices, often served with tortillas or rice.
  • Empanadas: Savory pastries filled with meat, cheese, or beans, providing a convenient and tasty snack.
  • Plátano Maduro: Ripe plantains fried to perfection, offering a sweet and caramelized side dish.
  • Yuca con Mojo: Cassava served with a tangy garlic sauce, showcasing the simplicity and richness of Costa Rican cuisine.
  • Chayote Relleno: Chayote squash stuffed with seasoned meat or vegetables, representing a unique and flavorful dish.
  • Sopa Negra: Black bean soup seasoned with local spices, typically served with a poached egg on top.
  • Agua de Sapo: A refreshing local beverage made with ginger, sugarcane, and lemon, providing a delightful respite in the tropical heat.

Relaxation and Wellness

  • Spa Day

Pamper yourself amidst the natural beauty of Guanacaste with a rejuvenating spa day. From volcanic mud wraps to tropical fruit facials, local spas offer an array of indulgent treatments and skilled therapists will help ease your stress.

  • Hot Springs Experience in Arenal
Hot Springs Experience in Arenal

The hot springs of Arenal are a surreal blend of relaxation and nature’s embrace. These warm, mineral-rich waters are fed by the volcanic activity of Arenal and provide a tranquil haven. This is an ideal things to do in Guanacaste for those seeking relaxation and healing effects in a verdant jungle.

  • Yoga Retreats

Guanacaste’s yoga retreats provide peaceful mind practice for tourists of all ages. Rejuvenating programs combining mindfulness with the calming sounds of nature are offered by local retreats. The tranquil environment offers the ideal setting to balance mind, body, and soul, regardless of yoga experience level.

Romantic Sunset Cruises

  • Sail into the Sunset

As the sun dips below the horizon, sailing tours offer a picturesque spectacle on the Pacific. Whether a romantic cruise or a family outing, witnessing the vibrant hues of the sunset against the ocean backdrop provides an unforgettable and elegant coastal experience in this Costa Rican paradise.

  • Private Catamaran Tours

You can enhance your Pacific Ocean experience by taking a private catamaran cruise. These excursions can be recommended as great things to do in Guanacaste for families that hope customized way to enjoy Costa Rica’s underwater splendor while cruising the Pacific Ocean in search of secluded and colorful coral reefs while hosting small parties or family gatherings.

Cultural Festivals in Guanacaste

  • Traditional celebrations

Many events showcase Costa Rican heritage, from iconic bullock cart parades to live folklore dances, and offer lively entertainment where music, food, and colorful festivals are woven together to create an authentic and rich cultural experience that you can join in with the locals.

Nightlife in Guanacaste

When the sun goes down, the City’s nightlife begins to pulse. From beachside clubs to bustling bars, the region is alive with tropical pulses and a vibrant atmosphere. With dancing, live music, and beachside revelry, the night parties last until the wee hours and you can mingle with fellow travelers to have fun.

Day Trips to Nearby Islands in Guanacaste

  • Catalina Islands

Every year divers from all over the world begin their journey to the Catalinas Islands in Costa Rica. The islands are home to a spectacular variety of marine life, including giant manta rays with jaw-dropping wingspans of up to 20 feet. This scuba paradise of 20 rocky islands allows divers and snorkelers to jump and break. Devil manta rays, humpback whales, white tip reef sharks, angel fish, orcas, spinner dolphins, sea turtles, and more can be found while diving deep in these warm and clear waters.

  • Island Hopping

Whether you exploring the exotic Galápagos or the tropical jewels of Southeast Asia, island hopping is one of the best things to do in Guanacaste. It offers a diverse tapestry of landscapes, cultures, and marine wonders from tranquil beaches to vibrant underwater realms, each island promises a unique and unforgettable chapter in your travel narrative.

Accommodations Options

  • Cozy Boutique Hotels

Experience customized luxury at comfy boutique hotels in Guanacaste. This intimate retreat offers a distinct charm, customized service, and beautiful accommodations. From quiet villas to beachside retreats, each boutique hotel provides a unique experience, making it the ideal home base for experiencing Costa Rica’s various landscapes and lively culture.

  • Private Villas and Cabins

Surrounded by lush landscapes, these Private Villas and Cabins offer a serene retreat. From charming cabins nestled in the hills to luxurious villas with ocean views, each promises a private oasis.

Transportation Tips

  • Renting a car in Guanacaste

Simplify exploration in the region by renting a car. From sandy shores to volcanic landscapes, having your own vehicle offers the freedom to uncover hidden gems. With various rental options available, navigating the province becomes a seamless and personalized experience, ensuring you make the most of your Costa Rican journey.

  • Public Transportation Options
Public Transportation Options

Buses and shuttles connect major sites and offer an environmentally responsible and cost-effective transportation option. This is the best way to enjoy the scenic surroundings, connect with the people, and experience the Costa Rican way of life. Public transportation provides a simple and authentic way to see this wonderful province.

  • Guided Tours and Excursions

Guided tours and excursions are some of the best things to do in Guanacaste to discover the region’s greatest attractions. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through a variety of landscapes, including volcanic marvels and gorgeous beaches. With these experiences, you’ll obtain a better grasp of the region’s culture and animals, resulting in a more enjoyable and hassle-free exploration of Guanacaste province.

Safety Considerations

  • Health and Medical Services
Health and Medical Services

Your well-being is paramount anywhere. Adhering to high health and safety standards, hotels, tour operators, and public spaces prioritize visitor welfare. From sanitation measures to emergency support, enjoy peace of mind as you explore, ensuring a secure and enjoyable experience amidst the natural beauty and vibrant culture of Costa Rica’s northwest province.

  • Travel Insurance Essentials

Prioritizing travel insurance for your Costa Rica trip can ensure a worry-free experience. From medical crises to vacation cancellations, comprehensive coverage protects your investment and well-being. Prioritize insurance that covers outdoor activities to ensure peace of mind when exploring Costa Rica’s unique landscapes and cultural riches.


Whether you want to relax on a beautiful beach, go on exciting canopy tours, or immerse yourself in the local culture, there are enough best things to do in Guanacaste. So while you explore, Connect with the dynamic people who live there and spend time with wonderful memories of the Costa Rican paradise this region is full of.


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