Community and Lifestyle
Though it is a sizable city compared to many others in Costa Rica, you won't see any skyscrapers or major office buildings in Liberia. To the contrary, Liberia has a somewhat historical, colonial feeling that is rarely found in Costa Rica. Adobe homes from centuries past line the streets, alongside modern stores and restaurants.
Liberia and the surrounding region of Guanacaste is known for its cowboy culture. You won't have to stray very far from town to see cowboy hats, cattle, and working men and women traveling on horse. It's a distinct part of Costa Rican culture, and it is displayed to the fullest in and around Liberia.
Another traditional activity enjoyed in Liberia is downtown people watching. Just like smaller towns throughout the country, residents unite each evening in the main plaza. Vendors set up carts and stands to sell ice cream and "pinchos," which are sticks of skewered and grilled meat. Teenagers ride their skateboards and congregate on the steps of the large church. And parents sit on the park's many benches, chatting with neighbors and friends and watching the children run around them. As the sun sets each evening, there is a noticeable shift in Liberia's mood and atmosphere as it changes from bustling city to traditional hometown. It is a lovely environment to be part of and experience for yourself.
Liberia has branches of all major banks—which can be very difficult to find in one place outside of San Jose. Fast food restaurants, such as Burger King, McDonalds, and Papa John's all have sizable locations in Liberia as well. Those looking for a more local dining experience will enjoy plenty of traditional Costa Rican "sodas" throughout the area.
Liberia is a fantastic starting point to explore and discover Costa Rica's beauty. As a resident, you'll be able to visit a volcano one weekend, an underground cavern the next, and some of the country's most beautiful beaches the weekend after that. Regardless of the direction you go, you'll find dramatic scenery all around you, in the form of vast fields nearby and stunning mountains in the distance.
The largely overlooked Rincón de la Vieja and Volcán Tenorio National Parks lie to the Northeast of Liberia. Rincón de la Vieja is home to active fumaroles and mudpots, which bubble and spew mud just a feet from where you stand on the trails. Volcán Tenorio features the Rio Celeste, a stunning, bright aquamarine-colored river that feeds into a waterfall of the same color. The sight of the waterfall will leave you breathless, no matter how many times you see it.
Another highlight of the larger Liberia region may be its numerous natural hot springs. From modest parks to ultra-luxurious resorts, there are countless places to visit to get the rest and relaxation you're looking for. A visit to one of the area's hot springs resorts makes for a wonderful day trip or an unforgettable overnight getaway. No matter how busy or how stressful things are in your life, a hot springs experience at the foot of a volcano is guaranteed to bring some relief and peace.
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