Costa Rica - Maps & Guide
Welcome to the map and guide of the cities, towns or places of interest around Costa Rica in North America. Here you will find links to maps, virtual tours and guides with 360° panoramas of various travel destinations, regions, cities and attractions in Costa Rica.
Alongside each virtual tour and panorama is a Google map and some local and travel information to help you explore plan and your trip to the top travel destinations in Costa Rica. This growing guide of Costa Rica uses images and information provided by independent travellers, giving you the fuller picture of the various sights, hotels and attractions.
Costa Rica - Featured Destinations
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Costa Rica - Travel & Information
The thin country of Costa Rica lies in Central America with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. To the east and west lie the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The capital city is San José. Geographically, the country is quite small, but has 1,290 kilometres (800 mi) of equatorial coastline full of beaches. On the interior is a mountain belt with rises to 3,819m at Cerro Chirripó mountain in Chirripó National Park. Close behind this is the Irazú Volcano (3,431m), one of 14 volcanoes in the country. Because of this highly varied terrain, Costa Rica has a very rich biodiversity and, though tropical, varied climates depending on altitude from tropical beaches through to snow on the highest mountains.
Costa Rica is striving to become the first Carbon Neutral country in the world and is already considered one of the greenest. The country is famous for gourmet coffee, with the best beans grown in the San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Puntarenas, and Cartago regions. The country also relies heavily on tourism, both beach holidays and eco-tourism.
Cost Rica - Travel and Tourism
Costa Rica only contains 0.25% of the world's landmass but within it is packed 5% of the world's biodiversity. This makes the country a great draw for eco-tourism. In addition, the country has 1290Km of coastline giving ample scope for beach holidays and various water sports. The rich diversity in terrain also offers many opprotunities for outdoor pursuits, climbing and exploring the volcanoes. In addition, off the coast are numerous small islands. Around 25% of the country lies in protected national parks and protected areas.
For those wishing to visit Costa Rica, some of the highlights of the country include:
- Corcovado National Park (Parque Nacional Corcovado) - covering 425 km² (263 mi²) of the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica, this is considered the crown jewel of the National Parks. It contains a sizable area of lowland tropical forest with big cats and all four Costa Rican monkey species.
- Tortuguero National Park - an a internationally important wetland area in Limón Province of northeastern Costa Rica with eleven different habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. It is accessible only by boat or sea plane and is close to Dr. Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge and then the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge.
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde) - found in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range the reserve covers some 10,500 hectares (26,000 acres) of tropical rainforest and is visited by about 70,000 people a year and is very rich in biodiversity.
- Palo Verde National Park - 45,492 acres of protected park in the in Guanacaste Province close to Canas and covering much of the Tempisque River valley and lowlands.
- Volcanoes - Costa Rica is one of the most seismically active areas on earth with 14 volcanoes, some live. The most famous is Irazú Volcano, an active shield volcano and the highest in the country. Newer active volcanoes include Poas, Irazu, and Arenal.
- Chirripó National Park - named after Cerro Chirripó mountain (3820m), the highest mountain in Costa Rica. The park has distinct wet and dry seasons and the peak is a 21km hike from the nearest town with unparallelled views at the summit.
- Whitewater Rafting on Corobicí River - this river is a tributary to the Tempisque River and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting with class II rapids through dry forest.
- Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs - the most active volcano in the country with hot springs found in the town of La Fortuna at the volcano base.
- Grecia, Sarchi and San Ramon - picturesque towns in the highlands of San Jose allowing a good introduction to Tico culture and, at Sarchi, intricate and artistic wooden handicrafts.
Costa Rica Beaches
Costa Rica has countless small beaches tucked away in remote places. Among some of the more popular beaches in the country are:
- Corcovado Beach - large beach on the Osa Peninsula, with black sand backed by thick, tropical rainforest.
- Dominical Beach - one of the most popular surfing beaches in Costa Rica with a lively nightlife.
- Jacó Beach - right by San José, the beach is very lively, popular with surfers and full of nightlife and casinos.
- Montezuma Beach - another surfer beach on the Nicoya Peninsula known locally as monte fuma (mount smoke) for the bohemian lifestyle.
- Playa Grande - a tranquil white sand beach and home to the largest nesting site for the leatherback sea turtle on the Pacific coast, again popular for surfing.
- Tamarindo Beach - a beautiful, luxury beach backed by high class hotels, boutique shopping and luxury dining.
- Tortuguero Beach - the most famous beach in the Caribbean, catering for eco-tourists, home to manatees and backed by tropical rainforest.