Provinces of Costa Rica
Costa Rica may be a small country, with just over 4 million people living in an area of 20,000 square miles, but it is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful natural wonders on the planet. The country is divided into seven provinces that have everything from active volcanoes, virgin white beaches, ancient ruins and the most spectacular national parks that protect the world’s finest cloud forests and rainforests that can be found in the world.
The Guanacaste province is located in the most northwestern region of Costa Rica and borders the Pacific Ocean to the west. Besides being home to some of the best surfing on the planet, this province also has a wide range of luxury hotels and resorts, volcanoes and spectacular national parks.
The Alajuela province is located in the north central region of Costa Rica, bordering Nicaragua to the north, the Guanacaste province to the west, the Heredia Province to the east, and the San José province to the South. Known for its natural beauty, there are several volcanoes and parks along the Cordillera Central mountain range, including the world famous Volcan Arenal. Sites in the Alajuela province are popular destinations for those based from the capital, San José, as the provinces own capital city is just 11 miles to the north.
The Heredia Province of Costa Rica is one of its smallest, yet one of its most densely populated with a population of more than 378,000. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Alajuela Province to the west, San José to the South and Limón to the east. The province is located in the Northern Mountain area, a region famous for its coffee plantations that stretch over the rolling hillsides.
The Cartago Province is situated in the central part of the country, bordered by the Limón and San José provinces to the east and west respectively. The capital of Cartago shares the same name as the province and is the former capital of Costa Rica. Founded in 1563 by Juan Vasquez de Coronado it was the first Spanish settlement in the country. The region is renowned for its ancient ruins and rich Central Valley, the home of many of the countries plantations.
The costal province of Limón is home to wild and natural beauty. Caribbean beaches and turquoise waves as well as prehistoric rainforests all fall within this famous province’s borders. The entire western border of the province stretches along the Caribbean coastline, bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south and the provinces of San José, Puntarenas, Cartago and Heredia to the west. It is home to Salsa Brava and Cockle’s beaches, which are among the most popular surfing destinations in the region.
Puntarenas is located in the southwest corner of Costa Rica. To the north are the Guanacaste and Alajuela provinces, to the east San José and Limón provinces, and to the south lies Panama. The province is home to more than 350,000 persons and famous for its incredible landscapes, easy-going lifestyle and beautiful, natural beaches that run along the Pacific coastline. Ecotourists and adventurous travelers find Puntarenas to be a must-see destination.
San José Province
The San José province is located in the center of Costa Rica and home to the country’s capital city of the same name. The province is bordered by the Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Limón and Puntarenas provinces and has a population of more than 1.5 million people. A popular desination for tourists and expats alike, the city is cleaner, easier to travel and free of the pollution and overcrowding issues that plague many other Central and South American cities.