Costa Rica Regions and Destinations Map
Southern Zone Trogon Lodge

Southern Zone

Quetzal in the southern ZoneWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is where you’ll find the tallest mountains, pristine cloud forest areas, and a virtually unexplored paradise. Find a large variety of birds and just an endless array of biodiversity.  


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Mirador Cartago

Central Valley

Why Visit?

Cartago Costa RicaCosta Rica’s Central Valley is home to the capital of San José and the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Steeped in History & Culture, many people use the capital as the jumping off point for their vacations.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Arenal Volcano

Northern Zone

National Parks of Costa RicaWhy Visit? 

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is home to the country’s most famous Volcano and Cloud Forest Areas.

You will be amazed at the wildlife and all the biodiversity.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Drake Bay

Osa Peninsula

Jaguar of Costa RicaWhy Visit?

The Osa Peninsula is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Guanacaste

Guanacaste

Costa Rica BeachesWhy Visit? 

Guanacaste is home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is your destination for sun, sand, and surf.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Mal Pais Surfing

Nicoya Peninsula

Beachfront HotelsWhy Visit?

The Nicoya Peninsula is still largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Known for it’s laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Los Altos Pool

Central Pacific

Manuel Antonio National ParkWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is home to some of the closest beaches from the capital of San José, which are easily accessible from the highway.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Tortuguero Canals

Caribbean

Costa Rica's CaribbeanWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a rich cultural area offering a laid back tropical atmosphere. Experience what Tico Time truly is on this Afro-Caribbean influenced area. 


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Granada Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua Why Visit?

Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historical parts. You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts. 


Top Destinations

Bocas del Toro

Panama

Panama CanalWhy Visit?

Panama is a totally different level of destination. It has so much to offer. You can experience history and modern architecture all in one in Panama City with skyscrapers and the old part of the city. 


Top Destinations

So much to see and do in Costa Rica!  Get the most out of your time with a  Custom Itinerary

Costa Rica’s Central Valley

Home to the Capital City of San Jose and the International Airport in Alajuela

The central valley, characterized by coffee plantations surrounded by lush mountains and volcanoes. Many people spend their first and last nights in the city or use San José as a jumping off point for day trips to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Poas Volcano or rafting on the Pacuare. The airport is just under twenty minutes from the capital city of San José. The Central Valley is steeped in history and culture. Here you will find the biggest population being mainly in the bustling town of San Hose. Stop at the Poás Volcano or the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, or a day trip to Cartago to see fantastic Ruins. Visit the beautiful and peaceful Orosi Valley and lastly the famous Irazu volcano.


Destinations   Accommodations   Activities

Costa Rica Central Valley, San José 

There are a wide variety of daily flights available into Costa Rica Central Valley. The capital city of San José is the first entry point into the country for most visitors. The Juan Santamaria International Airport located just twenty minutes from the capital in the town of Alajuela. These cities; located in Costa Rica’s Central Valley, are characterized by the lush mountains and volcanoes that surround them. Also, the cool, comfortable “spring-like” climate found here year round. There are a wide variety of hotels near the airport, in the center of town or in the surrounding countryside available perfect for those planning on spending their first and last nights in the city.

Volcanoes, Coffee Plantations & Rivers

The Central Valley of Costa Rica is surrounded by majestic volcanoes covered by lush coffee plantations. Popular day trips from the central valley include a stop at the Poás Volcano or the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The Poas Volcano is the second largest volcanic crater in the world. Too, on a clear day is truly an impressive sight. The La Paz Waterfall Gardens is home to the 5 of the country’s biggest waterfalls, and offer’s visitors a chance to see butterflies, exotic birds, monkeys, cats and much more. A visit to a working coffee plantation's worth the effort, learn about all the history and tradition of making the perfect cup of coffee! White water rafting enthusiasts also choose San José as the place from which to start their rafting adventure on the world-famous Pacuare or Sarapaquí rivers.

A Cosmopolitan City in the Central Valley

San José offers the visitor several museums and points of interest that are worth a visit. We recommend setting up a private tour in the afternoon to take you to see the sites, such as the “Teatro Nacional,” the “Plaza de la Cultura” Gold & Jade Museums among other points of interest. Afterward, many people plan to have a nice dinner in a local “mirador”. A restaurant in the mountains offering impressive views of the city, typical music. Also, dance and some mouth-watering Costa Rican cuisine. San José is definitely worth an afternoon or evening to see the sites to get a feel of the capital. The surrounding towns of Escazu and Heredia are equally charming, offering a wide variety of accommodations, shopping, and restaurants.

Just so many different destinations here. 


Top Destinations

Bajos del toro Botos Lagoon

1 Bajos del Toro

Discover spectacular scenery and some great hiking and adventures!  This part of Costa Rica is known for its lush plant life and variety of animals. 

Costa Rica Waterfalls

2 La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located on the slopes the Poas Volcano, are one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Costa Rica.

Cartago Costa Rica, Basilica

3 Cartago

The surrounding mountain scenery is extremely picturesque – with the Orosi Valley being a popular tourist destination. Some of these are volcanos, with Irazu being the closest and looming spectacularly over the city.

Atenas Costa Rica, farmer monument

4 Atenas Costa Rica

Atenas Costa Rica is a peaceful town in between San Jose and the Central Pacific. Come experience the traditional festival.

San Jose Costa Rica Central Park

5 San Jose

With an altitude of 1,161 m above sea level San Jose enjoys a stable climate all year along and has an average temperature of 23°C with precipitations of 150 mm per month.

Rio Pacuare

6 Pacuare River

The Pacuare offers a full day of Class III/IV rafting in some of the most beautiful scenery and countryside that Costa Rica has to offer! This full day adventure includes breakfast and lunch and transportation to and from some of Costa Rica’s major destinations. Located on the Atlantic slope of the country, the Pacuare borders the Talamanca Mountains and is unique in scenery and adventure.

Braulio Carrillo National Park

7 Braulio Carrillo

Established in 1978 as part of an environmental compromise, the national park at Braulio Carrillo was created to help preserve the lush flora and fauna that was divided by the creation of the Guapiles highway.

Irazu Volcano Costa Rica

8 Irazu Volcano

A major eruption of the Irazu Volcano in 1723 completely destroyed the capital at the time and the current Costa Rican capital of San Jose, was completely covered in heavy soot and ash after a 1993 eruption.

Orosi Valley

9 Orosi Valley

If you hire your own rental car when you come to Costa Rica, visiting the Orosi Valley is a picturesque and fascinating day trip from San José. Not only will you see some of the country’s oldest architectural sights, but also some of its most beautiful natural ones too.

Heredia Costa Rica Church

10 Heredia

The province of Heredia is the greenest of the country, with lush national parks, waterfalls and extinct volcanoes. The city of Heredia, called the City of Flowers, is full of life and charm, elegant with plenty of beautiful hotels and very good restaurants.

Escazu Costa Rica

11 Escazu

Escazu is a young and trendy suburb located on the Western side of the Capital of San Jose. While the old Escazu is more laid back, San Rafael has much higher living standards; it is always very lively, wherever you go.

Hoteles Alajuela Zarcero

12 Alajuela

Alajuela is an inland province and does not have a coastline; it makes up for it with beautiful sceneries, and dazzling flora and fauna, thanks to its volcanoes.

Turrialba-Volcano-Green

13 Turrialba Volcano

The Turrialba Volcano once dormant for 105 years awakens with possibilities for you to experience when you visit the sprawling green landscapes of this peaceful paradise!

Accommodations

Central-Valley-Green

Central Valley Hotels

Some of the best hotels in Costa Rica are located in the Central Valley. This is especially true of the capital city San Jose. Getting off the plane after a long flight can be tiring so why not spend an extra night to refresh before you explore the rest of Costa Rica. The amenities are absolutely amazing you will enjoy every last minute of your stay here. 

Activities

central valley downtown

Central Valley Tours

San Jose is the perfect city to get your trip started in. Not only is it close to the airport nut there are some amazing tour you need to take a part in. You will have a really fun start to a Costa Rica vacation in San Jose.

San Jose CIty tour National Theatre

San Jose Private City Tour

Take a private city tour through Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose, there are some really cool thing s to see in the city including the National Theatre and Central Market.

Jade Museum

Top Museums in San Jose

San Jose has many cool museums that you will enjoy. They include the Jade Museum, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and the National Museum. 

Irazu Volcano Costa Rica

Costa Rica Volcanoes

The Volcanoes in Costa Rica make up so much of this little country. one of the biggest in the country is the Irazu Volcano. Also the Turrialba Volcano both in the central valley.

Rafting

Pacuare River Rafting

The Pacuare river is known as the best rafting river of Costa Rica. You will start out your day with breakfast and leave at lunch time after a fun day of splashing down rapids. 

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