A Guide to Property Listings in Costa Rica by Region
We have organized our Costa Rica Real Estate Property Locations into four primary zones. Within those zones are property groups based upon towns or regions. Click links to jump right to the Costa Rica Real Estate Listings or expand the zones to get additional information about each area.
The majority of our listings are in the south but we add new listings frequently. Sign up for email alerts to get notified when a new property is listed in the zone you are interested in.
The Southern Coastal Zone - Click Image For Area Details
The Southern Pacific region is dominated by the magnificent Osa Peninsula, which includes the Corcovado National Park–a 100,000-acre sanctuary of biological diversity and endangered wildlife. The rugged peninsula also boasts the surf beaches of Pavones and Zancudo, the duty-free port of Golfito, and Drake’s Bay named after Sir Francis Drake and his travels in 1579.
Near the coast of Drake’s Bay is Cano Island, where humpback whales, spotted and bottle nose dolphins, the green baula turtle, and other breathtaking marine life abound in crystal clear water–creating one of the country’s premier diving destinations. A must stop for serious nature enthusiasts, this conservation-focused region features the glacial lakes of the Chirripo National Park, the country’s highest peak, the diverse flora and fauna of Golfo Dulce, and other unique organic attractions.
Manuel Antonio and Quepos – A World Class Tourist Destination
The Manuel Antonio National Park is a small biological peninsula found within an area devoted to different productive activities, such as snorkeling, Scuba Diving and high tourism development. It is one of the country’s most scenic and beautiful national parks and beaches.
Puerto Quepos drapes itself across a tropical inlet surrounded by primary rain forest. The village center is a delightful six-block square of restaurants, bars, hotels, bakeries, art galleries and gift shops, all fronted by the main beach and sport fishing fleet. The new Pez Vela Marina has now opened phase 1 and has boat slips operational!
Playa Matapalo – Pristine Beaches with Natural Charm
Matapalo has embraced the natural beauty which surrounds this quaint coastal getaway. It has earned the Blue Ecological Flag for its dedicated effort in conservation and commitment to preserving the quality of environment. For anyone looking to unwind, take long walks down miles of secluded beaches, while soaking up the tranquil environment, Matapalo is the perfect place for you.
Hatillo Area – Private Tropical Settings With Cool Ocean Breezes
A small rural village with a few small hotels, restaurants, bars and various beach activities, located just along the Coastal Highway. The village of Hatillo lies on the south central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. 6 km north of the surfing town of Dominical, 3 from playa Guapil and is 35 km south of Quepos. And 3 km away from Hacienda Baru, a National Wildlife Refuge.
Dominical – Where Tropical Jungle Hillsides Meet the Sea
The pleasant town of Dominical is relatively small but offers the beach-lover a wide variety of nearby beaches to choose from. Playa Dominicalito is just south of Dominical and is a great spot for beginner surfers and swimmers.
At Punta Dominical, on the southern end of Playa Dominicalito, you’ll see the lush green land merge with the rich blue Ocean. It is a great spot to watch the ocean’s waves crash onto the rocky shore below and see a near perfect sunset almost year round. Other activities include treks to nearby waterfalls including the Nauyaca Waterfalls (7.5 mi from Dominical on Hwy 243), canopy tours, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Playa Uvita and Playa Ballena – Home of Marino Ballena National Park
Playa Uvita is a great volcanic sand beach, perfect for swimming and surfing. Kayak tours are offered to check out the wealth of mangroves and estuaries surrounding Uvita. There are many gorgeous waterfalls nearby, some of which have been described by tourists as being the best in the country. Horseback riding, scuba diving, snorkeling and hiking finish off the list of favorite activities found here.
Ojochal – Forested Mountains, Pristine Beaches, and Gourmet Restaurants
Playa Tortuga, or Ojochal as it is known by the locals, is a clean strip of beach loved by Tico’s and foreigners alike. The town of Ojochal sits off the coast a little ways, protected by mountainous forest, the perfect spot from which to access the stunning coastline. Some of the best restaurants around are located in this small town.
San Isidro de El General – The Fastest Growing City in Costa Rica
Valle de El General and to the all important city of San Isidro de El General, or, Pérez Zeledón as it is also known by its municipal name. Serving as the area’s main market, plenty of opportunities for lodging and grabbing a bite to eat are available. Mainly agricultural, the city also provides an opportunity to stock up on supplies and refuel before heading out to more remote locations.
For anyone interested in exploring Chirripó National Park or any of the area’s popular surrounding attractions. Great mountain climates make this very attractive as a retirement destination.
The Osa Peninsula – One of the Most Biologically Diverse Places on Earth
The pristine rain forests and the rugged natural beauty of the Osa Peninsula make this region among the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. Declared ‘one of the most biologically intense places on earth’ by the National Geographic Magazine, the Osa Peninsula along with Drake Bay have today, become the premier eco-tourism destination in the county.
