Visit Liberia - Best of Liberia

Liberia is the capital city of Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. It is also the largest city in the area, located 215 kilometres away from San Jose, the national capital. Despite being a relatively small settlement, Liberia has emerged as a major centre for the country’s booming tourism industry. Liberia is nicknamed ‘la ciudad blanca’ or ‘the white city’, because its roads were once paved with white gravel. As of 2012, it has a permanent population of only around 63,000; however, the city is teeming with tourists almost all year round.

Present day Liberia was originally set up as a hermitage, way back in 1769. It was conveniently located on a strategic location where the roads from the nearby towns all met (which has contributed to its being a centre of activity in the province today). The giant Guanacaste trees in the area provided shade for travellers and animals, which is how it first started attracting settlers. A humble beginning for a city which today contributes to a sizeable chunk of the tourism industry of Costa Rica. Liberia’s importance continued to grow as it soon became the heart for agriculture and livestock in the province. The construction of the Pan-American Highway further increased Liberia’s importance, providing a boost to commerce coming in and going out of the city. By the late 20th century, Liberia became a favourite for tourists, whotravelled to the lovely beaches of Guanacaste, and it has been growing ever since.

Today, Liberia has a modern day church, as well as a number of shops and restaurants. Though there aren’t too many things to do in the city itself, it has a vast number of tour operators who are based in the city. This is primarily due to the many attractions that surround the city in all directions, a phenomenon similar to the little town of La Fortuna near the Arenal Volcano. Some of these include the Rincon le la Vieja National Park, which includes a lot of volcanic activity, trails, waterfalls and plenty of wildlife to observe. The place also has volcanic mud springs, which offer spa service as well. You can even avail of massage services at the spas for a complete relaxing experience. Don’t forget to visit the water slide at BuenaVista, which is a lot of fun for the whole family.

There is a lot of information about Adventure Tourism in Liberia, something which has been picking up the pace in Costa Rica over the past few years. Some of the most popular activities that are available in the area of Liberia are white water rafting, hiking, trekking, and ziplining, which takes you airborne over a dense canopy of trees for a truly breath-taking view. You can also go sailing and deep sea diving at some of the beaches near Liberia, and can find out more about the same from the various tour operators. For those looking for some extreme thrills, you can join the famous Guanabikers, who go mountain biking over some of the most testing and scenic locations in the province.

Never judge a book by its cover, as the people of Liberia will be glad to point out. It may be a very small place, but it has a big heart, and visiting it may just turn out to be one of the best decisions you made on your trip to Costa Rica.

Liberia Travel Tips

Essential travel information and Liberia tips for your visit

  • Time Zone: UTC/GMT -6 hours. No daylight saving time is observed.
  • Currency: The Currency operational in Liberia is Costa Rican colón.
  • Electricity: 110 Volts, AC. Electrical sockets (outlets) in Liberia are the American type. Budget places might require an adapter.
  • Internet: Some of the Internet providers in Malaysia are: TIGO, KOLBI, TS2 and Qantsat.
  • Language: Spanish and English.
  • Emergency Contacts: 2222-1365 or 2221-5337
  • Tipping: Optional at restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Recommended to bellman at the hotel. Appreciated everywhere.

Local Customs:

  • Do not initiate discussion on the topics like Premarital sex, abortion and homosexuality with a local.
  • Note that, while greeting, women kiss women and men kiss women, but men do not kiss men but prefer a handshake.
  • Getting angry or raising your voice in public is considered alien and is unapproved of.
  • If visiting a local, never put feet up on the furniture and bring flowers except lilies, they are only gifted on funerals. 

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Facts and Stats for Liberia*

  • Liberia: Crime and Safety

    How safe is Liberia for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Liberia.

    • Burglary and Theft 100 (Very High)
    • Mugging and Robbery 100 (Very High)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 100 (Very High)
    • Corruption and Bribery 100 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 100 (Very High)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 100 (Very High)
    • Attacks 100 (Very High)
    • Drug offense 100 (Very High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 100 (Very High)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 100 (Very High)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 100 (Very High)
  • Living in Liberia - Quality of Life

    • Climate Index 75.07 (High)
    • Health Care Index 58.33 (Moderate)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Cost for Essentials in Liberia

    Here's how much it will cost to shop in Liberia

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.07 USD
    • International Movie per seat 6.03 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 41.91 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 103.32 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 62.43 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo