Facts About Costa Rica

Geography

  • Latitude & longitude: 10° 0´ 0´ N / 84° 0´ 0´ W
  • Land Boundaries: 397 miles (639 km)
    • Nicaragua: 192 miles (309 km)
    • Panama: 205 miles (330 km)
  • Coastline: 801.57 miles (1,290 km)
    • Caribbean Sea: 171.73 miles (212 km)
    • Pacific Ocean: 631.31 miles (1,016 km)
  • Total Area: 19,729.74 sq. miles (51,100 sq km)
    • Land: 19,559.86 sq. miles (50,660 sq km)
    • Water (includes Cocos Island): 169.88 sq. miles (440 sq km)
  • Highest Elevation: Mount Chirripo - 12,533 ft. (3,820 m)
  • Political Map: Costa Rica is comprised of 7 provinces - Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas and San Jose.

Transportation

Airports

Domestic Airlines & Charters

International Airlines

Domestic Bus Service

Costa Rica's efficient and elaborate public bus system provides the most inexpensive and popular method of travel throughout the country. The vast road system makes virtually every region of Costa Rica accessible by bus. In addition, there are several private bus companies that offer shuttle service throughout the country, see below.

Bus Service - International

  • Expreso Panamá - Costa Rica & Panamá
  • Tica Bus - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua & Panamá.
  • Tracopa - Costa Rica & David, Panamá
  • TransNica - Costa Rica, Honduras & Nicaragua

Car Rental Companies

Ferry Services (Nicoya Peninsula)

Helicopter Rental & Tours

Motorcycle Rental & Tours

Newspapers & Online Media

English

Spanish

Museums & Exhibits

Alajuela

World of Snakes - Grecia

Dominical

Parque Reptilandia

Heredia

Joyas del Tropico Museum
  • Located in Santo Domingo de Heredia, 100 meters east of the cemetery, this natural history museum exhibits insects from tropical rainforests throughout the world. Open Tuesday - Sunday and requires a $5.00 fee for tourists/foreigners.

San José

  • Children's Museum
  • Located in downtown San José, this museum is unlike any other in Central America. At one time an old military prison, this complex was converted into an interactive and educational experience for its children. Costa Rica was sending the message that the future of this tiny country was not going to be that of bloodshed and strife. Instead, its future would be the education and care of its children.
  • Gold Museum
  • The Gold museum, in downtown San José, is easily the country's best with thousands of different examples of Pre-Colombian gold artifacts. The pieces in the collection date from 500 BE to 1600 AD, when the new world was discovered by Christopher Columbus an the artifacts range from simple round earrings to intricately worked representations of local animals. Tastefully exhibited with great lighting and clear concise descriptions, the museum opens a window into the past and into lives of those indigenous groups that lived in Costa Rica.
  • Museum of Costa Rican Art
  • Located on the eastern end of Sabana Park, this museum exhibits a permanent collection of Costa Rica's most highly recognized artistic achievements. Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., there is a 400 colones fee, students enter for 200 colones.
  • National Museum
  • former fortress from the revolution of 1948, this renovated yellow building contains exhibits on pre-Columbian art, religious art, and the history of Costa Rica. In addition, the garden courtyard offers visitors a pleasant view of the city of San José. Located on Calle 17, between Avenidas Central and 2, this museum is open from Tuesday - Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. There is a 200 colones entrance fee, children under 10 years of age receive free admission.
  • Serpentarium
  • Located in downtown San José, just across from the casino called Colonial (Avenida 1 between Calles 9 & 11). This exhibit contains an exotic collection of tropical reptiles and amphibians, including venomous snakes from Costa Rica, deadly Cobras from Asia and Africa, Giant Pythons, as well as the extraordinary colors of tropical lizards and poison dart frogs. Open everyday from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday) and 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Saturday - Sunday). The entrance fee is 500 colones for locals and 1000 colones for foreigners.

Language Schoools

Alajuela Province

Cartago Province

Guanacaste Province

Heredia Province

Puntarenas Province

San José Province

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Guanacaste Province

Puntarenas Province

Accommodations

Alajuela Province

The province of Alajuela shares a border with the Heredia, San José, Puntarenas and Guanacaste provinces, and runs along the Río San Juan to the north (Nicaraguan border). It is divided into 15 sections (cantones): Alajuela, Atenas, Grecia, Guatuso, Los Chiles, Naranjos, Orotina, Palmares, Poás, San Carlos, San Mateo, San Ramón, Upala, Valverde Vega and Zarcero, and includes the eastern most section of Lake Arenal; the part nearest to the community of La Fortuna and Arenal National Park.

