Maps of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is considered the most complete destination, known as a seductive country that everyone longs to visit. Below you will find useful Maps that will give you the exact location in the world and its touristic political divisions.

The World Costa Rica Map

Click on the Costa Rica red Map for more information

Costa Rica Touristic and Political Divisions Map

Click on the different areas on the Map for significant information

Costa Rica Political Map

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Costa Rica Cities Map

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Costa Rica extends majestically from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, and its distance is barely 200 miles. Its land portion occupies only 20 thousand square miles.

If you travel throughout the provinces of Costa Rica, it's easy to notice that in no other place you shall find fields with so many variations in their landscape and climate as here.

Costa Rica is one of most highly valued tourist destinations in this planet. This small piece of land includes all of the necessary components to satisfy the taste of thousands of travelers visiting each year.

Costa Rica's territorial division includes 7 provinces, which are: San Jose, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limon. Together they offer an attractive tourist destination, of almost limitless possibilities, that include extensive rainforests, volcanoes, rivers traveling through the mountains, beaches and natural resources safeguarded by an important organization of national parks and forest reserves.

  1. Central Valley

    The Central Valley offers a variety of tourist, cultural and natural attractions, including Costa Rica's best museums: the Gold, Jade, National, Costa Rican Art, La Salle Natural Science, University of Costa Rica Insect and Children's Contemporary Art and Design Museums. In addition, this region is home to the architectural jewel of Costa Rica: the National Theater. All of these are located in the country's capital. The national parks located in the Valley—Poas, Braulio Carrillo, Irazu and Turrialba—protect the region's main volcanoes. All have road infrastructure so that visitors can enjoy their birds, natural landscapes, craters and forests.

    The country's capital, San Jose, is the seat of most government services; however, the provincial capitals—Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago—offer a variety of quality commercial and tourism services. As a tourism zone, the Central Valley features two extraordinarily beautiful areas that in and of themselves are true tourist destinations: Turrialba and Valle de los Santos. The rural towns, for their part, are highly picturesque, and offer a glimpse of old Costa Rica, with their houses of bahareque (a building material similar to adobe but made of cattle dung and straw), large coffee plantations, sugar mills and dairies.

    Central Valley Protected Areas

    • Volcan Turrialba National Park
    • Volcan Irazu National Park
    • Braulio Carrillo National Park
    • Volcan Poas National Park
    • Bosque Alegre Wildlife Refuge
    • Tapanti-Macizo de la Muerte National Park
    • Los Santos Forest Preserve
    • Cerro Vueltas Biological Preserve
  2. The Caribbean

    - North Caribbean

    North Caribbean comprises the Caribbean coast and goes from the San Juan River to Limon city. Limon city is the touristic center of this Corridor, simultaneously working as an accommodation, and stop over, distribution and touring center.

    Green turtle's nesting on Tortuguero National Park and bass's, shad's and other species' sport fishing at Barra del Colorado National Wild Life Refuge represent the main attraction of the region. It is complimented with the river channel's system, which connects Moin Port with Barra Del Colorado, and has become a singular attraction and the only way of transportation.

    Nature-based products get rewarded, especially fauna observation, therefore is a world-known site for bird and turtle's watching.

    - South Caribbean

    This unit goes from Limon to the Panama border, Limon is the primary tourist center as well as a scaling and distribution center. The region shows a country-unique combination of beaches, natural resources and afro American culture in Cahuíta, Puerto Viejo and Gandoca Manzanillo.

    Limon's development is quite different from the rest of the Caribbean Island, which gives it a special potential to distinguish Costa Rican products. A high quality beach allows adventure and natural history activities which definitely compliment with culture, gastronomy and music. Stand out the reefs, multicolor-sanded beaches (from black to yellow and gray), coastal vegetation and medium-high forest.

    Cahuíta National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve are worldwide recognized, not only because of their natural beauty but because they are becoming unique conservation places in almost the whole Caribbean.

    Costa Rica Caribbean Protected Areas

    • Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge
    • Tortuguero National Park
    • Barbilla National Park
    • Hitoy Cerere Biological Preserve
    • Cahuita National Park
    • Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
  3. Guanacaste

    - North Guanacaste

    North Guanacaste harbors an important portion of the Costarican cultural and natural patrimony. Not in vain there are a significant number of protected areas, including coastal, mountainous, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems, where life develops with exuberance.

