Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José.
Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Puntarenas, Guanacaste, and Limon. Each province is subdivided into regions and these are subdivided into districts.
Costa Rica occupies a privileged spot in the heart of Central America — one can travel from coast to coast in just three hours by car (or 45 minutes by plane).
The Caribbean region of Costa Rica stands out for its variety of aquatic ecosystems and its beautiful white and black sand beaches, providing an ideal setting for activities such as sport fishing, snorkeling, and sun bathing. The Pacific coast concentrates big tourist centers and its beaches are very popular for surfing, for example Esterillos, Jaco, Hermosa, Boca Barranca. In the Golfito region, near the Marino Ballena National Park, surfing fans can find the famous “long lefthander wave.”
All trails seem to lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches. Explored by horseback, foot or kayak, Costa Rica is a tropical choose-your-own-adventure land. Rainforest hikes and brisk high-altitude trails, rushing white-water rapids and world-class surfing: Costa Rica offers a dizzying suite of outdoor adventures. They come in every shape and size – from the squeal-inducing rush of a canopy zip line to a sun-dazed afternoon at the beach. National parks allow visitors to glimpse the seething life of the tropical rainforest and simmering volcanoes. Cloud forests offer otherworldly vistas, and reliable surf breaks are suited to beginners and experts alike. Given the country’s diminutive size, it’s possible to plan a relatively short trip that includes all of the above.