Where to go in Costa Rica.

Where to go in Costa Rica?

Even though Costa Rica only has an area of 51,100 square kilometers (a bit smaller than West Virginia) it is packed with so much diversity. There was a reason behind naming it the “Rich Coast” even after it was determined there was not much gold to be found. There are so many microclimates to be found within such short distances. For example, you can be in Monteverde’s cloud forest in the morning and on the tropical beach in the afternoon. Each of these microclimates has an attraction whether it be a volcano, a national park, or a beach.

If you have bought your plane ticket to arrive in San Jose then it is most likely you will want to explore the city for a couple of days and then make your way down to the Central Pacific coast.  The city offers many amazing museums such as the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum, the National Museum, the Jade Museum and many more. In the Central Valley you will find four provinces side by side. These are Alajuela, San Jose, Heredia and Cartago. Each of these has its own history and offers places that represent Costa Rica’s past. I have visited each province and found that even though the attractions are varied, the people are always freindly and helful. My favorite part abour


Once you are ready to move on the best route toward the coast is highway 27, and  then turn south on route 34 which passes by one of the most easily accessible and bustling tourist towns known as Jaco Beach. Within an hour you can go from the central valley to the beach. There are many small towns in between but the one that stands out most is Orotina. This is known as the town of the fruits because the climate here is perfect for growing a wide variety of tropical fruits including mangoes and avocados. I would highly recommend stopping in for the Chocolate tour and to buy some fresh fruits at the local market in the center of town.

In the center of Orotina you can find an authentic Costa Rican market filled with small stalls that sell fresh produce, dairy products, local cuisine, shoes, clothes, etc. It is a great place to experience what the local culture is like and nearby there is a church and park that are typical of the country. On the outskirts of the town there are homes on large parcels called “Quintas” where the locals usually have fruits trees growing, this provides a nice country environment and family oriented town. There are so many activities to do in the area and the location is perfect between the Central Valley and the beaches.


Moving down the coastal road towards Jaco Beach you will have to stop at the Crocodile Bridge over the Tarcoles River. Here you can view these ancient creatures from the bridge for free. Many tourists stop on the side of the road where there are small stores and restaurants to make a short stop and enjoy sightseeing the Crocs. Tarcoles is a town inhabited by local fishermen so you can be sure to find lots of fresh fish. It is a kind and friendly local town with a long beach that is perfect for watching sunsets.

There are many residential areas some with homes that offer breathtaking views of the valley and ocean. The Tarcoles river carved its way through the mountains, leaving ridges where homes have been built in the jungle. The inhabitants of this area enjoy abundant wildlife, especially the scarlet macaws that have their nesting grounds in the Carara National Park which is nearby. These homes with spectacular ocean views are in a perfect locating between the San Jose airport and many beaches.



The next popular stop is Jaco Beach where you can find numerous restaurants, shops, adventure activities, and places to stay beachfront. This is the largest coastal town with easy access from San Jose airport. There is a wide variety of rentals to choose from whether you want beachfront or just walking distance to the beach. Walk the strip and you can find great restaurants and souvenir stores. Take an ATV tour to explore the waterfalls in the rainforest or try your luck sport fishing out of the work re-known Los Sueños Marina. The attractive side of Jaco Beach is that there is a place for everyone, whether you are on a budget or looking for a beachfront penthouse. From Jaco there are several nice beaches as you go south such as Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco and Bandera.

The coastal road continues down south into Quepos, Dominical and finally Golfito. The further south the more lush and green the landscape is but also more remote and with limited infrastructure. You may want to take some time to explore each area and what it offers. These are the areas I am most familiar with, but it is only a small part of Costa Rica. Living in a country with so much diversity is a blessing and I believe it is best for visitors to plan their trips allowing time to explore each region.

If at any time during your travels, you decide you may be interested in purchasing property here you can read this article about buying property in Costa Rica. I have been involved in real estate for almost 20 years and have run my own independent real estate company for the last 6 years so please feel free to reach out with any questions at jbrealestatecostarica@gmail.com. You can visit my website at www.jbrealestatecostarica.com to search for properties and general information.

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