Guaitil, Guanacaste

Guaitil is famous for many things, but among them are its pottery and its food. Visitors looking for an authentic Costa Rican experience should take in Guaitil, which is situated in Guanacaste, one of the northern Pacific provinces of Costa Rica and linked by highways to the popular city of Santa Cruz.

Traditional Cuisine

Traditional Costa Rican food has always been a draw for tourists from all over the world, looking to savor the rich flavors so unique to Costa Rican traditions. While it’s possible to find many nationwide favorites in Guaitil, the village specializes in a number of regional dishes — including atol de maiz, tamal de elote, and tortillas revueltas. The abundance of corn makes it a vital ingredient in the local diet. For a popular local drink, try vino de coyol, a beverage extracted from palm trees. The rich flavors of Costa Rican food blend bold spices with delicate undertones and subtle nuances, making every bite an adventure in taste exploration.

Discover the Charm of Chorotega-Style Pottery

You may recognize the unique style of Chorotega pottery, which has been practiced by the villagers of Guaitil for centuries using ancient practices passed down from generation to generation. The pottery makes use of bold earthen colors taken from the local clay the pottery is made from, and stylized with unique, ornate designs particular to the native indigenous Chorotegas.

Chorotega-style pottery is made with painstaking care using dried clay that is then pounded with a massive wooden mortar and pestle to create powder, which is then mixed with a fine freshwater sand called “iguana sand” due to iguanas’ tendency to lay their eggs in it. Once potters have created this mixture, they blend it with water and knead it into a malleable, soft, yielding clay that can be shaped with tools or on a pottery wheel. One such tool is a suika stone, used to give the pottery its shine. Upon drying, the pottery is then fired using a natural wood oven as a kiln.

Many secrets of their pottery style are closely guarded, and the beautiful pieces hand-produced and painted by the villagers have become one of the largest attractions drawing tourists and creating a self-sustaining economy supporting the village. Many potters sell hand-made pots, pitchers, vases, and jars.

A Rich Local Market

The town park doubles as the town market, and acts as a gathering place for villagers and tourists alike. Browse local wares on display, take in the scenery, and meet new people as villagers mix and mingle with visitors to share their love of Guaitil’s unique attractions. Many public events take place in the town park, and it can be the perfect place to sample the language and culture while interacting with native Costa Ricans. Make yourself at home, and blend in as part of village life as you move among the tables and stalls to enjoy the beautiful products on display. Don’t forget to take a few home for your friends and family, while simultaneously supporting the local economy and the arts.

Get Acquainted With the Scenery

More than just food and pottery, Guaitil offers a rich variety of local scenery and wildlife, placing visitors in the heart of Costa Rica’s rich ecological diversity. The village is easy to reach along public roads, with buses running the 12 kilometer route between Guaitil and Santa Cruz daily.

A rich history of culture and tradition awaits you in Guaitil. Let Guaitil be your gateway to Costa Rican culture, artifacts, and national pride. Just a 20-minute drive from Santa Cruz, Guaitil waits to show you the beauty and richness of the Tico world.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $2,068 per person

Where to Stay near Guaitil

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Playa Grande Park Hotel and Villas
Starting at $77 / night
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Blue Zone Resort
Starting at $102 / night
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Hotel Mangaby
Starting at $85 / night
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The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort & Spa
Starting at $419 / night All-Inclusive
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El Mangroove, Marriott Autograph Collection
Starting at $218 / night
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Seis Playas Hotel
Starting at $100 / night
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The Grateful Hotel
Starting at $80 / night
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Capitán Suizo Beachfront Boutique Hotel
Starting at $250 / night

Things to Do near Guaitil

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Palo Verde Jungle Boat Tour with Lunch
Starting at $120 / person
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Coyote Sportfishing Tamarindo
Starting at $475 / Day
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Del Mar Surf Camp - Nosara
Starting at $65 / person