Liberia is fast developing a reputation as a gateway to some of the best attractions Costa Rica has to offer. Although essentially a quiet city where traces of the country’s colonial past are still evident, Liberia has recently seen the opening of a new international airport which has driven tourist traffic into the city. From Liberia, tourists can have easy access to the many beaches in Guanacaste province, and are less than an hour’s drive from the beaches in Tamarindo and the newly-opened resorts in the Papagayo Gulf. National parks such as the Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieha and Parque Nacional Santa Rosa are also just to the north of the city.
Because of Liberia’s new status, there are moves underway to renovate the city’s downtown area and expand the local pedestrian mall. Tourists stopping over in Liberia can enjoy some of the local delicacies such as sugar cane juice (Juego de Cana) and snow cones (Copez Ricos) while taking a leisurely walk around the city and enjoying the spectacular sunsets.
Surfers from all over the world make pilgrimages to Sta. Rosa National Park to try their skills at Witches’ Rock, a surf spot that has earned a reputation for being not only the best in Costa Rica, but possibly the world as well. For Costa Ricans, the park has historical importance because it was in this spot where residents resisted an invasion by the American William Walker in 1856.
Tourists avoiding the crowds at the more prominent Guanacaste beaches flock instead to Rincon de la Vieha, where the still active Rincon Volcano provides a spectacular show. The park also boasts of bubbling mud-pots and natural hot springs.