Santa Barbara is located at the Guanacaste Province. Is a village full of traditions and it is the birth place of the Marimba, Costa Rica´s National Instrument.

Community Details

The tourism industry in Costa Rica is one of the most important in the country. In the province of Guanacaste, the activity has had a negative impact socially, environmentally and culturally. Moving local communities for the construction of all-inclusive hotels, destroying ecosystems and little by little the loss of their customs and traditions.

For this reason, Clara Padilla decided to fight with the community of Santa Bárbara in order to preserve and share the local culture and help local people to benefit from tourism. Santa Bárbara is the birthplace of the marimba, instrument that is a national symbol of Costa Rica. In addition, it is the only part of the country where the ancient tradition, inherited from our indigenous people, of ceramics is maintained.

Over the years she has organized different groups in her community to offer a variety of cultural activities such as cooking classes, typical dances, marimba lessons, among others.

Lodging Available in town:

  • La Casona Guanacaste: private rooms with shared bathroom in a 150 year old traditional house.
  • Homestay: A family atmosphere where you will be treated as a member of the family. You will have a private room and share the bathroom with your host family.
Experiences Available

Guanacastecan Show & La Casona Guanacaste visit

Travelers will be taken through the Casona with the participation of a bilingual guide or the owner of the Casona where they tell the story of the house of more than 100 years; as well as a brief description of what it contains, such as: leather beds, earwigs, awnings, potties, trunks, etc. Then experience the Guanacastecan Show, which consists of a representation of dances and typical music, to the sound of the marimba with either lunch or dinner.

Tortilla Making

Corn Tortillas are of daily use in the Guanacaste diet, you will have the chance to learn the entire process of making tortillas in the old way. Grind the corn, make the tortilla with your own hands, cook it and eat it at the end.

Cooking Lessons

Depending on the time you have, locals will teach you to make traditional desserts use to drink coffee in the afternoons, or cheese, homemade bread, pujagua corn pozol or for the ones with more time they will teach you a more complicated dish as gallina achiotada or corn rice. All these dishes belong to the Guanacaste traditional gastronomy.

Pottery Lessons

You will experience a complete demonstration of the pottery process, starting with making the mud with your feet, making a piece, cooking it into a mud oven. The traveler will learn from the history of the family whose modus vivendi has been transmitted from generation to generation.

Marimba Making (Costa Rica´s National Instrument)

An explanation of the marimbas is given by pioneers marimberos and marimbistas ( play and make the marimbas), their trajectory and their concern on the possible extinction of the precious woods used in its construction and the importance of transmitting this knowledge to future generations. At the end the traveler will have a chance to play the marimba.

Dairy Farm

You will have the opportunity to experience first-hand a traditional milking, feed the chickens, rosters, ducks and geese, learn about the jicaro, a low land tree whose fruits are use to carry and conserve fresh water while working in the fields and a hike into a riverside forest where you will find different tree species of the dry forest.

Agroecological Farm

You will be received by the owner of the farm, walk around and he will explain the different fruit trees and edible plants found in the farm such as annatto, cilantro, soursop, Chinese apple, nispero, oranges and much more from the area. This is a great example of how in small areas a farmer can diversified and produce different crops in a sustainable way with the environment and the local culture. During the corn season you can see the different varieties (white, yellow and purple). The farm has coyol palm trees where it is possible to extract a wine traditionally found only in Guanacaste, learn the process and taste it.


Is an option available at this community, projects may vary depending on village needs.

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We specialized in Rural Tourism. Our goal is to create authentic experiences for our travelers and help in the sustainable growth of our communities.
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