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277km (172 miles) NW of San José; 59km (37 miles) NW of Liberia; 20km (12 miles) S of Peñas Blancas

Near the Nicaraguan border, La Cruz is a tiny hilltop town that has little to offer beyond a fabulous view of Bahía Salinas (SalinasBay), but it does serve as a gateway to the nearly deserted beaches down below, a few mountain lodges bordering the nearby Santa Rosa and Guanacaste national parks, and the Nicaraguan border crossing at Peñas Blancas.

 

There’s little reason to stay in La Cruz, but if you must, check out Hotel La Mirada Inn (www.hotellamirada.com; (tel) 2679-9702), a simple, well-kept local hotel. However, instead of staying in town, stay on the shores of the beaches listed below.