Perhaps you’re considering a trip to Costa Rica because the teenage surfer in your house wants to test those world-class waves, or because your husband just bought an action camera with the idea of filming himself zip-lining through a cloud forest. Meanwhile, your vision of the perfect getaway is less action-packed; you’d rather relax in hammocks, explore the local cuisine and finish that novel in the shade a mango tree (although you wouldn’t refuse a postcard moment under a waterfall.)
Whatever your reasons for visiting Costa Rica, consider renting a car and taking a driving tour of the Gold Coast, an easily navigable tropical paradise located in the northwestern part of the country that is as diverse as your family’s interests. From the volcanic peaks of the Nicaraguan border to the beaches along the Gulf of Papagayo and historic Liberia, the Gold Coast ticks all the right boxes for a fantasy vacation. Read on and let these travel tips help you make the most of your driving tour through one of Central America’s most stunning destinations.
Best Time to Go to Costa Rica: May through November
Costa Rica’s rainy summer season keeps airfares low and hotel rates affordable. But the Gold Coast receives modest rainfall, which means visitors can take advantage of great deals without worrying about the weather.
Best Place to Fly in to Costa Rica: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport
Liberia’s airport is the Gold Coast’s gateway, and direct flights are available from a number of major US cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The airport is also conveniently situated on Route 21, which can take you east to Liberia, the Pan-American Highway and Guanacaste’s volcano parks, or west to the coastline and the region’s prized beaches.
Gold Coast Highlights:
Culture in Liberia
Nicknamed the “White City” for its whitewashed colonial buildings, Liberia pulsates with a centuries-old sabanero (cowboy) culture. A Sabanero Statue greets visitors at the entrance to the city. Ranchers on horseback kick up gravel dust along the boulevards. The cowboy-centric Sabanero Museum features a collection of saddleware, lassos and spurs. Time your trip with the annual Guanacaste Day on July 25, and your family will witness the ultimate folkloric showcase of equestrian parades, local dances and cattle shows.