|Costa Rica Photos
||Westin Playa Conchal
|Costa Rica Travel Guide:
history, geography, climate
Costa Rica occupies a privileged
spot in the heart of Central America. While its
territory of 19,652 square miles touches both the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the country is surprisingly
accessible - one can travel from coast to coast in just
three hours by car or a short 45 minutes by small plane.
The Caribbean region of Costa Rica
stands out for its variety of aquatic ecosystems and its
beautiful white and black sand beaches, providing an
ideal setting for activities such as sport fishing,
snorkeling, and sun bathing. The Pacific coast
concentrates big tourist centers and its beaches are
very popular for surfing, for example Esterillos, Jaco,
Hermosa, Boca Barranca. In the Golfito region, near the
Marino Ballena National Park, surfing fans can find the
famous "long lefthander wave."
Costa Rica's beaches are
surrounded by forests, and have great natural diversity.
In many of them there are beautiful coral reefs, where
you may dive and explore. In addition, depending on the
place visited, you have a series of complementary
activities, such as: hikes to mangroves, diving,
surfing, sport fishing, hiking on trails or horseback
the easy access to many beaches, you can make the most
out of both coasts. Most of them have warm water
throughout the year, so you may come and enjoy the
country any season you prefer. If it's diversity you're
interested in, each coast offers different shades and
textures of sand, white, yellow, gray and black, product
of the constant crashing of seashells on coral reefs.
Guanacaste is a province of Costa
Rica located in the northwestern part of the country,
along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. it borders
Nicaragua to the north. To the east there is the
Alajuela Province, and to the southeast is the
Puntarenas Province. It is the most sparsely populated
of all the provinces of Costa Rica. The province covers
an area of 3,915 square miles (10,141 square kilometers)
and as of 2010, had a population of 326,953.
Guanacaste's capital is Liberia. Other important cities
include Cañas and Nicoya.
The province is bounded on the
east by a group of green-swathed volcanoes forming the
Cordillera de Guanacaste (which features Orosi, Rincón
de la Vieja, Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes) and the
Cordillera de Tilaran. The rivers that tumble out of
these steep mountains flow down to rolling flatlands,
forming a vast alluvial plain drained by the Rio
Tempisque, which empties through swampy wetlands into de
Golfo de Nicoya. The Rio Tempisque defines one side of
the horsehead-shaped Peninsula de Nicoya enclosing the
gulf to the west.
Before the Spanish arrived, this
territory was inhabited by Chorotega Indians from the
town of Zapati, Nacaome, Paro, Cangel, Nicopasaya,
Pocosí, Diriá, Papagayo, Namiapí and Orosi. The
Corobicies lived on the eastern shore of the Gulf of
Nicoya and the Nahuas or Aztecan in the zone of Bagaces.
The first church was built out of straw in Nicoya in the
In the 18th Century some neighbors
of Rivers established their houses and cattle farms in
the northern part of the Nicoya Peninsula at crossroads
that connected the towns of Bagaces, Nicoya and Rivers.
The place was baptized after a famous Guanacaste tree
that grows in the neighborhood.
Part of the Nicaraguan territory
prior to independence from Spain, but in 1824-25 the
territory of Guanacaste was annexed to Costa Rica. The
inhabitants decided by their own will to be part of
Costa Rica. The 25th of July 1824 the town people of
Nicoya and Santa Cruz decided to join Costa Rica. In
1836 the town of Guanacaste was declared capital of
Guanacaste province. In 1854 the town of Guanacaste was
The province has an economic and
cultural heritage based on beef cattle ranching. Most of
the area is covered by small patches of forest,
scattered trees and large pastures of coarse grasses
where Brahman cattle and related breeds graze.
Historically, the main source of income of Guanacaste
was cattle ranching. Cattle ranching is declining in
Guanacaste due to an international drop in the demand
for beef. Many pastures are naturally reverting back to
dry forest or are being converted to tree plantations.
The other agricultural products of
relative importance in the province are sugar cane and
cotton, and since the late 1980s, with the creation of a
large-scale irrigation program (the water comes from
Lake Arenal after passing through several power
generating stations), rice has become a prominent crop.
For the past two decades tourism
has emerged as the new and growing activity in the local
economy. The combination of beaches like Playa Conchal,
Playas del Coco, Playa Tamarindo, and the sunny dry
season that coincides with the winter months in northern
latitudes have made tourism a key economic activity.
Many tourists are also attracted by the abundance of
natural beauty. The Province has no less than seven
national parks like Santa Rosa, Guanacaste and Rincon de
la Vieja National Park.
Weather and Climate
Costa Rica is located between 8
and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is
tropical year round. However, the country has many
microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall,
topography, and by the geography of each particular
Costa Rica's seasons are defined
by how much rain falls during a particular period and
not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The
year can be split into two periods, the dry season known
to the residents as summer, and the rainy season, known
locally as winter. The "summer" or dry season goes from
December to April, and "winter" or rainy season goes
from May to November, which almost coincides with the
Atlantic hurricane season, and during this time, it
rains constantly in some regions.
Guanacaste's climate and culture
are unique among Costa Rican provinces. The province
experiences little rain and consistent heat from
November to April, resulting in ubiquitous tropical dry
forests as a natural adaption to the dry season
conditions. Tourists seek out this dry heat during the
North American winter to enjoy the Guanacastecan
beaches. Irrigation of the agricultural land is
necessary during the long dry period. From May to
October, the climate is similar to that of San José,
consisting of showers daily and moderate temperatures.
Guanacaste is, however, considerably warmer than other
provinces located in higher elevations.
This beach is located south of Brasilito, which is
separated by a rocky headland (Punta Conchal), from
which you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the
beach and the entire coastline to the south. This inlet
is about a mile longand gets its name from the fact that
the beach’s sand is composed of millions of shell
fragments. It is lined with lush vegetation, a mangrove,
and crystal clear waters. It is one of the most
beautiful beaches in the country and is ideal for
swimming, hiking, horseback riding, boat excursions, and
other water sports, including diving. This beach has
been awarded the Blue Flag Ecological certification,
which identifies it as a clean and safe beach. The
Westin Playa Conchal Resort & Spa is located on this
Tamarindo along with Playa Grande
and Ventanas forms the Tamarindo Bay. It is a beautiful
beach with many rocky areas and an island (Capitán) on
the far southern end. It is lined with lush vegetation
like, savannah oak, tamarind trees, and coconut trees.
It has a variety of high quality services that allow you
to enjoy the ocean during the day and party at night.
This beach is ideal for relaxing, hiking, and turtle
nesting observation. From this bay and to the south is a
very popular coastal area for surfing. This beach is
Blue Flag certified, meaning it has been recognized for
its cleanliness and safety.
|Special thanks to Costa Rica Tourism
Special thanks to Wikipedia and its authors and
Westin Costa Rica
Liberia Guanacaste Photos