Tours/Day Trips from Liberia

Liberia is in the center of many amazing destinations. A short trip on the bus or in a car can take you to see beaches, waterfalls, national parks, wildlife, adventure tours, and plenty of other exciting places. Don’t let your vacation have a dull moment!

Travel advice is a free service that we offer all students. We also organize different trips during the year for student/teacher groups. If you are planning to rent a car, let us know because we can get you a discount!

Beaches

cocoPlaya del Coco: This beach town has plenty of adorable shops, delicious restaurants, and fun bars to explore. There are a variety of hotels and hostels available.
Buses leave from the Liberia Pulmitan Terminal at 5:00am, 5:30am, 6:00am, 6:30 am, 7:00am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:00am, 10: 00am, 11:00am, 12:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm,  4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm. (Liberia to Coco)
Return buses run on the same schedule.
Bus time: 1 hour / Driving time: 45 minutes.

Beaches near Liberia Costa RicaPlaya Ocotal: With black sand, plenty of shade, and the clearest water you have ever seen, this beach is a gorgeous place to spend the day. Usually, there are few tourists on this beach, making it a local favorite. There is a restaurant on the beach and various hotels nearby. However, there are no mini marts or places to buy snacks.
-Take the bus from the Liberia Pulmitan Terminal to Playa del Coco. From there, hire a taxi ($6-$10) to take you to Ocotal. You may want to get the number of the taxi driver so that you can call for a ride back to Coco.
-Bus time: 1 hour, Taxi time: 10 minutes / Driving time: 50 minutes.

Things to do in Playa Hermosa Costa RicaPlaya Hermosa: This beautiful beach is easy to get to and has a few mini-marts and restaurants to enjoy during your trip. There are some hotels available.
Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 5:30am, 7:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm
Return buses are at 6:00am, 7:30am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm
Bus time: 1 hour / Driving time: 45 minutes
*note that the bus may say “Playa Panamá”.

Liberia to Playa PanamaPlaya Panamá: This pretty beach tends to have fewer tourists, meaning that there are no mini-marts or restaurants nearby. There are, however, a few resorts to stay at.
Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 5:30am, 7:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm
Return buses are at 6:00am, 7:30am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm
Bus time: 1 hour / Driving time: 45 minutes
*note that the Playa Panamá bus stop will come after the Playa Hermosa stop.

Beautiful beaches near Liberia Costa RicaPlaya Monte del Barco: This gorgeous place includes two beaches: one that borders the Secrets Papagayo hotel and tends to be crowded with tourists, and the other that is normally quiet and free of hotel guests. Both beaches have clean, calm water and trees for shade. Although the hotel is nearby, visitors cannot make purchases so there is no way to buy snacks or drinks after arriving at this beach.
-Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 5:30am, 7:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm; You will take the bus to the final stop which is the Secrets Papagayo Hotel. Sign in at the gate and receive a wristband, then walk through the hotel to the beach. The calmer beach is about a 20 minute walk to the right of the main beach.
-Return buses are at 6:00am, 7:30am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm
Bus time: 1 hour / Driving time: 45 minutes

PBeach towns in Costa Ricalaya Tamarindo: This amazing beach is a surfer’s paradise with fantastic waves and many surf schools nearby to rent a board and/or receive a lesson. There is plenty to do at the various restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, and hostels close to the beach.
Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 5:30am, 6:10am, 8:10am, 10:00am, 11:10am, 12:45pm, 2:15pm, 4:00pm, and 6:00pm
Return buses are at 5:30am, 9:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 5:00pm
Bus time: 2.5 hours / Driving time: 1.5 hours
*note that the bus may say “Playa Flamingo” or “Playa Brasalito” because the same bus is often used for these locations.

Playa Flamingo Costa RicaPlaya Flamingo: This gorgeous beach is very long and has beautiful, white sand. There is a mini-mart and some restaurants nearby. There are also hotels and resorts near the beach.
Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 6:10am, 8:10am, 10:00am, 11:10am, 12:45pm, 4:00pm, and 6:00pm
Return buses are at 6:00am, 9:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 5:30pm
Bus time: 2.5 hours / Driving time: 1.5 hours
*note that the bus may say “Playa Tamarindo” or “Playa Brasalito” because the same bus is often used for these locations.

