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Santa Cruz
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How to get there?
In order to go to Santa Cruz you must take the North Pan-American Highway on the route #1 until you get to the exit for the La Amistad bridge (route #8), which crosses the Rio Tempisque, about 10 km after the intersection for Las Juntas of Abangares. After crossing the bridge, continue until you reach the intersection of the route #21, which goes directly to Santa Cruz, heading north.

Another option is to take the North Pan-American Highway on the route #1 all the way to the city of Liberia. Once there, take the road that goes to the Daniel Oduber International Airport until you get to the intersection of the route #21, going straight to Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is one of the most attractive cities in the entire region of Guanacaste. Its historical heritage is very wide and makes this town one of the most important cultural centers of Costa Rica.

This city is located in the heart of the North Pacific, where the native inheritance coexists with the marimba, the coyol, farms and the folkloric traditions that are typical of our country. This is why this historical town was proclaimed as the National City of the Folklore of Costa Rica, with regional festivities that are true expressions of these cultural features.

This beautiful city is located in a fertile valley where the Rio Diria waters its lands (diria is a word from the Chorotega native group and has two roots: diri means hill and a stands for little, little hill). 

This river is an important affluent of the Rio Bolson, which feeds the basin of the Rio Tempisque, one of the most important rivers in Costa Rica. 

This folkloric town is located between the cities of Nicoya and Liberia. 

This last city is the header of the province of Guanacaste and is the main communication center of the region, only 30 minutes away from the Daniel Oduber International Airport. From Santa Cruz you can easily get to many beautiful beaches with important tourist developments. Tamarindo, Junquillal, Langosta, Avellana and Playa Lagarto are only a few of the nearby beaches that are 20 minutes away from Santa Cruz, as well as the Las Baulas National Marine Park, a strategic point for the spawning and protection of leatherback turtles.

January is an excellent time to visit this city because local feasts are held to honor the patron saint, the Black Christ of Esquipulas. The Typical National Festivities display the best in dancing, music, bull riding, parades and a large list of delicious traditional meals of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste and Costa Rica. Because these feasts are some of the most important of the North Pacific, they receive many visitors from every corner of the country. During this time of the year, Santa Cruz shares with its visitors its best traditions, which have proclaimed this city as Folkloric City. 

You can visit this town at any time and walk through its peaceful streets, discover old houses or admire its most important places, such as a lonely red tower built in 1936. It was part of an old catholic church that was later demolished in 1971, after it was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1950. This architectural piece contrasts sharply with the contemporary architecture of the new temple. 

Another interesting site is the kiosk of the central park, a detailed monument that tries to sum up part of the cultural inheritance of this warm city. Many other traditions, such as Las Velas, Los Rezos, Los Turnos, the traditional cultural week, Las Coyoleras and other activities can be enjoyed in this beautiful city.

Accommodations and gastronomy
Even though most hotels are located close to the coastline, you can also find many places to stay in this city, like cabins, hostels and hotels of different sizes, which have established here long before the nearby beaches became so popular. This city has served as entry point to those who visit Guanacaste, by crossing the zone of the Rio Tempisque, and also as resting spot for travelers that go towards the North Pacific region of the country. 

Most of these places are simple but offer the basic amenities needed for relaxing and recovering, as well as enjoying this beautiful city.

Dining in Santa Cruz is not a problem; there are many large and small restaurants that offer different specialties. The typical cuisine from Guanacaste is very well represented by many restaurants in the center of the city. 

One of the most important places of the region in the preparation of typical meals is Coopetortillas, best known as Las Tortilleras, famous place for its gallo pinto, casados, meatball soup, pork tamales, many corn-based products, and of course, their famous handmade tortillas. 

Everything here is prepared in a wood oven. Santa Cruz offers an interesting variety of international cuisines, such as Italian and Chinese dishes. You can also have seafood, meat and chicken, where the large variety of food and different prices satisfy everyones taste and budget.

Even better than its gastronomy, the people from Santa Cruz are incredibly kind and friendly, proud of their mixed Chorotegan and European heritage. This town has worked very hard to keep alive the cultural traditions and festivities of Guanacaste. These feasts are definitely the citys main attraction, making this place the most cheerful town of this picturesque region, which can be visited at any time of the year thanks to its wonderful warm and tropical weather.

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