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Costa Rica Travel Destinations by Region

Costa Rica Points of interest, Beautiful Beaches, Smoldering Volcanoes, National Parks & More!

Where do you, want to go?  Where will Costa Rica, take you? The answer an adventure, of a lifetime. A common saying here is Pura Vida,  “Pure Life”. In fact, only by the experience of walking on these streets and seeing the natural artwork can someone adopt the pure life. Seeing Costa Rica for the first time, for many it is shocking. Zip line in the jungle, rappel down waterfalls, enjoy world-class rafting. Also, enjoy some relaxing yoga classes and massages overlooking miles of untouched beaches. All these experiences make for the best time of your life. The Costa Rica points of interest are where these experiences happen. That’s where you can become a part of the pure life.

This Democratic Republic is home to some of friendliest people on the planet. And proud to be first in the Happy Planet’s “Greenest Countries of the World.” Always known as a haven for eco-tourism, Costa Rica offers great options for families and those looking for all-inclusive vacations!  Costa Rica is the land of peaceful beaches, explosive volcanoes, dense rainforest and more diversity than almost anywhere else on earth. The different regions of Costa Rica provide a wide variety of sites, smells, and things to do.To recommend just one place would be wrong. All in all, that’s why we have info on all the best Costa Rica points of interest.

Costa Rica Travel Destinations by Region

Where Should we Go?

Firstly we will start with the regions. Looking at our regions map, you will see Guanacaste the Nicoya Peninsula and our central Pacific. The best beaches of the Pacific are here. You can sum up these regions sun, sea, sand, surfing, and swimming, nowhere better. A little lower on the map in lite blue we see The Osa Peninsula. The Osa is a different world from the rest of Costa Rica, a lost paradise that needs discovering.

Now to the right on our map, we see the North, Central And Southern regions. The North is fascinating; you will see many rice and coffee plantations and the odd cowboy. Whereas the southern zone has amazing unique flora and fauna, cloud forests and wildlife. The central valley is much different than the first two. Located in a central valley, the weather is a little cooler than the coast and has a much denser population. The cities are busy with activities. Our last region is the Caribbean coast. On this side is a relaxed way to life. Time is slow, and the scenery is, as to be expected, beautiful.

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Where to Go in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South.

Costa Rica's Top Attractions

There are seven Provinces, two Oceans, five active Volcanoes, 27 National Parks and we lost count on Beaches and waterfalls. That is a lot, of stuff to see. These Costa Rica Points of Interest will incite in some, dreams from childhood and others the beginnings of a world traveler. Once you start traveling, you will never stop. In the end, when you have to pack your bags and fly home you might ask was it worth coming to Costa Rica? The answer is yes definitely. There is no easier way to feel a Pure Life “Pura Vida.”

surfing in costa rica

Beaches in Costa Rica

This Country boasts over 1100 miles of coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. The beaches of Costa Rica are legendary among surfers, divers, and those just looking to find a place to relax and enjoy a piece tropical paradise. Costa Rica is a charming beach destination, characterized warm waters year round, and laid back atmosphere – perfect for families, couples, and adventurers.

Goddess Garden Cahuita

Costa Rica National Parks

Costa Rica is world famous for it’s conservation efforts and well developed national park system. For such a small country an astonishing percentage of the territory has been protected as a park, reserve or wildlife refuge. Visitors come from all around the world to visit the Poas, Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks – just to name a few!

where is costa rica

Costa Rica Volcanoes

The country of Costa Rica is part of the “Ring of Fire” and home to a many active and dormant volcanoes. Visitors from around the world come to see these majestic giants, relax in the surrounding hot springs and to marvel in the splendor of nature. The most visited volcanoes are Arenal, Poas and Rincon de la Vieja – all of which are a site to see and well worth the time spent getting there!

Costa Rica Waterfall

Costa Rica Waterfalls

The list Costa Rica Waterfalls is in the thousands, as a result this endless array of waterfalls is world renowned for its beauty, bringing many visitors each year. There is only so many you can visit when you come here, so we have rounded it down to the top ten destinations for waterfalls.

Costa Rica's Travel Regions

Costa Rica’s Central Valley

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.

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone

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.


