This five-day beach getaway takes you to the heart of Guanacaste Province, in northwestern Costa Rica. You'll have plenty of time to relax and soak up the unique landscapes and beaches of the region, with just the right amount of adventure thrown in.

Highlights

  • Zip-line through the forest canopy in RincĂłn de la Vieja National Park
  • Relax on the white-sand beaches of the Golfo de Papagayo
  • Spot monkeys, bats, and crocodiles during a safari float down the CorobicĂ­ River
  • Enjoy a sunset dinner cruise, being sure to keep an eye out for nearby dolphins and whales

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Liberia - Transfer to Golfo de Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 2 Adventure Excursion From Golfo de Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 3 Free Day in Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 4 Beach Day and Sunset Catamaran Trip in Papagayo Gulf de Papagayo
Day 5 Depart Costa Rica From Liberia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Liberia - Golfo de Papagayo

The Guanacaste region on the Pacific Coast is known for its arid landscapes and long beaches
The Guanacaste region on the Pacific Coast is known for its arid landscapes and long beaches

Welcome to Costa Rica! You'll arrive at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, in the city of Liberia and the capital of Guanacaste Province. It's a gateway to sun and adventure on the wide and inviting beaches of the Pacific, as well as nature treks in the misty cloud forests further inland.

From the airport, you'll transfer about 40 minutes to the coast and the Golfo de Popagayo (Popagayo Gulf). It's here you'll spend the next few days. Relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf on your first day, and steel yourself for a day of adventure tomorrow. 

Day 2: Adventure Excursion From Golfo de Papagayo

Zip-lining in Costa Rica
Zip-lining in Costa Rica

Start your day with an early pick-up from your hotel. You will be heading to the foot of Rincón de la Vieja National Park for an adrenaline pumping zip-line tour. The adventure starts the moment you arrive. 

You will begin with a horseback ride up to the first zip-line platform. You'll be treated to incredible views of the surrounding rainforest along the way, all the better to prime you for your upcoming canopy tour. You'll zip over the treetops on a network of 12 different zip lines, including one that is 320 feet high. After the canopy tour, it will be time for lunch at a local restaurant. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the nearby natural hot springs before heading back to your hotel.

Day 3: Free Day in Papagayo

Be on the lookout for white-faced monkeys
Be on the lookout for white-faced monkeys

Today can be as relaxing or adventurous as you like. If you've had enough of the beaches, you can opt to head back to Rincón de la Vieja. Hike a jungle trail called Sensoria, which is part of a wildlife sanctuary featuring thermal pools and waterfalls that plunge into turquoise lagoons. Or, you can experience the rainforest from the water during a two-hour safari float tour on the Corobicí River, where a guide will point out monkeys, bats, lizards, and even crocodiles. 

You can also choose a guided trip down the Tenor River. It’s pure, white water makes it the best river in the Guanacaste area for rafting. After a challenging trip down the rapids led by experts, you'll enjoy lunch before heading back to your hotel.

Day 4: Beach Day and Sunset Catamaran Trip in Papagayo

The best way to enjoy a Costa Rican sunset is by sailboat
The best way to enjoy a Costa Rican sunset is by sailboat

Today is all about lazing on the beach. After breakfast, explore the coastline around Guanacaste—you're sure to find a picturesque sandy spot perfect for your needs. When you do, stake your claim and relax with your toes in the sand. 

In the evening, you'll board a catamaran for a sunset sail. The ship will stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor, and you'll explore the crystalline waters while the crew prepares a dinner feast. While you eat, enjoy the sunset over the Pacific horizon while keeping a sharp eye out for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, or even a breaching whale. 

Day 5: Depart Costa Rica from Liberia

Farewell, Costa Rica
Farewell, Costa Rica

It's time to say adios to Costa Rica. After breakfast, you'll begin the drive to the airport in Liberia where you'll catch your return flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Guanacaste from Liberia - 5 Days
Map of Explore Guanacaste from Liberia - 5 Days
Yenyi
Written by Yenyi Fu, updated Mar 18, 2019