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The Guanacaste province in northwest Costa Rica is a land of volcanic peaks, jungle valleys, scenic waterfalls and natural hot springs. Habitat to a rich diversity of plants and animals, with national parks the area offers intriguing nature exploration as well as historic sites and charming villages. The warm, clear waters of the Pacific embrace its beaches, some of the finest in Costa Rica. They are sheltered breeding grounds for the magnificent sea turtle. Papagayo’s weather is comfortable year-round, with little humidity, clear days and gentle star lit evenings. Guanacaste is home to several national parks protecting a spectacular host of flora, fauna and marine life.

Arenal

This national park features the impressive Arenal Volcano, an active cone 1,633 meters high, that regularly erupts offering one of the most awe inspiring natural sights in Costa Rica. There are several hotels and lodges from which you can observe the eruptions, however the Observatory Lodge is a Sleepy Cove favorite offering botanical gardens, hiking and spectacular views of the eruptions right from your bedroom. In addition nearby attractions include The Butterfly Conservatory where you can view a range of wildlife, buttefly and moth species.

Barra Honda

Approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the property. Stroll through a network of caverns created sixty million years ago by limestone reefs thrust upward by tectonic forces.

Cabo Blanco

This nature reserve is located the southernmost tip of the Nicoya peninsula and is home to many rare and threatened plant and animal species.

Guanacaste

Approximately 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the property, across from Santa Rosa National Park. Rainforest, tropical wet forest, cloud forest and tropical dry forest shelter hundreds of bird and animal species and thousands of insect and plant species.

Marino Las Baulas

Approximately 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the property. On the northern side of the village of Tamarindo, this national park protects Playa Grande, one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the leatherback turtle (baula in Spanish). Leatherbacks are the largest reptiles in the world, with some measuring an astounding five meters (over 16 feet) head to tail.

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is located in the counties of Santa Cruz and Nicoya in the province of Guanacaste and protects marine turtle species. On its beaches as many as a million sea turtle eggs are laid in the nesting areas each year.

Palo Verde

Approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the property. A migratory and resident waterfowl refuge, the lakes and floodplains here are inhabited by more than 50,000 waterfowl and forest birds. Swimmers, take note: crocodiles up to five meters (over 16 feet) long have been seen in the Tempisque River, which runs through the park.

Rincón de la Vieja

Approximately 60 kilometres (35 miles) from the property. This park’s claim to fame is the active volcano it’s named after; it also boasts the country’s largest populations of guarias moradas (purple orchids), Costa Rica’s national flower.

Santa Rosa

Approximately 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the property, across from Guanacaste National Park. This park harbours important habitat for protection and restoration of Costa Rica’s Pacific dry forests, as well as several sea turtle nesting sites.

Santa Rosa National Park, created to protect the scene of the Battle of Santa Rosa the Costa Rican “Valley Forge” (22 mi) north of Liberia in Guanacaste. Santa Rosa visit recommended for history buffs. We were given a very informative overview of the history of Santa Rosa. Along the way we also took in some interesting nature scenes. From here there is a road to Witches Rock that is impassable. Instead we went to LaCruz a nearby city and drove for about an hour on a dirt road to a beautiful uninhabited beach called Playa Pochotes near the border with Nicaragua. On the way back we stopped at a local out door very reasonable restaurant in Canas Dulces with a spectacular view of the sunset.

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