Tilaran, Guanacaste

Great windsurfing on Arenal Lake on the Tilaran side of the lake
Great windsurfing on Arenal Lake on the Tilaran side of the lake

Gateway to Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano, Tilaran is a charming town that lies in the northeastern regions of Guanacaste province, close to the border of Alajuela. Located along the Pan American Highway some 4 km from Lake Arenal, Tilaran is now fast becoming a key location for adventures in and around the lake area. A quaint little town 22 km from Canas, Tilaran is also a major farming zone for coffee, peanuts and macadamia nuts in the region as well as for cattle and horse ranching.

Laid-back Town

A relaxed and laid-back town, where the residents are friendly and everyone knows their neighbor, Tilaran is a great place to stay in while touring the Arenal area due to its fantastic climate and slow pace of life. The weather in Tilaran is great because this town lies over 500 meters above sea level, and the temperatures here are always cool and comfortable. With high winds blowing across town from November to April, Tilaran is a great area for some world class windsurfing in Arenal Lake.

Off the Beaten Path

The traffic here is unhurried and the streets and houses in town are always clean. Accommodations here are ideal for those traveling on a budget, and there are plenty of activities to engage in when you are here. Often referred to as one of the country’s undiscovered gems, Tilaran is a great place for individuals and families to have a nice and tranquil vacation. The center of town is where most of the hotels, restaurants, and lodging options are located, while nearby is the largest church in Guanacaste, the Cathedral Church.


Offering some beautiful views of the surrounding locale, Tilaran has some great bird watching opportunities, especially around Arenal Lake, as well as some terrific fishing and boating for the avid angler. For the adventurous mountain bike trips and horseback tours can be also be arranged. Nature walks are the best way to explore the area, as one can visit the biggest tree in Costa Rica that is over 500 years old and see ancient Indian rock carvings in the hills around Tilaran. With several tour companies found here, one can also raft the nearby Corobice River.

A nice time to be in Tilaran is around April for the Fiesta de Dias Civicas, a popular country fair with rodeos and a livestock show. To get to Tilaran, you can either drive in from San Jose City over 3 hours away, or fly into the Liberia International Airport and then take a short drive to Tilaran.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $779 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $1,726 per person

Where to Stay near Tilaran

Featured Hotel
Mountain Paradise Hotel
Starting at $90 / night
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Villas Josipek
Starting at $70 / night
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Hotel Arenal Rabfer
Starting at $59 / night
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Hotel La Fortuna
Starting at $71 / night
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Essence Arenal and Spa
Starting at $50 / night

Things to Do near Tilaran

Featured Activity
Rainforest Chocolate Tour
Starting at $25 / tour
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Desafio Adventure Company
Starting at $39 / person
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Pure Trek Canyoning
Starting at $100 / person
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Wave Expeditions
Starting at $30 / person