Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province encompasses the northwestern quadrant of the country bordering Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean. Liberia, the capital city, is recognized as an important commercial center and is often used as a launching point for the popular vacation destinations of the Northern Zone.
The region’s geography and climate are quite different from the rest of the country. Instead of the dense rainforest that blankets much of Costa Rica, Guanacaste harbors rolling grasslands, dry tropical forests, rumbling volcanoes, and miles of splendid Pacific Coast beaches.
In Colonial times, Costa Rica’s Liberia was nicknamed the “white city” for its whitewashed buildings and roads. Their white hue resulted from a local pale-colored stone used to pave the streets and protect the buildings from the elements.
Today’s Liberia no longer shimmers in the distance like in days past. However, it is Guanacaste’s largest and most important city. It is also home to the country’s second-biggest port of entry, the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport.
Liberia International Airport, Costa Rica
Liberia’s international airport (LIR) is gaining ground on the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San José for its growing number of international arrivals. The airport also recently overhauled its infrastructure and added several new gates, bridges, and traveler lounges.
Significant improvements to the area’s roads make it much faster to get from the Liberia Airport to the coast and other popular Guanacaste destinations. The improvements include a major section of the Pan American Highway, which stretches the country’s length from Nicaragua to Panama.
Many travelers to Costa Rica are choosing LIR airport over SJO for its vicinity to the northwest Pacific Coast beaches and the Nicoya Peninsula – two regions that are famous for their surfing spots, world-class marinas, and all-inclusive resorts.
Liberia is also a short drive to several national parks. The Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio, and Miravalles Volcano National Parks are less than an hour from the airport’s gates.