Golfito – A Tropical Gulf Town With A Rich History
Golfito is Costa Rica’s only city situated within a declared protection area. Originally a banana port, 90% of the country’s banana exports came from Golfito during the 1950’s. Located on a small gulf surrounded by densely forested hills, Golfito is home to great seafood and incredibly warm ocean water. To the south are a couple of great beaches for surfing and swimming. Adjacent to the mouth of the Coto Colorado River, which is lined with estuaries and diverse wildlife, is Playa Zancudo. Playa Zancudo is as tropical and relaxed as you could possibly imagine. Just to the northwest is the Piedras Blancas National Park (Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas). This 34,595 acre park encompasses a wide variety of flora and fauna and is one of the best places in the country for bird-watching.
The Central Pacific region hosts tropical forests teeming with exotic wildlife and foliage, in addition to beach towns brimming with opportunities for surf, sport fishing, or relaxation. Highlights of the area include Manuel Antonio National Park with its abundance of monkeys and other land and marine life; the white sand beaches of Isla Tortuga; and Coco’s Island, which was declared a Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO and features an unmatched diving experience.
The Los Suenos Marriott Marina Resort in Herradura, as well as other five-star destinations in Puntarenas, Jaco Beach, Quepos, and the emerging beach town of Dominical are also popular locales within the Central Pacific region. From Dominical south, the landscape changes dramatically, as the mountainous rainforest meets the ocean for a truly visually dramatic display.
Playa Hermosa – An Up and Coming Beach Area Known For Great Surfing
While Hermosa Beach maintains an overall laid back atmosphere, it has grown as an epicenter of ongoing development. The town of Hermosa runs from north to south along its beachfront, becoming more sparsely populated toward the south. Large hotel complexes on the northern end head most construction in the area, while the south retains a more relaxed atmosphere.
Jaco – A Vibrant Coastal Town Buzzing With Activity
Activities include surfing, swimming, deep sea fishing, ATV tours, bicycle rentals, horseback excursions, crocodile safari, national parks and reserves, boat and kayak excursions, white-water rafting, canopy tours and popular night life. With all there is to offer it is no wonder Jaco is as popular as ever.
In the surrounding areas, Playa Herradura, just 4.4 miles (7 km) north, provides a more tranquil environment than Playa de Jaco. Also, just south of Jaco is Playa Hermosa, a quieter 6 mile (10 km) section of black sand beach loved by beach goers and surfers alike. This is where the International Quicksilver Championships are held every year in August. The Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Playa Hermosa) is the beach of choice for the Olive Ridley sea turtles that come ashore to nest every year.
Puntarenas – The Gateway to the Nicoya Peninsula and the North
Puntarenas is one of the most important tourism regions in Costa Rica. Its coastline is full of islands, inlets, beaches, and very beautiful natural treasures, all which make it an excellent tourist destination. There is a multitude of attractions based around the beaches, as well as protected areas, both land based and around its islands. The area’s center is located at Puntarenas which acts as a place for lodging, distribution, port of call, and excursions. Within its tourism locales you can find a variety of hotels and traditional cabins close to the ocean as well as all-inclusive lodging facilities.
Smack-dab in the middle of the nation, the Central Valley contains the heart and soul of Costa Rica. About 70% of the country’s population inhabits this region, which includes the bustling metropolis of San Jose, incorporated suburbs, and prominent surrounding towns such as Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago. The San Juantamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela is the country’s largest international airport, and the region’s central location serves as an ideal take-off point for destinations throughout the country.
Escazú – The Costa Rican Version of Beverly Hills
Escazú is considered by most to be one of the most posh, trendy and upscale suburb of the San José metropolitan area. Located 7.5 miles (12 km) from San José and just 3 miles (5 km) west of Sábana Park in the capital city, it is a great place to enjoy the same amenities of the larger, busier city, but with a more laid back feel. Just like Beverly Hills, CA, the city has tons of shopping, restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, gyms and even golf at the exclusive Costa Rica Country Club where you’ll find an 18-hole championship golf course.
Santa Ana – The Perfect Location For Professionals Working In San José
Situated just beyond trendy Escazú, this smaller, alluring suburb of San José is growing rapidly. Here is where you will find a large ex-pat population, enthralled in the local ambiance due to the modern conveniences provided and its cultural atmosphere. Local arts and crafts can be checked out at Cerámica Santa Ana, where pottery is still made on old-fashioned kick-wheels. Exploring the city, you can’t miss the glamorous bouquets of flowers and stands full of sweet onions, which are a local crop. Santa Ana is a great place to stay as many luxurious hotels and restaurants providing tasty delights are nearby. Passing through town, you might stop by the town center and observe its church glancing out vigilantly over the community. It is even within very close proximity to the extensive Multiplaza, the largest shopping center in the country. Santa Ana’s charming appeal and close proximity to metropolitan San José give it a unique and inviting atmosphere.
Heredia – A Charming Area Bordering the Capital City of San José
Just 7.5 miles (12 km) northwest of the chaotic, busy streets of the capital city is the smaller, less hectic city of Heredia. Although Heredia is the smallest of Costa Rica’s provinces, it is one of the most aesthetically stimulating. Similar to the neighboring city of Alajuela to the west, Heredia, affectionately referred to as ‘The City of Flowers’, has much to offer and is a great place to start a trip to nearby destinations. Winding through the twisting roads above Heredia, you’ll witness charming little towns surrounded by coffee plantations and lush vegetation. You might even get a view of the Central Valley below. Heredia’s favorable location provides close access to Juan Santamaría International Airport, several volcanoes along the Central Volcanic Corridor, and other popular destinations. Almost everything Costa Rica has to offer can be found in and around Heredia.
