Santa Cruz and Guaitil Artisans
Duration: Half Day
Visiting the Guanacaste province, on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica, during you holiday will give you a fascinating insight into the Guanacastecan culture and the lives of the ancient Chorotega Indians.
Enjoy a drive through the spectacular Guanacaste countryside, where you will see numerous small villages and cattle ranches scattered amongst the hillsides along the way. Eventually you will arrive at the small village of Guaitil, renowned for its beautiful Indian handcrafted pottery, made as replicas of ancient ceremonial Pre-Columbian objects.
Local artisans − mostly women − will show you the fascinating ancient manufacturing processes used to make this unique pottery, which include forming, firing and painting. The same crafting techniques were used hundreds of years ago by their ancestors, the indigenous Chorotega Indians, and are still in use today. Most pieces are made by hand without using a wheel, and native clay and natural paints and colours are used for decoration. These beautiful ceramic pots make fantastic souvenirs and gifts. You may even be able to haggle with the prices if your Spanish is up to it.
Soon after, you will be taken to the bustling town of Santa Cruz, the name meaning ‘Holy Cross’ in Spanish. One of the most important cities in the Nicoya Peninsula, after the colonial city of Liberia, Santa Cruz has been declared the ‘National Folklore City of Costa Rica’ by the Central American Institute of Tourism, due to its rich folklore and culture. Traditions such as rodeos, bullfights, colourful fiestas, marimba playing, dancing and pottery all contribute to its charm and vibrancy, attracting thousands of tourists and Costa Ricans from all over the country.
Your guide will give you a tour of this wonderful city, introducing various landmarks such as the historic church and the town's lively plaza. You will also visit a group of local women who have specialized in traditional, authentic Guanacaste cuisine, all prepared with corn, following the old recipes passed on from generation to generation. There will be free time for souvenir shopping at the end of the tour.
What to bring: cool comfortable clothes, tennis shoes, sun block, hat and camera. Length of tour: Half Day.
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