Although Costa Rica is a relatively small country, with just 19,700 square miles (51,00 sq. km) it is incredibly diverse and has so much to offer! With rumbling volcanoes, two coasts, peninsulas, rainforests and miles of coastline – having the right map of Costa Rica is very important! We’ve put together a variety of maps to help you navigate through this tropical paradise,
Explore Costa Rica by Region
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.
Costa 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.
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America and boasts two coastlines – the Caribbean and Pacific. Also, it borders Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South. Our maps of Costa Rica contain a lot of useful information to help you plan your trip and give you an idea of where everything is located. Here you will find all the maps that you are looking for and that you need to explore this beautiful country.
Knowing where to go is arduous and costly if you choose the wrong place. Fortunately, Costa Rica is full of beautiful scenery and stunning backdrops. Wherever it is you wish to go, Costa Rica has the perfect fit for you. From the warmth of a sandy beach to the seclusion of a jungle scene, there is something for every kind of traveler. Costa Rica is home to some of the friendliest people on the planet. They are proud to share their country with its lucky visitors.
A constant problem for vacationers who wish to experience Costa Rica is the incredibly vast number of unique points of interest. You might think why that even is a problem and not rather a blessing. Well, it is a blessing in terms of all the breathtaking places you could and should visit, but also it makes it even harder to choose! We have made it easier for you by dividing the country into eight distinct regions. Take your time to go through all of the information and if you still need more help figuring out your dream vacation at the end, don't think twice about contacting one of our travel coordinators!
Where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is located in Central America. It lies on the isthmus which connects North and South America. Costa Rica has a border with Nicaragua in the North which is 313 kilometers long and a border with Panama to the South which is 348 kilometers long.
On this map, you can see the location of Costa Rica on a world map. With a size of 51,100 km2 (19,700 sq mi), it is one of the smaller countries.
International Flights to Costa Rica
International Flight Map - How Do I Get to Costa Rica?
San Jose (SJO) is one of the two international terminals, and they have a large variety of carriers that fly directly into the country. From Canada, you will fly through Montréal or Toronto regularly. From The United States, you can choose from a broad variety of flights. Basically, all the major airlines offer flights to Costa Rica. You can find flights from all the key hubs for these airlines. Also, you’ll find seasonal non-hub flights from some airlines, but you will have to search a little for those flights. For those who are traveling from Europe, there are a growing number of choices. Well-reputed airlines, such as Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM have started to offer direct flights from their main hubs. Moreover, there are vacation airlines like Condor or TUI Airways which have flights to San José.
Liberia (LIR), on the other hand, is the more popular destination for flights from the United States and Canada. Thus, you have a few more options in these regards. From Canada, you are served by four airlines, and although the focus is on East Coast hubs, Toronto and Montréal, there are some options for those on the West coast to find a direct flight. The United States also has a similar amount of options when it comes to flights, and you will easily be able to get to Liberia from the United States. You will have eight options in regards to airlines, those being; American, United, Delta, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Volaris. Finally, for those traveling in from Europe, you will be best served by TUI Airways which have direct flights from London to Liberia and will have you in paradise in no time.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
One of the first questions when planning a vacation is when is the best time to travel? For most people, the dry season beginning in December and ending in April is the best time to visit Costa Rica. We feel that it is always a good time to visit Costa Rica, but certainly, some times are better than others for different reasons.
Weather: For most of the country, the dry summer months run from December through April. The rainy season begins in May and reaches its peak in September and October. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The Caribbean Coast and the Arenal Volcano typically experience a "mini summer" in September and October - while the Northern Province of Guanacaste is drier year round.
Things to Do: December to April are perfect for surfing on the Caribbean Coast while you will find better conditions on the Pacific Coast from May to November. The dry season is perfect for birdwatching as you'll see many migratory birds along with all the local varieties. Animals such as whales and turtles typically appear throughout the country during specific months.
Holidays & Festivals: There are festivals, such as Envision in Uvita and Fiestas Zapote in San José, as well as the traditional celebrations of the Boruca people at the beginning of the year. October is a good time to visit the Caribbean for the yearly Carnival. This colorful spectacle gives a wonderful insight into the distinct Afro-Caribbean culture of the region.
What Does Costa Rica Have to Offer?
Beaches! Costa Rica has about 1,290 kilometers (800 miles) of coastline on the Caribbean and Pacific coast. Consequently, there are dozens of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. You can find most of the best beaches in the region of Guanacaste and Nicoya. However, there are also astonishing beaches in the Southern Caribbean and the Central Pacific.
