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



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


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


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 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 Northern Zone

Home to the World Famous Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud forest & More!

The cloud forests of Monteverde attract nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive quetzal. This is cowboy country and a great place for visitors to experience “authentic” Costa Rican culture. The top places to visit in the north region are La Fortuna waterfall gardens, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud forest, Sarapiquí, and Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Destinations   Accommodations   Activities

Northern Costa Rica 

In Northern Costa Rica you’ll find the vast countryside making up the northern plains. Here you’ll find miles and miles of plantations – mostly rice and sugarcane as well as cattle pastures. This is the agricultural center of Costa Rica. Here you can find a lot of authentic “cowboys” who live a traditional life of working in the fields with the land. The Northern Zone has a low population density when compared with other parts of the country, while there are a few major exceptions – like the popular town of La Fortuna, Arenal, Monteverde & Sarapiquí.

The Arenal Volcano – A Majestic Giant

Visitors flock to the majestic Arenal Volcano near the city of La Fortuna. Recently the volcano has been less active than it was in years past. However, the conical shape of the Arenal Volcano with its charred slopes offer an impressive sight. Activities abound in this wonderful area. Choose to relax and rejuvenate in local hot springs, fly through the treetops on a canopy tour, go whitewater rafting and much more. There is so much to see and do during your visit to the Northern Zone to the Arenal Volcano!

The Cloud Forests of Monteverde in Northern Costa Rica

Explore the cloud forests of Monteverde. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to see the beautiful Quetzal in its natural habitat. This area is a must see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts a like. You’ll never forget a hike through the Santa Elena Reserve or Monteverde National Park. Or a visit to the hanging bridges found here in one of Costa Rica’s Northern Zone’s most beautiful rainforest areas. 

Sarapiqui – A destination off the beaten path!

The area of Sarapiqui is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets – offering visitors a fantastic rainforest destination away from all the tourists and crowds. Here you’ll find pristine rainforest reserves, crystalline rivers, and a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Visit the Braulio Carrillo National Park, go rafting on the Sarapiquí river or visit a working scientific research station such as La Selva – there is so much to see and do in the unique and beautiful Northern Zone!

What a great destination to Visit. 

Top Destinations

La Fortuna Costa Rica Rocks

1La Fortuna

It's very rewarding and nothing complicated to visit Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna natural hang outs, you know, those special authentic marvelous natural locations locals know about and visit on their off time.

La Fortuna Waterfall

1The La Fortuna Waterfall

The falls crash down 200 feet or 65 meters giving great views the whole way down. At the bottom of the 480 step trail, there is a quiet jade colored pool with soft sands and surrounding boulders that turn a vibrant turquoise hue as the water gets deeper. This pool makes a great swimming hole. It has clear waters, and you can see silver darting river fish energetically chasing food that happens to fall in the water. The pond provides a perfect backdrop for photographing the La Fortuna waterfall with green foreground and gently drifting currents.

Kayaking on Lake Arenal

1Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal is possibly the coolest lake in all Costa Rica. It has great views and so many activities to occupy you on vacation.

Cerro Chato View

1Arenal Volcano

Arenal is one of the most beautiful volcanoes on Earth. Known for its imposing height, lush flora, great weather, myriad activities and tours to entertainment and delight.

Monteverde Cloud Forest


Lush green mountains and magical trees make out this magical forest, that is pretty much the way it was hundreds of years ago, yet the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the top destination of Costa Rica.

Poas Volcano National Park

1Poas Volcano

The Poas National Park has an amazing bird population and many fascinating animals to view while visiting.

Rio Celeste Costa rica Blue Pool

1Rio Celeste

Renowned for its piercing blue waters, the Celeste River and its mesmerizing waterfall are one of the highlights of this protected area.

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

1Caño Negro

Caño Negro is a natural wildlife refuge full of biodiversity in Costa Rica and is considered the third most important wetland in the world.  It serves as a shelter for many migratory bird species and other plants and animals in process of extinction. It is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

View the river flowing


Needless to say, if you dare to take on the rugged white water's of Costa Rica this area of the country is for you. Sarapiqui is home to some of the most pristine wildlife areas in the country and is the place for those looking for a little adventure in the rainforest.

Costa Rica Souvenirs Sarchi Oxcart


 A great day trip from San José this typical Costa Rican town is the best place to come if you want to buy beautiful handcrafted gifts and see some history in action at the same time.

Miravalles Volcano Cloud

1Miravalles Volcano

The Miravalles Volcano is an andesitic stratovolcano in Costa Rica. The caldera was formed during several major explosive eruptions between about 1.5 and 0.6 million years ago.

Rio Celeste hotels

1Tenorio Volcano

The whole area of Tenorio Volcano is composed of magnificent waterfalls and lagoons, small geysers and hot springs. Over the hills are magical cloud forests while the rain forest are found lower down. The must-see is Rio Celeste, well-known for its beautiful color.


costa rica volcanoes

Northern Zone Hotels

If you are looking for a Hotel in Arenal Costa Rica then you've come to the right place! With so many options to choose from it is can be difficult to find the right accommodation for you. The Arenal Volcano Costa Rica is one of the most active in the world and many hotels in the area feature stunning views of this colossal giant.


Arenal Volcano Costa Rica tour Hike

Northern Zones Tours

The Arenal Volcano Costa Rica is jam packed with activities. From hiking and canopy tours to relaxing in nature-made hot springs. Also, visit one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. In fact, at one time you could see billowing smoke and fiery ash.  No Costa Rica vacation is complete without visiting this tropical adventure land!  Check out some things to do near the Arenal Volcano Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Ziplining Arenal Canopy Fun

Canopy Tour

Explore the rainforests and jungles in a different way, from the canopy above. You will be able to see so much more than walking below. 

Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve Nature

The Cloudforest

The cloud forest reserve of Monteverde if full of amazing sights and sounds. Walking on the hanging bridges and seeing some of the amazing waterfalls 

Arenal Volcano Hot Springs

Thermal Hotsprings

After an exhilarating hike through the rainforest, you might want to sit and relax for a while in some natural hot springs.  

Canyoning Fun


Canyoning is a fun way to refresh yourself after a hot day. You will be climbing through some cool views and then get the chance to rappel down a waterfall. 

Map of Costa Rica’s Northern Zone

Costa Rica's Northern Zone Map

© Copyright 2004-2018 all rights reserved. My Costa Rica is a Travel Agency that offers Custom Costa Rica Vacations & Packages Including Hotels, All-Inclusive Resorts and Tours.
Read our Privacy Policy - Sitemap.