    It is situated in the northern part of the country, and covers the pacific coast of Costa Rica, since the limit with Nicaragua to Punta Cerritos, located 22 km. west from de city of Santa Cruz. It covers an extension of approximately 100 km. of the Pacific Coast. In the past, this region has had its natural vocation in the cattle raising and in the agriculture. Currently, nevertheless, the incomparable beauty of its landscapes, that go from the tropical dry forest to the forest montano low and its hot climate, as well as its fertile nature, have done of Guanacaste one of the most concurred places by the local and international tourism. Besides an important backup in the Pole of Tourist Development of the Papagayo's Gulf, we can find the Daniel Oduber International (Liberia Airport), where large quantities of flights arrive on a daily basis from the United States.

    North Guanacaste has two main tourist centers that are Liberia (central of stopover distribution, scale and excursion) and Santa Cruz, and three other tourist centers: El Coco, Tamarindo and Flamingo. The landscape of the coast is exceptional. There are beaches of white sands and a peaceful sea qualified by intense blue, especially the ones located inside Papagayo’s Gulf (Nacascolo, Virador, Iguanita and Panama). It is one of the regions of greater development, based on hotels of high investment with potentiality of direct demand.

    - South Guanacaste

    This Unit includes the southwest coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. Its north limit is the Punta Cerritos and its south with river Bongo outfall, with a length of approximately 110 kilometers in front of the coast.

    The main tourist center of the South Guanacaste Unit is the Nicoya city, located at 30 kilometers of the coast that works as a distribution center and stop break for the tourist that travels to the south Guanacaste beaches and the travelers to other passages. The second tourist center is the village of Sámara, located over the coast, which gives it a central position in relation with the whole passage territory.

    The main resources of the unit are the beaches. It has an extended potential for the development of beach combined products and natural resources such as the spectacular arriving of the turtles Lora in the Wild Life National Refuge Ostional and the estuary and mangrove swamp of the south side, especially those who divide the beaches of Islita, Bejuco, San Miguel, Coyote and Guiones. The mangrove swamp are excellent conserved and are ideal sites for the bird sight and other type of fauna as well as the practice of light sports as the "kayaking".

    It has an efficient public transportation and well as ferryboats (Paquera community and Naranjo beach), which make the communication between several regions points easy. Similarly, the bridge over the Tempisque River gives a quick access to all the central and south region of the Peninsula.

    It also has several airdromes (Tamarindo, Carrillo, and Islita) that make possible the quick and safe entrance to the main tourist destinations of south Guanacaste.

    Guanacaste Protected Areas

    • Isla BolaNos National Wildlife Refuge
    • Bahia Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge
    • Santa Rosa National Park
    • Guanacaste National Park
    • Rincon de la Vieja National Park
    • Volcan Tenorio National Park
    • Barra Honda National Park
    • Diria National Wild life Refuge
    • Ostional National Wildlife Refuge
    • Volcan Miravalles Protected Area
    • Las Baulas National Marine Park and Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge
    • Lomas del Barbudal Biological Preserve
  4. Northern Plains

    With its several protected areas, lakes, lagoons, volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls, the Northern Zone is undergoing a boom in tourism service and adventure site development, so that nature-loving visitors can enjoy the region's many riches. Thanks to frequent rains, the Northern Zone features wet and evergreen forests as well as fertile plains—natural environments that serve as sanctuaries for water birds, reptiles, mammals and the prehistoric Gaspar fish, and important sites of interest for wildlife-lovers. Adventure activities and nature-watching may be enjoyed on the region’s rivers—Peñas Blancas, San Carlos, Toro, Puerto Viejo and Sarapiqui—some of which are important navigational routes.

    Forming part of the region is the Sarapiquí canton, which, with its rich biodiversity, is recognized as a scientific research site and the last stronghold of endangered species such as the great green macaw. The region is famous for the turnos (outdoor parties or festivals) held in its towns, with bull riding and livestock auctions.

    Costa Rica North Plains Protected Areas

    • Volcan Arenal National Park
    • Children’s Eternal Forest-Poco Sol Biological Station
    • CaÑo Negro Wildlife Refuge
    • Juan Castro Blanco National Park
    • La Selva Biological Station
    • Bosque Alegre Wildlife Refuge
  5. Mid Pacific

    This region of the country stretches from the city of Puntarenas to the mouth of the Río Barú in the area known as Dominical de Osa. It has three cities attractive to tourists and well developed for tourism: Quepos, Jaco and Puntarenas. The region also comprises the islands in the Gulf of Nicoya, as these are mainly accessed from Puntarenas. A wet and rainy climate allows for greater biodiversity in the beaches and hills next to the coast; thus, there is a transition from tropical wet forest to tropical forest to tropical dry forest. These ecosystems provide habitat for numerous plant and animal species that are protected in several wilderness areas. Also included within this zone is Isla del Coco, which, though almost 600 kilometers from the port of Puntarenas, falls under this province's jurisdiction.

