This historical city tour will illuminate why Liberia has often been referred to as the white city, due to the many adobe houses and churches painted white with natural limestone paint paired with the white sandy roads of the past. Costa Rica is proud to show visitors the rich Colonial style buildings of its cultural heritage in this capital town of the province known as Guanacaste. After the walking tour you will have a chance to go shopping on your own in the city center as well as be driven to a couple of local souvenir shops.
Liberia’s original name was El Guanacaste named after the many Guanacaste trees, with their huge canopies, found in this area. Addresses continue to be given in terms of what major landmark is nearby. Centrally located between Nicaragua to the north, Cartago and San Jose to the south and the Nicoya peninsula to the west, the huge trees of the Guanacaste region provided the perfect address for this location back before there were highways.
Unlike the rest of Costa Rica, Guanacaste is mostly made up of dry tropical grassland with lowland forests and was historically settled by cattle ranchers. Liberia is the home of the sabanero culture, ranchers and cowboys, with amazing horsemanship skills. On the back roads it is not uncommon to see a cattle man riding his horse herding his cows from one pasture to the next, often along the now paved road you might be traveling on!
You will visit Royal Street to see the old adobe residences that are now considered heritage houses, then you will be taken to several historical buildings including a school built in 1904, and a church built in the 1800s featuring a beautiful facade and stain glass windows. If the church is open you can go inside.
Every town, large or small, is built around a central church that typically has a park in front where people congregate and socialize. Often there is a school and soccer field close by. You will spend time in Liberia’s Hector Zuniga Rovira Park, named after a famous musician and composer of themes related to Guanacaste, his birthplace. In the middle of the park is a 200 year old Guanacaste tree with its canopy spanning 120 feet of shade and a trunk measuring 15 feet in circumference.
From here you and your guide will decide on how much shopping time you would like to have and you’ll be free to shop on your own before regrouping at the bus. Finally the driver will take you to a couple of local souvenir shops for any last minute items.
Round trip transportation in an air conditioned bus, professional bilingual guide and bottled water are included in this charming half day cultural tour and shopping trip. It is recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress lightly as outdoors it can get quite hot. Note: transport can take up to 3 hours each way depending on the distance to your lodging, making this longer than a half day tour.