A whole slew of activities await visitors to this coastal region, including fishing, swimming, windsurfing, surfing, scuba diving and turtle- and bird-watching. Endless beaches caressed by the warm Pacific breeze succeed one another: tranquil and lovely Playa Hermosa; lively Playa del Coco; exclusive Playa Flamingo; Playa Conchal with its seashells; and surfer-friendly Playa Tamarindo, at the edge of the tourist village of the same name. Each of these beaches is sure to captivate you with its charm.
Guanacaste isn't all sand and surf, however; it also has many parks and wildlife reserves protecting lakes, volcanoes, forests and caves. In fact, more than a third of the country's parks are located in this province. Guanacaste also lays claim to the world's largest protected expanse of tropical dry forest, which once covered some 550,000 km2 (212,000 sq mi) from the southern Pacific coast of Mexico to Costa Rica. Only 2% of this huge forest has survived; the rest has been cut down for timber or cleared for farming and livestock breeding.
Avid bird-watchers won't want to miss Parque Nacional Palo Verde. If you are more historically inclined, Parque Nacional Santa Rosa and its Casona, site of a battle that was decisive to the country's history, will captivate you. Quite simply one of the most beautiful parks in Costa Rica, Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja has everything a nature lover and hiking enthusiast could hope to find. If you're looking for a fascinating, moving and enriching experience, head to Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas to watch leatherback turtles lay their eggs on Playa Grande.
Where on earth
Guanacaste is the largest province in Costa Rica. Occupying the northeastern part of the country, it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Nicaragua.