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Santa Cruz, Guanacaste

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Tired after bus ride to Santa Cruz

Meaning ‘Holy Cross’ in Spanish, the historic city of Santa Cruz is centrally located in Guanacaste, and is considered to be the second most important city in the province after Liberia. Roughly located in the heart of the Nicoya Peninsula, and a short 30 minute drive away from the Daniel Oduber International Airport, this fascinating city is known throughout Costa Rica for its rich folklore and culture.

National Folklore City of Costa Rica

Declared the National Folklore City of Costa Rica by the Central American Institute of Tourism, Santa Cruz is known throughout the country for amazing and colorful fiestas, rodeos, dances, festivals and traditional Costa Rican food. An excellent place to stopover while touring Guanacaste’s many beaches, national parks and other attractions, the city of Santa Cruz is ideal for an afternoon siesta or a night out on the town. Accommodations here are plentiful with a variety of first-rate hotels and restaurants found scattered all over the city.

Close to Spectacular Beaches

A lively and bustling commercial center, Santa Cruz is sometimes considered a halfway point of many of the province’s spectacular beaches, which lie 15-20 minutes away. However, if you take a closer look at this vibrant city, you will fall in love with it instantly. Known among the locals for its cattle industry, Santa Cruz often plays host to many terrific rodeos and bullfights, with many Costa Ricans coming from all over the country to participate.

Warm Tropical Climate

The climate in Santa Cruz is mainly tropical and is mostly warm throughout the year, making it a great place to visit at any time. Being the region’s most lively and vivid city, Santa Cruz’s biggest lure is its marvelous folklore. Traditions such as marimba playing, dancing, rodeos and pottery all make it a must visit city when touring the province.


Best Time to Visit

A wonderful time to visit Santa Cruz is during January when the city honors its patron saint Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, with dances, parties and scrumptious local delicacies. People from all over Costa Rica attend this festival. A must taste local food is Punto Guanacasteco, which you can get at a women's cooperative restaurant known as Coope-Tortillas. This place is one of the few restaurants in the city which serve authentic Guanacaste food.

When in Santa Cruz, do remember to take a short trip to Guaitil, which is known for its long standing tradition of manufacturing beautiful Chorotega Indian ceramic crafts.
North Pacific Coast (Tamarindo Area) Map