Costa Rica stretches majestically from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and the distance is only two hundred miles. The landmass, taken together, occupies only 20,000 square miles (150,000 square kilometers).
From Nicaragua in the north to Panama in south; crisscross the country to bathe in the Caribbean and sail the Pacific. You will be amazed to discover that the scenery in Costa Rica does not change from day to day. It changes hour to hour, moment to moment – dramatically taking you from the beaches to mountain passes, from grasslands to rain forest, from white-water rivers to rivers of lava, pouring from volcanoes, painting the jungle with columns of fire.
The twenty thousand square miles are the most beautiful on earth. Consider the Provinces of Costa Rica! You will not find a countryside anywhere more various in landscapes and seasons than here. In the south are the flat, coastal plains of Province Limon, baked to brick in the furnace of a tropical sun. Cartago and Puntarenas Provinces, too, are located in the tropical zones of Costa Rica, but here rainfall and elevation combine to temper the climate, to create vistas of rolling hills, softened by blankets of wild grass, and a wealth of fruit and palm forest plantations.
Continuing northward to Cartago and San Jose Provinces, you will follow the mountain valleys inland from the Pacific where you discover hundreds of square miles of National Forests and Animal Refuges, primeval jungle as green and pure as the day God made it.
San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia – these are the Central Provinces of the Central or Meseta Central. The area is small, only forty miles by twenty, but it’s here you’ll find half the country’s population, drawn to the area by the excitement of the big cities, San Jose Alajuela and Cartago, and the fertile lands and cooler temperatures of upland plateaus, three to six thousand feet (one to two thousand meters) above sea level. It is on these plateaus and mountainsides you’ll find the famous “cloud forests” of Costa Rica.
Further along the spine of the central plateau, are chains of spectacular volcanoes, some of the most active on earth, their peaks rising 12,000 feet (3,800 meters) in the air, painting the horizon with permanent towers of smoke and fiery ash. Land around the volcanoes is rich with the minerals poured onto the earth from millions of years of eruptions. Coffee plantations, banana forests and farms thrive and prosper here.
Go ahead and EXPLORE!
For more information about each individual province or to view a large map
of Costa Rica please view our maps section.