7 Most Beautiful Provinces in Costa Rica

by Isabella Carlos
Aerial view of central avenue in San Jose, Costa Rica

Western Canada’s Alberta region has breathtaking landscapes, from wide-open grasslands to towering snowy peaks. Edmonton and Calgary, its two main cities, are both modern and frontier at the same time.

Alberta is a province that loves the arts and values its diverse cultural background by hosting many film and music festivals each year. Alberta is the place to be if you like the great outdoors in the winter or summer. And if you happen to be traveling with any aspiring paleontologists, they will be thrilled to see some of the most prolific dinosaur fossil beds on the planet. Highlights of the finest that Alberta has to offer as a tourist destination:

Costa Rica, located on the Central American isthmus between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is widely recognized as one of the world’s most ecologically progressive and biologically rich nations.

The country is blessed with an abundance of breathtaking natural attractions, including glistening waterfalls and rushing rivers, gorgeous beaches, spectacular mountain vistas, and a broad variety of outstanding national parks. Amidst it all, you’ll find a number of fantastic urban centers, each with their own set of attractions and a plethora of fantastic outdoor activities and watersports to partake in.


The province of Alajuela, located in north-central Costa Rica on the country’s border with Nicaragua, is a mountainous paradise. The province’s vast plains and lush rainforest are traversed by the Central, Tilaran, and Guanacaste mountain ranges; and the Frio, San Carlos, and Tarcoles rivers.

This results in stunning natural beauty. The Arenal Volcano, Juan Castro Blanco Volcano, and the Poas Volcano National Park are just a few of the outstanding natural attractions in the Alajuela area.

A wide variety of flora and wildlife thrive in their many ecosystems, which include snow-capped volcanoes and jagged mountain peaks, hidden waterfalls in thick jungle, and more. Hiking, rock climbing, and white-water rafting are just a few of the many popular outdoor activities in the province.

Though the province of Alajuela as a whole is not very densely populated, the city of the same name is packed to the gills with fascinating points of interest, including a cathedral and a square that date back centuries and are sure to please.

Moreover, the natural treasures that surround the towns of Quidada and San Ramon make them well worth a visit, and the hot springs in Tabacon are ideal for relaxing after a day of exploring the alluring national parks of Alajeula.


Although it is one of the smaller provinces in Costa Rica, Cartago, in the country’s central area, is home to some of the country’s most remarkable Spanish colonial period structures, including many churches and cathedrals that have been in use for hundreds of years.

Cartago is one of the most fascinating cities in the province. The tight but charming center is only one of the highlights of this one-time capital city, which also has a stunning church and well-preserved ruins. The city’s traditions and rich cultural legacy are still well alive and thriving, as seen by the massive Good Friday, Romero, and Return of the Virgin processions that draw thousands of pilgrims each year.

From here, you can easily visit nearby attractions, including the picturesque Orosi Valley, which is teeming with coffee farms, and the well-known Irazu Volcano region.

The province of Cartago is mostly covered with undisturbed rainforest, and it is home to many beautiful species of wildlife. Located near the region’s highest peak, Cerro de la Muerte, and its surrounding volcanoes is Tapanti National Park, a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.


The province of Guanacaste, located in the country’s northwestern corner, is endowed with a wide variety of ecosystems, including a long, picturesque Pacific Ocean coastline; beautiful mountains and volcanoes; rivers; flatlands; and marshes.

Guanacaste is a hotspot for tourists because of its stunning landscapes and plenty of natural attractions. Tamarindo, Coco, and Samara, as well as the lovely and pristine Papagayo Peninsula, draw a lot of tourists because of their stunning beaches and luxurious resorts.

Even while the province is known for its glistening shoreline, the interior region is just as interesting to discover. Because of its waterfalls, lush rainforest, and craggy mountains, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is highly recommended. Nevertheless, all seven of the country’s national parks are amazing.

Horseback riding, white-water rafting, and ziplining are just a few of the many thrilling outdoor pursuits available. Naturally, the Pacific is a great place to go sailing, snorkeling, and sport fishing.


The province of Heredia is a wonderful region to visit, spanning from the Northern Plains on the border with Nicaragua to the city of Heredia, just outside the capital of San Jose in the Central Valley. Within its borders are towering mountains, seemingly unending coffee farms, and the raging Sarapiqui River.

The capital city of the province has the same name, and it is the most popular tourist destination due to its beautiful center square, which is surrounded by scenic coffee plantations, and its abundance of noteworthy monuments and historic buildings. Also beautiful are the mountain communities of Brava, Sacramento, and San Jose de la Montana.

However, Braulio Carillo National Park is where most tourists end up. The park, which is nestled within the breathtaking Central Mountain range, is characterized by its virgin rainforest, dormant volcanoes, and crater lakes. Braulio Carillo is a biodiversity hotspot because it is home to an abundance of wonderful animals and because it has several excellent hiking paths and scenic vistas.


Limon is the least-visited province in Costa Rica because of its isolated position in the Caribbean Lowlands, but this may be for the best since the province is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural views and may give tourists a true sense of Costa Rica’s Caribbean culture.

Although Cahuita, Puerto Limon, and Punta Uva serve primarily as entry points to the stunning natural scenery in the area, they are also home to culturally varied communities that draw inspiration from Afro-Caribbean, indigenous, and Spanish traditions.

Limon’s magnificent coastline is home to numerous stunning beaches and enjoyable activities, and it is well worth spending some time visiting the attractive villages and towns that lie along this coastline.

The majority of tourists go here to take in the stunning scenery in Cahuita National Park and the more distant Tortuguero National Park. Both are located in the Caribbean and are covered in thick jungle, making them home to a wide variety of fascinating animals, birds, and reptiles.

Additionally, Tortuguero is where you should go to see turtles hatching on the beaches.


Both Corcovado National Park and Manuel Antonio National Park are located in the province of Puntarenas, which encompasses a large portion of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The former is really one of the most diversified locations on Earth, while the latter is deservedly one of the most visited national parks in Costa Rica owing to its stunning natural beauty and amazing fauna.

It’s impressive, yet this is just the beginning of everything you can do in Puntarenas. The beaches at Jaco, Manzanillo, and Montezuma are among the most gorgeous in the world, but you’ll find them all throughout the country.

The province is a photographer’s or nature lover’s paradise due to its breathtaking landscapes. The nearby Cocos Island is stunning, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is another must-see. You may go hiking, snorkeling, and surfing, just to name a few of the many exciting outdoor pursuits available.

1-San José

San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is located in the province of the same name in the country’s Central Valley, on a plateau surrounded by stunning mountains, broad valleys, and a verdant rainforest.

Despite the city’s status as the country’s economic, political, and cultural epicenter, getting out of the city to see the province’s beautiful natural landscapes is well worth the effort.

The highest peak in the nation, Cerro Chirripo, gives the Chirripo National Park its name. The misty cloud forest of Los Quetzales National Park is another highlight. San Jose is an excellent vacation spot since it blends history, culture, and the environment so well, and there are many exciting outdoor activities to partake in while you’re there.

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