Volcanoes! Costa Rica has over 200 volcano formations and around half of them show signs of volcanic activity. Presently, only a couple of them are active but all of the volcanoes in Costa Rica are beautiful. The topography of modern Costa Rica was created from a volcanic movement that took place over 75 million years ago! Resting on the edge of the Pacific Rim's Ring of Fire, Costa Rica has some of the world’s most magnificent active volcanoes.
National Parks! Costa Rica has 26 National Parks which make up 25% of the country’s total land area. Poas was the first National Park and it was created in 1955. In the next years, a lot more parks and reserves were created to preserve the beauty of the country for future generations. Currently, the most visited National Parks in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio, Irazú, and Marino Ballena.
Waterfalls! The number of waterfalls in Costa Rica is in the thousands. As a result, this endless array of waterfalls is world renowned for its beauty, bringing many visitors each year. Even some of the highest waterfalls in the country are mainly unexplored. You can visit the country's most famous waterfalls such as La Paz, La Fortuna, and Rio Celeste, or stroll through the wilderness to explore new waterfalls.
Cities & Towns! Costa Rica is not known for big or spectacular cities but there are definitely a few urban destinations which are worth a visit. The biggest and most famous city is Costa Rica's Capital San José, which is also home to one of the International Airports.
Costa Rica Volcano Map
Costa Rica Beach Map
Costa Rica Cities Map
Costa Rica National Parks
Costa Rica Waterfalls Map
What Can I Do There?
Birding! A plethora of colors and an assortment of plumage, combined with a great variety of species, make Costa Rica an amazing birding destination. The bird nerd will be in heaven watching the rare quetzal or a scarlet macaw fly overhead while listening to the mating call of a toucan. There’s nowhere you can go to in Costa Rica and NOT have great birding opportunities.
Wildlife Viewing! There are countless opportunities to get in contact with a variety of wildlife in Costa Rica. You can watch turtles, whales and many other animals in the ocean and have an unforgettable experience during your vacation.
Surfing! Costa Rica has hundreds of beaches to chose from. This will give you a better idea of their location and will help you to see which beaches are there for you to explore. Costa Rica offers some of the best destinations for surfing on the beautiful and pristine beaches of Guanacaste and exotic beaches of the Caribbean. Moreover, the wild beaches of the South Pacific offer great surf and the longest waves in Costa Rica.
Scuba Diving! There is no shortage of destinations to discover breathtaking marine wildlife. Costa Rica has beautiful diving sites on the Pacific Coast as well as on the flamboyant Caribbean side. You will be able to see huge schools of fish, giant manta rays, dolphins and sharks amongst radiant colored tropical fish. One of the most popular spots are Caño Island and Golfito.
Golfing! Golf in Costa Rica has become prominent, with courses designed by people like Robert Trent Jones Jr, Ted Robinson Jr, George Fazio and the Great Arnold Palmer that placed it amongst the top countries in the world. Take a look at the top golf courses in Costa Rica and start planning your vacation.
Costa Rica Surf Spots
Costa Rica Diving Map
Costa Rica Birding Map
Costa Rica Marine Wildlife
Costa Rica Golf Courses
Where Do I Go There? Maps of Popular Travel Itineraries
Costa Rica is an incredibly diverse country with so much to see and do! To help you get the most out of your time here we have put together a collection of Costa Rica Maps which detail suggested travel itineraries. These Costa Rica Vacation Packages are designed to inspire you and to help you get an idea of what suits you the best. Get the most out of your visit and see some of the highlights of the country. The packages are completely customizable and can be tailored to suit your needs, interests, and budget.
Best of Costa Rica Vacation
Duration: 7 Nights Areas Visited: Arenal & Manuel Antonio Arrival Airport: San José (SJO) Trip Idea: Perfect for a First Time Visit to Costa Rica and those looking to see Costa Rica's Top 2 Destinations. Fly into San José and then spend a little time at the volcano and rainforest before ending up at the beach!
Best of Guanacaste Vacation
Duration: 6 Nights Areas Visited: Rincon de la Vieja & Tamarindo Arrival Airport: Liberia (LIR) Trip Idea: Those who have a short amount of time and wanting to fly into Liberia. Short travel times to the destinations make it so that you don't spend too much time in a car and can enjoy your vacation.
Top Three Destinations Vacation
Duration: 8 or 9 Nights Areas Visited: Arenal, Monteverde & Manuel Antonio Arrival Airport: San José (SJO) Trip Idea: Visit Costa Rica's Top 3 Destinations and explore distinct natural areas. From the tropical rainforest that surrounds the volcano, to the high mountain cloud forests with a final stop at a beautiful beach!
Two Oceans & A Volcano Vacation
Duration: 9 Nights Areas Visited: Tortuguero, Arenal & Manuel Antonio Arrival Airport: San José (SJO) Trip Idea: This coast to coast vacation packages takes your through the exotic rainforest canals of Tortuguero on the Caribbean, then the famous Arenal Volcano before ending up on the Pacific Coast.