Liberia to Playa ConchalPlaya Conchal: This breathtaking beach is famous because the sand is composed of millions of shells. Nearby on Playa Brasalito, there are restaurants, hotels, and resorts.
Buses leave from the Liberia Bus Terminal at 6:10am, 8:10am, 10:00am, 11:10am, 12:45pm, 4:00pm, and 6:00pm
Return buses are at 6:00am, 9:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 5:30pm
Bus time: 2.5 hours / Driving time: 1.5 hours
*note that you will get off the bus at Playa Brasalito and walk to Playa Conchal (about a 10 minute walk)
*note that the bus may say “Playa Tamarindo”, “Playa Flamingo”, or “Playa Brasalito” because the same bus is often used for these locations.

Waterfalls

Llanos de Cortes waterfall Costa RicaLlanos de Cortes: This beautiful waterfall is a great place to spend the day. With clean water to swim in, short hikes, and an adorable swing over the water, just pack a lunch and enjoy. Usually there are people selling snacks and other foods, but not always.
You will take a bus from Liberia Bus Terminal to Cañas or San Jose or Puntarenas.The entrance is about 22km (about 20 minutes) outside of Liberia. If you tell the bus driver where you are going when you get on the bus, they should tell you when to get off.
After getting off the bus, you will need to walk about 3km to reach the waterfall. If you do not want to walk you may be able to find a taxi waiting by the bus stop or passing by on the highway.
To return, you will need to walk or catch a ride back up to this stop. Buses to Liberia pass by frequently.

  • Bus fom Cañas to Liberia: 4:30am, 5:00am, 5:30am, 5:40am, 6:10am, 6:30am, 6:45am, 7:25am, 8:10am, 8:30am, 9:40am, 10:15am, 11:20am, 12:20am, 1:30pm, 2:10pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:20pm, 5:15pm, 5:30pm, 5:45pm, 6:10pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
  • Bus from Liberia to Cañas: 5:25am, 6:00am, 6:30am, 7:15am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00am, 12:30am, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:45pm, 3:05pm, 3:45pm, 4:20 pm,  4:35pm, 5:00pm, 5:15pm, 5:40pm, 6:00pm, 6:40pm 7:15pm, 7:55pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm.
  • Bus from Puntarenas to Liberia: 5:am, 5:30am, 7:00am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30am, 3:pm and 5:00pm.
  • Bus from Liberia to Puntarenas: 5:00am, 7:45am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30am, 2:30pm and 3:30pm

Things to do around Liberia Costa RicaLa Cangreja: This is a gorgeous waterfall located within the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The 40 meter waterfall spills into a beautiful blue pool of water that is surrounded by rocks and greenery. There is a 5km hike with plenty of amazing trees, birds, and sites to see along the way.
-See below for travel information about Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Cataratas Escondidas: This is another amazing waterfall inside the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. It is slightly smaller than the La Cangreja waterfall, but it is just as impressive. There is a well-marked 4.3km trail to reach this waterfall.
-See below for travel information about Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Awesome places near Liberia Costa RicaRio Celeste Waterfall: This lovely waterfall is part of the famous Rio Celeste, a bright blue river that flows in Tenorio Volcano National Park. To explore this waterfall and other beautiful sites around the river, there is a moderately challenging one-hour hike through the rainforest.
-See below for travel information about Tenorio Volcano National Park.

National Parks

Liberia to Rincon de la ViejaRincón de la Vieja: This amazing national park is a hiker’s dream! In addition to many incredible birds and other wildlife that call this park home, there are nature walks, waterfalls, and an active volcano to explore. It is best to plan a trip in the early morning so that there is enough time to hike out and back to the various destinations.
-Unfortunately, the road to this park is rough and cannot be reached by bus. However, various tour companies provide transportation to this park for a reasonable price. Otherwise, hiring a taxi usually costs about $25 each way. Renting a car is another possibility, but a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.
-Travel time: 50 minutes
-Park entrance fee: $10 with a valid passport
-Park hours: daily from 7am-4pm, closed on Mondays.

Liberia to Palo Verde Costa RicaPalo Verde: Calling all wildlife lovers! Palo Verde National Park is located on either side of the Tempisque River. It is filled with breathtaking birds, iguanas, monkeys, crocodiles, and other amazing animals that will leave you with plenty of amazing photos to bring home. There are various hikes that can be done in the park, and there is an exciting boat tour that takes you down the river with a guide who can spot animals left and right.
-This park is located away from any big towns, and therefore cannot be reached by bus. Renting a car or hopping on a tour bus are the best options to get to Palo Verde from Liberia.
-Travel time: 1 hour
-Park entrance fee: $10
-Most boat tours last about 2 hours and many include a typical lunch after. You can find many companies online which offer tours daily.

