The Talamancas are a spectacular mountain range rising from sea level on the Caribbean to over 12,000 feet then dropping back down to the Valle General on the Pacific side. In 2012 I crossed the Talamancas from Puerto Viejo to the Pacific coast with some friends and indigenous guides for a 50th … [Read more...]
Regions of Costa Rica
Most websites divide Costa Rica by Provinces but from a traveler's perspective following political boundaries makes very little sense.
One end of Puntarenas Province is ten hours and five climate zones away from the other. In other cases popular destinations are split in half by the political boundaries. For example half of the Arenal region is in Alajuela province and the other half in Guanacaste.
About twenty years ago we created the "Costa Rica Guide Regions of Costa Rica" to group areas that are similar in geography, culture and ecology and are connected by useable transportation in order to help travelers find what they want more quickly and easily. It works well - go explore!
From Limón to Panama & over the Border to Bocas del Toro the southern Caribbean is one of the most unique areas of Costa Rica. Jamaicans brought in to work the banana plantations and build the railroad from the coast to the capital brought their culture and the English language to the … [Read more...]
Northern Lowlands The Guanacaste and Central Volcanic mountain ranges give way to the northeast to rolling plains that rarely rise above a few hundred feet. The Frío, San Carlos, Toro and Sarapiquí rivers snake north across the lowlands overflowing their banks to form seasonal lakes and wetlands. … [Read more...]
The Península de Nicoya is one of the most readily identifiable regions of Costa Rica jutting into the Pacific nearly doubling the coastline of the northern region. Swells arrive on the west facing shores after building over thousands of miles of nearly uninterrupted ocean creating a surfing … [Read more...]
Guanacaste Beaches, Rainforests and Cowboys Guanacaste is the northernmost region of Costa Rica encompassing much of the border with Nicaragua and expresses its frontier character in everyday life as well as during celebrations. The hot relatively dry rolling hills that rise up from the … [Read more...]
The Central Valley is technically a very small area covered nearly completely by two million residents of the nation’s capitol and the metropolitan area. In practice the phrase is used to refer to the entire Meseta Central (Central Plateau) and the encircling slopes of the Tilarán, Central, … [Read more...]
The Osa Peninsula is rugged and remote. The remoteness prevented wholesale clear cutting, cattle ranching and banana plantations long enough for the government to step in a few decades ago and create one of the finest National Parks in the world - Corcovado. The same isolation still means that … [Read more...]
The Central Pacific region is distinguished by the abrupt meeting of half a dozen small mountain ranges with the Pacific Ocean to their south. The Virilla River has its headwaters above San José and after flowing through the capitol follows a wide arc around the Cerros de Escazú and Turrubares … [Read more...]