Located 215 kilometres to the north-west of the capital San Jose, Liberia is the first and main canton in Guanacaste province. For a period this area was divided between Nicaragua and Costa Rica before on 25 July 1824 its annexation to the latter nation was signed.

With a population of 55,000, Liberia is known as Ciudad Blanca (White City) because of the white volcanic earth on which it is found. It enjoys a relatively warm climate, typical of the country’s coastal regions, and temperatures can hit 36°C in summer.

In economic terms, the main sectors are the cattle industry, tourism and agriculture, which create jobs in the areas surrounding the city. What is more, its powerful service sector means it is considered among the province’s most economically developed cities.

Liberia is home to a great deal of Costa Rican history and folklore with, even now, it being possible to see original mud-and-clay built structures, some dating back to the time of well-known battles during the independence era.

The city also boasts the Daniel Oduber International Airport and well-developed nearby coastal tourism hotspots. In fact, its beautiful beaches and its people’s famed hospitability make it an ideal holiday destination.

Liberia has proved a significant provider of footballing talent over the years. Players to have emerged from the area include Costa Rica international Cristian Gamboa, currently at Norway’s Rosenborg, who was part of the Tico squad that finished fourth at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009.

Municipal Liberia are the region’s most representative club and compete in the country’s second tier. In 2001 they were promoted to the top flight and, following sizeable investment from a national businessman, enjoyed the services of players of the calibre of Rolando Fonseca and Harold Wallace for several seasons. The club lifted the national title in the Verano 2009 campaign, after defeating Club Sport Herediano in the final.