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Home > About Costa Rica > Provinces of Costa Rica
PROVINCES OF COSTA RICA

SAN JOSE

San Jose Downtown

San José is the hub of the country. Located in the Central Valley, surrounded by towering green mountains, the capital city is vibrant and not as intimidating as most Central American capitals. Several downtown pars provide tranquil green oasis amid the stresses of city life. Nightlife is vibrant and international restaurants are plentiful. Various museums, including the 100 year-old National Theater and several dance and theater companies make San Jose the cultural capital as well.


San José Galleries


ALAJUELA
Juan Santa Maria's Monument

Alajuela stretches from the Central Mountain Range to the fertile northern plains, presenting a remarkable diversity of stunning landscapes. Visit two of the most popular active volcanoes in the country, Poas and Arenal. The main crater of Poas, a mile in diameter,displays fumeraol and geyser activity that has earned it the distinction of the largest geyser in the world. Arenal regularly astounds visitors with it's rumbling eruptions of ash and lava. Relaxing in the thermal waters at Tabacion Hot Springs, in the shadow of Arenal, is the perfect way to conclude a day of jungle exploration. The artisan center of Sarchi is home to Costa Rica's famous hand-painted oxcarts.


CARTAGO
Ujarras Church, oldest building in Costa Rica

Cartago Province is the location of Costa Rica's original capital city of the same name. The colonial atmosphere of the area and lunar-like landscape of Irazu, the country's tallest volcano, await visitors to this historic province. Guayabo National Park exhibits excavations of important pre-Columbian structures.


GUANACASTE

The northwestern province of Guanacaste named after the large umbrella-like trees prevalent in the zone, encompass a vast area if diverse topography. From the boiling mud pots of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, to the sun-drenched beaches of the Pacific coast, this corner of the country offers much to the adventurous traveler and sun worshipper. Santa Rosa and Guanacaste National Parks are vital protective areas for the Dry Pacific climatic zone. Santa Rosa is also a very important historic site and protects remains of structures dating from the colonial period and Costa Rica's struggles for independence. The seasonal lake of Palo Verde National Park attracts the largest concentration of waterfowl and wadding birds in Central America.

Nicoyas's Church


HEREDIA

High mountains thick with tropical forests, spectacular waterfalls, and raging rivers provide settings for a multitude of nature and adventure activities in Heredia Province. The rugged mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park are characterized by thick forests, deep rivers cutting through steep canyons and countless waterfalls. Nature is the focal point of activities in these province where you can take a leisurely cable car ride through the rain forest canopy, hike rugged forest trails, or challenge white water rapids.


PUNTARENAS

Blessed with seemingly endless beaches, Puntarenas stretches along two-thirds of the country's Pacific coast to the southern border with Panamá. The ever popular Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most beautiful in the country, and a south Pacific paradise. The dense rich green jungle of Corcovado National Park stands as an unspoiled showcase of tropical nature. The private Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the richest in the world. Straddling the Continental Divide, this is the only known home of the very rare golden toad. Carara Biological Reserve protects a transitional zone and harbors an incredible variety of wildlife including the larges population in the country of the endangered scarlet macaw.


LIMON

The crystal clear Caribbean beckons all dreamers to enjoy Limón Province's 130 miles of sandy beaches and coconut palms. Barra del Colorado offers world-class tarpon and snook fishing. The beach at Tortuguero National park is the most important nesting site in the western Caribbean for the green sea turtle. Cahuita National Park and Manzanillo provide excellent scuba diving throughout the year. The laid-back Afro-Caribbean lifestyle of the region is irresistibly alluring. It is the perfect place to shed pressures of the concrete jungle.
Map of Puerto Viejo


 


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