Liberia to Rio Celeste Costa RicaTenorio Volcano National Park: This extraordinary park is famous because it is home to the amazing Rio Celeste, a brilliant light-blue river which is the result of sulfur and calcium carbonate mixing. The best time to see the river is early in the day, so plan your trip accordingly! There are many amazing hikes that range from easy to challenging. Additionally, there are various activities to do in and around the park including horseback riding and hot springs.
-It is possible to take public transportation, however, it is much easier to join a tour bus or rent a car. By bus: take the bus from Liberia to Cañas, then from Cañas to Upala. The bus drops off in the center of Upala, so a short taxi ride is necessary to reach the park entrance.
-Bus time: 2.75 hours / Driving time: 1.45 hours
-Park entrance fee: $10
-Park hours: open daily 8am-4pm

National Park near Liberia Costa RicaBarra Honda National Park: This park is known for it’s caving tours, however, there are other activities to do at Barra Honda. There is a network of trails which lead through the dry tropical forest, one of the world’s rarest habitats. During hikes, you might see deer, coatis, agoutis, anteaters, monkeys, and other beautiful animals. There is also a guided bat tour to the Pozo Hediondo cave (home to a colony of over 5,000 bats!). The hike starts at 4 pm and returns to the Ranger Station at 8 pm.
-It is possible to take the bus to this park,  but it may put you on a strict schedule. Take a bus from the Liberia Terminal to Nicoya (every 30 minutes, beginning at 4:30am). From Nicoya there is a daily bus to Santa Ana in the morning and a return bus in the late afternoon. From Santa Ana it is a 1 km hike to the park entrance.
-For driving information, click here.
-Bus time: 2.25 hours / Driving time: 1.75 hours
-For information or reservations, call the ranger station at 2659-1551. You can also contact them by email: act.barrahonda@sinac.go.cr

Wildlife

Volunteer in Costa RicaThe Monkey Farm: Located in Playa Ocotal (near Playa del Coco), The Monkey Farm is a volunteer-run non-profit that combines organic farming and permaculture with monkey rescue activities. The farm is the home of a variety of birds, pigs, goats, dogs, cats, and other animals which are cared for by the volunteers and in turn provide food (eggs, milk, etc.) for them. Volunteers come from all over the world to experience this amazing place!
-Before arriving, contact The Monkey Farm by calling +506-8853-0165 or check out their website for more information
-Take the bus from Liberia to Playa del Coco, then take a taxi to The Monkey Farm (or Playa Ocotal)
-Bus time: 1 hour + 5 minute taxi ride / Driving time: 45 minutes

Liberia to Africa Mia ZooAfrica Safari Adventure Park: Just 10km outside of Liberia, this incredible zoo is home to over 150 animals and 11 species native to Africa. There are giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, antelopes, hippos, and tons of other animals, many that you have probably never heard of.
-Hiring a taxi (under $20) is the best form of transportation to the zoo from Liberia. You can also catch a bus to Bagaces, but tell the driver where you are going and keep your eyes open for where to get off.
-Travel time: under 10 minutes
-Park hours: open daily from 9am-5pm

Amazing animals in Costa RicaLas Pumas Rescue Center: This incredible place was created in the 1960’s when deforestation in Guanacaste was booming. A woman named Lilly Hagnauer Lilly Bodmer started caring for the animals who were losing their homes due to the destruction. Pretty soon, a small zoo was formed and today this area continues to help animals who have been removed from their natural environment for various reasons. Today the center protects and rehabilitates many animals from all over Guanacaste. There is a variety of animals from monkeys to jaguars to exotic birds that can be seen here! For more information, check out the Las Pumas Rescue Center website.
-The center is located about 45 minutes from Liberia or 4.5km from Cañas. The best way to arrive is by taking a bus to Cañas and then hiring a taxi to the center. It may be possible to take the bus to the park entrance – just tell bus driver where you are going and keep your eyes open for signs.
-Travel time: 45minutes-1 hour
-Park hours: Open daily from 8am-4pm
-Prices: Kids – $5 / Adults – $10
*You should call before arriving: 506-2669-6044

