Costa Rica Map for tourists, with main destinations. This map does not zoom.
North of Costa Rica lies Nicaragua and to the south Panama. Neither region offers much in the way of tourism interest though slightly further north are Mexico and Guatemala, both diverse and loaded with attractions, while serious wildlife watchers with fat wallets could head down to Ecuador and cruise out to the magnificent Galapagos Islands.
It’s not difficult to get to CR overland from North America though Texas is 2500 miles north; Peñas Blancas on the west coast is the main border crossing from Nicaragua.
Costa Rica has two coastlines, one on the Caribbean Sea and one on the Pacific Ocean.
The Caribbean is much less visited as it’s much shorter than the pacific side, more difficult to reach by road, hosts less good dive spots and offers only one major wildlife reserve, Cahuita National Park. The region is called Limón and is known for mosquitoes, excellent white water rafting, white sand beaches, turtle watching and surfing.
On the long and winding Pacific side the northerly Nicoya Peninsula (Guanacaste region) hosts many of the country’s most famous beaches while the three most famous wildlife reserves of Corcovado, Manuel Antonio and Monteverde stretch their green wings along the Pacific mainland and offer good diving offshore.
The Central Pacific region is probably the busiest as it embraces not only some terrific wildlife parks such as Manuel Antonio, but also great beaches and is reasonably near to the capital city, San José.
The most spectacular volcanoes and hot springs are in the north of Costa Rica near or in the Guanacaste region.