The Maps of Costa Rica You Need!
Costa Rica is a small country located in between Nicaragua and Panama. South of Nicaragua and north of Panama, Costa Rica is not an island but it does have two beautiful and extremely unique coastlines: the Caribbean and Pacific. Our maps of Costa Rica are full of useful information to help you get an idea of where popular destinations are located and help you plan your next tropical vacation.
Knowing exactly where you want to go can be tricky and potentially costly if you choose the wrong place. And don't trust the movies! San Jose is not on the beach, like the famous Jurassic Park scene depicts. Fortunately, despite Costa Rica's small size, it is full of luxurious beaches, tropical rainforests and scenic mountain ranges. No matter where you choose to vacation, you're guaranteed to have an incredible trip. In addition, Costa Rica is home to some of the friendliest people on the planet. They are proud to share their country with its lucky visitors and help them have the best experience possible!
To make your vacation planning easier, we have divided the country into eight distinct regions. Just keep scrolling to learn more! Once you've learned a little more about our beautiful country, contact one of travel experts to start planning a vacation of a lifetime.
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 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) is a more popular destination for flights from the United States and Canada, so there aren't as many airline options. From Canada, you are served by four airlines, the focus being on the East Coast hubs, Toronto and Montréal. The United States has eight airlines that fly to Liberia. They are: 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.
With all the options available it has never been easier to come to Costa Rica!
When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?
When deciding when to visit Costa Rica you have to consider the dry and wet (green) seasons. While the country's rainforests bloom during the wet season, it usually rains for most of the afternoon and evening. For most parts of the country, the dry season begins in December and ends in April, making it one of the best times to visit Costa Rica. For example, December to April are perfect for surfing on the Caribbean Coast. Between December and April you'll find several festivals to visit as well. The Palmares Festival is held in January, followed by Envision Festival in Uvita is held in February and Semana Santa (Holy Week) in 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 tends to be drier year round. May to November is a good time to visit the Pacific Coast for birding and whale watching.
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 Guanacaste and Nicoya regions. 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. Over the following 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 Costa Rica has literally thousands of waterfalls, each one more beautiful than the next. As a result, Costa Rica is a world-renowned destination for waterfalls. Some of the highest waterfalls in the country are actually largely 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 discover your own!
Cities & Towns Costa Rica is not known for big or spectacular cities but there are definitely a few urban destinations 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
What Can I Do in Costa Rica?
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 see wildlife up close and personal in Costa Rica. You can spot whales, dolphins, jellyfish, sharks and sting rays in the ocean or sloths, iguanas, monkeys and snakes in the rainforest, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience during your vacation.
Surfing Costa Rica has hundreds of fantastic surfing beaches to chose from. 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 breaks 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 Golfing in Costa Rica has become very popular, with courses designed by people like Robert Trent Jones Jr, Ted Robinson Jr, George Fazio and the Great Arnold Palmer. Take a look at the top golf courses in Costa Rica and start planning your perfect golfing vacation in paradise.
Where Do I Go in Costa Rica? 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: Meant for 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 get the most out of 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 to a final stop at a beautiful beach!
Two Oceans & A Volcano Vacation
Perfect Combination Vacation
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!
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 transportation 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.
Population Density of Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s population density is 84 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. San José is considered one of the safest cities in all of Latin America. 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 2018, there has been a steady increase! According to a 2018 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 person. 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 one of them! Healthy, happy, and fulfilled people are not only to 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!