Category

Provinces of Costa Rica

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Territorial Area: 9.188 km2
Population: 274.135 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Playa Bonita
Puerto Vargas
Hitoy Cerere
Talamanca
Barra del Colorado
Cahuita National Park
Tortuguero National Park

In the middle of tropical jungle, where the flora and fauna make profusion of an excessive natural splendor, the fantasy of the area, the Caribbean tradition and the multiplicity of attractions make that the tourists enjoy in an plenty way of the natural gifts which gave to Costa Rica its name.

Limon offers to the visitors the tropical forest, national parks, beaches, recreation centers, rivers restaurants, hotels for all types but in special the most magic and beautiful platform that it has never seen before.

Trips to the tropical forest by sailing on the river or by walking in the forest, any way that the tourists come to Limon, they will enjoy of their stay and they will never forget their discoveries in a tropical fantasy setting.

The Afro-caribbean culture that domains at the area transmits an emotive rhythm each one of its visitors, the ambient of the area and the quality of its people make Limon the province of happiness, parties and the favorite in Costa Rica. The air transmits the desire to enjoy, laugh and stay at its shore at the moment you arrive to this beautiful and Caribbean province. Traveling to Limon is like dream pleasantly and wishing this sensation comes to the end.

Territorial Area: 11.277 km2
Population: 358.980 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Puntarenas
Dona Ana
Jaco
Cabo Blanco Reserve
Corcovado National Park
Carara Biological Reserve
Isla del Golfo (Gulf Island)
Playas de Manuel Antonio National Park
Montezuma

This province is very important for Costa Rica because of its beautiful beaches and the fast growth of the hotels for vacation area for national and international tourism.

Puntarenas is recognized by Costa Ricans as EL PUERTO, happy place with a nice and good night ambient, excellent seafood, restaurants with national and international food.

An important characteristic of Puntarenas is its annual carnivals that do not go unnoticed for national tourist and many foreign visitors have taken a good experience with them for enjoying this party due to of the annual and big mobilization of these people.

Puntarenas is an ideal place for fishing as sport, also, is a place for fishing as an important source of income and jobs for the residents of this province.

When you get to EL PUERTO is very sure that any tourist will leave without knowing the famous Paseo de los Turistas (Tourist Street) and of course enjoying some of the delicious food that in this place offers to the tourist.

This hot and tropical province offers for the enjoyment of the tourist the nearest beaches only one hour from San Jose. The national and foreign tourist makes contact with the folklore of the area: typical foods, candies and the famous “copos” are part of the landscape that never lacks in a sunny, beach and maritime ambient.

Quepos

Beaches, sun, sand, and sea and someone called Manuel Antonio?
No one knows exactly who Manuel Antonio was at Quepos, but everybody knows that Manuel Antonio Beach and National Park are very important part of the National and International Tourism

Quepos or Puerto Quepos belong to the province of Puntarenas and it is located at the Pacific. This place has a lot years dedicated of its tourism beach development mainly, because at all sector of Manuel Antonio, you will find hotels for all types of budget.

The beaches of Manuel Antonio form part of the most important attraction of this port, because its National Park appeals not only vacation tourism also scientific tourism that study the different kinds of flora and fauna of this park.

Puerto Quepos (Quepos Port) has an interesting, night atmosphere, a variety of food international restaurants. It seems that many tourists who came to Quepos were impressed and fascinated and they decided to stay permanently in this port and today these people who got to this place as tourist, are contributing with the tourism that visits Quepos.

Puerto Quepos (Quepos Port) enchants the heart from those who meet and know it, and it is inevitable.

Territorial Area: 101.141 km2
Population: 218.234 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Tamarindo
Flamingo
Sámara
Playa Hermosa (Beautiful Beach)
Playa del Coco (Coco Beach)
Santa Cruz
Golfo de Papagayo (Papagayo Gulf)
Guaitil
Barra Honda National Park
Palo Verde National Park
Rincón de la Vieja National Park
Santa Rosa National Park
Guanacaste National Park
Ostional

The big province of Guanacaste embellishes and decorates the rest of the country. Among its beautiful beaches and locations, the national and international tourist enjoy of the profusion of natural beauty that interlace with the fantasy that the sun offers in a world created for the total enjoyment satisfying from the most demanding person until the simplest person who wants to enjoy in a good way of the nature full of sun.

The pampas of Guanacaste gifts to the visitors the tropical delights that few places can reach out of Costa Rica. Unique gifts of nature are: its beaches, plains, and rivers, all made in agreement with people that are waiting for you.

To list the beaches of Guanacaste would be endless, but it cannot leave mentioning the famous and crowded beaches of Sámara , Tamarindo, Conchal, Panamá and the unforgettable Coco Beach, which has reached fame and affection of the Costa Ricans that have and offer songs, poems in honour of them.

