Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica: Destination Guides
Did you know Costa Rica is home to seven distinct regions and several different micro-climates?
With all those regions, comes tons of different vibes in each Costa Rica destination.
We love every part of this beautiful Pura Vida paradise country and are sure you will as well!
Do you know which Costa Rica destinations you would like to visit?
COSTA RICA VIBES
I know, it is a bit overwhelming. To help, check out all seven Costa Rica regions below. This will give you a better idea of the best places to visit in Costa Rica based on your specific travel style and the things you want to experience.
As always, keep in mind that we suggest planning to visit one beach and one jungle destination for a one-week trip. This will allow you enough time to really soak in the vibe of each place.
Plus, driving can take a lot longer between places than you might expect.
Central Valley of Costa Rica
San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica is located in the Central Valley region. This area is home to the largest international airport in the country. Most people tend to head straight out to the beach and jungle towns after arriving in Costa Rica, but the Central Valley area has its fair share of charms as well.
Here you can experience coffee farm tours, visit volcanic craters, and enjoy sweeping views of the valley.
San Jose and the Central Valley area offers a mix of urban life and natural wonders.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a fun getaway, San José and the Central Valley have something for everyone.
Central Pacific of Costa Rica
The Central Pacific region of Costa Rica is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
Here you can enjoy both stunning coastlines and lush rainforests. The weather is typically tropical, characterized by warm temperatures and high humidity, making it ideal for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
There are numerous fun activities to indulge in here, such as surfing the renowned breaks in Hermosa, exploring Manuel Antonio National Park, embarking on sportfishing trips, immersing yourself in the nightlife scene in Jaco, or simply unwinding on the pristine shores while enjoying breathtaking sunsets.
Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica
The Osa Peninsula region of Costa Rica is somewhat off-the-beaten-path. This means there are fewer tourists and a more rustic Costa Rica vibe. In other words, we like this area when seeking seclusion and when we want to see a ton of wildlife.
The weather in this region is characterized by a tropical climate with a slightly higher annual rainfall compared to other parts of the country, resulting in lush, green landscapes.
Visitors can enjoy an array of fun activities, such as snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters of Caño Island, hiking through the captivating Corcovado National Park to spot exotic wildlife, taking boat tours along the stunning coastline of Drake Bay, immersing in the laid-back atmosphere of the beach town of Dominical, and exploring the enchanting mangrove forests of the Sierpe River.
Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica
The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has pristine rustic beaches, lush forests, and charming coastal towns. It offers a serene and idyllic atmosphere.
Don’t tell the rest of the places to visit in Costa Rica, but this is our favorite area in the country.
There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy here, such as surfing the world-class breaks of Santa Teresa, exploring the diverse marine life while snorkeling or diving in the clear waters of Tortuga Island, indulging in yoga and wellness retreats, hiking through the rugged Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, or simply unwinding on the secluded beaches while soaking in the breathtaking sunsets.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or rejuvenation, Nicoya Peninsula provides the perfect setting for a memorable vacation.
Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica
The Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica is known for its many luxurious resorts and sweeping coastal views. The weather here is also arguably the best of all the regions in Costa Rica. This region enjoys a tropical savanna climate.
There are plenty of fun activities to indulge in, such as surfing the world-class breaks of Tamarindo, exploring the volcanic landscapes of Rincon de la Vieja National Park, horseback riding along the stunning coastline, and indulging in relaxation at luxurious beach resorts.
Whether you’re seeking thrilling escapades or tranquil retreats, Guanacaste offers a diverse range of experiences to suit every taste.
The Liberia International Airport is also located here, which makes this area very accessible and easy to visit.
Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica
The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica boasts a vibrant and lively vibe, influenced by Afro-Caribbean culture and a rich blend of traditions.
The weather in this Costa Rica destination tends to be the opposite of the weather on the Pacific coast.
There are numerous fun things to do, such as exploring the lush rainforests of Tortuguero National Park and witnessing the nesting of sea turtles, snorkeling or diving in the vibrant coral reefs of Cahuita National Park, enjoying the nightlife scene in Puerto Viejo, and white-water rafting on the Pacuare River.
The Caribbean coast is also the perfect gateway to those of you looking to get down to Panama.
Northern Mountains of Costa Rica
The Northern Mountain region of Costa Rica is perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.
We think that everybody should visit this Costa Rica destination. It is easily accessible from both the San Jose International Airport and Liberia International Airport.
The weather in this region is generally cooler and more temperate due to the higher elevation, making it an ideal escape from the tropical heat.
There are plenty of fun things to do, such as hiking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, ziplining through the canopy of Arenal Volcano National Park, soaking in natural hot springs nestled amidst lush forests, bird-watching to spot a variety of unique species, and embarking on thrilling canopy walks and suspension bridge tours.
The northern mountain region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and provides a refreshing and awe-inspiring experience.
FAQ on Places to Visit in Costa Rica
What is the best place to visit in Costa Rica?
It is hard to answer what the best place to visit in Costa Rica is. All of the towns have their charms. I suggest visiting one beach and one jungle destination to fully embrace the feel of the country.
Is Costa Rica a good vacation destination?
Yes, Costa Rica is an excellent vacation destination. The country may be small, but you will never run out of fun things to do and see here. Plus, the weather is almost always excellent and it is a relatively safe place to visit.
What region is Costa Rica in?
Costa Rica is located in Central America. It is situated north of Panama and south of Nicaragua. the country has extensive coastline on both the Pacific and Caribbean coast.