  • Bus fom Cañas to Liberia: 4:30am, 5:00am, 5:30am, 5:40am, 6:10am, 6:30am, 6:45am, 7:25am, 8:10am, 8:30am, 9:40am, 10:15am, 11:20am, 12:20am, 1:30pm, 2:10pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:20pm, 5:15pm, 5:30pm, 5:45pm, 6:10pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
  • Bus from Liberia to Cañas: 5:25am, 6:00am, 6:30am, 7:15am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00am, 12:30am, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:45pm, 3:05pm, 3:45pm, 4:20 pm,  4:35pm, 5:00pm, 5:15pm, 5:40pm, 6:00pm, 6:40pm 7:15pm, 7:55pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm.

Animals in Tamarindo Costa RicaMonkey Park: Monkey Park is located in Portegolpe, 18 kilometers following the main road to Tamarindo.  It is a wildlife rehab center or temporary home that houses all sorts of endangered species (ocelots, parrots, monkeys, etc) that are too injured to be released back into the wild. There are tours with bilingual guides and a restaurant that serves delicious typical food. There are also volunteering opportunities available.
-It is best to rent a car or hire a taxi from Tamarindo to the Monkey Park.
-Travel time (from Tamarindo): 25 minutes
-Park hours: open daily 8am-4:30pm
-For more information, check out the Monkey Park website

Adventure Tours

Liberia to ThermomaniaThermomania: Located in Bagaces in front of Miravalles Volcano, Thermomania is the perfect place to de-stress or relax and spend time with family or friends. There are comfortable cabanas, eleven beautiful hot springs, fun waterslides, luxurious spa treatments, and exciting tours available including horse-back adventures and ziplining.
-Rent a car or take a bus to Aguas Claras. If you take the bus, you will need to walk about 1km to the Thermomania entrance.
-Travel time: 45 minutes
-Prices: There are different packages available depending on what you are interested in doing. Check out the prices page on their website for more information.
Bus from Liberia to Aguas Claras, Bagaces.
Monday to Saturday :
05:10am, 07:00am, 08:30am, 09:30am, 11:15am, 12:15am, 01:00pm, 02:00pm, 03:00pm, 04:00 pm, 05:00pm, 06:15pm and 07:00pm.

Sunday:
> 05:10am, 08:30am, 10:45am, 12:00pm, 01:30pm, 04:50pm, 06:15pm, 07:00pm and 8:30pm

Hot springs in GuanacasteEl Guayacán: Also located in Bagaces, El Guayacán is a relaxing park that has hot springs, mud baths, a waterslide, a hanging bridge in the forest, beautiful views, villas, and a delicious restaurant that serves typical foods. This park is more rustic than Thermomania and tends to have fewer children.
-Rent a car or take a bus to Aguas Claras. If you take the bus, you will need to take a short taxi ride to the park entrance.
-Travel time: 45 minutes.

Fun things in Liberia Costa RicaVandara: Vandara is a hot springs and adventure site that is located near Cañas Dulces on the outskirts of Rincón de la Vieja National Park. There are many things to do at Vandara including a horseback-riding adventure, ziplining and a tarzan swing, a thrilling waterslide, hot springs and mud baths, and an organic farming tour. There is also a restaurant that serves delicious dishes featuring healthy recipes which showcase lovely organic produce harvested from the on-site garden.
-The best way to reach Vandara is by renting a car or arranging transportation with a local tour company.
-Travel time: 45 minutes
-For more information, check out their website.

Things to do near Liberia Costa RicaHacienda Guachipelín: This hotel has a variety of adventure tours and relaxing activities including horseback riding tours, zip lining, waterfall and river canyoning, river tubing, hiking, hot springs, mud baths, natural sauna, spa and massage treatments, and more! Located at the foot of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, there is plenty of nature and wildlife to see during a visit or a stay at Hacienda Guachipelín.
-The best way to get here is to rent a car or join a tour group to Rincón de la Vieja National Park.
-If you plan to stay at the hotel, they have a mini-van that will pick you up in Liberia and take you to the hotel.
-From the main intersection on the Highway in Liberia (by McDonald’s), drive 3 miles (5 km) north toward the Nicaraguan border. Turn right at the entrance to Curubande / Rincón de la Vieja National Park – Las Pailas sector. It is 8.6 miles (14 km) to the village of Curubande, and another 1 mile (1.7 km) to the gate at Hacienda Guachipelín.
-Travel time: 40 minutes.

