Located 135 miles (220km) northwest of San Jose, Liberia is not so much a tourist destination as a convenient travel hub and gateway to the stunning beaches of Northwest Costa Rica. Liberia is often called 'la ciudad blanca' (the white city) because of the pale gravel used to make its roads and the prevalence of white colonial buildings. The small city does offer some colonial charm in the form of pretty homes and churches along with a selection of restaurants and nightclubs, but one of its main attractions is the nearby Rio Negro Hot Spring. In fact, most of its prime attractions are located just outside of Liberia; it is ideally situated as a base to explore some of the stunning national parks in Costa Rica, including Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and Santa Rosa National Park. Home to Costa Rica's second largest international airport, many tourists travel through Liberia on their Costa Rica holiday. As it receives so many tourists and is ideally situated for exciting excursions into the Costa Rican countryside, Liberia is home to many great tour companies who offer a variety of trips and activities for travellers. You could easily spend a whole holiday is Liberia if you use it as a base for day trips out into the surrounding areas.