In its majestic Guanacaste combines its folklore attractions, traditions and food that rescue the past of Costa Rica. Among its settlements, it is located the center of the Indian art Guaitil, historical national place where the stronger Indian tribe lived long time ago, also Liberia -the famous white city where in a strategic point the tourist can contact to different and beautiful beaches without comparison.

The Santa Rosa National Park remembers to whole country the jealousy of Costa Ricans before an invasion, that without organized army defended the sovereignty and peace that Costa Rica enjoy plentifully today.

Hotels, cabins, nightclubs and centers, restaurants and accommodations located at Guanacaste, offering a package of special activities for people who want to exalt its adventurous spirit.

Territorial Area: 3.125 km2
Population: 392.907 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Basílica de Los Angeles
Ujarras Ruins
Church of Orosi
Orosi Valley
Irazu Volcano National Park
Guayabo National Monument
Lankester Garden
Tapantí National Park

Cartago keep inside of her the most greatest secrets, antique traditions, historical relic etc. Each one of them has an extensive past in which certainly there were a lot of involved people, that have made Cartago a province with a mystical-historical very special attractive.

The Basilica of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles currently is the most visited attractions by tourists. Its architecture has received the most honourable praises from those who has met and stayed it. But this is not all that we can say and talk of this tourist attraction, every year on August 2nd, thousands of followers of the Negrita Virgen de los Angeles comes from all different places of Costa Rica, many of them come by walking hundred of kilometers in order to thank to “la Patroncita” some favors or granted miracles. And for this reason this big tradition is part of the history of Cartago that many tourists will like to know about it.

To continue talking about Cartago, there is something very particular in this province its good to stand out its peacefulness. There is a indescribable peacefulness that it seems the peace was born here and at the same time it spreads toward its beautiful natural reserves where the heart of any tourist would be trapped either foreign or national tourist. The foreign tourist because they will discover this paradise and the national tourists will be stunned by knowing all that beauty is part of their country.

One volcano…Irazu Volcano. Its name in Cartago and Costa Rica is a synonym of admiration and respect because many years ago it demonstrated it strength and intensity in one eruption covering a big part of the country, making the population recognize its immortal impotence, after that moment it has kept silence in order to show its secrets.

When the breeze clear up the clouds that were over it, the colossus has allowed seeing its wonderful splendor. Today, many of thousands people have contemplated its majesty, and those who have not met yet, and when they meet it, their faces will not look the same.

Cartago is a place of contrasts, where the tourists, besides to meet the Irazu Volcano, they also admire the beautiful big landscapes, big vegetables sown field that sometimes are like alive pictures with full of colors. Country little houses bordered by a plantation of cabbage, are some of real examples, panoramas of this place, in where the flowers let also them show their beauty which they are formed.

The zone of Cartago is blessed with exuberant nature that decorates each spot that is found at its own paths. Deep inside of the park you will the impressive Cachí hydroelectric stemming, where many tourists take many pictures of them that of course never lack in this tour for their families memories. Inside of this little province you can enjoy of an attractive for those who likes of high tensions: the rafting. This activity enriches in a specific way the greatest natural ambient of Cartago.

Definitely, if there is a place that a tourist must know and visit this is Cartago, the province that keeps in its peacefulness a very special history between national parks and naturals spots.

Territorial Area: 2.657 km2
Population: 315.158 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Monte de la Cruz (Mountain of the Cross)
Ojo de Agua (Water Eye)
Braulio Carrillo National Park
Parroquia de la Inmaculada (Parish Church of the Virgin Mary)
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí (Sarapiquí Old Port)
Aquamania

You cannot find in any country around the world a lot places with names of Saint as in Heredia.

Santo Domingo
This place is very famous for its beautiful landscapes and architectonic and historic designs. It is only 10 minutes from San José, lying peacefully and pretty territory of Santo Domingo.

San Joaquín de Flores
The religious traditions of the area have made of their activities considered very artistic appeals in this way a crowd of national and foreign tourists in order to share the spiritual festive parties of San Joaquin de Flores.

Also, among its traditions, San Joaquin offers the best sorbet ice creams of Costa Rica, which are prepared and sold in front of the satisfied clients with a lot of folklore.

San Lorenzo
It is a little town where you can watch an excellent football soccer game among friends. It is a good reason for joining to this town.

San Jose de la Montaña
Its mountains are the best attraction for the tourist. In this place is easy to find a big variety of mountain hotels, each of them with a special attractive, but all of them with a little peace of Heaven that comes from the paradise. Its fresh weather evokes to the romanticism of those do not pass the opportunity of giving this captive feeling in their hearts.

Santa Barbara
In this place the tourist will find famous restaurants by their foods in the middle of a little and peaceful town, at the foot of the Barva Volcano and in a fresh weather and surrounded by the rural heat of the area.