Alajuela

Alajuela
La Garita
Juan Santamaria International Airport

All of these hotels relatively close to the international airport.

Atenas

Grecia

Guatuso

Los Chiles (Caño Negro)

Orotina

Palmares

Poás

San Carlos

Arenal Volcano

These hotels reside around Arenal Volcano and easternmost part of Lake Arenal.

La Fortuna
Between La Fortuna and Lake Arenal

These hotels line the road that connects La Fortuna with the easternmost portion of Lake Arenal, which is near the base of Arenal Volano. The hotels are listed in the same order you'll find them along the road, starting from La Fortuna.

Boca Tapada

San Ramón

Upala

Valverde Vega (Sarchí)

Zarcero

Cartago Province

The province of Cartago is lodged between the provinces of Limón and San José, and is divided into 8 sections (cantones): Alvarado, Cartago, El Guarco, Jiménez, La Unión, Oreamuno, Paraíso and Turrialba.

Cartago

El Guarco

Paraiso

Turrialba

Guanacaste Province

The province of Guanacaste shares a border with the Alajuela and Puntarenas provinces, and is comprised of 11 sections (cantones): Abangares, Bagaces, Cañas, Carrillo, Hojancha, La Cruz, Liberia, Nandayure, Nicoya, Santa Cruz and Tilarán; its northern most section, La Cruz, borders Nicaragua. Within the Tilarán section of Guanacaste, you will find Lake Arenal, however, the easternmost portion of the lake, the part nearest to Arenal Volcano, resides in the Alajuela Province,

We have listed the sections that reside along the beach from north to south, starting with La Cruz and ending with Nandayure. So, as you scroll down the list you’ll be moving away from the Nicaragua border. The remaining 4 sections are listed in alphabetical order,

La Cruz

Bahia Salinas
Playa Papaturro
Playa Rajada
Jobo Bay
Sonzapote

Liberia

Liberia
Rincón de la Vieja

Carrillo

Golfo Papagayo
Playa Panamá
Playa Hermosa
Playas del Coco
Playa Ocotal
Playa Azul
Playa Matapalo

Santa Cruz

Playa Danta
Playa Pan de Azucar (Sugar Beach)
Playa Prieta
Playa Potrero
Playa Flamingo
Playa Brasilito
Playa Conchal
Playa Real
Playa Grande
Playa Tamarindo
Playa Langosta
Pinilla
Playa Mancita
Playa Avellanas
Playa Negra
Playa Junquillal
Marbella
Playa Azul
Playa San Juanillo
Playa Ostional

Nicoya

Nicoya
Playa Nosara
Playa Pelada
Playa Guiones
Playa Garza
Playa Buena Vista
Playa Sámara

Hojancha

Playa Carrillo

Nandayure

Playa Punta Islita
Playa Bejuco
Playa San Miguel
Playa Javilla
Playa Coyote
Playa Caletas

Abangares

Bagaces

Fortuna de Bagaces

Cañas

Tilarán

Nuevo Arenal/Lake Arenal

This area resides just north of Lake Arenal.

Road to Tilarán from Nuevo Arenal

The hotels are listed in the same order you will find them while traveling along the road that connects Tilarán and Nuevo Arenal.

Road to La Fortuna from Nuevo Arenal

The hotels are listed in the same order you will find them while traveling from Nuevo Arenal towards the easternmost part of Lake Arenal (Arenal Volcano), along the northern side of the lake.

Tronadora
Tilarán

Heredia Province

The province of Heredia runs north/south, shares a border with the provinces of Alajuela, Limón and San José, and contains 10 sections (cantones): Barva, Belén, Flores, Heredia, Santa Bárbara, Santo Domingo, San Isidro, San Pablo, San Rafael and Sarapiquí. To the north, it borders the Río San Juan (Nicaraguan border).

Barva

Belén

Flores

Heredia

Santa Bárbara

Santo Domingo

San Isidro

San Rafael

Sarapiquí

Limon Province

The province of Limón resides along the Atlantic coast, bordering Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, and is comprised of 6 sections (cantones): Pococí, Guácimo, Siquirres, Matina, Limón and Talamanca. We have listed the sections in order from north to south, but have no hotels for the Matina section.