Caves in Costa RicaCaving in Barra Honda National Park: Within the Barra Honda National Park, there is a large hill that was believed to be a volcano because of the strange sounds that frequently came from it. It was later discovered that within lies an intricate large system of limestone caverns which house a multitude of capricious forms and figures. The noise that was heard was the whirring of bat wings. Today there are tours which take you into the caves year-round to explore and see the natural beauty of the caverns.
-For directions to this park, see the information above about Barra Honda National Park
-Entrance into the park is $10 / Caving tours cost between $20 and $30 per person
-The caving tour includes two professional guides during the 3-4 hour tour. Be aware that the first hour is a hike up the Barra Honda hill, which is moderately difficult.

Other

Things to do near Liberia Costa RicaGuaitil: This is a town near Tamarindo that is famous throughout Costa Rica and the rest of Central America because of its pre-Columbian Chorotega style pottery. Visitors can check out the beautiful pottery, make purchases, learn about how it is made, and watch the making process. It is a very interesting, cultural experience that includes awesome souvenirs and gifts to bring home!
-Take a bus from the Liberia Bus Terminal to Santa Cruz (every 30 minutes between 4:30am and 8:30pm). Guaitil is 12km from Santa Cruz so taking a taxi is an easy way to finish trip. There are two daily buses that go from Santa Cruz to Guaitil (20 minute ride), but it is difficult to know the exact departure time for these buses.
-Most of the commercial activity takes place in the central park
-There is a Guaitil Pottery Studio located in Tamarindo where you can buy the authentic pottery, but you are less likely to watch it be made.
-Bustime: about 2 hours / Driving time: about 1.25 hours.

Historical places in Costa RicaParroquia San Blas: Located in Nicoya, Costa Rica’s first colonial city, Parroquia San Blas is the oldest church in Costa Rica. It was founded in 1644 and today it has a small museum with ancient religious artifacts. It is located in front of the central park of the city.
-Getting to the church is easy by bus. Take a bus from the Liberia Bus Terminal to Nicoya (every 30 minutes between 4:30am and 8:30pm). Once in Nicoya, the central park and the church are within walking distance from the bus station.
-Bus time: 1 hour 40 minutes / Driving time: 1 hour 10 minutes.

Rainforest tours in Costa RicaLa Anita Rainforest Ranch: This beautiful ranch is found in a rainforest region and is surrounded by three volcanoes. The area is exquisite with ponds, gardens, orchards, a restaurant, and quaint cabins. There are various activities at the ranch including the medicinal garden tour, the chocolate-making tour, horseback rides to nearby waterfalls and traditional towns, trips to the nearby national park and volcano, and more. This is the perfect destination for a relaxing trip full of biodiversity, adventure, and discovery. For more information, visit the La Anita website.
-There are no buses to this ranch. Driving directions are available on the ranch website.
-Travel time: 2 hours.

Science in Costa RicaAd Astra Rocket Company: AARC is a leading spaceflight technology company dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion. Franklin Chang, a Costa Rican astronaut who holds the record for most time in space, is the company president and CEO. Tours are available and include descriptions of the history of the company and technology, small science demonstrations on a few of the working principles of rocket operation, a walkthrough around the research areas, and a chance to see a plasma rocket firing if the timing is right. Reservations must be made before the tour. For more information, visit the Ad Astra website.
-Taking a taxi or driving are the best ways to reach Ad Astra which is located 10km (6miles) west of Liberia City Center.
-Travel time: 15 minutes.

Interesting places near Liberia Costa RicaHidden Garden Art Gallery: This beautiful art gallery is the largest of its kind in Guanacaste. It has more than 60 artists on exhibit, 15 rooms full of paintings, various sculptures and diverse artistic expressions, and more than 400 pieces on display. The mission of Hidden Garden is to strengthen and heighten local artists’ works and share the beauty and culture of Costa Rica. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm. Check out their website for more information!
-Take a taxi or drive towards the Daniel Oduber International Airport from Liberia. The art gallery is located about 17km from the Liberia entrance, about 5km (3 miles) past the airport.
-It is possible to reach the gallery by bus. Take a bus from the Liberia Bus Terminal towards the beaches. Be sure to tell the driver where you are going and be prepared to walk a little from the highway to the gallery.
-Travel time: 25 minutes.

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