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Regions

See the description of each region located below the map.

Costa Rica's Region map, click any region for info




North Pacific Region: Find Hotel

The North Pacific Region including the Nicoya Peninsula is Costa Rica's hottest and driest zone. The rainy season starts later and ends earlier here, and overall it's more dependably sunny in this region than in other parts of the country. Many beautiful beaches are located here as well as huge cattle ranches. The Palo Verde, Santa Rosa and Rincón de la Vieja National Parks protect large areas of tropical dry forests where trees drop their leaves during the dry season and start flowering. The rainy months are from May through October, even though there is a small period in July when the rain ceases for a couple of weeks; this is called "Veranillo de San Juan? (small summer). The dry season comes between December and March. The rainfall increases in the mountains in the beginning and at the end of the year. The wind direction is from east and northeast during the dry season, which is important if you are planning on sailing or wind surfing. June, September and October are the most humid and rainiest months.


Beaches:
  • Isla Tortuga
  • Barra Honda National Park
  • Curú Wildlife Refuge
  • Cabo Blanco Biological Reserve
  • Ostional Wildlife Refuge
  • Tamarindo
  • Santa Rosa National Park / Guanacaste
  • Rincón de la Vieja Volcano & National Park
  • Tenorio & Miravalles Volcano
  • Palo Verde National Park
  • Cañas - "Las Pumas" - Rio Corobicí



  • Central Pacific Region: Find Hotel

    South of Puntarenas down to Quepos / Manuel Antonio National Park, the Central Pacific Region stretches along the Pacific coast line, forming the transitional zone between tropical dry forest and evergreen humid and rain forest.
     
    Natural attractions:

  • Carara National Park / Río Tárcoles
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Central Pacific Beaches:
  • Playa Herradura
  • Playa Jacó
  • Punta Leona



  • South Pacific Region: Find Hotel

    The South Pacific Region stretches between Quepos in the North down to the Osa Peninsula and border to Panama, bordered by the Talamanca Mountain Range with its highest Peak in Costa Rica: the Cerro Chirripó. The main parts of this region are just being developed for tourism, with visitors mainly focusing in on Drake Bay and the Corcovado National Park. Coastal Vegetation is dominated by lowland rain forests reaching close to the vast and wild beaches, often interrupted by huge oil palm, banana and pineapple plantations. To visit the South Pacific Region, a domestic flight to Palmar Norte, Golfito or Puerto Jiménez should be taken into consideration or, interrupting the extensive drive from San José, one or two overnight stops in the beautiful Valle de Dota, home of the largest Quetzal populations in Central America should not be overlooked.

    South Pacific Beaches:

  • Playa Barú
  • Playa Matapalo
  • Playa Dominical

  • Natural attractions:
  • Cerro de la Muerte
  • Chirripó National Park
  • Corcovado National Park / Osa Peninsula
  • Drake Bay
  • Isla del Caño
  • Bahía Ballena National Park
  • Piedras Blancas National Park / Esquinas Rainforest
  • Golfito



  • Northern Region: Find Hotel

    The Northern Region stands out internationally for the Arenal Volcano, its Mountain Range of Tilarán, the Monteverde Cloud Forests and the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. From January to the end of April the temperature in the lowlands of this region reaches 32ºC (90ºF). The Northern Zone has high rainfall levels even during the normally dry months of March and April. The maximum temperature in some parts is 33ºC (92ºF) and the minimum temperature in the highlands goes down to 21ºC (70ºF). The humidity ranges between 82 and 89%.  January, February, March and April show the sunniest days in this region.

    Natual attractions:

  • Rio Sarapiquí / Chilamate
  • La Paz Waterfall
  • La Selva  Biological Research Station
  • Rainforest Lowlands of Rio San Carlos
  • Arenal Volcano National Park
  • Venado Caves
  • Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

  • Monteverde:
  • Cloud forest
  • Monteverde / Sta. Elena Biological Reserves
  • Skywalk
  • Skytrek
  • Butterfly Garden
  • etc.



  • Central Valley Region: Find Hotel

    The Central Valley is formed by the provinces of San José, Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela. Even though it is the smallest region, it has the highest population, the majority of it concentrated in the capital city of San José. San José is located at 1,190 meters (3,900 feet) above sea level and its temperature ranges between 23ºC and 26ºC (75ºF and 80ºF). During the rainy season -specifically from May to October- the rain is combined with fresh breezes coming from the Pacific Ocean. This region is considered the heart of Costa Rica since the three branches of the Government, all banking systems, the bigger hospitals, the universities, the museums and the theaters are concentrated here.

    San José - Museums and Attractions

  • Poás Volcano National Park
  • Barva Volcano National Park
  • Turrialba Volcano
  • Irazú Volcano National Park
  • Braulio Carrillo National Park
  • Rainforest Aerial Tram
  • Rara Avis Biological Reserve
  • Guayabo National Monument  
  • Lankaster Gardens
  • Tapantí National Park & the Orosí Valley



  • Caribbean Region: Find Hotel

    The Caribbean Zone is located between the coast of the Caribbean Sea and the borders of Nicaragua and Panama. The temperature in the coastal areas oscillates between 23ºC (80ºF) and 32ºC (91ºF). The warmest days fall between May and the end January, when the temperature easily reaches 30ºC (90ºF). In the Caribbean Coast, the dry season is divided into two periods: February to March and September to October. Like the other regions there is a period when the rain ceases - Saint John's Short Summer, in July. This region is different from the others because of its people, many of which are direct descendents of immigrants from other Caribbean nations. These people still portray the particular culture characteristic of the Caribbean Islands. The principal access to this zone is through the city of Limón (consisting mainly of afro-Caribbean people since 1870), where extensive banana plantations and port activities are of great importance for Costa Rica's national economy. The Caribbean Zone is the most humid region of Costa Rica because of the wind influence coming from the Caribbean Sea.

    Natural attractions:

  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Barra del Colorado Wildlife Reserve
  • Puerto Limón
  • Talamanca Mountain Range
  • Cahuita National Park
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve
  • Gandoca Manzanillo Nature Reserve


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