Pococí

Barra Colorado
Tortuguero
Parismina

Guácimo

Siquirres

Limón

Playa Westfalia

Talamanca

The Talamanca section includes all the beaches south of Limón, beginning with Playa Cahuita. The community of Bri Bri can also be found here, as is the border town of Sixaola.

Playa Cahuita
Hone Creek
Playa Negra
Puerto Viejo
Playa Cocles
Playa Chiquita
Punta Uva
Manzanillo
Playa Grande

Puntarenas Province

The province of Puntarenas shares a border with the Alajuela, Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas, and San José provinces, and is comprised of 11 sections (cantones): Aguirre, Buenos Aires, Corredors, Coto Brus, Esparza, Garabito, Golfito, Montes de Oro, Osa, Parrita and Puntarenas (includes Caño Island, Cocos Island and islands in the Gulf of Nicoya). The northernmost portion of the Puntarenas section is split into two parts, with a small portion residing below the Guanacaste Province, just across/west of the Gulf of Nicoya; the remaining section hugs the Pacific coast and runs south until it reaches the Panamanian border.

We have listed the various sections, and their respective hotels, in the same order as they appear if you were to follow the province from top to bottom. So, we’ve started with Playa Hermosa in the upper left corner, and finished with Paso Canoas in the lower left corner; just follow the province as it hugs the coastline.

Puntarenas

Playa Hermosa
Playa Santa Teresa
Playa Carmen
Playa Mar Azul
Playa Mal Pais
Montezuma
Playa Cabuya
Playa Tambor
Paquera
Playa Naranja
Puntarenas
Monteverde
Santa Elena

Montes de Oro

Miramar

Esparza

Esparza
Puerto Caldera

Garabito

Tarcoles
Playa Herradura
Playa Jacó
Playa Hermosa

Parrita

Parrita
Playa Esterillos Oeste
Playa Esterillos Este
Playa Bejuco
Playa Palo Seco

Aguirre

Quepos
Manuel Antonio
Matapalo
Savegre River

Osa

Dominical
Playa Uvita
Playa Ojochal
Playa Tortuga
Palmar Norte
Sierpe
Drake Bay
Playa San Josecito
Río Claro

Golfito

Carate
Cabo Matapalo
Playa Tamales
Playa Platanares
Puerto Jiménez
Golfo Dulce
Golfito
Playa Zancudo
Playa Pavones

Buenos Aires

Coto Brus

Ciudad Neily
San Vito

Corredores

Paso Canoas

San Jose Province

The province of San José, nestled between the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, Limón and Puntarenas, is comprised of 20 sections (cantones): Acosta, Alajuelita, Aserrí, Curridabat, Desamparados, Dota, Escazú, Goicoechea, León Courts, Montes de Oca, Mora, Moravia, Pérez Zeledón (San Isidro del General), Puriscal, San José (capital city), Santa Ana, Tarrazú, Tibás, Turrubares and Vázquez de Coronado.

Acosta

Dota

Copey de Dota
San Gerardo de Dota
Santa María de Dota

Escazú

Bello Horizonte
San Rafael, Guachipelin
San Antonio

Mora

Moravia

Parque de la Paz
Pavas
Rohrmoser
Sabana
San Pedro

Peréz Zeledón

San Isidro
San Gerardo de Rivas (Chirripó)
La Hortensia

Puriscal

Santa Ana

San José

San José
Barrio Tournon

Tarrazú

Tibás

Tibás
Uraca
Zurquí

Outdoor Activies

Biking Tours

Alajuela Province
Guanacaste Province

Botanical Gardens

Cartago Province
Puntareanas Province

Bungee Jumping

San José Province

Butterfly Gardens

Alajuela Province
Guanacaste Province
Puntarenas Province
San José Province

Canopy Tours

Alajuela Province
Guanacaste Province
Heredia Province
Puntarenas Province
San José Province

Cruises

Fishing

Limón Province
Puntarenas Province

Fly Fishing

Golf Courses & Resorts

Guanacaste Province
Puntarenas Province
San José Province

Horseback Ridiing

Hot Air Ballooning

Kiteboarding

Guanacaste Province

Parasailing & Hang Gliding

Cartago Province
Puntarenas Province

Rafting & Kayaking

Alajuela Province
Cartago Province
Guanacaste Province
Puntarenas Province
San José Province

Scuba Diving

Guanacaste Province
Limón Province
Puntarenas Province

Liveaboard Diving

Sky Diving

Surf Camps & Rental

Guancaste Province
Puntarenas Province

Windsurfing

Alajuela Province

Conservation Projects