It is located 272 km from San José, 23 Km from Nicoya, 25 Km from Filadelfia and 57 Km from Liberia. It has a total area of 1.312.27 km2 and is made up of seven districts. It has an altitude that goes from zero to 500 meters above sea level. It was declared a national folkloric city, where they retain customs and traditions from the region.  It has a large amount of beaches 21 areas that are considered to be main tourist hotspots. In the pre-Columbian period the land that is presently occupied by the county of Santa Cruz formed part of the indigenous Provinces of Chorotegas, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, those domains reached as far as the Nicaragua lake, which was made up of several villages, one of the tribes  who initiated the conquest was Chief Diría. In 1974 Santa Cruz was declared the National Folkloric City and its popular festivals were named by decree the National Civic Festivals of Santa Cruz. It was established in 1760; it is one of the oldest cities in Guanacaste and is the National Folkloric Capital. The traditional dances, the folkloric music and the bull ring are still strong traditions here and can be appreciated during the city festivals. The Festival of Cristo Negro de Esquipulas is celebrated on the 15th of January. The celebration of the joining of Guanacaste takes place on the 25th of July. You can visit the Frondosa plaza in the city, with its mango trees and ruins of an old church that was destroyed by an earthquake half a century ago. 12 Km to the east of Santa Cruz is Guaitil, where in the last few years they have brought to life the old ceramic traditions of the Chorotega Indians. The members of the local arts and crafts cooperative enjoy teaching tourists the process of where the clay comes from in the area to the heating of it in the ovens that are situated behind the workshop.There is gas station on the main highway.


Banco de Costa Rica Ph (506) 2680-3253, Ph/fax (506) 2680-3257 Located 200 meters North of the Plaza Lopez. Monday to Friday of 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travel Ckecks.

Banco Nacional Ph (506) 2680-0503/ 2680-0544/ 2680-1403, Ph/fax (506) 2680-0487/ 680-1937. Located diagonal Hotel Palenque, at the entrance of the city. Monday to Friday of 8:30 a.m at 3:45 p.m. There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travel Ckecks.

Banco Popular Ph (506) 2680-1395/ 2680-1396. Located to Northwest side of the Catholic Church. Monday to Friday of 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m and Saturday of 8:15 a.m to 11:30 a.m.There is an automatic cashier, currency exchange, travel Ckecks.

How to arrive and leave

By Car

Santa Cruz is 57 km to the south of Liberia and 23 km to the north of Nicoya via highway 21; this can be used as a departure point to go on excursions to Tamarindo beach 34 km away and other beaches on the Guanacaste Central Coast.

By Bus

There are two terminals and some bus stops. Transportes La Pampa Ph (506) 2680-0111, its terminal is on the north side of  Plaza de los Mangos, and offers a service to Nicoya 17 times a day from 6:00 a.m a 9:30 p.m, and 16 times to Liberia from 5:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m. The main terminal is located 400 meters east of the center. Tralapa Buses located in  San José Ph (506) 2221-7202, in Santa Cruz Ph (506) 2680-0392, they depart from 20th Street, on the corner with 5th Avenue, in San José, 9 times a day to Santa Cruz, it is a journey of five hours, 6 US$; return to San José depart 3:00 a.m, 4:30 a.m, 5:00 a.m, 6:30 a.m 8:30 a.m, 10:15 a.m, 11:30 a.m, 1:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m. Alfaro buses go from  San José to Nicoya and also pass by Santa Cruz. The buses to Puntarenas leave 6:20 a.m and 3:20 p.m, and those that go to Liberia, 5:30 a.m and 7:30 p.m. There are services to several nearby villages, with six daily services to Guaitil. The buses that go to the coast also leave from the main terminal. Destinations include Conchal, Brasilito, Flamingo and Potrero Beach, four times a day. Some services from Tralapa that travel to the beach and the coastal villages pass by Santa Cruz. The bus to Junquillal leaves at 10:00 a.m, and to Tamarindo 6:45 a.m and 8:30 p.m.

To the south

To visit the other beaches that are in the south you need to get back onto the main Peninsula road and pass by Nicoya, 23 km to the south of Santa Cruz. The dirt roads to the south lead to Nosara, Garza, Sámara and Carrillo Beach, it also leads to Ostional National Refuge for Wildlife. In Nosara, Sámara and Carrillo there are landing strips for regular flights. The paves roads to the east of Nicoya pass by the Barra Honda National Park and lead to the Punte de la Amistad, which takes you to the central region of Costa Rica. To the southeast, the roads to Naranjo Beach and the Puntarenas Ferry pass by the communities of Jicaral and Lepanto, the majority of the road is paved. If you also would like to go to Paquera to visit the Tambor, Montezuma, Cabo Blanco and Mal País beaches, take the detour that is at the gas station before you get to quay of Naranjo Beach (there are signposts) and take a detour on the right hand side on a paved road that is in good condition until you get to Paquera, here you can take the ferry to Puntarenas. For those that travel by bus it is difficult to get to Montezuma beach and other areas, so you will need to return to Puntarenas and take the ferry to Paquera.