Cañas, Guanacaste

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Located along the Northern Lowlands plains, the tiny community of Cañas is slow-moving and relaxing. Cañas sits just off the Pan American Highway, making it very accessible for travelers to get to and from. Sabanero, or more commonly referred to as cowboy, culture is predominant here. You'll see locals riding horseback down the street and plenty of cattle-raising farms in the region. This isn't a place for frill and modern amenities. This dry, dusty Latin American town embraces tradition, and you'll even have a hard time finding businesses open during lunch hours. Loaded with charm and unique culture, Cañas is the perfect place to visit if you want to truly experience the Tico lifestyle.

While Cañas isn't much of a tourist community, travelers will find a beautiful church in Parque Central. The intricate design of colorful mosaics along the façade makes it one of the most beautiful attractions in the region. However, Cañas is a good middle ground for those wanting to visit some of Costa Rica's most popular destinations, like the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna, which is only a short drive away.

Travelers who want to truly experience the lifestyle of local Ticos should venture to local bars, clubs and restaurants, which are undoubtedly not catered toward tourists. You will find folk dancing in the town's bars and eclectic garb reminiscent of locals' past.

Palo Verde National Park

Spanning 184 square kilometers, the Palo Verde National Park is a remote sanctuary of wetlands along the Tempisque River. Many people visit the area for its wonderful birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. In fact, the national park is home to one of Central America's largest concentration of aquatic birds, and it is one of the most important migratory bird sites. A slew of mangroves, marshes, limestone outcrops, lagoons and grassland make up the national park.

At the end of rainy season, roughly 250,000 birds flock to Palo Verde, but the most popular time to visit the area is dry season, which is between January and April. During this time, the water levels subside and there is little vegetation blocking the view of wildlife.

Cipanci Wildlife Refuge

The small wildlife refuge sits along the confluence of the Tempisque and Bebedero rivers at the southern tip of Palo Verde National Park. The refuge opened in 2001, and it serves as a great spot for birdwatching, fishing and more. While it's virtually untouched by travelers, the refuge is a beautiful location from which to escape daily life. It was an addition to Palo Verde National Park in order to protect the land against farmers.

Satellite Map of Cañas
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