Costa Rica Regions:
Since some provinces are too large and others too small to well differentiate a specific area, mainly for tourist reasons we refer to six regions of Costa Rica, which basically describe the area of the country in terms of location, weather, and activity. For instance, the Central Valley Region is in the mountainous central highlands where the weather is cooler and you will find most of the population and includes part or all of the provinces of San José, Cartago, Heredia and Alajuela. Also, it is there where the wonderful Costa Rican coffee is grown.
The region called Northern Pacific is identical with the Province of Guanacaste and the Caribbean Region is identical with Limón. On the other hand you'll find the Puntarenas Province present in three different regions: Northern Plains together with part of Heredia and Alajuela, the Central Pacific Region and finally the South Pacific Region. If a region has "Pacific" or "Caribbean" attached to it, will be close to the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean, and of course, have the beautiful beaches and surf for which Costa Rica is well known.
To give you two examples that many people get confused: Tambor Beach on the peninsula Nicoya is in the Province of Puntarenas and part of the Central Pacific Region (not in the Northern Pacific) Monteverde is also in the Province of Puntarenas but belongs to the Northern Plains Region, while Perez Zeledón, half way to Golfito and very close to the Pacific Ocean is located in the province of San José belonging to the Central Valley Region.
For a first time traveller this might seem very confusing. But good directions never were the strong side of Costa Rica. In San José they might tell you, that the place you are looking for is 250 south and 50 east of a place called X. What they don't tell you, is that 100m is identical with a street-block that might be 30 or 300m long and that the place called X does not exist anymore since over 30 years. Try to give directions to cab driver by street and avenue, well, you might never get there.
Here is the old address of our office, as we had to give to the telephone company or you would have to give to a cab-driver to get to our office (of course in Spanish): From the Park "La Amistad" in Rohrmoser 300m north and 25m east, yellow corner-house with black fence.
To get a short description about the different regions of Costa Rica, click on the links on top or on the map below.
Other Costa Rica Regions: