Main Cities in Costa Rica
Many people who travel Latin America like to include a variety of cities in their itinerary, as opposed to staying in and exploring one area for an extended period of time. Once you’ve booked your accommodation at the Costa Rica jungle lodge of your choice, the Latin American world is quite literally your oyster.
That’s why we thought it would be a nice touch to give you some information on some of our favourite Costa Rican cities. (Please note that the settlements listed below are only a small taste of what Costa Rica has to offer.)
As mentioned elsewhere on our site, Saint Jose (or San José, as it is known in the native tongue) is the capital of Costa Rica. Situated on a plateau in the Central Valley, this vibrant city is surrounded by lush green mountains and valleys and home to almost half of the Costa Rican population. Various cultural venues, museums and markets are scattered throughout the city and a number of artisan shops provide the ideal opportunity for a spot of curio shopping. Choose from a variety of wooden and ceramic works including masks, plaques and wall art that is available in many beautiful designs and colours. Keen for an adrenaline rush? Team up with an adventure sports activity provider near your Costa Rica lodge and participate in white water rafting, canopy tours or a visit to an active volcano! Alternatively try your luck at the casino or go green and visit the nearby butterfly farm.
Cartago city is the capital of Costa Rica’s Cartago province and lies nestled amidst beautiful mountains and coffee plantations. Accommodation in Costa Rica is plentiful and none more so than in Cartago where there is something to suit every budget and taste. Rent a Costa Rica villa or settle for a hostel, either way you are in for a treat. The famous Irazu Volcano is situated close by and renowned for having the gall to erupt back in 1963, when John F Kennedy was on a state tour of the country. Further visitors’ attractions nearby include the stunning landscape of the Orisi Valley, where you can view one of the oldest surviving churches in Costa Rica; and the Lankaster Botanical Gardens, an establishment boasting the largest collection of orchids and epiphytes in the world. Feel like joining in on a local event? Then drop in on the Good Friday Procession, a local celebration that involves a march to the town’s famous Basilica.
Quesada, or San Carlos as it is called by many Costa Ricans, is located in the lush Central Valley of the Alajuela province and is one of the area’s most important trading centres. An hour’s drive from the capital, this lively town is a great base to explore the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. The park is largely comprised of cloud forests and provides ample opportunities to view indigenous Costa Rican bird life. Also close by is the famous Arenal Volcano, one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world and is a fascinating natural wonder and ‘must visit’ destination for travellers to Costa Rica.
You simply cannot book accommodation at a Costa Rica rainforest lodge without pre-scheduling a visit to this incredible geographical landmark.
Avid surfers know to head straight for Dominical when they travel Latin America. Located on Costa Rica’s incredibly scenic Central Pacific coastline, the small village of Dominical has recorded waves that reach over ten feet! Surfers flock to this amazing shore in droves from all around the globe, with water sports fanatics not far behind. The weather is temperate all year round; so many surfers love sleeping on the beach under the stars, although comfy Costa Rica lodges are also available. Those who feel less than stable on a surfboard can rest easy; there are more than enough leisure options available that do not require the donning of a wetsuit. Visit the Marino Ballena National Park and view majestic marine mammals such as sea turtles and whales, or take a leisurely horseback tour to the nearby Nauyaca Waterfalls. If you have the time, make sure to include a visit to the lovely Caño Island, situated just off the coast. This pretty spot is one of the foremost diving spots in the world and boasts a diverse array of marine life.
Book your Poas accommodation with us today and explore the many wonders of Costa Rica.