Guanacaste Costa Rica

In Guanacaste, the flora and fauna and authentic culture are not only magical but also add a lot historical and scientific interest. Guanacaste is sun, sea, and sand, surfing, and swimming; there is no better way to sum things up. Be prepared for the best beaches Costa Rica has the offer when you come here. When you visit, check out the Gulf of Papagayo for great whale watching or even Tamarindo for great surfing waves. Also swim at Playa Conchal, Playa Grande or Playa Flamingo. You will be glad you did.

Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula

The mini eco-system of the Nicoya Peninsula and the variety of flora and fauna together with the magnificent beaches make it one of the wonders of the world, and certainly one of the best destinations in Costa Rica. There is so much offered in this particular region. Activities abound there isn’t any reason to bored here unless of course, you want to relax also a perfect thing to do here. Why not visit Isla Tortuga, and explore the enchanting island or visit one of the many beautiful beaches Santa Teresa, Malpais, or Montezuma. While in Montezuma take a plunge into the pools of Montezuma Falls.

  • Nosara, A great international community.
  • Samara, One of Costa Rica’s top 5 Beaches.
  • Santa Teresa, A tiny beach with personality.
  • Mal Pais, The most beautiful of badlands.
  • Montezuma, A charming village full of art and individuality

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific

The clear waters and sculpted coastline offer the perfect setting for surfing or just a relaxing vacation. Ideal for Surfing that big wave or relaxing on a sandy beach. The Central Pacific is home to an uncountable amount of animals; such variety extends from the dry rainforests of the region. When you visit, make sure to bring your flip flop beach towel and a surfboard. Your sure to have a great time here. The beach towns of Manuel Antonio, Jaco and Dominical, Esterillos, and Playa Hermosa are the real top destinations in this Region.

Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

Whether it is raining or the sun is shining, the hypnotic beauty of the Osa will enchant you and give you the most memorable vacation you ever dreamed. So much natural beauty and peace never seemed possible! The Osa is another world. It alone makes up 2.5 percent of the world’s biodiversity. This region has many, many great destinations including Drake Bay, Caño Island or the Golfo Dulce. These areas are all ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, and Whale watching. Stop by in Corcovado national park and see amazing wildlife life Jaguars or Howler monkeys. Or take a kayak tour through the Sierpe wetlands.

Costa Rica’s Caribbean

The cultural mix created by the clash of Caribbean culture and Costa Rican Latin flavor produces a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the country. Food and drink are a favorite past time of many here. Sit at any local hub and sip your favorite mix. Watch the sunset glide through the sky as you relax at the end of another beautiful day. Time is slow, and the scenery is perfect. Tico time takes on a new meaning here. Visit the Cahuita national park to see cute monkeys. Have a beer at restaurants in Puerto Viejo or fly up to Tortuguero to see baby turtle beeing hatched. Manzanillo is also a great place to visit, check out Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.

  • Tortuguero, The outer reaches of Costa Rica.
  • Cahuita, The Most beautiful area of the Caribbean.
  • Puerto Viejo, Open air bars, and laid back surfer vibes.
  • Manzanillo, Sloths, Monkeys and so much life to see.
  • Playa Cocles, Tranquil and full of long beaches.

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica! You will find so much diversity in nature climate and personalities of people here. The only way to find out about it is to visit. Why not come and take part in great adventure tours discovery the beauty of this region every step that you take.
Some of the top destinations in the region include, San Gerardo de Dota, The Río Grande de Térraba, Mount Chirripo, the Rio Macho Forest Reserve, and Chirripo National Park.

  • San Gerardo, A birders paradise.
  • Quetzal National Park, Find the elusive Quetzal.

Neighboring Countries

Not many people know this but Costa Rica actually is not an island, it has two neighboring countries in Central America. Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Costa Rica has plenty of things to do but if you want to visit some other cool countries definitely check out these two. They have the same if not more places to visit than Costa Rica.


Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historic parts. You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts. Visit Lake Nicaragua the biggest freshwater lake in the region and truly beautiful or check out the pristine clear waters of either coast. Some interesting places to visit include.



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. Also the Panama Canal. We can’t forget Bocas del toro a gorgeous beach part of the country come here to swim and relax get away. And if you want excitement visit Baru Volcano for some awesome views.


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