Regions

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Costa Rica Regions and Destinations Map
Nauyaca Waterfall

Costa Rica's Top Destinations

Explore Costa Rica's Diverse Geographic and Cultural Regions

What does your dream retirement look like? What do you want to see outside your window? We've divided Costa Rica into distinct geographical and cultural regions, so you can get a better idea of the lifestyle offered in each.

Top Destinations by Region

  • North Pacific
  • Northern Zone
  • Central Pacific
  • Central Valley
  • South Pacific
  • Southern Zone
  • Caribbean
North Pacific

North Pacific

The North Pacific region of Costa Rica, specifically the Guanacaste province, has long been considered the gem of the country. The area's pristine beaches, flowing rivers, rugged mountains, rolling farmland, and rich green vegetation make this one of the most beloved areas in Costa Rica for travelers and Costa Ricans (Ticos) alike.

Top Destinations

Amenities

Liberia (capital of Guanacaste) Fine dining (LIR)
Tamarindo Beautiful resorts
Playa del Coco Vibrant nightlife
Playa Flamingo National Parks
Gorgeous Beaches
Tortuguero Canals

Caribbean

The entire Caribbean coast of Costa Rica lies within the Limon Province, which is known for its Afro Caribbean influence, tropical atmosphere and beautiful beaches.

Top Destinations

Amenities

Puerto Limon Tropical atmosphere
Tortuguero Beautiful beaches
Puerto Viejo Vibrant nightlife
National Parks
 
Arenal Volcano

Northern Zone

Stretching north from Costa Rica's Central Valley through the country's highlands and North Central Plains, the Northern Zone's active volcanoes and breathtaking views make it one of the country's most unique areas. And it's cities have plenty of historic landmarks and everything San Jose offers, without that rough, over-populated feel

Top Destinations

Amenities

Alajuela Fine dining
San Carlos Vibrant nightlife
Heredia Historic landmarks
Moravia Luxury resorts
Barva Volcano Golf courses
Arenal Volcano
Mirador Cartago

Central Valley

The Central Valley offers a constant spring-like climate that allows parks to flourish. It's home to Costa Rica's metropolitan capital city, San Jose, and upscale suburban towns that all enjoy the perks of the city life.

Top Destinations

Amenities

San Jose Museums
Santa Ana Theaters
San Isidro Fine dining
Modern malls
  Botanical gardens
Foreign embassies
Golf courses
Los Altos Pool

Central Pacific

The Central Pacific is a coastal region with a tropical climate perfect for outdoor activities, like golfing, hiking and more. Plus, San Jose is nearby, offering a great combination of costal and city living.

Top Destinations

Amenities

Jacó Fine dining
Manuel Antonio Golf courses
Esterillos Gorgeous beaches
Tarcoles River
Nauyaca
Drake Bay

South Pacific

Why Visit?

The South Pacific is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.

Top Destinations

Amenities

Uvita Gorgeous beaches
Dominical National parks
Hermosa Restaurants
Botanical gardens
Jardin de Mariposas
Golf Courses
Southern Zone Trogon Lodge

Southern Zone

The Southern Zone is a gold mine for beautiful water, mangrove swamps, world-class fishing and spectacular wildlife.

Top Destinations

Amenities

Puerto Jimenez Deep sea sport fishing tours
  National parks
  Gorgeous beaches
Restaurants
Golf courses
 

Regional Climates

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has no real summer or winter due to its proximity to the equator.
Average temperature: 70-81 F
Two types of climates: Tropical and Subtropical
Dry season: December to April
Rainy season: May to November
Cooler temperatures are found in the highlands.

San José (capital) in the Central Valley

The best weather in the country.
Temperate Year-Round
Temperatures range from highs in the mid-80s F to lows in the mid-60s F.
Altitudes vary from 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet above sea level, so the higher in elevation you go, the cooler the average temperatures.

  San José - Average temperatures
 Month  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
 Min (°C) 14 14 15 17 17 17 17 16 16 16 16 14
 Max (°C) 24 24 26 26 27 26 25 26 26 25 25 24
 Min (°F) 57 57 59 63 63 63 63 61 61 61 61 57
 Max (°F) 75 75 79 79 81 79 77 79 79 77 77 75

 

  San José - Average precipitation
 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
 Prec.(mm) 15 5 20 45 230 240 210 240 310 305 145 40 1805
 Prec.(in) 0.6 0.2 0.8 1.8 9.1 9.4 8.3 9.4 12.2 12 5.7 1.6 71.1
 Days 2 0 2 5 17 20 20 21 22 22 13 4 148

 

South Pacific Coast

Rainforests are warm and humid with heavy precipitation during rainy season.
Hillsides, where most expats live, however, have lower temperatures, along with cooling ocean and mountain breezes.

 

Costa Rica’s Lowlands and Coastal Areas

Average temperature: 79 F
Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast, known as the Gold Coast, receives the sunniest days and the least rainfall in the country. Its average temperature is in the high 80s F or low 70s F.

 Puntarenas - Average precipitation
 Month  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec  Year
 Prec.(mm) 6 4 5 30 205 215 175 225 295 280 130 30 1600
 Prec.(in) 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.2 8.1 8.5 6.9 8.9 11.6 11 5.1 1.2 63
 Days 2 2 3 8 19 21 18 22 24 25 15 6 164

 Puntarenas - Average temperaturesemperatures
 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Min (°C) 22 22 23 24 24 24 23 23 23 23 23 22
 Max (°C) 34 34 34 35 33 32 32 32 32 32 32 32
 Min (°F) 72 72 73 75 75 75 73 73 73 73 73 72
 Max (°F) 93 93 93 95 91 90 90 90 90 90 90 90

 

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast

Consistent tropical warmth
Temperatures vary from highs of 85-90 F and lows of 75-80 F.
This area receives a bit more rain than northern areas, so the surrounding jungles are eternally lush and green.

 Quepos - Average temperatures
 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Min (°C) 22 22 23 24 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23
Max (°C) 31 32 32 32 31 31 31 30 30 30 30 31
Min (°F) 72 72 73 75 73 73 73 73 73 73 73 73
Max (°F) 88 90 90 90 88 88 88 86 86 86 86 88

 

 Quepos - Average precipitation
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Prec.(mm) 45 25 40 155 390 415 445 470 545 535 350 160 3570
Prec.(in) 1.8 1 1.6 6.1 15.4 16.3 17.5 18.5 21.5 21.1 13.8 6.3 140.6
Days 7 4 5 12 23 24 26 26 26 27 23 15 219

 

 Quepo- Sunshine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hours 7 8 8 8 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

 

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