Barva
Heredia is well known not only for the Saints, also because is province with beard. This is the name of one of its town full of splendor of the province of Heredia, which was declared as historic town because it maintains antiques houses made by adobe, for this reason we can say that in Barva de Hereida the history and the old Costa Rican traditions are stopped. It is easy to find for the tourist in the party town the famous clowns, the Cimarrona and typical food.

Visiting and knowing Heredia will be for the tourist an excellent experience full of surprises in the middle of a combination of typical with the delicious aroma of the that surround this town.

Territorial Area: 9.753 km2
Population: 586.836 residents
Interesting places for tourism:
Historical and cultural Juan Santamaria Museum
La Guácima, Sarchí race track
Poás Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park
Birds Zoo
Marine Zoo
Butterfly Garden

City of the Mangos (Ciudad de los Mangos)

Park of the Mangos (Parque de los Mangos)

Home of the Manudos (Hogar de los Manudos)

With any of these typical phrases of the residents of this province, it is very probable that any tourist can get to ask where is Alajuela?

The City of the Mangos-well known many years ago-is a province where the friendship of its residents is a special characteristic. It is very common to observe at the Park of the Mangos (Parque de los Mangos) sitting and talking about football soccer, new stories, and some Costa Rican humor, that never lack in this place.

Alajuela, also, enjoys an excellent weather because it seems that the spring passed and stayed in this place, a wonderful example of this fact is the city of Atenas, this city has been considered as the owner of the best weather of the world.

Also, this province has an important volcano: the well-known Poás Volcano. This volcano is different from other volcanoes in the country, because its crater is the biggest of the world, besides has a national park perfectly equipped in order that the tourists enjoy of this walk tour in a completely form.

The vegetation and flora are another attraction of the Poás Volcano National Park, as so its natural paths, in where you can watch, admire and see the different types of vegetation in where the spring weather combines perfectly with the tropical humid weather.

Finally, and for the delight of the tourists, Alajuela has an extensive variety of tropical fruits, this fruits are grown most part of the year. Hundred of tourists spend their time at this province enjoying of the typical and gastronomic food, the hospitality of its people and its beautiful nature.

Certainly, one night in which the beautiful sparkles of the Arenal Volcano appeared, the nature was inspired to create the star of the sky, because this impressive and spectacular colossus gives to San Carlos a special quality that all people who come to visit this city never forget it.

And there is much to say of San Carlos: First of all, we have talked about its volcano, but at the same time it completes with its beauty its extensive flora and fauna that there is around, not only the volcano, also its lagoon of the same name.

Exuberant, exotic and extended for all the plains it does not matter where you look. San Carlos is surrounded by its beautiful landscape as the nature is able to produce and create by itself or maybe at nights while the volcano is showing its profusion splendor up, the lagoon is rising up light drizzle with the wind, it is the perfect moment when the magic charm becomes wild flowers beautiful.

But as part of the nature is never enough the color of its beauty, we cannot ignore the exuberance of the plains, the mountains let go from them the most exotic and never imagined flora… are there flowers at the mountains?

Yes, and it is possible to see in San Carlos, where the nature did not skimp on the quantity of colors, forms and the most delicate perfumes born from the same heart of GOD.

At San Carlos, the flora’s beauty let also a very particular fauna, because it seems that the toucan, o Curre for example, found here their special residence, and also put a seal on its indefinite stay, a thought that many tourists will pass in their minds when they admire not only the toucan, also, the biggest variety of multicolor butterflies accompanied with beautiful species of birds that when they combine in one flight, it is a unforgettable experience.

San Carlos is place full of a special beauty and contrast between its nature and its people with a hospitable heart, in where the tourists when will get there, they can remember a little piece of the new world with all its facilities and comforts in order to enjoy it.

Costa Rica is full of beautiful and enchanted places, but the most impressive places is Sarchí at where you can admire the perfect ability of the craftsmen in those pieces in which you can admire art and beauty. At this little town of Alajuela you can get the most useful handmade products as also all those you can imagine.

Thousands of tourists have taken to their homes one part of the heart of these craftsmen by getting this poetic wooden art.

Territorial Area: 4.959 km2

Population: 1.227.776 residents

Interesting places for tourism:

National Museum
Jade Museum
Gold Museum
Contemporary Art Museum
Natural Science Museum
Museum of Children (Museo de los niños)
National Theater
Costa Rica University
National Culture Center
Amusement National Park (Parque Nacional de Diversiones)

San José, Costa Rica is incredibly changeable city in where business and the Bohemian art combine each other.

Theaters, museums, movie theaters, restaurants, casinos, hotels, stores… there is everything at the heart of this city.

Specialized places of Costa Rican typical craftsmanship, artists working in clay sculptures on the sidewalks, others work on the best Bohemian clothes that tourists who visit Costa Rica have never appreciated before.