Alajuela, nicknamed City of the Mangoes, is one of the most important cities in Costa Rica. It is the capital city of the providence bearing its name and is located just 11 miles northwest (17 km) of San Jose. Just outside of town is where you’ll find the Juan Santamaria International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaria), Costa Rica’s principal airport. With a slightly warmer climate than San José, Alajuela is a pleasant escape from the hustle-and-bustle of Costa Rica’s capital. It is a great cultural center and base for exploring the sights nearby.
Cartago – An Area With Historic Tradition and Modern Relevance
Cartago, Costa Rica’s first capital, is one of the oldest communities in Costa Rica. Ruins dating back to the 16th century can be found in the city’s central park. Cartago was once overwhelmingly dependent on the agricultural crops the area is famous for. The rich soils found throughout the Orosí and Central Valley are still a main producer of orchids, milk, potatoes and onions.
More recently, the importance of computer technologies has dramatically increased and become a crucial component of the economy. Henceforth, Cartago is home to the prestigious Costa Rica Institute of Technology, where academic excellence is pursued through the fields of engineering, business administration and computer science.
Wild savanna grasses and pristine beaches meet exhilarating sun sports and fine resorts in the scenic Northern Pacific region, which comprises the Province of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula.
Portions of Guanacaste can be characterized as Central America’s Texas, where vast grassland ranches are accented by spreading Guanacaste trees and white brahma cattle. While the sunny northern Guanacaste coast houses some of the finest hotels and vacation destinations, catering to sun-lovers and fun-seekers with a myriad of outdoor activities–including surfing, kayaking, swimming, diving, snorkeling and horseback riding. An international airport receiving flights daily can also be found the region’s Liberia. The Nicoya Peninsula area is largely undeveloped, showcasing its unspoiled natural beauty, and offering some of the most spectacular beaches in all of Costa Rica.
This region also features the historically significant Santa Rosa National Park, the captivating caverns of Barra Honda National Park, and numerous wildlife protection areas.
The Nicoya Peninsula – An Isolated Getaway With Stunning Natural Beauty
The Nicoya Peninsula is full of natural beauty, and it maintains equally rich biodiversity. Dominated by mountainous terrain, the once volcanic landscape is now sheathed by dry and wet tropical forest. Wildlife lovers delight in what the Nicoya Region has to offer. Its national parks and reserves include: Barra Honda, Marino Las Baulas, Vida Silvestre Curu, and Cabo Blanco.
Tourists seeking the country’s coveted coastal scenery also gravitate to the Nicoya Peninsula, where luminous sunlight smiles on the radiant ocean. Within the last decade, a construction boom, fueled by tourism and a high demand for property, has produced many foreigner-owned beachfront properties and businesses. Indeed, in some small towns, visitors may be pressed to find the local Costa Ricans.
Tamarindo – A Popular Vacation Destination Well Known For the Surf
Separated from Tamarindo by the Río Matapalo is Playa Grande, an uninspiring crop of pebble-rock seashore with the exception of numerous tide pools that are exposed at low tides. However, surfing along Playa Grande is ideal—regardless of skill level. The town hosts several international surf competitions, a testament to the quality of surf available. Visitors seeking luxurious accommodations can do so south of Playa Grande at Playa Langosta, a pristine white-sand beach near the Río San Francisco.
As a regional hub, Tamarindo offers a wide-range of extensive services to visitors including sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and horseback riding. The Tamarindo airport offers visitors in the San José area a seamless method of travel to the area, and Liberia is a close 50 kilometers (31 mi) for visitors already bound on international flights to Nicoya.
Playa del Coco – An Energetic Fishing Town in the North
Unlike most Beaches in the Papagayo region of Guanacaste, Coco’s water composition maintains a unique blue-gray tint, instead of the area’s usual blue-green. The beautiful beach is a favorite for both foreigners and Ticos who frequently take part in the town’s ongoing fiesta. Coco’s party grows in size and intensity after the end of rainy season, and at times, the beach can feel overrun with visitors. It is busiest during late November and December when most Ticos take their main holiday. Travelers seeking a laid back environment, free of noise, should probably steer clear of Coco Beach. However, those visitors in search of a party should look no further.
Playa Flamingo – An Exclusive Luxury Home and Resort Area
With its gleaming white sand, Flamingo Beach is the perfect setting for a vacation getaway. It hosts some of the most beautiful Hotels and condominiums that Costa Rica has to offer. Many gorgeous Villas dot the Playa Flamingo Beachfront, where wealthy foreigners and Ticos continue development at an astonishing rate.
Unlike many beach communities, Flamingo Beach has no village center. The community that extends east is home to exclusive beachfront Resorts and coveted private property. Thus, life beyond the beach and water sport activities is limited to a few excellent restaurants, and visitors seeking nightlife should head to the nearby town of Brasilito, or beyond.
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