Northern Plains, Costa Rica

Visit Costa Rica’s northern plains, enjoy its marvelous landscapes and make your vacation unforgettable

Northern Plains, Costa Rica
Northern Plains
© Roberto Fernández-Morales

The northern plains of Costa Rica are a must-see region if what you expect from your vacation is living an adventure, since there you will find many entertaining activities such as sports, cultural tourism, and nature-related activities. The most interesting places are located in two of the region’s provinces: Alajuela and Heredia.

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Alajuela, Northern Plains
© Roberto Fernández-Morales
Volcán Poás, Northern Plains
Volcán Poás
© Gilberto Rivera
Heredia, Northern Plains
© Tore Berg

In Alajuela Province, you will find lots of ways of having fun while learning everything about Costa Ricans’ way of life. The province’s capital city, Alajuela, is the birthplace of the national hero Juan Santamaría. In the museum that is dedicated to him, you will be able learn the fascinating personal story of one of the principal characters of the history of Costa Rica. In addition, you can admire the beautiful Iglesia Santo Cristo de la Agonia Church, which is an important place where the Costa Ricans go on pilgrimage to show their religious fervor.

But one of the greatest attractions in Alajuela is the lush and pure nature it is covered with. Eco-friendly tourism is one of the most demanded activities, since this province has extraordinary parks and natural reserves as, for example, the renowned Poas Volcano and Arenal Volcano, where you can admire these two impressive volcanoes that are still active and the wildlife that inhabits its surroundings. In Cano Negro Wildlife National Refuge and Los Chorros Waterfalls you will have the chance to enjoy relaxing and refreshing swims into clear waters. Besides, you can also meet the Malekus, an indigenous tribe that inhabits the Maleku indigenous reservation.

Heredia Province is a calm place, perfect for resting. The charming rural villages that are found there are peaceful oasis if compared to the bustling San José City. In Heredia City it is possible to visit the well-known Iglesia de la Inmaculada Church, an impressive religious building that will surely surprise you. Other villages, for example Barva and Santa Barbara, are also perfect for relaxing. But if you feel adventurous and you are looking for some entertainment, other areas of this province will better suit your needs. Two of these interesting areas are Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and La Vírgen towns: adventure sports are their main attraction, specially rafting. But there are also some important ecological areas, as Selva Verde Lodge and Rara Avis, two of the province’s most outstanding spots.


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