Main Cities and Towns
Guanacaste’s terrain is flat, with higher areas such as the Nicoya Peninsula. The province’s main economic activity is tourism, due to the numerous beautiful beaches located in the region and its warm climate.
Guanacaste is divided in 11 Cities as follows:
Main City, Town:
1. Liberia, Liberia
2. Nicoya, Nicoya
3. Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz
4. Bagaces, Bagaces
5. Carrillo, Filadelfia
6. Cañas, Cañas
7. Abangares, Las Juntas
8. Tilarán, Tilarán
9. Nandayure, Carmona
10. La Cruz, La Cruz
11. Hojancha, Hojancha
Liberia is approximately 4 hours from San Jose and is known as "The White City", as it used to have roads made of a white and dusty material, giving the town a sense of clarity and cleanliness
In 1856, the city was renamed "Moracia" in honor of Juan Rafael Mora Porras, president of the republic at that time. After the coup that gave the latter, the city finally came to be called "Liberia."
Its climate is hot and dry from November to May and wet from late May to early November, with heavy rains in September and October. Has an average annual temperature of 27 degrees C and are of extreme historical 12.8 º C and 40.1 º C.
Lately tourism has increased in this area, this town has an airport which receives daily flights (Daniel Oduber International Airport),so it's common to see foreigners walking around the city.
It is a city known for some of their folklore and customs. One of the main attractions of the area is its proximity to many beaches and hotels. Places like the Gulf of Papagayo have been greatly developed in recent years and growth continues. The arrival of more international flights to the area has emerged as the largest partner in the development of the city of Liberia.
Several high technology companies are currently installed in the area. The first is Ad Astra Rocket Company and is located on the campus of EARTH University.
Nicoya is regarded as the oldest city of the country by many experts and it is known as the colonial city. The history of this province comes before the arrival of the Spaniards; the area was inhabited by Indians known as Chorotega, a culture from Mesoamerica.
Agriculture and cattle are the main economic activities of this area.
Santa Cruz's population began to grow in the eighteenth century; these lands were ruled by King Chorotega who gave his name to the river's largest town.
Around 1804 appeared an image of the Saint Cristo de Esquipulas, which is venerated in Guatemala and has been considered the patron of the population. In fact this was a time when the town was called Esquipulas, then renamed Santa Cruz. The old town cobbled streets were one of the main attractions as well as its souvenirs, food and customs. Cultural activities are very common in all weekends.
It also has an extremely high trade due to the large amount of tourism because of the beaches in the area, such as: Tamarindo, Flamingo, Junquillal, Playa Grande, Playa Negra, Playa Brasilito and further south were you can find beaches with a less developed infrastructure but also with great force in the field of tourism.
Bagaces limits to the north with the province of Alajuela, specifically with the canton of Upala.
A distance of 17-km north of Bagaces, is located Miravalles Volcano, that has an elevation of 2028 meters and a crater about 600 meters in diameter.
Today it presents a secondary type of volcanic activity (Solfatara, batideros, hot springs and mud) in the area called: The Hornillas.
At the foot of the volcano, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) is developing the geothermal project Miravalles.
Carrillo was included in the decree of President Vicente Herrera Zeledón No. 22 June 16, 1877.
The canton was composed of seven villages Siete Cueros, Boquerones (Palmira), Belén and Sardinal. The oldest of the canton of Carrillo is Sardinal.
In the eighteenth century a group of mestizos (combination of two colored people) where in a small forest of trees called Sietecueros (Lonchocarpus costericensi), giving rise to the population today known as Philadelphia.
Cañas is also a province of Guanacaste. It was inhabited by the originating Corobicí people, which were led by Corobici, the chieftain. The site was also discovered in 1522 by Gil Gonzalez, here Friar Martin de Bonilla evangelized more than 700 original Corobici.
Cañas was known as Escarbadero and later is was name Cañas because of its proximity to the river with the same name.
Cañas districts are: Cañas, Palmira, San Miguel, Drinker, Porozal.
Abangares name derives from the indigenous Avancari king, who ruled the place and was visited by the conqueror Gónzalez Avila in 1523. Mining was the main economic activity between 1888 and 1941. At that time, Abangares was greatly affected by outsiders and many diseases. It was here where the first strike goes under the name of Workers and Peasants (1912).
Tilarán is located in a mountainous area in the eastern of the Guanacaste province, specifically in the Mining Mountain Range of Tilarán.
It has seven districts:
- Santa Rosa (más conocido como Los Ángeles)
- Quebrada Grande
- Tierras Morenas.
From the city of Tilarán you can see different volcanoes such as the Miravalles, Tenorio and sometimes Arenal.
The proximity of this town to Lake Arenal, allows to carry out sports activities that will benefit from the site, such as the Lake Bike Tour, "as the event's largest recreational cycling of Central America and recognized by the "Equestrian Championships National Resistance", which sets its route around the lake.
Tilarán is famous for the export of horses with notable features and excellent genetic.
It is said that the name Tilarán comes from the indigenous word Tilawa, which means "place of wind and rain." The climate is quite cool and Tilarán is not as hot as the rest of the province of Guanacaste.
Between the years 1900-1907, a group of families arrived in the territory of what is now known as Santa Rita in Nandayure.
The migration was favored because it was very close to Nicoya´s Peninsula in addition to the traffic received in the Gulf through its channel of communication known as the Port Thiel.
Port Thiel was the product of the trade of goods with the neighboring towns including Santa Rita, San Pablo, Cocoa and Canjel. It is said that they were the first inhabitants who arrived at the place where today is the head of Canton Nandayure, Carmona City and other nearby towns and secondary as well.
Due to new projects in the Guanacaste area, the families decided to form a population with the support of the Government and the new kind of agrarian social structure.
These families were seeking independence, a property where they could work the land with their families and live free from financial worries. It is said that these people arrived in Puerto Thiel led by José Daniel Carmona Briceño, who took over the group of people who were mostly Cartago, San Ramon, Atenas, Palmares Orotina, Esparza and Puntarenas.
La Cruz is the tenth province of Guanacaste constituted since 1969. This canton bounded on the north by Nicaragua and is where the main border. La Cruz is located on the shores of what is known as the Mirador Cruz, where there are beautiful and stunning sunsets; the sun is hidden by the Pacific Ocean.
Some attractions of the area are: Santa Rosa National Park with the Casona de Santa Rosa, preserved since the mid-nineteenth century, is a monument to the country's history.
The beaches at La Cruz are wonderful. The best known are: Cuajiniquil, Salinas Bay and Manzanillo.
Hojancha was founded on November 2nd, 1971. Before this was independent and now it consists on 4 districts.
This is the largest canton in the cultivation of coffee in the province. Day by day it grows more with the tourist boom in the area. It is expected that a few years it will be among the nearby villages.
Hojancha is a town with a large economic development as a channel for access to different beaches including Camaronal, Playa Carrillo, Playa Samara. Surely this will be one of the most important in the years to come and visit.