The center of San José -as well known and called by Costa Ricans- has everything for all tastes, this fact is guaranteed for all tourists who arrive to this country, from people who stay one night because next day will go to the beautiful beaches to those who come for business and at night want to enjoy a different atmosphere.

Nights full of illusions, emotions, smiles, cultures or amusement: for all this things San José is the best place and option.

Human habitation can be traced back more than 10,000 years but it appears Costa Rica was sparsely populated and a relative backwater in the pre-Columbian era. There is little sign of major communities and none of the impressive stone architecture that characterized the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica to the north and the Andes to the south. When Columbus arrived near Limen on September 18, 1502 on his third and last voyage to the Americas, there were probably no more than 20,000 indigenous inhabitants They lived in several autonomous tribes, all with distinct cultures and customs. Costa Rica’s only major archaeological site is at Guayabo, 30 miles east of San Jose, where an ancient city, dating back to 1000 B.C. and though to have contained 10,000 people at its peak, is currently being excavated. Many interesting gold, jade and pottery artifacts have been found throughout the region and are on display in several museums in San Jose.

The Indians gave Columbus gold and he returned to Europe with reports of a plentiful supply of the yellow metal. But the adventurers who arrived to cash in found only hostile Indians, swamps and disease for their trouble. Several early attempts to colonize the Atlantic coast failed for the same reasons and for almost half a century Costa Rica was passed over while colonization gathered pace in countries to the north and south. In 1562, the Spanish main’s administrative center in Guatemala sent Juan Vasquez de Coronado to Costa Rica as governor and Cartago was established as the capital the following year. With no Indian slaves to work the land, the colonists were forced to work the land themselves, scratching out a meager subsistence by tilling small plots. The impoverished colony grew slowly and was virtually ignored by the Spanish rulers in Guatemala. By the late 18th century, the settlements that would had been founded and exports of wheat and tobacco were making economic conditions somewhat better.

Central America gained independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. The news reached Costa Rica a month after the event. The question of whether Costa Rica should join newly independent Mexico or join a new confederation of Central American states resulted in a bitter quarrel between the leaders of San Jose and their counterparts in Cartago and Heredia. A brief civil war in 1823 was won by San Jose and Costa Rica joined the confederation.

Juan Mora Fernandez was elected the country’s first head of state in 1824. His progressive administration expanded public education and encouraged the cultivation of coffee with land grants for growers. This quickly led to the establishment of a new Costa Rican elite, the coffee barons, who quickly put their power to use by overthrowing the first Costa Rican president, Jose Maria Castro. His successor, Juan Rafael Mora, is remembered as the man who mobilized a force of Costa Rican volunteers and defeated William Walker, ending the persistent North American adventurer’s ambitions to turn Central America into a slave state and annex it to the United States.

After more than a decade of political turmoil, General Tom Guardia seized power in 1870. Though he ruled as a military dictator, his 12 years in power were marked by progressive policies like free and compulsory primary education, restraining the excesses of the military and taxing coffee earnings to finance public works. It was Guardia who contracted Minor Keith to build the Atlantic railroad from San Jose to the Caribbean. The post-Guardia years witnessed the fitful transition to full democracy.

The next important era began with the election of Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia in 1940. His enlightened policies included land reform, a guaranteed minimum wage and progressive taxation. But when Calderen’s United Social Christian Party refused to step down after losing the 1948 election, civil war erupted. The anti-Calderen forces were led by Jose Maria (Don Pepe) Figueres Ferrer who had been exiled to Mexico in 1942. Supported by the governments of Guatemala and Cuba, he won the war which lasted 40 days and cost 2,000 lives.

Figueres became head of the Founding Junta of the Second Republic of Costa Rica. He consolidated the reforms introduced by Calderen and introduced many of his own: He banned the Communist Party, gave women the vote and granted full citizenship to blacks, abolished the armed forces, established a term limit for presidents and nationalized the banks and insurance companies. He also founded the Partido de Liberacion Nacional. (The PLN won last year’s presidential election behind Don Pepe’s son, now President Jose Maria Figueres Olsen.

Don Pepe died in 1990 a national hero, his deeds having set the scene for the social and economic progress that would earn Costa Rica the reputation as a peaceful and stable island of democracy in one of the world’s most politically unstable, and often war-torn regions. When civil war broke out in neighboring Nicaragua, Costa Rica was drawn reluctantly into the conflict, its northern zone being used as a base first for Sandinista and later for “contra” forces. In 1986, a young lawyer called Oscar Arias Sanchez was elected president on the platform of peace. Arias’ tireless efforts to promote peace in the region were rewarded when the five Central American presidents signed his peace plan in Guatamala City in 1987, an achievement that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.