Costa Rica Map
' 7 Provinces to be discovered in just seven days '
On the below Costa Rica map you can see that the country is small and located in Central America, and with just seven states/provinces in an area on 52.000 km.
With a so reduced area to cover it is pretty easy go around the country in a week or less. Let me show you how...
For example, if you are visiting Costa Rica you just have two options regarding International Airports at the time of landing in the country, there are just two, the first one is the Juan Santamaria which is located in Alajuela
(ok! in San Jose) and second, Daniel Oduber Quiros in located in Guanacaste, really close to the beaches.
The most popular airport is the Juan Santamaria International airport, in twenty minutes you can easily get to Alajuela, in thirty minutes to Heredia or San Jose. If you like beaches you can drive three hours to Guanacaste, Limon or Puntarenas...and if you are looking for a calm place to relax Cartago is just one hour from the airport.
Want to learn the name of the provinces ?
Actually having just seven names to learn makes it really easy, just move the mouse over the map and it will tell you the name...give it a try. I know you can memorize it, as soon as finished just scroll to the bottom of the page to learn the basic facts about each province of Costa Rica.
Seven Fast Facts about each Province, take notes !
Alajuela: This province is well known for being the first stop for foreign visitors, although in most tourist publications is mentioned that Juan Santamaria International Airport is located in San Jose the reality is that it is located in Alajuela.
So keep in mind that even though the international airport code shown in your boarding pass says SJO (San Jose), you will land in Alajuela town, but do not worry if you need to go to San Jose, it will just take twenty minutes from the airport.
Cartago: Is the most peaceful province of Costa Rica, there is not much going on related to entertainment, is more a place for relaxation and rest. It is located in the central valley but a little away from the downtown. Years ago was the capital city but then it was transferred to San Jose.
However, nowadays Cartago is considered as the capital of the Catholicism where every August 2nd is visited by devotees to the Virgin.
Guanacaste: Beaches, beaches and more beaches ... Guanacaste is the main center of attraction for beach lovers, there are plenty of places to stay and a wide variety of prices.
You also have another great advantage, is the only province besides Alajuela (ok ! San Jose ) that has an International Airport, so if you are entirely decided by the beach you better buy an airplane ticket for Daniel Oduber airport in Guanacaste. Guanacaste: Beaches, beaches and more beaches ... Guanacaste is the main center of attraction for beach lovers, there are plenty of places to stay and a wide variety of prices.
You also have another great advantage, is the only province besides Alajuela (ok ! San Jose ) that has an International Airport, so if you are entirely decided by the beach you better buy an airplane ticket for Daniel Oduber airport in Guanacaste.
Heredia: Is popularly known as the 'city of flowers', Heredia is a party place, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs everywhere and this makes it a great place to hang out with friends. If you want to party, you should go to Heredia.
Limon: Is the port of entry and exit of products from and to Costa Rica, here customs operate almost 24 hours a day. Limon is located on the Caribbean Coast and also has beautiful beaches, especially the ones with black sand, if you want to visit the Caribbean coast be sure to ask for 'Puerto Viejo', it is a popular place for tourism.
Puntarenas: The main economic activity of this province is the fishing and tourism industry. The great advantage of Puntarenas is mainly its proximity to the central valley.
In fact if you are staying in Alajuela and want to visit the Pacific beaches, only takes a 1.30 minutes to reach the closest beach, but if you want to combine beach and partying in just two hours you can get to Jaco.
Among many things Puntarenas is well known by the Churchill (kind of smoothie with ice) ... try it, there's nothing more refreshing when contemplating the sea view from Puntarenas beach.
San Jose: Is the capital of Costa Rica making it the meeting point for business people. It is a really busy city, most of commercial transactions happens here and also counts with a lot of malls.
If you have to visit San Jose watch out your stuff, between so many people of the streets you should take care of yourself, you know what I mean. Do not wear expensive stuff...Well, sorry about that, I just wanted to warn you.
If you visit San Jose make sure to visit the museums and theater, if you like art, make sure to visit the National Theater.