Now it’s easier than ever with the international airport in Liberia serving some of the most attractive countryside and coastline in the country, with this once small cowboy town turning into the new international gateway for visiting tourists to the area.
The whitewashed buildings of this sunny, colonial town have given it the moniker of the ‘white city’. While some of them could do with a lick of paint, it is still pretty and nice enough to have a wander about beneath Guanacaste, mango and magnolia trees which line the streets. The Guanacaste is the national tree of Costa Rica, with its unusual seed pods known as Orejas (ears). Break one open you’ll notice they have a rather unusual smell!
The oldest church in the town is La Agonia, located at the far end of Avenida Central, and on a clear day behind it you can spot Volcan Miravelles.
Most people who arrive in Liberia tend to stay for only a day or two, using it as a springboard to plan their itineraries to the other points of interest around the area.
The many beaches on the Pacific Coast are a draw for most, including the town of Tamarindo and the newer resorts along the Papagayo Gulf. Not only are there pristine, white sands and turquoise waters, but an abundance of wildlife for snorkelers and divers, as well as some decent surfing sites, in particular the Santa Rosa National Park which has possibly some of the best surf in the world.
There are a good few national parks in the area, including Rincon de la Vieja, which has an active volcano and there are a variety of lodges in the area where you can stay and take advantage of the bubbling mudpots and natural hot springs. It’s certainly one way to relax and to get away from the beach crowds for a while.
Dental patients will enjoy all that Liberia has to offer, doing as much or as little as the mood takes after dental treatment.
Liberia is in the province of Guanacaste in northwest Costa Rica, about half an hour’s drive from the Pacific Coast.
Many people who visit Costa Rica for a dental holiday would rather miss out the craziness of the big city. Also, why waste time traveling from San Jose when you can fly in to pretty much where you’re going?
The new international airport has made traveling to this part of the country a lot more convenient for international travelers, and for North American travelers it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility to go for a short trip to the beach areas here for a few days, now that the additional 6 hour trip from San Jose is no longer required.
Liberia is a great place for dental treatment. You are in a decent sized town so all the amenities you need are on your door step. Also you’ll find some reliable, good-quality dentists in town who have expertise across the range of dental specialties and who are well qualified and experienced with memberships of professional organizations both at home and abroad, for example the American Dental Association.
The other main reason to visit a dentist in Liberia is the cost – average savings are around 70% - usually enough to pay for your holiday, depending on the nature of your treatment, of course:
• Average cost of a single dental crown in the US $1,200, At a dentist in Liberia only $450• Average cost of root canal (inc. post/core and crown) US $2,200, At a dentist in Liberia around $900• Average cost of a dental implant in the US $3,900, At a dentist in Liberia $1,600
From countryside lodges to mountain spa resorts to chain hotels in the center of town, Liberia provides an array of accommodation styles suitable for all budgets and tastes.
Costa Rica is a safe country and there are no US travel advisory warnings against travel to any part of it. The only difficulty that tourists may encounter is that they aren’t necessarily used to nature, or their bodies. What seemed like a good hike could end up being exhausting if you aren’t fit enough – and if you are going off the beaten track you should always have equipment, such as a compass, and some food and drink with you – and let someone know your approximate route and estimated time of arrival back, just so the alarm can be raised if you don’t return.
Also watch out for strong currents and riptides around certain parts of the coast, they can be lethal if you don’t know what you’re doing.
There’s no reason why your care shouldn’t be as good as it is at home, but you must make sure you find a dentist you can depend on, and that takes a little bit of research.
Although standards are generally good, it always pays to do a little background digging. At Dental Departures we perform checks on all our verified clinics, using several processes. These include legal and criminal records, dentist qualifications and professional memberships, online reputation and a site visit. Taken together, these steps give us a pretty good picture as to a dentist’s/clinic’s reputation and if we aren’t satisfied with any part we do not list them.
Our website presents all this information for free, enabling our patients to judge and make a decision for themselves as to whether a dentist or clinic is the right one for them. Of course, we know there is no substitute for visiting a place yourself, but we try to make it as realistic as we can, providing high resolution clinic photos, virtual tours and real patient reviews.
Our partner dentists in Costa Rica, like most overseas dentists who treat international patients, are keen to provide excellent quality services. This extends to their work, customer care and the facilities available, which are generally state-of-the-art. World-renowned branded materials are used, not some inferior quality products that cost less.
You may wonder why dental care is less here, but it isn’t because the quality is less, it is because of the cost of living is – and the savings your dentist in Liberia makes are passed on to you.
Guarantees and warranties are issued as standard by all our dentists, so if something does go wrong with your treatment then it will be fixed free-of-charge.
