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History of Guanacaste

History of Guanacaste


A region submerged in culture, the name Guanacaste is derived from the indigenous ‘quahnacaztlan’, a native word for the Guanacaste tree, native from this region and also, the national tree of Costa Rica.

The culture of Guanacaste consists of various symbolic elements taken along history. The cultural heritage originates from the first indigenous groups that populated the area around 10000 years ago. At present there still retain certain elements of its pre-Columbian ancestors.

The first humans, who entered Costa Rica thousands of years before Christopher Columbus, arrived on the peninsula of Nicoya. During the colonial ages, Guanacaste was not a part of Costa Rica. The inhabitants of Nicoya, Santa Cruz, and Cañas decided that they did not want to belong to Nicaragua but to Costa Rica and they announced their Annexion on the 25th of July 1824. Until today the 25 July is Independence Day, which was accepted from both sides in 1821







The history of this province comes before the arrival of the Spaniards, the area was inhabited by Indians known as Chorotega, they are culture from Mesoamerica. Also inhabiting the Corobicí, which belonged to the Middle Area.

Geological formations of Guanacaste Annexation act of Nicoya's party in Guanacaste
Geological Origin of Guanacaste Annexation of Nicoya’s Party

When Christoph Columbus arrived in Costa Rica, there were four big native tribe groups: The Caribs who lived on the east coast, the Borucas, Chibchas, and Diquis who stayed at the southwest, the largest group of peope called the Chorotegas is originally from Mexico. With the beginning of the sixteenth century, and the Conquering of the Spanish in the Penisula de Nicoya the cultural influence began. The country was affected by European influences. Although 3 million immigrates were from Spain, many families arrived from different regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. The first Africans who arrived in Guanacaste came through the Catholic Church, later some Pirates who had missed the continuation of their ships journey when they were looking for sweet water, arrived on the Beach Coco.