With so much to see and do and Costa Rica, it’s hard to know where to start. To help you out I have created a list of the top 10 cities in Costa Rica. There are plenty of great towns and destination not on this list, but these are the best. If you are only in the country for a short amount of time, these are some of the must see cities in Costa Rica.
Playa Tamarindo has become extreamly developed over the years, but still remains to be one of the most popular beach cities in Costa Rica. The city is a popular destination because there is something for every budget and every type of beach bum. There are sections of beach ideal for surfing and others calm enough for swimming. Spend your days on the beach and at night you can party it up in one of the liveliest night life scenes in the country.
If you are looking for a place to really get away from it all, Drake Bay is that place. This city is slowly gaining some construction and tourism due to a small air strip nearby, but is still extremely isolated from the rest of the country and world. This Costa Rica city is a popular destination for naturists, scuba divers,anglers, and other various travelers looking for something well off the beaten path.
In this popular beach town you will find sun soaked surfers, dreaded out rastas, unshaven hippies, and expats from all over the world. Mainly a party beach town, Jaco can get especially busy on the weekends year round. It is a popular destination for surfers, but there are a few other activities to be had in the area.
Resting at the eastern foot of the Arenal Volcano is La Fortuna, a small farming community. Over the years this Costa Rica city has turned into a popular destination for those wishing to do some up close volcano watching. Because the volcano its self is only a few miles away, La Fortuna makes for an affordable base camp to plan you volcano trips.
>>>Check out our city guide on La Fortuna
This Costa Rica city is home to the most popular could forest in the country. Because of this pristine area of forest, Monteverde also has some of the best canopy and jungle tours around. If zipping through the tree tops isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of sites and activities to see on the ground.
Check out our city guide on Monteverde
The city of Quepos is a great Costa Rica city for the adventure minded traveler. While the city of Quepos is popular as a fishing destination, it also sports many other outdoor activities. You will have no problem creating a weeks worth of adreniline filled adventures here. From canopy tours and whitewater rafting, to horse back riding and ATVs; Quepos has it all.
As the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose is much like any other major city around the world. San Jose might not be the tropical Costa Rica paradise you had in mind, but there is still plenty to see and do in the city. You can spend your time visiting the cities museums and other cultural hot spots or plan day trips out of the city to see volcanos and watefalls.
A small beach town near the south eastern most reaches of the country, Puerto Viejo is an ideal location to spend a few weeks at. The city its self is a popular destionation for budget travelers. This is in part because of the affodability of the town, but also because it’s location makes for a number of great day trips to other destinations in every direction.
Check out the Puerto Viejo city guide.
Heredia is small city just outside of San Jose and beside the Barva volcano. Thanks to is vast number of beautiful parks and gradens, Heredia is also known as the “City of Flowers.” The city is home to a popular univeristy so you’ll have no problems finding book stores, coffee shops, or discos.
Here you’ll find the orginal eco-tour destination of Costa Rica. Located next to miles of beautiful beaches and acres of protected rainforest, Manuel Antonio has an endless number of activities and sites. This is a perfect destination for both famalies and adventure travelers.
Read the Manuel Antonio city guide.