Guanacaste Province facts for kids

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Province of Guanacaste
Provincia de Guanacaste
Landscape of Guanacaste
Landscape of Guanacaste
Flag of Province of Guanacaste
Coat of arms of Province of Guanacaste
Coat of arms
Location of the Province of Guanacaste
Location of the Province of Guanacaste
Country Costa Rica
 • Total 10,140.71 km2 (3,915.35 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 326,953
 • Density 32.24163/km2 (83.50543/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Guanacasteco
ISO 3166 code CR-G

Guanacaste is a province of Costa Rica. It is in the northwestern part of the country, bordering Nicaragua. The provincial capital is the city of Liberia.


The province is named for the guanacaste tree, also known as the ear pod tree, which is the national tree of Costa Rica.


The Guanacaste province borders the provinces of Alajuela to the east,and Puntarenas to the southeast and southwest. The Pacific Ocean is to the south and to the west, and Nicaragua is to the north of the province.


Guanacaste is the second largest province of Costa Rica, after the Puntarenas province, with an area of 10,140.71 km2 (3,915.35 sq mi).

The province is in the northwest of Costa Rica, along the Pacific Ocean. Most of the territory of the province is flat or with low hills. The Cordillera de Guanacaste ("Guanacaste mountain range") is on the border with the Alajuela; in this range are four important volcanos:

  1. Miravalles, 2,028 m (6,654 ft) high;
  2. Tenorio, 1,916 m (6,286 ft) high;
  3. Rincón de la Vieja, an active volcano, 1,806 m (5,925 ft) high; and
  4. Orosí, an inactive volcano, 1,440 m (4,720 ft) high.


Árbol de Guancaste
Guanacaste tree

The people of the province are known as Guanacastecos (women: Guanacastecas.

The Guanacaste province had a population, in 2011, of 326,953 for a population density of 32.2 inhabitants/km2, the province with the lower density. The canton of Liberia, with 62,987 inhabitants, is the canton with more inhabitants.

Administrative divisions

The Guanacaste province is divided in 11 cantons, which are divided into 59 Districts.

Mapa de Guanacaste
Cantons of Guanacaste
No. Canton Capital Districts Population
1 Liberia Liberia 5 &&&&&&&&&&062987.&&&&&062,987 &&&&&&&&&&&01436.4700001,436.47 43.8
2 Nicoya Nicoya 7 &&&&&&&&&&050825.&&&&&050,825 &&&&&&&&&&&01333.6800001,333.68 38.1
3 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 9 &&&&&&&&&&055104.&&&&&055,104 &&&&&&&&&&&01312.2700001,312.27 42.0
4 Bagaces Bagaces 4 &&&&&&&&&&019536.&&&&&019,536 &&&&&&&&&&&01273.4900001,273.49 15.3
5 Carrillo Filadelfia de Guanacaste 4 &&&&&&&&&&037122.&&&&&037,122 &&&&&&&&&&&&0577.540000577.54 64.3
6 Cañas Cañas 5 &&&&&&&&&&026201.&&&&&026,201 &&&&&&&&&&&&0682.200000682.20 38.4
7 Abangares Las Juntas 4 &&&&&&&&&&018039.&&&&&018,039 &&&&&&&&&&&&0675.760000675.76 26.7
8 Tilarán Tilarán 7 &&&&&&&&&&019640.&&&&&019,640 &&&&&&&&&&&&0638.390000638.39 30.8
9 Nandayure Carmona 5 &&&&&&&&&&011121.&&&&&011,121 &&&&&&&&&&&&0565.590000565.59 19.7
10 La Cruz La Cruz de Guanacaste 4 &&&&&&&&&&019181.&&&&&019,181 &&&&&&&&&&&01383.9000001,383.90 13.9
11 Hojancha Hojancha 4 &&&&&&&&&&&07197.&&&&&07,197 &&&&&&&&&&&&0261.420000261.42 27.5


The main economic activity in the province is farming, mainly cattle raising. Important crops in the province are cotton, sugarcane and rice.

Alajuela has attracted many export-orientated manufacturing companies, especially within the free trade zones around the municipality of Alajuela.

Tourism is an important activity because the combination of beaches as Playas del Coco and Playa Tamarindo, and the sunny dry season that coincides with the winter months in northern latitudes. Many tourists also viste the national parks in the province.


Guanacaste Province Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.