Things to do in Costa Rica near Liberia are listed below and there are so many options to choose from that you will not get bored for at least 10 days.
Each of these outdoor activities is spread in the area around Liberia, the beautiful city located in the northwestern part of the country.
The town is an important transportation hub and a commercial city, a gateway to a large number of national parks, beach resorts, and nature reserves located in the Nicoya Peninsula.
The city has more than 60.000 inhabitants and is a city in continuous development and change, a major center for livestock and agriculture.
Liberia has a beautiful central plaza, the favorite meeting point for locals, a huge church, and beautiful restaurants, cafes, and shops.
It is a touristy town, transited by thousands of tourists each year, is located on the route to Pacific Coast beaches like Playa Hermosa, Playa del Coco, Papagayo Peninsula, and Playa Tamarindo.
Just a few kilometers north of the city is the largest and most active volcano from Costa Rica, called Rincon de la Vieja with its nearby hot springs, waterfalls, bubbling clay pots, and rivers.
Just 15 kilometers west from the city center lies the second largest international airport from the country, Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, which operated many direct flights to many cities from the United States and Canada as well as important European cities like Amsterdam or London.
The best way to visit the city and the nearby area is at the starting of the dry season when the climate starts to get warmer, the precipitation decrease and the days are long and sunny.
There are plenty of things to do in Costa Rica Liberia so I prepared for you a list of the most amazing outdoor activities to try near Liberia.
1. Explore the largest active volcano from Costa Rica
What to do in Liberia Costa Rica if not explore the most active and the largest volcano from Costa Rica?!
This beautiful volcano and the nearby national park can be reached after one hour drive from the town of Liberia.
The park became more and more popular among tourists from all over the world because of its stunning sceneries, healing hot springs, and interesting landscape.
It is home to the active volcano Rincón de la Vieja and the dormant brother Miravalles volcano.
The area is packed with outdoor activities: from hiking trails that go up to the summit to biking routes and rafting, you can find here everything.
You will see here the unique and beautiful volcanic landscape and you will have through lava fields, mud pots, and fields covered with ash.
Pay a visit to one of the many hot springs from the area and don’t forget to take your swimsuit with you as the waters from these springs have healing properties.
The area around the national park is still wild and untamed so pack with you a sandwich and some water, for the day in the park.
We booked two tickets for Rincon de la Vieja National Park: Natural Volcanic Spa, 6 hours experience at the natural spa of the beautiful Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin.
In the tour rate, we had included the entrance fee to hot springs, to the sauna and mud baths as well as the room temperature pools.
Those of you interested in massages, spa treatment, and exfoliations have to pay on the spot upon availability as these experiences are very popular among tourists.
2. Visit Palo Verde National Park
Visiting this unique habitat is one of the best things to do in Liberia Costa Rica because of its fascinating landscape, a unique combination of wetland and tropical dry forest.
Overall, inside this protected area, there are more than 15 types of different landforms: grassland, lowland forests, flooded forest, mangroves, and hill forests which are the most important ones.
Inside the park, there are more than 800 species of plants including mangrove trees, Spanish cedar, Palo Verde, and Guanacaste tree.
The national park is an important habitat for a large number of species of birds including Scarlet Macaw, great curassow, caracaras, ducks, grey herons, and jabiru so definitely is one of the most important things to do in Costa Rica near Liberia.
Besides the birds and the plants that call this national park home, you will find here many reptiles and amphibians including a boa constrictor, coral snake, iguanas, crocodiles, and alligators.
There are many trails along the park that leads you deep into the jungle and give you the unique opportunity to observe the rich fauna and flora.
The most important trails are: Sendero La Roca, Sendero La Cantera, La Venada and Sendero El Pizote
While in the area book some time to visit Isla Pajaros, a hidden island home to many species of birds and plants, located on Rio Tempisque and accessible only by boat.
And don’t miss Laguna Palo Verde the perfect nesting place for many birds and Rios Tempisque y Bebedero a navigable river and a great place to observe birds, iguanas, turtles, and crocodiles.
3. River rafting on Tenorio River
One of the most interesting things to do in Costa Rica near Liberia is river rafting on the Tenorio River, one of the most beautiful rivers in the country with big rapids and a lot of adrenaline, the perfect destination for a day tour in Liberia region.
In your descent expect rapids with different degrees of difficulty, including level 3 and 4 and even a 5 category rapid, a 12 foot descend fully of adrenaline.
The best time to visit the Tenorio river for some exciting experiences is from June to October when the quantity of rain is higher so the river is full of rapids and offers a unique adventure for river rafting tubing lovers.
