Liberia in a day.
Liberia, Costa Rica
Surf’s up, bro. Costa Rica’s Western coast runs into the Pacific Ocean and Liberia is where you’ll want to fly into if you’re looking for surf, sand, and sun along its beautiful beaches. The locals will have you hanging ten in no time with their “pura vida” lifestyle and kind hospitality. Or sit on the beach with a fresh coconut: that’s perfectly “pura” as well. Just make sure to book your travel here before late October or after early December, otherwise you’ll hit the rainy season/post rainy season in a place where the mosquitos do not care how much Deet you spray. There are several beautiful beaches to choose from along the coast, which could take about an hour to get from the airport, depending how far you’re going. Oh, and make sure you grab some bags of their delicious coffee in the airport on the way out!
As mentioned before, this is the country, if not the region’s, surfing capital. If you’re a beginner, you can sign up for a lesson or just grab your board and paddle out if you’re more comfortable in some potentially bigger waves. If you’re not into hanging ten, there are plenty of other water and land activities all over the area, including four-wheeling, hiking, snorkeling, diving, kayaking… you get the idea. We even like to enjoy just a leisurely walk along the beach after a little poolside yoga and breakfast with a view.
This is one of many places to stay along Costa Rica’s string of beaches. Just about an hour within the airport (mostly because of the roads: we hired a driver), there are several affordable places to stay as well as more high-end resorts. Most hotels will arrange transportation even for the longer ride. If you decide to rent a car and drive yourself, driver beware: these roads may not be like any you’ve driven before, and you may not necessarily be used to driving through the jungle, though it's doable.
This is one of the most famous activities to do in Costa Rica. If you’re over having sand covering your body, or you just want to conquer your fear of heights, check out any of the several zip-line courses located in the area. The drive to some of the canopies can take up to an hour, but your concierge will likely be able to tell you which are available and closest. We chose one about 45 minutes away that included 10 lines, transportation to/from our hotel, and a homemade lunch for about $100 USD. Totally worth it! They also accepted our American currency, which was helpful.
Okay so this isn’t so much of an attraction as it is simply something to expect while you’re down here. Monkeys are prevalent in most areas of Costa Rica and are pretty benign based on our experiences and hearing from locals. Just don’t tease them or chase after them, please, or you might get an unexpected surprise thrown at you.
(Photo cred: Coralie M.)