The province of Guanacaste is an interesting one indeed - a study in contrasts. The area around the Gulf of Papagayo has been designated by the Costa Rican government to be developed into an area not unlike Cancun. There are also large developments in the area around Flamingo, and further north around the Papagayo area.
The area around Tamarindo, Flamingo and Ocotal are almost as renowned for bill fishing as Quepos is further south. During some parts of the year the fishing is better here, and many of the charter boats move north.
However, there are many natural treasures to be found here. Many people feel that the beaches of Guanacaste are some of the prettiest in the country. It is certainly possible to drive a 4WD vehicle to some remote beaches where you will not find another soul. The funky little town of Montezuma has been a magnet for backpackers for years.
The area around Rincon de la Vieja is actually an ancient compound volcano, and this National Park abounds with small geysers, bubbling mud pits, and natural hot springs. The area is also interesting because the gases from the volcanic activity have stunted the growth of vegetation, creating some very unusual local plant life. This area around Santa Rosa National Park is rich in animal life. More than 300 species of birds have been identified here. Over 3800 species of moths and butterflies have also been recorded.
- Hacienda Guachepelin $: Located near Rincon de la Vieja
- Capitan Suizo $$$: Set on the beach with beautiful gardens and huge, exotic pool
- Hotel Sugar Beach $$$: Right on the Pacific, this is an oasis of comfort and luxury
- Florblanca Resort $$$$: Luxury oceanside villas with peace, quiet and beauty all around
- Paradisus Playa Conchal $$$$: Luxury "club style" all inclusive.
The per night rate for the hotels in this area are priced as follows.
$$$$: $300.00 and above
$$$: $175.00 - $300.00
$$: $100.00 - $175.00
$: Under $100.00
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Ceviche (also spelled Cerviche) is almost as important to Costa Rica Cuisine as the ubiquitous Gallo Pinto. It can be found all over the country. From bus station counters to high end restaurants, you will almost always find this fish cocktail on the menu.
I live in New Orleans, and I am a gumbo junkie. Working from essentially the same ingredients and spices, everyone here produces a different gumbo. All local cooks have their own recipe, and all are (usually) delicious.