Your kids need to have at least 11 years old to be allowed to get into the boat on the Upper Tenorio River, while for Lower Tenorio River are accepted younger kids.
4. Book a horseback riding tour
This area is not just about the beautiful Rincon de la Vieja volcano, there are also hot springs, waterfalls, and lush forests.
To get deeper into the jungle and to reach remote attractions, you can book a horseback riding tour from Costa Ricans that live around the area.
The most beautiful and popular tour is the one that goes to the Oropendula Waterfall, an impressive waterfall with a 25 meters height accessible on foot and with horses.
We booked our seats at Horseback Riding Tour to the Oropéndola Waterfall, 2,5 hours guided tour to the beautiful Oropendola waterfall, a great opportunity to admire the rich fauna, and flora on your way to the jungle.
The last part of the itinerary has to be done on foot but all the way to the waterfall you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide that will answer all your questions about this magnificent place.
The Las Pailas trail as it is called passes through green forests, beautiful plants and it is a great opportunity to spot wildlife and listen to the sound of nature.
The road is quite bumpy and long, so choosing a horseback riding tour is the easiest and fastest way to get to the waterfall.
The best time to take a horseback riding tour and to visit this waterfall is during the dry season, from December to April when the land is dry and less muddy.
You can combine the horseback riding tour to the waterfall with a tour on a farm from the nearby area for a day full of joy and excitement.
DOWNLOAD YOUR COSTA RICA TRAVEL GUIDE!
5. See the sunset at Playa Hermosa
My Liberia Costa Rica things to do list continues with a romantic experience, seeing the sunset at Playa Hermosa.
There are so many beaches in the area, but this one is quite special and has one of the most beautiful and romantic sunsets in the world.
This idyllic beach is located about 35 kilometers from Liberia town and has beautiful turquoise waters and extremely soft sand.
During the day you can perfect your tan, swim or practice watersports like surfing, stand-up paddling, or snorkeling.
For watersports lovers, the best time to go to this part of the country is from May to December, while December to March is perfect for sunbathing.
6. Take a tour of a coffee plantation
One of the main products exported by Costa Rica, besides bananas is coffee beans, one of the best in the world.
Book a coffee tour to discover the whole process of growing, harvesting, and roasting the beans, all the secrets for getting the best coffee in the world.
You can book this tour all year round, but I strongly recommend you to go on shoulder season when the crowds are gone and there are scattered showers, nothings to ruin your holiday.
At the end of the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste the coffee harvest on the farm and freshly roasted.
The good news is that most of the farms have a small shop from where you can buy coffee at the end of the tour so drink a good quality coffee while home to remind you about this amazing country.
We choose the Tio Leo Coffee Experience Tour, a 3 hours guided tour of a coffee plantation that ends with a coffee tasting, snacks, seasonal fruits, chocolate, and sugar cane juice.
7. Surf at Witch’s Rock
This part of Costa Rica attracts thousands of surfers from all over the world, being one of the best places for advanced surfers because of its great waves, beautiful beaches, and chill vibe.
Whether you are interested in learning a few surf moves or you already have a lot of experience this is the right place for you.
Around Witch’s Rock, the waves are higher, having about 8 meters high, perfect enough for some adrenaline when launching the board at the water.
The area is great for surfing all year round, but the best waves are from December to March, when is dry season and when the tide is high.
There are plenty of surfing schools in the area and surf shops from where you can rent surfing equipment for a good price.
Because Witch’s Rock is located inside a protected area, in Santa Rosa National park there are no accommodations in the area and the closest camping is located 20 kilometers away from the entrance to the park.
Most surfers come here by boat, surf for a couple of hours and then they go back to the resorts or guesthouses where they set their camp.
Where to stay in Liberia
The good thing about Liberia is that it is extremely accessible as here is located the second international airport from Costa Rica.
There are direct flights from many American cities as well as important European cities, so the only thing you have to do is to book your accommodation and let the adventure begin.
Here are some outstanding hotels where to book your trip:
- mid-level: Hacienda Guachipelin Volcano Ranch Hotel Costa Rica
- budget: Hotel Del Rio Liberia Costa Rica
There are plenty of outdoor activities to try while in the area, things to do in Costa Rica near Liberia: boat tours, surfing, windsurfing, zip lines, or shark diving being among the most popular.
Book at least one week in the area and discover on your own one of the most beautiful parts of this tiny Central American country that happens to have the richest biodiversity in the world.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.