Didn't stay here...just a pass-through spot, but it had a beautiful Butterfly Garden.
Located in the heart of Costa Rica's banana growing region, Guapiles is the nations gateway between the central highlands and the Caribbean coast. It is the first town of any significance along Highway 32 (the Guapiles highway) when coming from San Jose in route to Puerto Limon.
Because of its proximity to many small ecological reserves, Guápiles is a great base for visitors interested in exploring the immense biodiversity of the Santa Clara plains.
Although most travelers merely pass through town on their way to the Caribbean, Guápiles has recently begun to embrace eco-tourists, which is evident by the amount of lodging that has recently been constructed to facilitate the increasing demand.
Getting to Guápiles is easy from San Josñ by both bus and car. Highway 32 runs directly east from the capital, eventually ending up at Guápiles in the foot hills of the Central Volcanic Corridor. Transportation time is about an hour. From the Caribbean side, simply take Highway 32 west from Puerto Limón.
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Only visited the restaurant where I had breakfast/lunch, so didn't see much of the town.
I found a wonderful hotel -- Hotel Suerre -- in Guapiles. Perfect place to stay with a huge pool, great restaurant and bar, and gorgeous rooms. Selva Tropical Restaurant was also very nice -- good food and great staff.
Selva Tropical for breakfast and lunch on return. Good place to stop.
There's really nothing in Guapiles. It's just a junction.