Regions in Costa Rica
- Middle Valley
The centre of Costa Rica; mainly urban. The country’s most populous cities are located here, including San José. Many museums and some volcanoes are to be noted in this region.
- Central Pacific
Home to some of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches and national parks. Perhaps one of the most touristy regions of Costa Rica, along with Guanacaste.
The “dry region” of Costa Rica, with little rain at any time of year, fabulous beaches and surfing, and some great volcanic and dry forest parks in the north, near the Nicaraguan border.
The least visited region in the country, due to its relative isolation. Nevertheless, there are great opportunities for white water rafting and sea turtle watching. There are also many beautiful beaches. It is also considered an outpost of Jamaican culture in Costa Rica due to the high percentage of residents of Jamaican descent.
- Northern Costa Rica
A sparsely populated but beautiful and mountainous region best known for its active Arenal Volcano and surrounding hot springs, volcanic lakes and cloud forests.
- South Pacific Costa Rica
One of the most diverse environments on the planet, rich in exotic endemic flora and fauna, and some of the most beautiful and remote tropical beaches on the planet.
Cities in Costa Rica
Due to Costa Rica’s topography and historical development, most of its economic growth has been concentrated in the country’s central valley, which includes four cities: San José (capital), Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia. The provincial capitals (Liberia, Puntarenas and Limón) and other strategically located cities are of regional importance, especially for tourism. The most important cities in Costa Rica for travellers are:
- San José – The capital.
- Alajuela – Location of the Juan Santamaría International Airport
- Cartago – first capital of Costa Rica
- Jacó – the largest city on the central Pacific coast, surrounded by incredible biodiversity and natural beauty, famous surf spot.
- Heredia – Coffee plantations
- Liberia – Location of the Daniel Oduber International Airport and gateway to the beaches of Guanacaste, such as Samara, Nosara, Carillo.
- Puerto Limón – Main town on the Caribbean side
- Puerto Jiménez – Small town and hub of the South Pacific region of Costa Rica.
Quesada – the largest town in the north of the country, surrounded by hot springs popular with Costa Rica holidaymakers; locally known as “San Carlos”.
Other destinations in Costa Rica
- Arenal Volcano – active volcano
- Cahuita National Park
- Chirripo National Park
- Cocos Island National Park
- Corcovado National Park
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves
- Rincón de la Vieja National Park
- Tortuguero National Park