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Costa Rica Travel Guide

Explore a microcontinent of travel opportunities.

Discover Costa Rica

Dry deciduous forests, lush wetlands, open savanna, and both Pacific and Atlantic beaches, tiny Costa Rica contains the full potential of the tropics. By simply starting on the coastal plains and walking uphill, travelers can journey from the Amazon to a Swiss alpine forest. For outdoor adventurers, the nation’s 12 distinct ecological zones offer endless opportunity to explore land, sea, and sky–think rugged plains by horseback, crocodile safaris, and zipline adventures–while the party crowd will thrive in urban San José, the Afro-Caribbean cultural beat along the coastline, and Jacó, Costa Rica’s most developed resort.

To relax, unwind, and adventure, Costa Rica truly offers something for everyone. Cover every corner of the country with the best of Costa Rica in two weeks, or if you want to experience its beauty and diversity without breaking the bank, start with these helpful tips for how to travel, dine, and explore Costa Rica on a budget. For those hoping to make the move abroad, spend a whirlwind ten days hitting expat hot spots while getting to know the rhythm of life in Costa Rica.

From the thriving nightlife of San José to hiking in the crisp, cool cloud forests of Monteverde to the white-sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, experience the incredible diversity of Costa Rica.

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Travel Maps of Costa Rica

Download free, printable maps of Costa Rica for your personal use.

Currently available from the pages of our travel guides are over sixty maps of Costa Rica. These free planning maps cover all the major regional destinations of interest to travelers including San José, the Caribbean Coast, and the Nicoya Peninsula.

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Color map of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Map of Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano National Park

Get Inspired With Our Most Recent Costa Rica Articles

Just getting started planning? Here are our four most recent articles to help you find your way, or dig deeper and browse the latest Moon travel articles for all of Costa Rica or check out our living abroad content if you're considering moving to Costa Rica.

Catedral de Puntarenas. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Sights in the Port Town of Puntarenas

Puntarenas has long been favored by Josefinos seeking R&R. This sultry port town is built along a narrow spit running west from the suburb of Cocal and backed to the north by a mangrove estuary; to the south are the Golfo de Nicoya and a beach cluttered with driftwood. Though tiny, there’s plenty to see here from museums to festivals to mingling with the locals.

Customers entering and browsing the Mercado Central.

Where to Shop in San José de Costa Rica

Rio Celeste Valley in Volcan Tenorio National Park, Costa Rica. Photo © Joerg Hackemann/123rf.

Hiking Tenorio Volcano National Park

Volcán Tenorio, rising southeast of Upala, is blanketed in montane rainforest and protected within Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio. Local hiking is superb, albeit often hard going on higher slopes. Cougars and jaguars tread the forests, where birds and beasts abound.

Study in Costa Rica © xtockimages

Opportunities for Study in Costa Rica