Costa Rica has only a few, relatively small, metropolitan cities - San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Escazu, Puntarenas, and Limon. However, in this listing we have included destinations with a bustling town, vibrant nightlife, and plenty of restaurant options. In a sense, these destinations are no longer small villages.


Judging by its exterior, the capital city of Costa Rica, San José, is merely an ugly conglomerate of outdated commercial buildings and decrepit infrastructure—potholed streets and crumbling sidewalks that wind without reason through a mishmash of seemingly thrown together corrugated metal and plaster. Rated 6.2/10 by visitors.

Hiking   Shopping   Rafting  

Playa Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, the Central Valley and is one of the most visited coastal destinations in Costa Rica. Rated 7.7/10 by visitors.

Kayaking   Zip Lines   Surfing  

Quepos allows tourists to experience a once in a lifetime nature experience in Manuel Antonio National Park without leaving any of the familiar amenities behind. Rated 7.9/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Guided Tours   Rafting  

Puerto Limón, or simply Limón, is the heart and soul of the Caribbean coastal province of Limón. Rated 10.0/10 by visitors.

Snorkeling   Hiking   Species Exhibits  

Alajuela, nicknamed City of the Mangoes, is one of the most important cities in Costa Rica. Rated 7.5/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Night Life/Bars & Rest   Coffee Tour  

A modish escape from the frenzied streets of San José is the alluring city of Santa Ana. Rated 6.0/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Guided Tours   Hiking  

Escazú is considered by most to be one of the most posh, trendy and upscale suburb of the San José metropolitan area. Rated 6.2/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Just 7. Rated 7.9/10 by visitors.

Due to excellent facilities and its close proximity to scores of attractions, Liberia is an ideal stopover for many visitors. Rated 8.0/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Shopping   Hiking  

Puntarenas sits on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Central Pacific Coast. Rated 7.8/10 by visitors.

Boat Tours   Guided Tours  

After experiencing the passage along the Inter-Americana Highway from San Jose to San Isidro de El General, you will either feel relieved to be in one piece or be wishing to do it again.

Cartago, Costa Rica's first capital, is one of the oldest communities in Costa Rica.

Grecia is a medium sized town in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.


The town of Naranjo, settled in 1830, was originally known as “Los Naranjos” (the Orange Groves) due to the abundance of orange trees in the surrounding area. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Coffee Tour  

This town of some 25,000, including surrounding districts, plays a crucial role as the administrative center of the indigenous Chorotega heartland on the Nicoya Peninsula. Rated 9.4/10 by visitors.

Located between the all important city of Alajuela and Puntarenas is the charming district of San Ramon, the second largest in the Alajuela Province. Rated 9.0/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Coffee Tour  

Cañas is a small town in Guanacaste, about an hour south of Liberia.

Hiking   Boat Tours  

Located in Costa Rica’s Central Valley at the foot of the Cordillera Central (Central Mountains), the city of Ciudad Quesada is best known as a hubbub of business and agriculture.

Esparza sits on the Gulf of Nicoya, in the Puntarenas province.

Species Exhibits   Hiking  

The Liberia Airport acts as a gateway to exploring the Nicoya Peninsula and northern regions of Costa Rica.

Horseback Riding   Shopping   Hiking  

Found in an extraordinarily beautiful part of Costa Rica, Palmar Sur is situated in the Southern Pacific Region of Costa Rica. Rated 6.8/10 by visitors.

San Rafael de Puriscal is a rural town with sugarcane fields.

Horseback Riding  

The small and quaint town of Sarchí is famed throughout Costa Rica for its brightly colored, intricately constructed handicrafts.

Shopping   Community Base  

Tres Ríos de Cartago is a small town in central Costa Rica.

Community Base  

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