Costa Rica Province

To help you organize and plan your vacation, has divided Costa Rica's 7 Provinces into 10 regions based on geographical location and the attractions found within each. This information will be helpful as you travel the country as there are common names used for different regions, provinces and cities. A great example of this is San Jose. There is a Province, Region, City and Canton that all share this name. Please be aware of this when making your travel plans so there will not be any confusion. Below is a map of Costa Rica's 7 Provinces that are divided into 81 cantons, and further into 463 cities. We have simplified this by dividing the Provinces into 10 regions to help make your vacation planning easier so that you spend your time enjoying Costa Rica's wonders.

Alajuela Province holds the main hub of all international travel in and out of Costa Rica in the city of Alajuela, it's capital.  The Juan Santamaria...

Cartago Province lies to the east of San Jose Province and to the west of Limon Province.  The majority of this province lays between a mountain volcano...

Guanacaste Province is named for the large trees that fill it's landscape. It's string of volcanoes, mountain ranges, pastureland and beaches make...

Heredia Province is located northwest of the city of San Jose between the Provinces of Alajauela and Limon all the way to the border of Nicaragua...

Limon Province is the only province of Costa Rica to lay entirely on the Caribbean coast and is unique to the others in many more ways than this...

Puntarenas Province is the largest of all provinces of Costa Rica with the majority lying along the Pacific coast.  It's northern border includes a...

San Jose Province holds many of the largest cities of Costa Rica and is the primary hub for their democratic government, focal point for political and...

We have divided the 7 Provinces into 10 easy to understand regions to make it easier to plan and organize your vacation. See more info on the "Regional Overview" tab.

Provinces Cantons Districts Area (sq km)
Alajuela 15 108 9.757,53
Cartago 8 48 3.124,67
Guanacaste 11 59 10.140,71
Heredia 10 46 2.656,98
Limon 6 27 9.188,52
Puntarenas 11 57 11.265,69
San Jose 20 118 4.965,90


Cantons of each Province

1.  Alajuela - Alajuela, San Ramon, Grecia, San Mateo, Atenas, Naranjo, Palmares, Poas, Ortina, San Carlos, Alfaro Ruiz, Valverde Vega, Upala, Los Chilies, Guatuso

2.  Cartago - Cartago, Paraiso, La Union, Jimenez, Turrialba, Alvarado, Oreamundo, El Guarco

3.  Guanacaste - Abangares, Bagaces, Canas,Carrillo, Hojancha, La Cruz, Liberia, Nandayure, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Tilaran 

4.  Heredia - Heredia, Barva, Santo Domingo, Santa Barbara, San Rafael, San Isidro, Belen, Flores, San Pablo, Sarapiqui 

5.  Limon - Pococi, Guacimo, Siquirres, Matina, Limon, Talamanca 

6.  Puntarenas - Aguirre, Buenos Aires, Corredores, Coto Brus,Esparza, Garabito,Golfito, Montes de Oro, Osa, Parrita, Puntarenas 

7.  San Jose - San Jose, Escazu, Desamparados, Puriscal, Tarrazu, Aserri, Mora, Goicoechea, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, Vazquez de Coronado, Acosta, Tibas, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Turrubares, Dota, Curridabat, Perez Zeledon, Leon Cortes


Traveling around Costa Rica from one end to the other can easily be done in a few days time but certainly it is not enough time to "experience" Costa Rica.  We have been experiencing more tourist that are returning for second and third trips to explore additional areas that stole their hearts on their first journey here but it does not surprise us at all.  You will feel hard pressed to leave the area and travel on to others thinking there is no way it can get better than this - but - it does!  There is a saying that you will hear often, "Pura Vida" and while it means good life in spanish,  you will quickly find that it has a personal meaning to each that experience the wonderful country of Costa Rica.

Choosing which Province you are going to start your adventure in may be difficult but we hope that the information contained on our sight will help you navigate your way and allow you to have a great visit.   From San Jose Province with it's modern cities to Puntarenas Province with it's unexplored regions, you are bound to have a trip that you will remember.  

In San Jose Province your choices are endless for shopping, medical treatment, nightlife and some of the best food you can imagine.  The districts around the Province are more populated that any other but still offer tradition and cultural events in the city atmosphere.  Travel over to Limon Province and experience the caribbean cuisine, blue waters, white sandy beaches and the fabulous fun of the mixed culture that live in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.  Guanacaste Province offers up its endless miles of beaches on the Pacific coast or the hidden treasures of the Nicoya Peninsula may entice you its way.

Virtually every Province of Costa Rica you choose to travel you will experience the wildlife, as Costa Rica boasts 5 percent of all known species on earth.  Each Province is dedicated to setting aside protected property for the animal life giving more than 25% of its country's overall land mass to this vision.  You will encounter wonderful National Parks as well as Wildlife Refuges and eco-systems found no other place in the world.  Taking the step to visit this exciting country will certainly reward you with the time of your life.

Alajuela Province may entice your adventurous side to explore the trails and surroundings of it's many volcano sights or the quiet charm of some of it's many districts.  Perhaps you want to be close to the city but far enough away to enjoy the amazing rainforest, waterfalls and animals that dot the land.  Heridia Province or Cartago Province will offer you that and more.  If you want a chance to see what few get to see, then head to Puntarenas Province and venture to it's most southern region to explore the land that will take you back in time. Enjoy endless beaches, friendly faces of the locals, amazing trails and that one of a kind experience on your entire trip south. 

The history and culture of the people remain a prevalent existence in the daily lives of the Tico's and it is the unspoiled charm of the people that bring many visitors back to these surroundings.  Tico's are unique and are proud of a distinct identity that owes much to the country's prosperity, peace and stability.  While everything in Costa Rica moves at a slower pace than the rest of the world, it is the traditions and easy nature of the people of the country that made them hang on through the ruthless ways that the 16th century Spanish conquistadors brought to their shores.  

Costa Rica is certainly a unique country, the majority being filled with dense rain and cloud forests, magnificent mountains and volcanoes, white and dark sand beaches and all wrapped into an eco-system that supports some of the most amazing plant and animal life on the face of the planet.  Most countries have some area of their borders that would resemble this but in Costa Rica's Provinces, it is the "norm" while cities are the unusual landscape in this beautiful hidden paradise.

You will feel the weight of a hectic life drain off you as you step into the serenity of what the land and its adventures offer. Sharing the easy life style that the local people choose over the alternative is just what the doctor ordered.  It is contagious once you experience it so don't be surprised when you find yourself thinking of another trip to Costa Rica even before you board a plane to leave it!

Photo Contributed by: firstbaptistnashville [Costa Rica] under CC license, EveryJean, [costa rica. on the chocolate tour] under CC license© Martine Oger |