If you’re looking to explore Guanacaste, chances are you’ll pass through Liberia, Costa Rica. While the city is often thought of as a transportation hub, it has a rich history that dates back long before the country’s founding. In the past, Liberia played an essential role in the cattle industry, serving as a vital way station for herds driven between San José and Nicaragua. Cowboys would rest their cattle under the shade of the giant Guanacaste trees, while the surrounding land provided excellent grazing for their livestock. Even today, cattle remains a vital part of the region’s economy, along with an array of other agricultural crops.
One of the highlights of visiting Liberia is the Museo del Sabanero, or the Cowboy Museum. The museum provides an engaging look into the role of cattle and cowboys in Costa Rican society and history.
Liberia serves as the capitol city of the Guanacaste province and is located roughly four hours from San José, the country’s capitol. In recent years, Liberia has become a popular shopping hub for expats, tourists, and locals alike. The city boasts big-box retailers and specialty stores that offer unique brands from the region.
Additionally, Liberia has modernized significantly over the past decade, becoming a critical location for medical care, governmental departments, and trade. It’s worth noting that the international airport in Liberia has played a significant role in Guanacaste’s development as a tourist and expat destination. And, in 1999, the Guanacaste region was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, highlighting its immense economic importance to Costa Rica.