Perfect Combination Vacation
Duration: 9 Nights Areas Visited: Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Drake Bay Arrival Airport: San José (SJO) Trip Idea: Combine two of Costa Rica's "Classic Destinations", the volcano and the beach, with the exotic Osa Peninsula and and area called Drake Bay - a true natural paradise!
Birding in Costa Rica's Eco-Zones
Duration: 11 Nights Areas Visited: Turrialba, San Gerardo de Dota & Carara Arrival Airport: San José (SJO) Trip Idea: Costa Rica is a birding paradise and this package will take you through 3 distinct eco-systems - guaranteeing that you'll see a wide variety of birds and wildlife in a short amount of time.
Costa Rica at a Glance: What Can I Do in Each Region?
For a small country, Costa Rica has a lot to offer! Explore 2 Coasts, over 200 Volcanoes, endless Rainforests and observe incredible Wildlife! Yes, Costa Rica has it all!
Why Visit? A rich cultural area with a laid-back tropical atmosphere. Things to Do: Snorkeling, Visit a Sloth or Jaguar Rescue Center, Tour the Canals Top Destinations: Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Tortuguero
Why Visit? Home to Costa Rica’s most famous National Park and beautiful beaches Things to Do: Fishing, Surfing, Animal Watching Top Destinations: Manuel Antonio, Jacó, Tarcoles River
Why Visit? Home to the Capital & International Airport, Volcanoes & Waterfalls. Things to Do: Take a City Tour, Visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens or the Poás Volcano Top Destinations: San José, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Poás, Irazú
Why Visit? Home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts Things to Do: Surfing, Catamaran, Snorkeling, Hiking Top Destinations: Tamarindo, Rincón de la Vieja, Playa Conchal
Why Visit? Largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Known for its laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts. Things to Do: Yoga, Surfing, ATV Tours, Waterfalls Top Destinations: Santa Teresa, Nosara, Montezuma
Why Visit? Home to the country’s most famous volcano and lush cloud forests. You will be amazed at the wildlife and all the biodiversity. Things to Do: Hiking, Canyoning, Hot Springs, Zip Lines Top Destinations: Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Sarapiqui
Why Visit? 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: Hiking, Whale Watching, Kayaking Top Destinations: Corcovado, Drake Bay, Golfo Dulce
Why Visit? 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: Birding, Hiking Top Destinations: San Gerardo de Dota, Chirripó
Planning a Vacation to Costa Rica can be difficult, as there is so much to see and do here. We help make it easy with our Custom Vacation Packages!
How Do I Get Around?
From the moment you arrive, getting around the country is a very important part of your trip. The type you choose can make or break your holiday. By far the best form of transportation in Costa Rica is flying with any of the domestic flight services. If you want to cut your travel time down to just an hour or less that is the way to go. Other great options are private transfers. You can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery while one of our experienced drivers brings you to your next destination. If you want to save a bit money, you can also choose shuttle transfers. However, they are slower than private transfers and you have to share the vehicle with other travelers.
Map of Costa Rica's Airports
Domestic Flights Map Costa Rica
Costa Rica Highway Map
Population Density of Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s population density is 94 people per square kilometer, which is the third highest in Central America. However, almost 70 percent of the population lives in the Central Valley. This is where the country’s largest cities – San José, Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago – are located. It is the economic center and the heart of the country. On the other hand, the South of Costa Rica is sparsely populated. There, you can still find a lot of wilderness and untouched rainforests.
The country’s population nearly reaches the 5 million mark and since 2011, there has been a steady increase! According to a 2011 census, Costa Rica’s ethnic composition is 66% White/Castizo, 14% Mestizo, 9% immigrants, 7% Mulatto, 2.5% Amerindian, 1% Black, 0.2% Asian and 0.9% other. Besides that, about 104,000 Native Americans or indigenous people are calling Costa Rica their home. Therefore, you can find eight indigenous groups, most of whom live in reservations throughout the country: the BriBri, Boruca, Cabecar, Guayami, Maleku, Matambu, Terraba, and Quitirrisi.
The Blue Zones of the World – Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica
A Blue Zone is generally an area in the world, where people live much longer than the average. Reasons for this phenomenon are dietary choices, exercise, rest and various lifestyle factors. Furthermore, you will see that people living in a blue zone often practice religion or spirituality. In a broader sense, these zones are religious communities.
Worldwide there are only five blue zones and Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is fortunate enough to hold one of them! Healthy, happy, and fulfilled people are not only to be found in Nicoya but moreover throughout the entire country! You will surely get the positivity and the incredible atmosphere while visiting Costa Rica on your next vacation!