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How to get there?
From San Jose, take the North Pan-American Highway (route #1) until you get to the city of Liberia, 217 km from San Jose.

The city of Liberia is located among the plains of the province of Guanacaste. Its weather is hot and dry, typical of the zone, and receives many visitors from Costa Rica and all around the world.

The city of Liberia was founded during the second half of the XVIII century and is the main city of Guanacaste. It was named Liberia in 1854 after the Latin word liber which means free and independent (in politics and economy). A long time ago, its roads were made of a white dust-like material, so it was known as The White City.

It serves as strategic point to access the tourism areas of the northwest region of Costa Rica, like Playas del Coco, Tamarindo and the Gulf of Papagayo. The Daniel Oduber International Airport is also found in this city, which has increased its number of travelers, operating flights from 
North America and Europe.

Liberia is host to many different activities throughout the year that attract many visitors. In these events you can enjoy and learn about some of the traditions and customs of Costa Rica.

Once a year, between the last week of February and the first week of March, they celebrate the Civic Feasts of Liberia. The bombetas (firecrackers) with their loud noises begin these festivities at midnight. During the week there are horseback riding parades, typical food stands and live music played by marimbas. There are also concerts with international artists and many stands with a great variety of products you can purchase.

The main attraction of these celebrations is bullfighting, where many people confront a bull inside a bullring. However, the animal is never hurt or harmed in any way; the idea is to touch the bull without receiving an injury from the bulls horns. Theres always plenty of food and alcoholic beverages in these feasts.

At dawn, around 5:00am, you can hear La Diana playing, which is a group of people that play trumpets, drums and tubas and also throw firecrackers, all this with the purpose of awaking everyone and making them get on the street and dance to the music. Its said that this tradition comes from the military alerts that were heard at dawn that awakened the soldiers.

In July 25th, 1824, the province of Guanacaste joined Costa Rica, and this commemoration is held on the same day, named La Anexion del Partido de Nicoya (The Annexation of the Party of Nicoya). This national holiday is celebrated in Liberia with cimarronas (bands made up of self-taught musicians that play the trumpet, saxophone, cymbals and drums, very popular in Costa Rica), band parades from different schools and lots of typical music, like the Punto Guanacasteco (famous Costa Rican song).

Among the interesting historical or architectural sites of Liberia, there is the Mario Caas Ruiz Park, located in the center of the city.

This calm place is usually visited by locals, who enjoy the shade and coolness of its trees. It has a gazebo in the center, one of the oldest in Costa Rica. It is made of wood and along with the park was declared Architectural Historical Heritage. This park represents the architecture of the late XIX century and early XX century.

This park is perfect for taking pictures and serves as strategic point for the main civic and artistic activities of the city. At sunset you can hear many great-tailed grackles singing that look for shelter in the branches of the trees.

Next to the park you can see the church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which has a modern style with white walls. The clock tower is next to the church and sometimes doesnt work. Every year, in December 8th, they make a celebration to honor the patron of Liberia. First, there is a mass and then a procession, which begins in the temple and goes through the central park.

This peaceful city has a moderate development that can be fully appreciated when you walk down its streets. At the end of the Central Avenue, about 500 meters away, you will find another architectural beauty, the Hermitage of the Agony Lord.

This church was built in the mid XIX century and reflects a colonial architectural style, with adobe walls and hand-made clay roof tiles, which are supported by panels, columns and carved wood beams. It was restored for its preservation, and was declared Architectural Historical Heritage.

As you walk along the Central Avenue you will find another building, the Old Governorate. Built in 1850, it was the place where the most distinguished families of Liberia celebrated their balls. Its historical importance lies in the fact that the act that gave the name to this city was signed here. Currently it is a branch office of the Ombudsmans Office of Costa Rica.

Here you can also find the Quarter of Liberia, which is evidence of the long-gone Costa Rican army, and is very important for history and architecture. Throughout the city you may find other colonial style buildings and adobe houses with roof tiles and white walls.

Many traditions remain intact in Liberia, like using horses for transportation, listening to the marimbas playing and yelling a guipipia (cowboy call). There are also braches of state and private universities, including the campus La Flor of the EARTH University. It is surrounded by large Guanacaste trees, which is the national tree.

Accommodations and gastronomy
Due to the geographic location of Liberia, it receives many tourists that pass through this city to get to other interesting and popular places.

This is why several malls with food courts were built, offering a wide variety of options. The main fast food chain restaurants are set here, with extended schedules for those who like to grab a bite late at night. There are also many supermarkets where you can get all types of groceries and other supplies.

You can find many hotels that adjust to the budget of their guests. Some opened more than 30 years ago and have their own restaurants. These are usually visited by national tourists.

Also, close to the airport there is a hotel that belongs to an international hotel chain, and guarantees peace and calmness to those who just took a flight to visit this region of the country.

Africa Mia (Theme Parks, Zoos, Private Biologial Reserves, Thematic Tours)
10 minutes away from Liberia Downtown, in Liberia, Guanacaste, on the way to El Salto.

Africa Mia is a dream come true of a Costa Rican family with a profound love and understanding for animals with a well-founded philanthropic (...)
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