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Liberia is the perfect base for exploring Costa Rica's Guanacaste province. You'll be a stone's throw from some famous national parks, where you can hike along the trails and admire the mountains, volcanoes and diverse flora and fauna. There are also some pristine white-sand beaches nearby, and many divers come to spot the varied marine life amid the underwater volcanic formations of arches, caverns and tunnels.
Take some time out swaying in a hammock on the porch of a hostel in Liberia. To be closer to nature, try a place with a garden or one with camping opportunities. Most Liberia hostels now offer free Wi-Fi, so you can stay in touch with your loved ones back at home. Make your trip a little easier by picking a Liberia hostel that has a restaurant where you can enjoy some local delicacies. At accommodation with a barbecue, you can cook dinner yourself and mix with other travellers at the same time.
The historic centre of Liberia is dotted with white colonial buildings, which have led to it being commonly described as the White City. These are interspersed with modern facilities, including restaurants, bars and shopping centres. Liberia is surrounded by working ranches, and you can find their produce at the city's street markets. Some of them welcome visitors and organise activities, such as rock climbing and zip lining.
While you're in the centre of town, check out the works of local artists at the Museum Guanacaste or sample some local delicacies such as Jugo de Caña (sugar cane juice) or Copos (snow cones). You can enjoy a relaxing beach experience at Playas del Coco or Playa Conchal on the Pacific coast, while surfers should check out Witches Rock in the Santa Rosa National Park. For some sublime natural surroundings, head to the Tenorio Volcano National Park, where you can hike among waterfalls and tranquil lakes.
Liberia is served by Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, which is about 30 minutes away from the city, and there are buses running regularly between the two. From the Pulmitan de Liberia bus stop, you can take buses to San José or across the Nicaraguan border. Liberia is easy enough to navigate by foot or you can take one of the local buses. To get further afield, there are plenty of tour companies too.