Liberia Costa Rica

As tourism has ascended dramatically over the past three decades, so has the importance of the city of Liberia Costa Rica. The influx of tourists has made the international airport in Liberia a major hub for travelers, as many find it a preferable spot to fly into than San Jose. The terminal is significantly less crowded, thereby granting easier access to transportation and nearby accommodations and any flight into Liberia means you arrive within close proximity to some of the country's top parks and beaches.

Located only a half-hour's drive from the popular Golfo de Papagayo, Liberia Costa Rica is the capital of the scenic Guanecaste region. Despite its growing reputation as a tourist destination, the city retains a quaint colonial atmosphere, the streets still a sea of cracked white adobe homes with muted red-tile roofs. Founded in the mid-eighteenth century, the history of Liberia can be found in these aged houses, the facades giving birth to Liberia's nickname: the White City. Though well-preserved, citywide renovations have sought to build a balance between Liberia's provincial past and its apparent future as a major tourist hot spot. As of now, there are not too many hotels in Liberia Costa Rica, but the ones that do exist are relatively inexpensive and functional, such as the Hotel Boyeros or Hotel Guanecaste.

A popular park for both local and tourist is the Santa Rosa national park. Visitors get a glimpse into the history of Liberia at Santa Rosa - in 1856 an American named William Walker tried to invade the country to turn into his personal slave state, but Costa Rican farmers banded together to drive him out. A critical battle took place at this spot, and Walker was forced to retreat back into Nicaragua. A flight to Liberia will also touch down near Tamarindo, one of the most popular spots for beach resorts and the preferred getaway of thousands of travelers.

The history of Liberia is further explored in the city's Sabanero museum, a small but informative collection of photos and tools showing the transformation of the city in post-colonial Costa Rica. It's certainly not worth a flight to Liberia, but it has a sentimental feel for the past that seems lacking in many of the major cities of Costa Rica. And despite the many attempts by both the government and business entrepreneurs to change the city's makeup, Liberia remains a small town at its heart - usually a starting point towards the nearest beach, volcano or park to explore.

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