However, we would advise you to take out ‘medical complications insurance’ cover which will pay additional travel and accommodation expenses if you have to travel back to Liberia as these expenses are not covered under our dentist warranties. We have got together with some insurance providers who have whose insurance of this type for very reasonable costs.
We have to say that, fortunately, problems very seldom arise with any of our patients’ treatment, and of those who have had problems they have been minimal. Choosing a good dentist will always diminish your risk, which is why we take a lot of care in ensuring we have quality-checked ours.
Our dentists often speak a variety of languages, as well as English and Spanish, so it won’t be necessary for you to speak Spanish. Elsewhere in Costa Rica, English is spoken widely and so you should be able to get by.
Most of our dentists accept US dollars, and our website lists the other payment methods each clinic accepts under each listing. The majority accept at least one other payment method from debit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, personal checks and traveler checks. Please note a small additional processing fee of 3-4% is usually charged on credit cards.
It is improbable your dentist in Liberia will be in your insurance company’s preferred network, and so will not be able to bill your insurance provider directly. If your provider allows for out-of-network care you may well be able to claim your expenses back once you have returned home. If you are unsure you can always check with your insurance company, and be sure to find out what documentation you will need to bring with you to your appointment if they will reimburse you.
When is the best time to visit one of our dentists?
Apart from public holidays our dentists in Liberia are open all year round. The weather is good throughout too, so the best time to go is really up to you.
Not everywhere is wheelchair accessible, but you should be able to get about reasonably acceptably in Liberia.
Many of our dentists do provide wheelchair-friendly facilities and we are always happy to find some way of accommodating you at one of our dentists if you are having difficulty finding the right one. Just speak with our Customer Care team, who are always on hand for some friendly advice.
There isn’t any more of a downside to Costa Rica than there is about visiting any foreign country. Perhaps the only thing to advise is not to let your guard down just because you are on holiday. Opportunistic thieves and pickpockets are ready to pounce when you are distracted or careless, so don’t become one of their victims and keep your wits about you.
Dental patients should also be aware that the preferred method of pain relief in Costa Rica is local anesthetic, rather than sedation dentistry. This service is offered by most of our dentists, but it is an additional service requiring an anesthesiologist. If you do need sedation dentistry it must be booked in advance, and it will cost another $400.
Staying in Liberia puts you only around an hour away from adventure destinations, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, beaches, the ocean and national parks and with all these wonders nearby it’s hard to forget that this is a friendly little place worthwhile spending a little time in itself.
There are plenty of hotels around, most with pools so you can cool off, loads of restaurants with different cuisines and bars with music, dancing or just peace and quiet. There are a number of language schools here, so why not try learning a little Spanish if you have some down-time. You don’t really need to speak Spanish but it’s always appreciated if you try and speak a little of the local lingo.
A hidden gem in town is the Hidden Art Gallery which features established and emerging artists and has more than 15 rooms full of sculptures, paintings and other interesting things. It also has some lovely gardens to sit and relax in. Every Saturday they have a market from 10am to 2pm where you can buy handcrafted jewelry, natural beauty products, organic produce, and yummy food.
Just 10 minutes drive south of Liberia is the African Safari. It does recommend you make a reservation as there are a limited number of places available on the safari vehicles. Be sure to buy some carrots at the onsite restaurant to feed the giraffes and zebras, who will love you forever! It’s an interesting 3 hour trip among the tamer species of African animals (no big cats here), and if you bring your swimsuit you can walk behind one of the waterfalls to cool off.
Exciting times to be in Liberia are during the fiestas. One takes place at the end of February to celebrate Guanacaste traditions and folklore with concerts, music and rides. The other takes place at the end of July to celebrate the Annexation of Guanacaste – the day that Guanacaste province chose to be part of Costa Rica rather than Nicaragua in 1824, with music, parades, bullfighting – and plenty of drinking!
Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) is Liberia’s airport.
• Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, Liberia: 8 miles (13 kms), 17 mins• La Cruz: 36 miles (48 kms), 51 mins• Nicoya: 49 miles (79 kms), 1 hr 18 mins• Tamarindo: 47 miles (77 kms), 1 hr 20 mins• Puntarenas: 83 miles (218 kms), 2 hrs 18 mins• Alajeula: 106 miles (170 kms), 3 hrs 11 mins• San Jose: 139 miles (229 kms), 3 hrs 23 mins• Catarina, Nicaragua: 111 miles (179 kms), 2 hrs 30 mins
We’re available practically 24/7 to speak to you about booking an appointment with one of our dentists. Call our toll-free number, or book online. You can also use our online chat or send us an email. We can help you to find one of our quality-checked dentists in Liberia at the best prices.