    The region's main attractions are its coast and protected wilderness areas. The coast is made up of numerous beautiful beaches, several of which are less than two hours from San José, allowing for quick access. With regard to wilderness areas, the region features wildlife refuges, national parks and biological preserves. Other important attractions are of cultural and recreational interest, including the various organized events—especially sporting events—that distinguish the region. Also worthy of note is the scenic beauty along the coastal highway that connects the Caldera area with the Quepos and Manual Antonio region.

    Costa Rica Mid Pacific Protected Areas

    • Finca Baru del Pacifico National Wild Life Refuge
    • Playa Hermosa Wild life Refuge
    • Manuel Antonio National Park
  6. Puntarenas

    Puntarenas is one of the most important tourist regions of Costa Rica. Its coasts are decked by plenty of islands, inlets, beaches and beautiful natural treasures, which make Puntarenas a tourist destiny by excellence. Its territory offers a wide range of attractions supported by the sun and the beach, which are complemented with protected zones, continental and insular areas.

    This spectacular area very close to the Central Valley, a two-hour' drive, 120 Kms away from the capital. Puntarenas City is its principal center, nice for stopovers, distribution, scale and excursion. Hotels and cabins near the sea, and the well-known all-included packages prevail in its touristic development.

    Other tourist center is Tambor, and potentially, Cobano. Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Preserve, and San Lucas, Chira, Tortuga and Coco's Islands stand out. Although is geographically out of the Gulf, the Isla del Coco high-hierarchy attraction of the Costa Rican tourist product.

    The Monteverde tourism zone is known around the world for its conservation efforts and lifestyle centered on respect for nature.

    Santa Elena is the area's main service center with various shops and tourism companies; other important towns are San Luis and San Gerardo. Though its main attraction is the Monteverde Biological Preserve, the region also features a variety of natural places, picturesque paths, flora- and fauna-watching opportunities, natural landscapes and more.

    Owing to the area's attractions and environment, activities are centered on natural history and adventure; possible tourist activities include bird- (especially the resplendent quetzal), wildlife- and nature-watching, hiking, and canopy tours, trips to suspension bridges and visits to butterfly and frog gardens.

    Puntarenas & Monteverde Protected Areas

    • San Lucas Wildlife Refuge
    • Isla Guayabo, Islas Negritos and Isla de los Pajaros Biological Preserves
    • Carara National Park
    • Isla del Coco National Park
    • Isla Alcatraz (Tortuga) Biological Preserve
    • Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve
    • Palo Verde National Park
    • Curu National Wild Life Refuge
    • Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve
    • Santa Elena Cloud forest Preserve
    • Children's Eternal Forest
    • Bajo del Tigre Trail
    • Finca Ecologica
  7. South Pacific

    The entrance door and distribution main center is Perez Zeledon's city, its limit extends through the canton’s edge, including the Fila Tinamastes attractions, such as the Cataratas of Nauyaca (waterfalls), Platanillo town and even the Barú River, where the coastal sector, that extends to Punta Burica with a total of 490 km, initiates.

    The main activities include beach enjoyment and marine resources, such as whales and dolphin's observation, as well as mangrove swamps, landscapes, reptilian, sport fishing, surfing, hiking through the National Park's paths, professional diving, the energetic walks to the Chirripo's summit, botanical gardens, protected areas' impressive waterfalls... they are all part of the main product offered by the touristic unit that can be reached through this information bureau. Ecotourism features as the main product, especially the one that is carried out among the Humedal Sierpe-Terraba; the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, the Ballena Marine National Park, the Isla Del Caño Biological Preserve and the Corcovado National Park.

    The beach's tourism possesses a wide potential in the coastal sector of Dominical-Pinuela; Platanares Beach; Zancudo and Pavones. The mountain’s product identifies itself in the Cordillera de Talamanca’s Mountain subunit, where San Gerardo de Rivas and San Vito of Coto Brus stand out as access centers to Chirripó National Park and the Friendship World Patrimony site.

    Additionally, there is a high potential in the rural tourism development, in country settlements distributed along the region. Two important protected areas are located in this zone, one is the Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic Magazine defines as "the planet's biologically richest place" and the Humanity Biosphere Preserve, declared as Humanity Patrimony and part of the Amistad International Park.

    South Pacific Protected Areas

    • Las Quebradas Biological Center
    • Chirripo National Park
    • Ballena National Park Marine Park
    • La Amistad International Park and Biosphere Preserve
    • Terraba-Sierpe Ramsar Wetland
    • Corcovado National Park
    • Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve
    • Piedras Blancas National Park
    • Isla del CAÑO Biological Preserve
    • Golfito National Wildlife Refuge
    • Las Tablas Protected Area
    • Las Cruces Biological Station